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.

Please Note: Successful completion of the MEd does not make the degree-holder eligible for teacher certification. Also, successful completion of the MEd does not guarantee admission to the doctoral program.

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 the policy governing this procedure. See Grad Student Resources for further information on how to transfer from course-based to thesis-based.

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 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.

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.

Master's Program Requirements

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 and Procedure for Uploading Documents to Education and Research Archive (ERA) System 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 MEd Program: See "Transfer from a Course-Based to a Thesis-Based MEd Program" under Grad Student Resources for the procedures.

Course Registration

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 in the Graduate Program Manual.

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.

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. 

Part-Time Study

All thesis-based programs (MEd 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.

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 MEd 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.

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.
Graduate Tuition and Fees