A method of designing adaptive controller for high performance active magnetic bearings (AMB) is represented. The approach combines two simple architectures often referred to as a Dynamic Feedback Linearization (DFL) and recent advances in adaptive control design techniques to form a new approach for AMB. The procedure enables the designer to explicitly define the desired closed loop dynamics. The result is a straight forward procedure that enables the design of a robust stabilizing adaptive controller that forces the system dynamics to the specified desired dynamics, despite disturbances, modelling uncertainties, and variations in AMB dynamics. This method also guarantees the robustness of both stability and system performance and enables the design for other unstable, magnetic levitation plants.