Graduate Program FAQ

Admission Questions

I am interested in graduate studies with the Faculty of Education. How do I get started?

Step 1 – Choose your graduate program

Step 2 – Review program requirements, deadlines, and contact the program area This is a critical step because:

  • admission requirements vary by program
  • application deadlines and entry dates vary by program; some programs accept applications year-round while others only allow entry once every one or two years
  • application procedures vary; some programs require you to identify a potential supervisor before applying and some departments may require different documentation at different stages of the application process

Step 3 – Apply Online

After consultation, applicants complete the central graduate studies online application. The application takes at least 60 minutes to complete. A $135 CAD application fee is required. Waiver requests will not be accepted. To apply online, click here.

Please note: Documents or application information sent directly to programs for admissions are ONLY reviewed once the applicant has submitted their application through the Application Portal.

Please apply two weeks prior to the deadline date to allow referees sufficient time to upload letters. All components of the application must be received by the application deadline.

Are students automatically accepted if they have the minimum eligibility requirements?

No. Having the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission. All admission decisions are competitive, and often higher qualifications are necessary. Admission decisions are based on a program’s pool of applicants, availability of potential supervisors, statement of intent from the applicant, and letters of recommendation. All admission decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Does a Masters degree entitle a person to an Alberta teaching certificate?

No. Successful completion of the MEd does not make the degree-holder eligible for Alberta teacher certification as these are issued by the Government of Alberta. To be recommended for certification, students must have completed a Bachelor of Education Degree and be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Students attending the University of Alberta on a Student Visa will not be recommended for certification. Those wishing to be awarded certification to teach must apply to have credentials evaluated by Alberta Education.

I have an undergraduate degree, but not in Education. How can I become eligible for teaching credentials in Alberta?

You can apply to the UAlberta Faculty of Education’s After-Degree Program. This program will provide you eligibility for an Alberta Teaching Certificate and a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree in two years. Interested applicants may contact prospective undergraduate student advisor(s) by email at

Can I simultaneously apply for two levels of programing (e.g. MEd and PhD)?

As this varies from program to program, please contact the Graduate Program Administrator of your interested program for further details.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes. However, please note a $135 CAD non-refundable application fee is required for each application (and supporting documentation) you submit.

I am interested in a program not listed here. Where do I go to get more information?

If you would like to search for graduate programs offered across the University of Alberta (and not just through the Faculty of Education), please click here.

Can I transfer courses I have taken previously?

In general, transfer credit of graduate courses may be granted, provided the courses:

  • have not been counted toward a previously awarded degree or credential,
  • were not used to satisfy admission requirements of the University of Alberta (e.g. GPA calculation), and
  • are considered applicable to the graduate program you are applying to and are from an accredited institution.

While the program area recommends, FGSR has final approval authority. This process is typically not done after an applicant has been admitted or begins the program. Please contact the program area you are applying to for further information. Additionally, if you intend to transfer any specific course(s) into a program, please make a note in your application.

How long will it take to complete a master’s program?

The time taken to complete a graduate program varies and depends on a number of factors such as number of courses taken per term/ academic year, approval of transfer credit for previously completed coursework, the nature of the research undertaken and other considerations.

Do you offer scholarships and awards?

Yes. At the University level, there are two entrance scholarships. Incoming students are automatically considered for these and you do not need to apply to them:

While in the program, the Faculty of Education offers funding opportunities such as scholarships, awards, research and teaching assistantships. Please note these are highly competitive and depend on student status (part-time vs full-time, citizenship, academic record, previous experience), as well as the needs of the program/Faculty. Funding does not cover a student’s expenses while in their program. We encourage students to seek funding from multiple sources. If you are an international student, you may find the page on Funding Information for International Students helpful.

Do I still need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) if I completed my studies in an English-speaking institution?

The English Language Requirement may be met by possession of a degree or its academic equivalent from an academic institution recognized by the University of Alberta, in which the language of instruction is English.

The University of Alberta recognizes English as the official language of instruction in these countries and institutions. Applicants with credentials from these countries or institutions will automatically meet the English Language Requirement. However, some program areas, such as the Teaching English as a Second Language program, may still require ELP if your first language is not English. Please refer to your specific program of interest for more information.

I do not meet the minimum 3.0 GPA required for admission. What are my options?

You can try to boost your GPA by taking additional courses, which can be at the undergraduate or graduate level (as long as they are alpha or numerically graded and not credit/non-credit courses).

If you complete graduate courses, the courses CANNOT be transferred into a graduate program since they will be used for GPA. Courses can only be counted once, either GPA or transfer credit; with GPA being the first item that needs to be fulfilled when a student applies.

To do this, you would register as an Open Studies student and take university-level credit courses on a part-time basis without being admitted or committed to a degree or diploma program.

Note: The 3.0 GPA is generally required for admission. Some programs may make exceptions to this, but it is not common and is completed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Graduate Program Administrator of your interested program for further details.

Do I need to find an advisor/supervisor before applying to a program?

This depends on the program. Please refer to the program area for more information.

How do you calculate GPA for admission?

In general, your GPA is calculated by averaging your last 60 graded credits, meaning courses that are credit/non-credit will not be considered. Administrators will go as far back as they need to, to obtain the 60 graded courses. They will not, however, split up a term, so if they take the GPA of one course from one term, they must factor in every course from that same term. Note: This calculation does not apply to Winter 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the volume/number of applications received, unfortunately administrators cannot provide preliminary GPA calculations to prospective students.

My bachelor’s degree is not a four-year program. What are my options?

Some programs may accept three-year degrees from certain countries such as India and Pakistan. For other programs, if you have a three-year bachelor's degree, you might need to complete additional post-secondary courses equivalent to one year of study to be eligible to apply. If you have a two-year bachelor’s degree, you must complete courses equivalent to two years of study. International applicants may also wish to check out the Minimum Academic Requirements by Country for additional prerequisites. Please refer to individual program requirements for more information.

I am having issues with the online application process and/or have questions about requesting referee letters, uploading documents and transcripts.

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research section for more information. Technical issues with the portal should be directed to

How do I check the status of my graduate application?

Please sign in to the GSMS Portal (Not Bear Tracks) using the e-mail address and password initially used when you created your account. Admission decisions will be posted there.

Can you waive my application fee?

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is no longer able to waive the graduate application fee for students from specific countries. All applicants are required to pay the non-refundable application fee. For additional information, please contact

How much are tuition and fees?

It is difficult to provide an exact amount since certain factors, such as citizenship and study term, affect the final numbers. However, the Fee and Cost of Living Estimates page might give you a sense of what you can expect.

What credentials are required to teach within the Alberta education system?

In general, you will need at least your masters to teach an undergraduate course and a PhD to teach a masters or doctoral course. At the kindergarten to grade twelve level, you are eligible for Alberta teacher certification if you are holder of the Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree. If you are interested in the BEd program, please contact the Faculty’s Prospective Undergraduate Student advisor by email at

My grades are from the UAlberta’s previous 9-point scale. How do they convert to the current 4-point scale?

Please refer to the UAlberta comparison guide for more information.

Are international students eligible to apply to graduate programs?

Yes, provided applicants meet the minimum eligibility requirements as defined by the program. International applicants may also wish to check out the Minimum Academic Requirements by Country for additional prerequisites.

What are the application deadlines for master and doctoral level programs?

Application deadlines vary from program to program, and may also depend on the applicant’s citizenship status. Please refer to individual programs for specific dates. Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure references and all required documents are received by the application deadline or the application will not be considered for admission.

Who do I contact with questions about study permits, visas, or other immigration-related matters?

Program Questions

What is the difference between course-based and thesis-based programs?

Course-based master’s programs usually include a greater number of courses than a thesis-based program and provide focused and leading-edge course-based learning.

Thesis-based master’s programs train students to conduct methodical, systematic, theory-based, and collaborative research with a diversity of outstanding people, in a multitude of leading facilities and stimulating environments.

Can I transfer from a course-based program to a thesis based program?

All master's applicants, if successful, are admitted to the course-based route; the ability to transfer to a thesis-based one varies by program as well. Students should discuss their intention to switch from course-based to thesis-based with their program advisors as early as they can, as this might impact planning, course selection, or supervisor availability.

What is the difference between master’s and doctoral programs?

Doctoral programs prepare individuals for academic research and teaching, and for leadership positions in central offices, provincial departments of education, faculty of education and other educational institutions. To be eligible to apply to a doctoral program, the applicant must be a holder of a master level program.

To be eligible to apply to a master’s program, the applicant must be a holder of a four-year bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from a recognized academic institution.

Do you offer diploma and certificate programs?

Yes. Diploma and Certificate programs are available to meet the varied needs of educators who wish to further their knowledge of current educational theory and practice through full-time or part-time study. Normally, admission to a diploma or certificate program will require an undergraduate degree.

Note: Diploma and Certificate programs do not lead to Alberta teacher certification.

Can I ladder in a diploma or certificate program into a graduate degree?

A Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (GCES) or Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership (GSCL) can provide students with up to 12 credits in some of our MEd programs. Approved certificate pathways are currently available for the following programs:

  • GCSE or GSCL can ladder into the Master’s of Educational Studies starting Summer 2023 (pending sufficient enrollment). For more information contact
  • GCES or GCSL can ladder into Master’s programs in Elementary Education. For more information, contact
  • GSCL can ladder into the Master’s of Education with specialization in Studies in Educational Leadership. For more information contact

Note: Completion of a GCES does not guarantee acceptance into any Master's program.

I would like to take graduate level courses to bump up my teaching pay scale. What courses are available for this?

Please note that graduate-level courses have course numbers that are 500 or higher. You may explore courses through:

  • Professional Learning’s graduate-level electives
  • Faculty of Education Course Catalog
  • UAlberta’s listing of Open Studies courses
  • UAlberta’s Bear Tracks
    1. Sign on as a Guest
    2. Select Class Search Ugrd/Grad
    3. You may choose the Browse Course Catalog tab (on the left) and enter key words in the search bar. Or choose the Undergrad & Grad Classes tab to select the term you are interested in.
    4. Use the filter function on the left hand side to isolate search results.
    5. Click any course listed to view the course description, dates, times, delivery mode, instructor, and available seats remaining.