Graduate Program Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE)

psu graduate education students in class

Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) Master's Degree Overview

Learn how to respond to the needs of adult learners with a master’s degree in postsecondary adult and continuing education (PACE). PACE will prepare you to help adult learning in college and workplace settings.

This practical program helps students from all professions gain knowledge and experience to advance their careers. This program offers foundational courses along with five specializations to choose from. Our courses are all grounded in social justice and equity. Students can add outside electives to create a personalized, tailored curriculum.

Degree Details

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Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) Master's Degree: Why PSU?

Expert faculty with years of experience in higher education lead our 45-credit graduate program. Our students graduate feeling prepared to apply their learning immediately. Other students use the program to focus their theoretical learning on future employment.

The PACE program is flexible and designed to be responsive to the needs of working adults. Students are free to take as few or as many credits as fit their schedule. Students have the option of learning in a variety of formats, including:

  • Face-to-face classroom format (one afternoon/evening per week)
  • Online
  • Hybrid (combining online study with classroom meetings) format (weeknight afternoon/evening or Saturdays).

Our students begin the program any term and there is no fixed or typical timeline for completion. Students do not have to choose or commit to a specific theme at any time. You are welcome to take any combination of courses from any theme, based on your interests and needs. Students are free to take graduate-level courses can in other departments.

What can I do with a Master's degree in Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE)?

Our graduates go on to work in:

  • Student or academic support services
  • Workplace education and training
  • Higher education student or academic affairs.
  • Adult learning settings, including schools, nonprofits, and businesses

Featured Courses

  • ELP 511 Principles of Educational Research and Data Analysis I
  • ELP 520 Developmental Perspectives on Adult Learning
  • ELP 551 Social Foundations of Education
  • ELP 554 Philosophy of Education
  • ELP 568 Educational Organization and Administration


25 credits of electives in one of five thematic specializations: Higher Education and Organizational Change, Adult Learning and Development, Student Services, Training and Development, or Service-Learning.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).