Doctoral Program Information

The majority of this information is in addition to the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Prospective students should familiarize themselves with the applicable regulations contained in the current University Calendar. In cases of dispute, the official reference is the Calendar.

Patterns of Study and Residence Requirement

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)

The minimum period of residence for the PhD degree is two academic years of full-time study at the University of Alberta.

Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Students pursuing the EdD degree may satisfy their residence requirement in one of two registration patterns. Students are expected to have significant contact with the University of Alberta during their residence through time spent on campus and through interactions with the faculty and graduate students at the University.

  • Pattern A: As part of the program there will be a period of full-time study for a minimum of 12 continuous months.
  • Pattern B: Students must complete at least ★18 (courses and/or THES registration) in each of the first three years. For students who start their programs part-time, the candidacy exam must be completed by the end of year four.

Doctoral Program Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research requires that all three components of the Doctoral Program Requirement must be completed within the first three (3) years of the student's program.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research also states that for part-time doctoral students the timeline to complete this requirement is determined by the department. The Department, therefore, has decided that part-time students are to have the three components of the Doctoral Program Requirement completed within the first four (4) years of their program.

The Doctoral Program Requirements components are

  1. Required course work;
  2. Ethics and Academic Citizenship; and
  3. The candidacy oral.

Course Registration

Doctoral students must register in coursework and/or thesis for all four (4) terms of an academic year (Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer) until their program is completed. Students are automatically registered in THES 906 for Spring/Summer terms by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Additional courses taken in Spring and/or Summer terms will NOT eliminate the THES registration in the same term(s). Fees for the additional course registration will be over an above the normal program fee outlined for that term. Students must be registered in the term that they defend their thesis.

If students register full-time, at the beginning of their program, they must continue as full-time students until completion of the program.

Minimum Units of Course Weight Registration Requirements

The EdD and PhD degree require a minimum of ★36 which normally includes a minimum of ★24 in graduate courses and a dissertation. Please see the specialization pages for more information. Students are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their registration. They are also responsible for adjustments in registration. Information on the minimum units of registration requirements is available via FGSR.

Ethics and Academic Citizenship Requirement

The Ethics and Academic Citizenship Requirement, which replaces the Academic Integrity and Ethics Training requirement, provides foundational ethics education for all graduate students. The requirements consists of two zero-credit, self-paced online courses: 

  • INT D 710: Ethics and Academic Citizenship (for both Masters and doctoral students) and 
  • INT D 720: Advanced Ethics and Academic Citizenship (for doctoral students).

There is no additional tuition or fees for the courses, and they do not impact full-time or part-time status. 

Timelines for Completion

The timeline for completion of the Ethics and Academic Citizenship Requirement will depend on several factors, including when the student began their program and when they expect to complete their program. See the requirement flowchart for more information. 

Professional Development Requirement 

The University of Alberta Professional Development Requirement includes an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and the completion of eight hours of professional development activities inspired by your career plan.

Part-Time Study 

All thesis-based programs (M.Ed. or Doctoral) at the University of Alberta are classified as Full-Time programs. Therefore any student who wishes to be Part-Time (PT) at any time in the program is required to submit the PT Registration Status, Thesis-based Program form along with accompanying supporting documentation.

This will apply to students who:

  1. Have been originally admitted, or are being admitted, to a thesis-based program; 
  2. Want to change to part-time at some point during their thesis-based program; or 
  3. Want to switch from a course-based to thesis-based program. 

For more information see Regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, Registration Status in the Academic Calendar

When applying for this, contact the graduate advisor at, to discuss the process of submitting this documentation

Please Note: Students will only be allowed to switch to Part Time once in their program.

Other Information

Academic Standing

Regardless of the student's category, the pass mark in any course taken while registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is a grade of C+.

All students in degree programs (including time spent as a qualifying graduate student) or diploma or certificate programs must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 throughout the course of the program. (In cases where the cumulative grade point average falls between 2.3 and 2.7, departments may recommend the student be required to withdraw, or continuation in the program for a specified probationary period; in any case, convocation shall not take place with a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.7.) Notwithstanding the above, a student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.7 may be required to withdraw.

Length of Program
The maximum time to complete doctoral programs, as set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, is six (6) years.
Supervisors are assigned to students upon admission by the department.
Graduate Tuition and Fees