Do you have questions about the Master of Education in Educational Studies? Perhaps they are answered here. If not, contact us at - we're happy to help.

Who enrolls in the MES program?

MES students have a wide range of professional experiences in education: a typical cohort has educational practitioners from K-12 and higher education classrooms, administration, and leadership; some with the required two years of experience and some with considerably more years. This diversity supports rich learning conversations, where students routinely share experiences, ask tough questions, and collaboratively build new insights about educational improvement.

MES students also have a wide range of professional educational interests: to ensure a personally relevant learning experience, students integrate their own areas of interest in educational leadership and/or school improvement into their coursework. If you choose to join us, you will enjoy a rigorous synthesis of study, discourse, educational research applications, and reflections on implications for professional practice as you build knowledge in your area of educational interest.

What if I'm not interested in formal leadership?

Educational improvement is the result of influence at every level of practice: for instance, the teacher who inventively increases student engagement is no less a leader in educational improvement than is the principal who ignites a renewed school-wide commitment to informed practice. So, whether you are already in leadership, have aspirations of formal leadership, or want to lead educational change from within the classroom, the MES is designed with educational professionals like you in mind. The MES provides you with opportunities to integrate your areas of educational interest into your coursework as you:

  • explore emergent, evidence-based research findings in educational improvement
  • consider the challenges and opportunities implicit in research findings
  • discuss the implications for practice and future research
  • plan and execute research to inform educational improvement
Can I really work full-time and succeed in the MES program?

Yes. The program is structured to allow you to work full-time and study part-time.

The only full-time study takes place during the first three weeks of July. Our graduates tell us that the open discussions, deep thinking, and new insights are invigorating and worth the investment of time during the summer. There's something quite wonderful about spending three weeks with a group of people similarly interested in and committed to being educational practitioners-actively involved in the art, science, inquiry, and reflection that is professional practice.

Our graduates tell us that the support of family, friends, and colleagues is helpful. Let your circle of people know what getting an M.Ed. means to you and let them know, specifically, how they can support you. Talk with your educational leader(s) to determine whether accommodations can be made to support your studies. Lastly, keep your instructors in the loop; if you encounter scheduling difficulties let them know sooner rather than later so that you can collaboratively determine a solution. To optimize your learning experience, we endeavour to accommodate regional K-12 schedules.

What is the workload for the in-person and online courses?

While the courses are structred to allow you to work while studying, you do need to set aside time for your studies.

During the 3-week summer session, you can expect to be either on-campus or online between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

For your online courses in Fall and Winter, which are 13 weeks in duration, you can expect about 10 hours per week on coursework. Spring term courses are 6-weeks, so that time will increase to between 15 and 20 hours per week.

Coursework may include a variety of readings, group or individual presentations, reflecting with your peers through online meetings or written discussion forums, and writing papers.

What is the difference between the blended and online cohorts?

In the blended cohort, the summer courses are taken in-person on the U of A campus. You'll spend your mornings and afternoons in a classroom, working with your instructors and fellow students in large and small groups.

In the online cohort, the summer courses are taken online, using the Zoom platform in eClass. You'll also spend mornings and afternoons working with your instructors and fellow students, you'll just be in the Zoom setting.

For both cohorts, all of the remaining courses are online, some with synchronous Zoom sessions. Electives may have different requirements.

Can I stay on-campus for the Summer courses in the blended cohort?

Some students stay with friends or family members over the three-week period. If you require paid accommodation, a number of options are available, including nearby hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. Should you wish to stay on campus--only steps away from your classes, there are two options:

What if I need to take time off from the program?

If you need to interrupt your studies, we will do our best to accommodate. Typically, you would resume your studies with the next year's cohort. During your break from the core program, you may complete your approved electives, if you have not already done so. Please contact the MES Graduate Administrator at to discuss your options.

How will a break in my studies affect my program?
You must be enrolled in one course in your first term after admission, and maintain an active program status by taking at least one course within each academic year (September-August). If you intend to interrupt your program for any reason, contact the MES Graduate Administrator immediately at We will work with you to ensure that your registration remains active.
What grading system does the program use?
The program uses the University of Alberta's 4-point scale grading system. For more information about the University of Alberta grading system, see the grading system at the Office of the Registrar.
What if I don't quite meet all of the requirements?
Please contact the MES Graduate Administrator at to discuss your options.
What if I have already completed some graduate level courses?
You may receive transfer credit for up to six credits of graduate coursework (two electives). Transfer credit information is available here or you can contact the MES Graduate Administrator at  for more information.
Can I ladder a graduate certificate into the MES?

A Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (GCES) or Graduate Certificate in School Leadership provides students with up to 12 credits in advanced standing in the M.Ed. in Educational Studies program. Completion of one of these certificates does not guarantee acceptance, but if you are admitted, you will have only 6 courses remaining to complete your MEd (four core courses and two electives).

Note: this does not apply to the MES ATEP cohort, as the ten courses for that program are pre-determined.

Do these courses count toward the TQS salary scale?
Yes. Each graduate-level course counts as 0.125 years on the TQS salary scale. More information is available here (see section 15.02).
Is this program offered in other locations?

Pending sufficient enrolment, MES summer courses may be offered in a variety of locations in the province and beyond, with additional courses provided online (or fully online, depending on the cohort's specific needs).

If you are interested in forming a local cohort, contact us at to discuss the possibilities.