Department of Educational Policy Studies

Indigenous Peoples Education


Grounded in the traditions of the Aboriginal peoples of Alberta, the international and interdisciplinary focus of this specialization attracts Indigenous students from a variety of disciplines and locations. This specialization combines the conventional parameters and standards of university education with the collective efforts of Indigenous students, scholars, and Elders.

Its aim is to facilitate and support Indigenous scholars whose work is grounded in the values, integrity, and knowledge systems of Indigenous peoples locally and globally. Cultural activities include orientation week-ends, sharing circles, Elders support and ceremony.

In keeping with Indigenous cultural norms, all applicants to the Indigenous Peoples Education program have the opportunity to explore the program by meeting with Indigenous faculty members, student representatives and an Elder prior to admittance.

Program structure

The EdD and PhD degrees across the Faculty require a minimum of ★36. This normally includes a minimum of ★24 in graduate courses and a dissertation.

At this time, the IPE program is only admitting to the PhD route.

IPE specialization core courses

  • EDPS 535 - Indigenous Research Methodologies
  • EDPS 537 - Issues in Indigenous Education
  • EDPS 538 - From Oral Tradition to Written Text
  • EDPS 539 - Revitalizing Indigenous Language

Specialization optional courses

None at this time. 

Department core courses

Coursework common to all doctoral programs include:

  • EDPS 680 - Policy Research and Education
  • EDPS 681 - Frameworks for Research in Educational Policy Studies

Departmental options

  • 500-level or 600-level courses taken across the department or faculty chosen to enhance the program

A list of courses to be offered during the Fall Session (September to December) and Winter Session (January to April) can be found through the University of Alberta Bear Tracks system.

Information about courses offered during the Intersession (May to August) will be available on the U of A Bear Tracks system when the University of Alberta publishes its Spring/Summer Guide, normally by December.

Students may undertake a supervised individual study course if permitted by their specialization program and only with prior departmental approval. Permission will not be granted if the proposed content is available through regular course offerings.

Candidacy examination

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research requires that all programs requirements, other than the thesis, must be completed within three years of the commencement of a student’s program. This includes the completion of a student’s course work, the Academic Integrity and Ethics Training and the candidacy oral.


Every candidate shall present a thesis embodying the results of his or her research. 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.