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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2023-2024 Program Descriptions Education Graduate Programs Educational Research (EDER) Master of Arts (MA)
Master of Arts (MA)
1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Master of Arts in Educational Research (thesis-based) – on campus, where some courses are on campus and some courses are online. Online courses are less than 50% of the total program.

MA Specializations: 

  • Adult Learning
  • Curriculum and Learning
  • Language and Literacy
  • Leadership
  • Learning Sciences
2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies admission requirements, Graduate Programs in Education requires:

a) A written statement indicating the applicant’s reasons for wishing to pursue a graduate program.

b) For applicants required to present proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL (Internet-based) score of 97, an IELTS (academic version) overall band score of 7.0 or a CAEL overall score of 70 (with no section less than 70). This requirement can also be met by completing the Academic Communication Certificate with a minimum grade of "A-" in each course.

The test must have been taken within the last two years. When requesting that official TOEFL test scores are forwarded to the University of Calgary, please indicate institution code 0813.

c) Two references. Referees will be asked to complete an online reference form.

d) Admission to the Learning Sciences specialization requires a 3.50 GPA.

3. Application Deadline

The deadline for the submission of complete applications is available on the Future Students website:

Master of Arts:

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma, or for courses taken to bring grade point average to a required level for admission.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the Program requires:

a) Educational Research 608 and 3 units from any other 600-level thesis-based research methods in education course.

b) Additional graduate courses or seminars as required by specializations (see below) and any additional courses as determined by the supervisor in consultation with the student.

  • Adult Learning requires 12 units selected from the Adult Learning courses;
  • Curriculum and Learning requires 9 units selected from the Curriculum and Learning courses;
  • Language and Literacy requires 9 units selected from the Language and Literacy courses;
  • Leadership requires 12 units selected from the Leadership and Policy courses;
  • Learning Sciences requires 6 units selected from the Learning Sciences courses, and 6 additional units from any other Educational Research specialization.
Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

Graduate Programs in Education in the Werklund School of Education will not permit the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) for any course offered by the School.

Students may not choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will affect students' eligibility for internal awards.
6. Credit For Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Programs in Education does not normally accept undergraduate courses for credit toward graduate degrees.

7. Time Limit

Expected completion time for full-time students is two years in thesis-based master’s programs. Maximum completion time is four years for thesis-based master’s programs.

8. Supervisory Assignments

A supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission.

A supervisory committee, approved by the Graduate Program Director, is required for MA or MSc students choosing the manuscript-based thesis route. Normally, the committee will consist of the supervisor and two members (see Academic Regulations - Supervision).

9. Required Examinations

Thesis Examination
In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations for thesis examinations, the program requires:

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the Supervisory Committee must have approved the student’s draft thesis document before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

10. Research Proposal Requirements

Information on research proposals is available through the supervisor.

Ethics approval is required for all research projects involving the use of human subjects before data collection begins. In order to submit an ethics application, students are required to complete the TCPS2 tutorial and upload the certificate of completion into their Researcher Profile in IRISS. Register on the TCPS2 website at

To initiate the ethics approval process, the student, in consultation with the supervisor, must submit an application to either the Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board or the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board. Applications to the CFREB or CHREB are created and submitted online using IRISS

11. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this calendar and the Graduate Awards and Scholarships page of the Werklund School of Education website.