Master of Education in Educational Studies (MES)

  • What’s Unique About the MES?

    How is the MES program different from traditional graduate programs?

    1. The MES is designed for working professionals: you won't need to take a leave from your career.
    2. We have a flexible admissions policy: we see the value in your educational experiences and factor them into our admissions process.
    3. We use a cohort delivery model: you will move through the two-year program with a single group of peers, providing you with the opportunity to optimize your learning experience through collaboration and networking. 
    4. We use a blended delivery model: a mix of face-to-face and online coursework.
      The face-to-face coursework occurs during a 3-week summer residency in both Year 1 and Year 2. The balance of the core coursework is delivered online, affording you the convenience of working from home.
    5. You will have multiple opportunities to thread your individual educational interest(s) into your coursework so that, in addition to working to complete your M.Ed., you are building your knowledge base in specialized areas.
    6. Our office staff will register you in all your courses so that you can focus on your studies and not worry about course sequence and registration deadlines.
    7. We have a partnership agreement with the Internationale Baccalaureate Organization. On completion of the MES, IB educators are eligible for an Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research or Teaching and Learning Research. 
    8. We have partnership agreements with a number of Alberta colleges that facilitate providing regional summer cohorts: you may not have to come in to Edmonton to study.

    Can I do this program while working full-time?

    Yes. You can complete your MES in two years without taking time off from work. Summer residencies are scheduled during breaks from the school year, typically in the first three weeks of July. These 3-week summer residencies are the only time periods during which you are expected to commit full-time hours to your studies.

    However, you should carefully consider the demands and the rigours this program will place on your schedule: a graduate level course typically requires up to 10 hours a week of time. We suggest that you discuss the demands of the program with your school and your family; strong personal and professional support coupled with effective time management skills help to optimize the learning experience. 

    How long does it take to complete the MES?

    The program takes two years to complete. Should you encounter a need to take a break in your studies, the MES office will advise you of the steps required to keep your program active.

    What is the cohort model?

    A cohort model means that a group of students follow the same course of studies over the same schedule. You will have the opportunity to get to know one another during the first summer residency. The cohort model supports building a robust learning community, where high levels of student engagement optimize both the face-to-face and online learning experiences.

    If we all take the same courses, how can I specialize in my area of interest?

    Although MES students take the same courses, as experienced educators  they bring many specialized interests to graduate studies (i.e. administration, Aboriginal studies, special education, mathematics, or literacy instruction). You will have the opportunity to thread your interests into your course discourse and assessments throughout the program.

    You will choose an area of educational research that is of particular interest to you as the topic for your research assignment. MES faculty and your peers will provide you with support as you conduct research in your own area of interest, draw conclusions from that research, and share your insights with your cohort.

  • Summer Residencies

    What is a summer residency?

    A summer residency is a 3-week, face-to-face period of full-time study. During each summer residency, MES students complete two 3-credit core courses. Summer residencies include course work, discourse, lectures, assessments, and opportunities—both formal and informal—to get to know your cohort peers. You can expect to spend much of your non-class time studying and working with your classmates.

    Summer residencies are held at the University of Alberta, Edmonton campus and are sometimes hosted by regional partners.

    I don't live in Edmonton. Where can I stay during the summer residency? 

    Some students stay with friends or family members over the three-week period. If you require paid accommodation, a number of options are available, including nearby hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. Should you wish to stay on campus--only steps away from your classes, there are two options:

    1. University of Alberta 
    2. St. Joseph's College (please indicate that you are an MES student)
  • Online Studies

    How are the MES online courses delivered? 

    Except for the summer residencies, all MES program core courses are delivered over the Internet using the University of Alberta's eClass course interface (Moodle). You can expect most aspects of your web-based courses to be:


    All students in the course have the same assignment deadlines.


    With rare exceptions, you will not be required to "meet" at certain times online. You will be able to complete coursework during the hours that are best for you. On the rare ocassion where synchronous meetings are included, you will use a web-based conferencing system that is built into eClass.


    Although you will complete many assignments on your own and pursue your own area of interest, you can expect some group assignments. Coursework will encourage you to draw on the wisdom, resources, and support of your classmates.

    Built for teachers and schools

    Course assessments will be constructed around a typical school year calendar. If, for instance, an assignment due date is scheduled during the same period as report-card preparation, simply contact your instructor to discuss an alternate deadline.

    What are the computer requirements for full participation in the program? 

    You will require a computer with reliable Internet access. We recommend a high-speed Internet connection: this will make it much easier for you to conduct Internet research and download the course documents that are required for your coursework. At minimum, you should be comfortable using an Internet browser, email, online discussion boards, a word-processing program (Word), and search engines.

    Can I take online courses for my electives?

    Yes; in fact, most MES students do select online electives. It is your responsibility to identify the courses that best meet your needs and to have these courses approved for the MES program. However, we will make every effort to provide support, advice, and recommendations to help you determine the best options for your program. Please contact the MES Graduate Administrator to discuss proposed electives.

    Does the MES offer online electives?

    Yes, typically in the Fall and Spring semesters. Click here for a list of current electives.

  • Electives

    When do I take my electives?

    Given the program schedule, it is assumed that students will pursue approved electives during the Spring and/or Summer sessions. Many students complete their electives before applying to the program: up to two 3-credit courses taken outside of the MES program may be accepted toward meeting program requirements, providing they are program-relevant and are approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR).

    How much do elective courses cost?

    Generally, the "going rate" for a graduate-level course ranges from $700 to $1,800, depending on the institution and the mode of delivery.  It is your responsibility to identify the courses that best meet your needs and to have these courses approved for the MES program. However, we will make every effort to provide support, advice, and recommendations to help you determine the best options for your program. Please contact the MES Graduate Administrator to discuss proposed electives.

  • Admissions

    What do I need to qualify for admission?

    All University of Alberta masters programs require a bachelor degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (6.5 on the old 9 point scale) on the last 60 credits of graded course work. The MES program also requires two years of teaching experience.

    What if my GPA is less than 3.0? 

    If your average is less than 3.0, please contact the MES Graduate Administrator to discuss your options.

    What if I have already completed some graduate level courses? 

    Up to two courses may be admitted as program electives. Approval depends upon several factors, so they must be assessed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, approved options for transfer into the MES program:

    - are graduate-level courses completed at an accredited university
    - have been completed within the last 3-4 years
    - are relevant to the MES program

    Please contact the MES Graduate Administrator to discuss the process for approval.

    What if I don't quite meet all of the requirements?

    Please contact the MES Graduate Administrator to discuss your options.

    What if I need to take time off from my program? 

    If you need to interrupt your studies, we will do our best to accommodate. Typically, you would resume your studies with the next year's cohort. During your break from the core program, you may complete your approved electives, if you have not already done so. Please contact the MES Graduate Administrator to discuss your options.

    How will a break in my studies affect my fees? My graduation date? 

    You must be enrolled in one course within a school year (September-August) in order to keep your program active or your program will lapse. If you intend to interrupt your program, please contact the MES Graduate Administrator immediately so that we can work out any registration considerations to ensure that your program status remains active.

    What grading system does the program use?

    The program uses the University of Alberta's 4-point scale grading system. For more information about the University of Alberta grading system, see the grading system at the Office of the Registrar.
  • Application Deadlines

    When do applications open?

    November 01

    When do applications close?

    March 31

    Is help available to help me meet the deadlines?

    If you're encountering difficulties or have questions, please contact the MES Graduate Administrator

  • International Students

    What English language proficiency is required?

    International students must demonstrate English language proficiency through one of the following:

    - A TOEFL score of 580 (paper-based), (237 computer-based) or a total score of 93 with a score of at least 24 on speaking and writing and 20 on reading and listening (Internet-based)
    - An Academic IELTS overall score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.5 on each band
    - A PTE Academic score of 63

  • After Graduation

    How will this MEd degree affect my TQS? 

    The ATA has informed us that a graduate degree of 30 units of course weight can be applied as 1.25 years of education toward your TQS. This is a standard assessment for course-based graduate degree programs.

    What if I’m thinking of doing a PhD or EdD program after the MES?  

    Please check the admission requirements for the doctoral program you may be interested in before applying to the MES program. If you think there's a PhD in your future, please be advised to select electives that reflect your area of interest.