Frequently Asked Questions

Program Questions

What is the difference between the 4-year BEd and the 5-year combined degree?
Students in the 4-year program gain admission through the Faculty of Education and complete their studies as Faculty of Education students. In contrast, students in the 5-year combined degree choose from one of the available programs and gain admission through the partner faculty. After the successful completion of the first 2-3 years of study, students automatically transfer to the Faculty of Education to finish their program. Students in the combined degree will take more courses towards the teachable major and minor, and upon successful completion of the program, will earn two degrees: the Bachelor of Education and the degree earned from the partner faculty (i.e. the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, etc.). Students interested in pursuing the combined degree are encouraged to contact the partner faculty for admission information.
What is the difference between Elementary and Secondary Education?
Students in Elementary Education take a generalist program and do not choose a major or minor. This program is directed towards teaching Kindergarten through Grade 6. Students in Secondary Education are specialists that choose a major and minor, focusing on grades 7-12. Students in Elementary Education take *51 credits (approx. 17 classes) of "Non-Education Elements" from a number of different areas to form their generalist focus, including English, Math, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Fine Arts, Physical and Health Education, and Indigenous Histories and Culture. Students in Secondary Education take *36 credits of coursework (approx. 12 classes) towards their major, while the minor is composed of *18 credits of coursework (approx. 6 classes). In addition to the major/minor requirements in Secondary, and the Non-Education Elements in Elementary, the BEd program includes Education coursework as well as the two practicum terms.
What majors and minors are available to Secondary Education students?
The University of Alberta Calendar has a complete list of majors and minors available! Students interested in the 4-year BEd can click here (scroll to Education Chart 1 & 2) and students interested in the After Degree can click here (scroll to Education Chart 3 & 4).
Can I have a double major and/or double minor in Secondary Education?
An official double major or minor is not available in the Bachelor of Education. However, students wanting to develop additional areas of specialization can do so within the options available in their degree. Students can also choose to complete coursework extra to degree, which will not be counted towards program requirements, but will be listed on the transcripts (and viewable to potential employers). Keep in mind that some courses may be restricted to students in a particular major, minor, program or faculty.
How big are the class sizes in the Faculty of Education?
The average class size of Education courses is 27 students. However, keep in mind that Education students may take courses from a number of different faculties!
Can I study on a part time basis?
Portions of the program can be taken on a part-time basis. However, the field experience terms must be completed full time as designed. We recommend consulting with your Education Student Advisor after you are admitted if you are considering part-time study.
Can I fast track my degree?
It is extremely difficult to fast track the BEd program. Note that the majority of Faculty of Education courses are restricted to current Education students and field experience terms must be taken full-time as designed. For the After Degree, the minimum amount of time it takes to complete is typically 2 years.
I am a transfer/after degree applicant. Which major and/or minor should I choose for Secondary?
Many students transferring into the Secondary Education program or entering the Secondary After Degree will choose a major and/or minor based on previous coursework completed. For example, students who have previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and History may declare a major in English and a minor in Social Studies (or vice versa). However, students are not limited to the majors and minors that they have previous coursework in, and any deficient coursework will simply be included in the program requirements. Unfortunately, the Faculty of Education is unable to conduct assessments prior to application and admission. You may view the 4-year Secondary majors/minors here and the After Degree majors/minors here.
How many credits must I complete within the Faculty of Education (residency requirement)?
For the *120 credit 4-year BEd, students are permitted to transfer in a maximum of *75 credits to their BEd (including a maximum of *60 credits from institutions outside the U of A). For the BEd After Degree, you must complete a minimum of *30 credits in your BEd program to complete the residency requirement. Most Education courses are restricted to students enrolled in the Faculty of Education, so it is strongly recommended that students apply to the BEd as soon as possible and no later than your second year (maximum of *60 credits completed). After Degree students should plan on completing their whole degree within the Faculty of Education.
What is the difference between Open Options, Non-Education Options, and Education Electives?
Open Options can be any course from any faculty at the U of A, or any course transferable to the U of A. Non-Education Options can be any course that is NOT offered by the Faculty of Education. An Education Elective can be any 300 or 400-level undergraduate Faculty of Education course.
Can I take online courses at the University of Alberta?
Some classes may be available online, however, the selection of online courses at the U of A is very limited. It is currently not possible to complete a significant number of U of A/BEd courses online.
Can I take courses on weekends?
Unfortunately, the U of A does not offer courses on weekends.

Admission Questions

Can I enter the Bachelor of Education directly from high school?
Yes! Both the 4-year Bachelor of Education and the 5-year combined degrees can be entered from high school.
Can I transfer into the Bachelor of Education from another post-secondary institution?
Yes, the Faculty of Education accepts transfer students from external post-secondary institutions. However, we recommend applying to transfer as early as possible to gain earlier access to Education courses and because our degree requirements can change from year to year. If you are transferring from another Alberta institution, be sure to use the Alberta Transfer Guide to make sure your courses are transferable to the U of A.
Do courses I took in the past expire?
All U of A transferable coursework will be considered for use toward degree requirements if you are admitted, regardless of age. Note that due to the labour-intensive process of assessing transfer credit, we will only be able to assess credit if we are able to extend an offer of admission to you.
When should I apply?
We recommend applying as early as possible for admission and ensuring your application is complete as early as possible. Applications for Fall 2022 open October 1, 2021. The application deadline will be March 1, 2022. Note that our programs are competitive and in previous years, the Faculty of Education has hit capacity before the end of the admission cycle.
Will my previous degree allow me to be considered for the After Degree?
For admission to the After Degree, students are required to possess a 3 or 4-year accredited degree. Please contact the Registrar's Office for more information on whether your degree is considered recognized.
Are there specific prerequisite courses required to transfer into the BEd?
There are no specific prerequisites required to transfer into the Bachelor of Education. However, students planning to transfer into the program are encouraged to use our University Calendar and the Alberta Transfer Guide (if applicable) if your goal is to try and take degree requirements before being admitted.
What are the English language requirements for admission into the Faculty of Education?
Students must meet both the English Language Proficiency requirements and the Spoken English Proficiency requirement for admission to the Bachelor of Education. Students who do not meet this requirement will not be admissible to the program.
Do I need a criminal record check to enter the program?
Students applying for the Bachelor of Education do not need to get a criminal record check for admission to the program. However, most school boards in the province of Alberta require student teachers to complete a Criminal Record Check (through the RCMP or City Police) and an Intervention Record Check (through Alberta Child and Youth Services) prior to beginning a practicum. For more information, please refer to the Field Experience website.
How is my admission GPA calculated?
The Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) is calculated based on your most recent *24 transferable credits without splitting a term. The minimum AGPA considered for admission to our programs is 2.0, however, admission to our programs is competitive. Note that the University of Alberta does not release current or past AGPAs as they can change from year to year based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool.
What is the lowest grade acceptable to bring an external course in for credit to the program?
We require a grade of C- or higher on any course taken outside the U of A in order to consider it to meet a degree requirement. If the course was taken at the U of A, the grade must be a D or higher.
Can I change my major/minor after I am admitted? From Elementary to Secondary (or vice versa)?
If your application has already been evaluated, you cannot change the program you applied to. Students in the Secondary Bachelor of Education can apply to change their major/minor after completing one full term in the program they were admitted to. If you want to change from Elementary to Secondary (or vice versa), you must submit a new application for the next intake as these are two separate programs.
Do I need to submit letters of reference or a written statement for admission?
We do not accept or require letters of reference or written statements for admission. We recommend referring to our website for more details about admission!
What documentation is required for admission?
Applicants are encouraged to log into their Launchpad account for a complete list of documentation needed for evaluation, as this will differ depending on the applicant!
How do I accept my admission offer?
Log into your Launchpad account to accept your offer and pay the tuition deposit (if applicable) by the deadline indicated. Be sure to read your admission offer letter on Launchpad as you are required to meet the conditions stated on your admission offer, even after you have accepted.

Teaching Profession

Will I be able to teach in another province with a BEd from the U of A?
Absolutely! Once a teacher has been certified in Alberta, they can then apply for teacher certification in another province. Each province/territory in the country has a Department/Ministry of Education that conducts teacher certification for their jurisdiction. Students will need to contact the appropriate department/ministry for more information!
I am an internationally educated teacher. How do I become certified in Alberta?
Those interested in teacher certification in Alberta who already possess a Bachelor of Education (or equivalent) from another country must apply to Alberta Education for assessment. Once your assessment is complete, you will receive a letter from Alberta Education indicating whether you have met the requirements for Alberta certification or if you are required to take additional course work. If you have this letter, please email it to educ.info@ualberta.ca and you will be directed to the appropriate Student Advisor.
I am an out-of-province teacher. How do I become certified in Alberta?
Those interested in teacher certification in Alberta who already possess a BEd (or equivalent) from another province must apply to Alberta Education for assessment. Once the assessment is complete, you will receive a letter from Alberta Education indicating whether you have met the requirements for Alberta certification or if you are required to take additional course work. If you are required to take coursework, please send this letter to educ.info@ualberta.ca and you will be directed to the appropriate Student Advisor.
Which courses allow me to teach for Edmonton Catholic?
Edmonton Catholic School Board does not require teachers to have specific courses as a condition of employment. However, in order to get a permanent contract with Edmonton Catholic, the school board requires teachers to have CHRTC 250: The Theological Education of the Catholic Teacher. In addition, CHRTC 380: Christian Religious Education and the Child is required for Elementary teachers and CHRTC 381: Christian Religious Education and the Adolescent/Young Adult is required for Secondary teachers. These courses are offered by St. Joseph's College. For further information on working for Edmonton Catholic, or for information on working in a different Catholic school district, please contact the specific school district directly.

Changes to Admission Due to COVID-19

For ALL post-secondary students applying to an undergraduate or graduate program at the University of Alberta, grades for courses taking in Winter 2020 will not be included in the calculation of admission GPAs. 

Passing grades from Winter 2020 will contribute to the credit requirements for individual admissions, provided the grades meet the threshold required for transfer credit as outlined in the University Calendar, and will be accepted as satisfying program prerequisites. Non-passing grades for Winter 2020 will not contribute to the credit requirements for individual admissions and will not be accepted as satisfying program prerequisites. 

These admissions practice changes aim to ensure that the academic changes and disruptions in global education systems that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic do not disadvantage applicants to University of Alberta programs. The goal is to ensure all applicants are treated in a fair and equitable manner. 

Grades and relative performance for the Winter 2020 term will not be used by the University of Alberta for any admission decisions. 

CR/NC Admission FAQs

Winter 2020 coursework falls into my most recent coursework. How will my AGPA be calculated if I have CR/NC grades?
Applicants are ranked according to their AGPA, which is calculated on all university transferable coursework completed in the most recent two terms of study if they contain a minimum of *24 credits, of which a minimum of *12 credits must be graded. If those two terms contain less than *24 credits, with at least *12 credits graded, all work in the next most recent term(s) is included in the calculation until the minimum total of *24 credits is reached.
I was on track to receive high grades in Winter 2020 and my hard work will not show on my transcript because of the move to CR/NC in Winter 2020. Can I submit anything else (letters, mid term marks) to prove I was achieving higher grades?
No supplementary documentation will be accepted or used for admission evaluation purposes. The University of Alberta announcement and procedures for the impact of CR/NC on admissions has been communicated on the Undergraduate Admissions & Programs Notices webpage.
Other Canadian institutions are giving students an option or receiving a grade for Winter 2020. Will the applicants with letter or percentage grades for Winter 2020 have an advantage over me if I only have CR/NC grades for this term?

For external post-secondary students applying to an undergraduate or graduate program at the U of A, grades for courses taken in Winter 2020 will not be included in the calculation of admission GPAs. 

Passing grades from Winter 2020 will contribute to the credit requirements for individual admissions, provided the grades meet the threshold required for transfer credit as outlined in the University Calendar, and will be accepted as satisfying program prerequisites. 

I was RTW, will Winter 2020 courses count toward my *24 credits for admission?
Yes, CR courses will count towards the *24 credits since the last RTW for admission evaluation purposes and CR courses can also be used towards meeting program requirements.