Master of Education in Adult Education & Community Development

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Master of Education in Adult Education & Community Development

Master of Education in Adult Education & Community Development Overview

Are you interested in bringing about positive social change where you live or work? Are you committed to social justice and activism? This leading graduate program may be the place for you.

The MEd in Adult Education & Community Development (AECD) is a professional course-based degree program that introduces students to practical applications and theoretical concepts for use in a wide variety of adult learning and community development environments.

It focuses on learning that happens individually and collectively among adults in communities, workplaces, social movements, the street and the virtual world – any place where people come together to create social change.

This program is perfect for those seeking to develop skills for education, community and organizational development roles in public, private and voluntary sector settings.

Our graduates work with newcomers, youth, women’s groups, LGBTQ agencies, organized labour, racialized people and disenfranchised communities in positions that involve community engagement and education, policy development, leadership, mentorship and organizational development. 

This non-thesis degree program is not intended for students who wish to engage in a research program or pursue an academic career.

For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar.

At a Glance

Study Options
Full-time (4 sessions)
Part-time (10 sessions)

Funding and Tuition
For current information about tuition fees, funding, and financial support, visit Tuition & Financial Support.  

Applications for the 2024-2025 admissions cycle are now open. Apply Today !!


Ready to join one of the world’s top universities? Take the next step in your academic journey and start your application to graduate studies at OISE.

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Why I Chose Leadership, Adult & Higher Education

Image of Candace Singh
Candace Singh (Master of Education 2023)

"I completed a Master of Education in Adult Education and Community Development, mostly online, as much of it was during the pandemic. Despite most of my degree being online, my professors felt accessible and approachable. The skills I have learned are clear in my career performance as well. I actually got hired as an Adult Educator less than a year into my program. The courses are interesting, diverse, and relevant. No wonder I miss it already. I might have to pursue that PhD after all."


Master of Education in Adult Education & Community Development Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Please visit the OISE Admissions website for detailed information about the application process, including general minimum admission requirements and supporting documents. 


Program-Specific Information (Minimum Admission Requirements)

Minimum admission requirements for this program are:

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or professional program from a recognized university, with a grade equivalent to a University of Toronto mid-B or better in the final year. 
  • At least a year of relevant work, community or volunteer experience is highly desirable. 
  • Applications are assessed based on: the clarity of written answers to the faculty admissions questions, strength of letters of reference; grades; work, community or volunteer experience; and fit with the program offerings.


Required Supporting Documents

All applicants must submit: 

  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended.
  • Two letters of reference (one academic and one professional).
  • Resumé that provides clear and complete information about the applicant's work or field experience related to their proposed studies.
  • Answers to the following faculty admissions questions:  
    1. What is your overall background including any employment and/or community engagement/leadership experiences you have had that are related to the field of adult education and community development?
    2. Why is the Adult Education & Community Development Program a good fit for you?
    3. How does equity and social justice inform your learning interests?

Program Information


Students must complete 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

  • Introduction to Adult Education (LHA1100H, 0.5 FCE)
    • This course assists students in developing an understanding of the field of adult education. Major philosophical, historical, and conceptual bases are examined, as well as contemporary agencies and programs, issues, and trends in the practice of adult education. 


  • Community Development: Innovative Models (LHA1102H, 0.5 FCE)
    • This course attempts to come to grips with the meaning of community development in a highly networked, increasingly information-dependent society. It looks at such issues as the relationships between community organizing and community development and the role of social capital in community economic development. Models of community development that involve government programs such as social housing and community health centres are considered, as well as market-based approaches involving micro-lending, co-operatives, and social enterprises. 
  • At least 2.5 FCEs must be in Adult Education & Community Development.
  • One research methods course is recommended (0.5 FCE).

Collaborative specializations provide graduate students enrolled in participating degree programs with an additional multidisciplinary experience as they complete their home degree program. 

Learn more about the collaborative specializations offered to students in this program:

Faculty in the AECD program have multi-disciplinary teaching and research expertise in a wide range of fields. 

Our faculty's expertise includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Community organizing and development
  • Workplace and organizational learning for social change
  • Social movement learning and the social economy
  • Comparative international education and development
  • Popular education
  • Indigenous education
  • Education for sustainability
  • Community healing and peace building
  • Adult literacy
  • Feminism, anti-racism and migration

Information on scholarships available to OISE students.

The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship is specific to the Adult Education & Community Development program.

The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship for Research into Violence Against Indigenous Women: In Memory of Helen Betty Osborne

This scholarship is to be awarded to an outstanding OISE graduate student whose thesis focuses on the violence itself, or the history underpinning it. Approaches to addressing the aftermath of violence can also be considered only if they are vested exclusively in Indigenous approaches. For the purposes of this Scholarship, violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Indigenous and Two-Spirit/Trans people is defined broadly. It includes not only what is conventionally seen as violence, such as murdered and missing, battery and rape, it also includes such international  violence as imprisonment, psychiatrization, and interference by child welfare. 

If in any given year, there is an applicant to the MA or PhD program in Adult Education at OISE whose intended thesis fits the criteria and is deemed worthy by the University, the Scholarship may be offered to the applicant as part of the admissions package. Otherwise, after a competition in which any current OISE student may apply, the Scholarship will be offered to an OISE student, irrespective of program or department, whose thesis centrally involves research in this area. Preference will be given to Indigenous women students and Indigenous students who identity as Two-Spirit.

There is no automatic application process for this scholarship, but rather as part of the admissions process all new applicants to thesis programs in Adult Education & Community Development, will automatically be considered for the award; nonetheless, prospective students are free to draw attention to their suitability for this award in their Statement of Intent.  In the event that no one is given the award during the admissions process, applications for from students who are already in the program will open in the Spring.

Ready to join one of the world’s top universities?

Take the next step in your academic journey and start your application to graduate studies at OISE.