Elementary Education

Graduate Programs

The Department of Elementary Education offers a variety of options at the Master's and Doctoral levels. We offer both on-campus programs and online instruction in some of our programs, designed to accommodate the lifestyles of working professionals.

On this page:

Master of Education - On-Campus

The Master of Education program is an advanced degree for educators who are concerned with professional matters of curriculum, teaching, and pedagogy. This program prepares educators for positions as master teachers, consultants, supervisors, clinicians and other school and school district personnel.

This program is for students who are able to take courses on campus and is especially suited for professionals who want to expand their knowledge base in relation to their current practices, leadership roles, and future responsibilities.

Our graduate program should include opportunity for course work and experiences both within and outside the Department of Elementary Education. We provide the opportunity for the integration of theoretical and practical experiences. We strive to develop a strong community of scholars by fostering critical understandings of a range of research paradigms.

  • Program Routes

    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. There are two routes to the master degree: course-based and thesis-based. Students may request to change to the thesis route after completing EDEL 567 and one graduate course in their area of study.

    Students who are interested in the thesis route should discuss this with their Program Advisor and plan to take EDEL 567 early in their program.

    Students normally complete *24 credits of course work (the equivalent of 8 3-credit courses) and a *6 credit thesis. No residence period is required but a one year residency is recommended. Thesis-based master's students must register in both Fall and Winter sessions (September to April) in coursework, thesis, or continuous registration in order to keep their programs active. Time to complete degree: 4 years.

Please note: Students from outside of Alberta should be sure check with their local teacher qualification services to determine program eligibility for salary or other purposes.

Master of Education - Online

The University of Alberta's fully online Master of Education degree offers the convenience and flexibility you need as a busy early childhood, elementary or middle school classroom teacher. The degree provides opportunities for professionals to engage in conversations about diversity in teaching, learning and curricula in a global context.

As you move forward into your Master of Education in Curriculum and Pedagogy degree, you will also explore the processes of curriculum development to better help you situate your own practices within the broader context of curriculum in Canada. To help you be better able to read and critique educational research, you will also take a course that provides an introduction to educational research. Here you will be able to continue your inquiry into problems of practice by finding, reading, evaluating and summarizing current research on your topic.

Courses will allow you the flexibility to select options that meet your learning needs as well as providing you with more in-depth study into different curricular areas. Through your connections to your peers and instructors, you will develop a network of colleagues who can support your learning during your studies and beyond. Technology will be thoughtfully infused into all courses and you will be able to explore multiple ways of presenting and sharing new understandings.

When applying, please select "Curriculum & Pedagogy" from the drop down menu on the online application form.

Master of Education in Technology

The M.Ed. in Educational Technology is a graduate degree program for students who wish to take an academic degree but also desire the flexibility of choosing a stream that is most relevant to their teaching practices or educational research interests. This program is a cross-departmental faculty offering. The elementary education stream is for students who are interested in a K - 6 environment and who wish to focus on technology in a classroom integration context.

For more information regarding course selection and further information about the program, visit the Master in Educational Technology elementary education stream page.


The Doctoral program prepares individuals for academic research and teaching and for leadership positions in central offices, provincial departments of education, faculties of education and other educational institutions.

Doctoral programs are normally tailored for each individual student according to his/her interests, previous background and experience. Programs will be individually planned to focus on the subject areas of the elementary school and on more general areas such as early childhood education, curriculum studies, instructional studies and teacher education. The exact course requirements will be worked out on an individual basis in consultation with an advisor, and scholarly experiences beyond those offered in courses will be considered a significant part of the doctoral program.

PhD students have 6 years to complete their program. The average time to completion of doctoral students in Elementary Education is 4-5 years.