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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Adult Education and Community Development Program

Master of Education (MEd) - Adult Education and Community Development

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 and 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.

Study options: Full-time or part-time
Components: Coursework 
Length: Minimum full-time program length is 1.5 years


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

Watch the recording of the Master of Education Fall Open House 2020. Check the application tips.

Watch  the video with Tubo Akpata, AECD MEd student, talking about her experience.  




1. Coursework: Students complete 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs), including:

  • One core course
    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 considere, as well as market-based approaches involving micro-lending, co-operatives and social enterprises. 

  • Additional coursework is mainly taken at the 1000-level or 5000 Special Topics level. At least 2.0 FCEs must be in Adult Education and Community Development.
  • One research methods course is recommended (0.5 FCE)

Browse courses


Collaborative specializations

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 MEd students in the AECD program:


Faculty in the AECD program have multi-disciplinary teaching and research expertise in a wide range of fields. To learn more about our faculty, check out our program's faculty listing for profiles.

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 peacebuilding
  • Adult literacy
  • Feminism, anti-racism and migration


Career paths

Our graduates are leaders, making an impact in communities and organizations everywhere. Here's what some of them are up to. 

Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services,
Government of Ontario
Aboriginal Human Resources Consultant,
Ryerson University
KATHLEEN WYNNE Premier of Ontario



The following are annual tuition fees for 2021-2022. These figures include all non-tuition related fees. 

  • Domestic full-time students: $11,839.99
  • Domestic part-time students: $3,957.74
  • International full-time students: $42,145.99
  • Please note: Master's programs at OISE have minimum degree fees.

For detailed and up-to-date information about tuition fees, funding, and financial support, visit Tuition and Financial Support.  

Admissions and application information

General information

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

  • 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

  • Students are required to have at least a year of relevant work, community of volunteer experience

  • 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  

Apllicants must submit:

  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Two letters of reference (one academic and one professional)
  • Résumé which 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. 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 and Community Development Program a good fit for you?
    3. How equity and social justice inform your learning interests.



The main application deadline is November 15, 2021. Tguarantee consideration for admission, applicants should submit their application and supporting documents by this date. 

After November 15, admission to some programs may remain open. For the most up-to-date information on application deadlines, please visit OISE Admissions


Questions about applying? Please contact the OISE admissions office at 416-978-4300 or