Graduate Programs

The Faculty of 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.

Visit Admissions and Deadlines for more information.

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 Elementary Education programs. 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 *21 credits of course work (the equivalent of 7 3-credit courses) and a *9 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 - Cohort

As part of the Curriculum and Pedagogy MEd, Elementary Education periodically runs cohorts for interested graduate students. The cohort model allows for increased specialization in subject areas, a clearly defined educational path (timelines and course structure) and the creation of communities of practice.

See cohort offerings below.

Health and Physical Education MEd Cohort

The Health and Physical Education MEd cohort is designed for teachers who want to complete their degree part-time in a structured program. If you are interested in an MEd that features a core of desirable courses such as health literacy, physical literacy and more, then this cohort is for you!

The program consists of 10 courses and a capping presentation taken over a two year period. Courses are taught by leaders in the field and are delivered on-campus in the summer and online during the school year. Thesis options are available.

Proposed Schedule

Year One

Summer: on-campus (2 weeks)
  • Knowing & Being: Foundations of HPE
  • Physical and Health Literacy
Fall: online
  • Intro to Educational Research
Winter: online
  • Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Curriculum
Spring: online
  • Practitioner Research in Education

Year Two

Summer: on-campus (2 weeks)
  • Health Promoting Schools
  • Inclusive HPE
Fall: online
  • Research in Practice
Winter: online
  • Meaningful Physical Education
Spring: online
  • Capping Project and Presentation

Courses may vary due to scheduling and instructor availability.

Cohorts are typically offered every two years, contact Dr. Doug Gleddie at for more information.


The Doctoral programs prepare 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.

The PhD will appeal to educators who want to pursue a career of research, post-secondary teaching, and leadership. It will attract those who wish to dedicate themselves to academic teaching, research, and service.

The EdD will appeal to educators who are concerned with professional matters of curriculum, teaching, and pedagogy. It is especially suited for professionals who want to explore issues related to their current practices, leadership roles, and future responsibilities.

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


Graduate Program Advisor: