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Program Overview

Todays adults are lifelong learners, meaning the majority of individuals all around the world are interested not only in postsecondary education (e.g., colleges, universities), but also in learning that extends far beyond these formal settings. As such, organizations, from colleges and universities to private and public workplaces across all industries, and the professionals that staff such organizations need a range of competencies and perspectives.

The completely online Master of Arts in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) at Michigan State University prepares students to succeed in careers connected to lifelong learning by providing knowledge and skills in areas such as organizational administration and leadership, finance and budgeting, curriculum development, teaching and learning, and evaluation.

Our program has long been ranked among the nations best, and our courses are taught by renowned faculty members, one of the largest groups of full-time faculties dedicated to higher education and lifelong learning. The degree is customizable to your interests and goals through courses, independent studies and applied experiences. But no matter what area of lifelong education in which you specialize, you will be ready to facilitate organizational development and change, nurture a commitment to lifelong learning and honor diversity, inclusivity, and equity.

HALE students tend to work full time and often pursue a HALE MA to deepen their skills and knowledge and make advancements or shifts in their professional careers.

Program Highlights 

#2 in Higher Education Administration in U.S. News Ranking for 2020

Program Outcomes

Based on the objectives of the program, you will:

  • Understand central issues in postsecondary organization and leadership, teaching and learning, and administration.
  • Gain inquiry skills and use them to understand important problems in the context of postsecondary practice.
  • Connect theoretical understandings to the practice of administration, leadership, and teaching through coursework and related experiences.
  • Understand the broad social consequences of your educational and leadership duties and the ethical nature of your role.
  • Engage in disciplined reflection on your experience, studies, and practices.

    Career Outlook

    The HALE at MSU program provides a solid foundation for working or changing positions in a range of positions and environments. Our graduates work at colleges and universities, nonprofits, public agencies and private industries. They work across the nation and around the world as student affairs professionals, educators, entry or mid-level administrators, teaching and learning professionals, fundraisers, and senior level organizational leaders.



  • EAD 801Leadership and Organizational Development 3 Credits
  • EAD 805Administration in Higher Education3 Credits
  • EAD 840Inquiry in Postsecondary Education3 Credits
  • EAD 860Concept of a Learning Society3 Credits
  • EAD 861Adult Learning3 Credits
  • EAD 863Training and Professional Development3 Credits
  • EAD 866Teaching in Postsecondary Education3 Credits
  • EAD 871Collegiate Contexts for Teaching and Learning3 Credits
  • EAD 876Budgeting and Finance in Higher Education3 Credits
  • EAD 877Program Planning and Evaluation in Postsecondary Contexts3 Credits


  • EAD 864Adult Career Development3 Credits
  • EAD 868Proseminar in Higher and Adult Education3 Credits
  • EAD 870Foundations of Postsecondary Education3 Credits

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. Previous work experience

    CV/Résumé - Upload to the Graduate Education Application Portal.

  4. A written personal statement

    Personal statement should answer the following questions: What experiences led to your interest in pursuing a career in higher, adult, and lifelong education? What qualities, characteristics, and skills do you possess that will make you a strong candidate for the HALE MA program? How will the HALE program help you meet your personal and professional goals?

  5. 3 letters of recommendation

    At least one should be from a faculty member who had you as a student.

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete a university graduate application (Program Code: 6734) Send official transcripts from each degree-granting institution attended, via email to or by mail to: Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) Program c/o HALE Admissions Assistant Department of Educational Administration Michigan State University Erickson Hall 620 Farm Lane Rm 423 East Lansing, MI 48824-1034
  2. Provisional admission is, on occasion, granted to students that do not have a 3.0 undergraduate G.P.A.
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Key Dates

Fall Semester

Application Deadline

May 15, 2021

Spring Semester

Application Deadline

October 15, 2020

Tuition & Fees

In State Tuition

  • $26,925
  • Total

Out of State Tuition

  • $26,925
  • Total


As one of the top research universities in the world, Michigan State University has advanced the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years.

MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.