Master's 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.

Master's Program Routes

There are two routes to the master's degree:

  • Course-based route
  • Thesis-based route

All master's applicants are admitted to the course-based route. Once admitted, students will meet with their assigned Program Advisor to begin planning their coursework and overall program of study. Students may subsequently apply to be admitted to the thesis route in accordance with Department policy governing this procedure. See Grad Student Resources for further information on how to transfer from course-based to thesis-based.

Residence Requirement

There is no residence requirement for either the course-based or thesis-based master's route. Both can be completed on a part-time basis.

Program Delivery

Although some coursework is available via distance learning, both program routes are campus-based rather than distance-based. To complete required coursework, therefore, all students must be able to attend the University of Alberta campus.

Program Structure

Each student's program includes study in core areas, an area of specialization, research methods, electives, and a thesis or capping exercise.

Course-Based Route

Students must complete a minimum of 11 three-credit courses (★33) and EDPS 900 (★3), which is a "culminating capping exercise." See Guidelines to Course-based Master's Capping Exercise for further details.

Thesis-based Route

Student must complete a minimum of eight ★3 courses (★24) and a thesis.

For students who have completed an acceptable post-degree diploma in the Faculty of Education or equivalent that includes graduate-level coursework, the program normally will be reduced by up to a maximum of ★6 for the thesis route and a maximum of ★9 for the course-based route. The amount of reduction will be determined by the number of graduate-level courses that were completed as part of the diploma program. This option is only available if the courses were not use as part of the entrance GPA into the graduate program.

Transfer from a Course-Based to a Thesis-Based M.Ed. Program: See "Transfer from a Course-Based to a Thesis-Based M.Ed. Program" under Grad Student Resources for the procedures.

Course Offerings

The list of courses to be offered year by year is available through Bear Tracks. Students may undertake a supervised individual study course if permitted by their specialization program and only with prior departmental approval. If the proposed content of the individual study course is already available in a permanent, regular course offering, permission to register in the individual study course will not be granted.

Capping Exercise and Thesis

Capping Exercise: The capping exercise (EDPS 900) is the culminating course in the course-based master's program. The capping exercise is a research inquiry that may fall into one of the following categories:

  • analysis of a work-based program
  • critical literature review
  • scholarly paper
  • development of professional or organizational resources
  • evaluation of a program and/or policy

Thesis: All students in a thesis-based master's route shall present a thesis embodying the results of their research on a topic approved by their Supervisor and/or supervisory committee. In accordance with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) regulations, the final oral examination will be on the thesis and matters related to the thesis.


To keep their program active, students taking the course-based route must register in coursework (or in MREG 800: Maintaining Registration) for at least one term in each September to August period.

Students enrolled in the thesis route 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.

Please note: upon switching to the thesis-based route, if a student registers full-time, at the beginning of their thesis-based program, they must continue as full-time students until completion of that program.

Minimum Units of Course Weight Registration Requirements

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.

Graduate Fees

See Tuition and Fees.

Academic Integrity and Ethics Training Requirement

Graduate students will be required to complete this training while also completing EDPS 581.

To meet this requirement, students must:

The GET course is offered in modules and all modules must be completed with a 100% result. If required, students can repeat the modules to obtain the 100% result.

Per Department Council's motion February 2014, students are required to complete the GET portion of this requirement during the same term they are completing the course portion (EDPS 581). Once students have completed the GET requirement, they are required to print out the GET Certificate (that includes their name) indicating successful completion of this requirement. The GET certificate is to be given to both the instructor of EDPS 681 and the Graduate Administrator..

PLEASE NOTE: Any student that has completed, in a previous degree at this university, the GET portion of this requirement will NOT be required to complete it again. But they will still be required to complete the course portion of the requirement.

Length of Program

Thesis-based master's students must complete all the requirements within four years of the original entrance date of program. Course-based master's students must complete all requirements within six years of the original entrance date of program.

Advisors and Supervisors

When students are admitted to the master's program their assigned program advisor will assist them in the selection of courses and the overall planning of their course-based program.

If a student switches to the M.Ed. thesis-based program, they will have an assigned academic supervisor, who will supervise the remainder of their program, which can include course-work through to thesis completion.

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.

Additional Notes

Successful completion of the M.Ed. does not make the degree-holder eligible for teacher certification. Also, successful completion of the M.Ed. does not guarantee admission to the Department's doctoral program.