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Frequently Asked Questions

Explore the sections below to find answer to your questions about Graduate Programs in Education 


Applications to graduate degree programs in the Werklund School of Education will open as per the date indicated on your program page. Applications to our programs are submitted online only through the Faculty of Graduate Studies. 

  • On the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Apply Page, you can access the portal by opening the 'Regular Students' drop-down and clicking the "online application" link found under Step 3: Begin your application
    • Note: an eID account is required to complete the application


  • After you’ve submitted an application, you can upload your unofficial transcripts, prerequisite documents, and CV/resume through your Student Centre. Access the step-by-step guide on How to Upload Supporting Documents.
    • Please do not provide us with any application related documents via email unless explicitly requested by the program.

For further details please review the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Apply Page

For more detailed information regarding individual program admission requirements please visit your Future Student program page that’s found by clicking on the Future Students tab in the main menu, or view all of the programs here.

You will receive notification in writing from the Werklund School as soon as possible after a decision regarding admissibility is reached, normally 10-12 weeks after the application deadline date.

The application "To Do List" is automatically populated within the application portal, which can identify items that are outstanding.

The following items will populate. Once items are received, the items will be updated as complete and will be removed from the “To Do List”:

  • Unofficial Transcripts – Applicant uploads Unofficial Transcript to the application via Student Center
  • Official Transcripts – Graduate Program Administrator updates the application when Official Transcripts are received by the Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • Proof of Permanent Residency – Applicant provides a copy of their Permanent Residency Card (front and back) via email to the program’s Graduate Program Administration
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency – All official test scores must be submitted to the Department to which you are applying directly by the testing agency. Your ELP test score reports should be sent to and must be taken within the last two years to be considered. After they are received, an email from with the following information will be sent to the application: Your ELP score report has been uploaded to your file. The Educational Research Graduate Program (cc’d) will update your To Do List at a later date. If you have any further questions about your To Do List, please contact the Graduate Program directly
  • References – Referees submit references via the reference link sent in an email to the referee directly

Request for Advanced Credit must be made at the time of application for admission to a course-based program (MEd, Graduate Diploma, and Graduate Certificate). The prospective student must request advanced credit in writing at the time of application for admission and include this request in the application package. A course outline should accompany the letter of request, as the course will be reviewed based on its equivalency in content and assignments to UCalgary courses that are part of the course-based program.

Advanced credit is not normally given for courses taken more than five years before admission to the current graduate degree program or for courses taken for the purposes of qualifying for admission.

Open Studies Students who take courses with the intention of applying for admission to a course-based graduate program (e.g. MEd, Graduate Diploma, and Graduate Certificate) are not guaranteed acceptance into the program.

All supporting documents listed under the individual program Admission Requirements tab are required for your application to be academically reviewed. All supporting documents are due on the same date as the application deadline for your program. There are no exceptions. If all supporting documents are not received by the application deadline your application will be assessed as incomplete and your application file will be closed. 

It is the responsibility of the applicants to monitor their Student Center to ensure that transcripts arrive before the application deadline and that referees are aware of this deadline.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) application

For the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Master of Education and Doctor of Education programs, in exceptional circumstances, individuals who do not meet formal academic requirements but who have significant life achievements may be considered for admission to the program. The candidates must provide the relevant graduate program with evidence demonstrating a potential to undertake successfully the proposed program of studies.

Such candidates are advised to make early contact with Graduate Programs in Education, and supply additional supporting documents as part of their application package, such as:

  1. Evidence of personal continuing education/training
  2. Results in these continuing education efforts
  3. Experience in a field related to the aspired degree
  4. Evidence of successful management of people, resources, finances, and/or situations
  5. Increasing or varying responsible positions in organizations related to the aspired degree
  6. Work-related products, e.g. reports, programs of learning or training, handbooks, videos, manuals, workshops, seminars, etc.
  7. Evidence of personal growth in knowledge, understanding, management skills, and intellectual resources
  8. Evidence of innovation
  9. Evidence of leadership, coordination, etc.

Admission to all graduate programs is highly competitive due to limited enrollment capacities. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

All graduate programs are governed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. In the case of any conflict, regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar take precedence over material on this website. Please consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar for University of Calgary graduate admission requirements.

Offers of admission are valid only for the term to which applications are made. Graduate Programs in Education will not grant deferrals of admission. Students unable to take up an offer will be required to submit a new application.

Outside Canada: find the grade equivalency and minimum GPA requirement for your country here.

Canadian institutions:

  • For Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, and Master’s level applicants: we are generally seeking a "B" average for a letter score, or 70% as a percentage. GPA calculations are based on the second half of the undergraduate degree curriculum (for admission to a Master's degree program) with a minimum of 60 units (normally 20 "half courses" or 10 "full courses") without splitting a semester or term.
  • For Doctoral level applicants: we are generally seeking a "B+/A-" average for a letter score, or 80% as a percentage. GPA calculations are based on the entire Master’s degree curriculum (for admission to a PhD/EdD degree program).

Please note:

  • For all applicants: Do not attempt to convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale. Transcripts frequently include an institution's grading scale, this is the one that the University of Calgary will use to calculate your GPA. If your institution's grading scale is not included on your transcripts, it is helpful to include the grading scale when uploading your unofficial transcripts to your application.
  • For Master’s applicants: If you possess any graduate-level degrees, e.g. Masters, PhD, etc. these are not included as part of your GPA calculation.

Proficiency in the English language is essential for the pursuit and successful completion of graduate programs in the Werklund School of Education. Prior to admission to Graduate Programs in Education, an applicant whose primary language is not English and who has not completed their post-secondary education in Canada in one of our official languages, may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement for academic purposes in one of the following ways:

in an institution where the sole language of instruction and examination is English. Eligible institutions must be listed as providing English language instruction in the World Higher Education Database (WHED). Search for eligible institutions  

English Language Proficiency Timeline: English Proficiency exams are valid for two years from the date of the test.

English Language Proficiency Deadline: All official test scores must be submitted to the Department to which you are applying directly by the testing agency by the application deadline.

English Language Proficiency Submissions:

For information on how to share your score to University of Calgary, please see the following links:

University of Calgary’s Institution code is 0813. If you are unable to share your IELTS score with the Faculty of Graduate Studies electronically, please share them to the Office of the Registrar. 

After your ELP test score reports are received by

You will receive an email from with the following information: Your ELP score report has been uploaded to your file. The Educational Research Graduate Program (cc’d) will update your To Do List at a later date. If you have any further questions about your To Do List, please contact the Graduate Program directly.

Graduate Programs in Education will not be accepting Duolingo for ELP purposes.

As noted on our website, under the Admission Requirements tab, the Graduate Programs in Education office does not grant deferrals for offers of admission; offers of admission are valid only for the term to which applications are made.  Students unable to take up an offer will be required to submit a new application during a future application cycle.   Please note that the Faculty of Graduate Studies has also confirmed that deferrals are at the discretion of the program.  In the pertinent section of the Graduate Calendar, it is noted that the request must be endorsed by the Graduate Program Director (of the applicable program).  It is the practice of Graduate Programs in Education to not grant deferrals for offers of admission, and this position is endorsed by the Graduate Program Director(s).


References submission: Two (2) references are required for most of our programs. The reference section of the online application asks applicants to provide the referee's name and contact information. Upon submission of your application, your referees will be sent an email containing the reference request and the appropriate link to the online reference form. You will be able to see the status of your referees in your Student Center and both you and your referee will receive a system-generated confirmation email when the referee request has been completed. No hard copy letters of reference or documents will be accepted.

An appropriate referee: A reference written by an independent individual who can report on your academic ability and qualifications or provide an assessment of your background and capabilities with respect to the prospective program.

References that are NOT acceptable: A reference provided by a friend, family member, colleague, people currently registered in a graduate degree program, or general reference not written in support of your application to the program. For the majority of applicants, a current graduate student providing a reference would also fall into the category of friend, family, or colleague. But if there is a professional relationship with the current graduate student as a supervisor, they might be the best candidate to serve as a professional reference.

Academic vs Professional reference: If you are currently registered in a graduate degree program at UCalgary or if you recently completed a graduate degree program one reference should come from your program supervisor. Unless you have been out of school for more than 4 years, at least one letter, and preferably all, should be academic.

It is important to identify your references at least one month in advance of applying to graduate programs.

References are due by the application deadline, so you should complete the online application earlier in order to give your referees sufficient time to submit their reference. Referees will receive a notification on how to submit their reference after you submit your application and are due on the application deadline regardless of when they receive the notification. Please ensure that your references are aware of the supporting document submission deadline. Applications without completed reference forms will be considered incomplete.

How to prepare your referee: Ensure that whoever you are asking to serve as a reference will provide a very strong reference. Confirm with your referee that they are providing an active institutional or business email account that is checked frequently. Give your referees, or brainstorm with them, ideas about what to include as examples.


All current tuition and fees are outlined in the Graduate Calendar. Tuition can change yearly, so check back regularly.

  • Tuition fees are assessed yearly for thesis-based students and per course for course-based students.  
  • All students must also pay general fees, which are assessed annually or by semester, depending on the fee. You may be able to opt out of or waive some general fees if suitable paperwork is provided.


Sponsors can be government agencies, companies, First Nations/Métis/Inuit groups, or other organizations who are paying your student fees in whole, with limited exclusions. Sponsors are invoiced after the term fee deadline for charges they agree to pay as outlined in an individual sponsorship letter provided directly to the student for sponsorship application.

Responsibilities of STUDENT:

  1. In each applicable term, obtain sponsorship letter from third party sponsor
  2. Submit a sponsorship application and upload sponsorship letter through a Service Request in Student Centre by the term fee payment deadline
  3. Pay fees sponsor is not paying by the term fee payment deadline
  4. Ensure sponsor pays UCalgary within 30 days of being invoiced

For troubleshooting/questions Student may contact Enrolment Services directly.


Responsibilities of SPONSOR:

  1. In each applicable term, provide student with individual sponsorship letter.  The letter must:
    1. Be printed on company/official letterhead
    2. Include Student name and UCalgary Student ID number
    3. State the term(s) the letter is covering (up to one calendar year)
    4. Outline, in detail, the fees which will be covered by the sponsor

The Sponsorship Letter Template may be used.

  1. Pay the invoice.  After the sponsorship application is approved, the sponsor will be sent an invoice by email, as long as the student applied prior to the sponsorship deadline.

Sponsor has 30 days from the invoice date to pay fees directly to UCalgary. Payment instructions can be found on the Third Party Sponsorship website under "Making a payment to UCalgary".

  1. Issue any related tax forms directly to the student. Information regarding tax receipts can be found at

For troubleshooting/questions Sponsor may contact directly.

Grad Degree Completion Letters

If you need an early Confirmation of Degree Completion letter, you can request one by submitting a Service Request in your Student Centre. Submission of this request will enable you to:

  • Print a Grad Degree Completion Letter through your Student Centre
  • Request final official transcripts through Enrolment Services showing the date your degree will be officially conferred

Please note: Grad Completion Letters can only be generated up to one year after your degree has been awarded. Also, you will not be able to print a letter from your Student Centre if you have a hold on your account.

View more details on Grad Degree Completion Letters on the FGS Graduation website.

When to Apply to Graduate:

Near the end of a student’s program, students must complete an Application to Graduate to start the graduation process (whether you're attending the convocation ceremony or not).

Learn more about conferrals and important Convocation dates and deadlines on the When do I apply to gradaute? website.


How to Apply to Graduate:

All students must apply to graduate and must complete an online Application for Graduation whether you're attending the convocation ceremony or not.

Visit the Apply to Graduate site for: 

  • Link to Student Centre to complete online application
  • Graduation Requirement details for Thesis-based and Course-Based students
  • Link to Academic Schedule with Academic Dates and Deadlines

Federal legislation stipulates that only certified consultants may offer advice about immigration issues. Students who have been accepted to the University of Calgary will have access to International Student Services (ISS) at the University of Calgary, who are certified in this area.

Visit the following links for more details on:

Awards and Scholarships

The Werklund School of Education and the Faculty of Graduate Studies at UCalgary provide a range of financial assistance to students in Graduate Programs in Education. These supports are found at the following sites:

As you look for awards, make sure to read the Graduate Scholarship and Award Regulation as it may affect your eligibility and/or the ability to hold multiple awards. The Looking for Awards webpage will provide helpful strategies for sorting through the Awards Database and FGS Website.

All award applicants must read and understand the Graduate Scholarship and Award Regulation. Before you apply for an award, make sure you are eligible. Your eligibility must hold for the entire tenure of an award. The Award Eligibility site will provide you with award eligibility and regulation details.

A list of some of the more prominent government and university awards available for graduate students with links to the terms of reference for each can be found in the Graduate Awards Database.


There are two types of master’s degrees: those that focus on research (thesis-based) and those that are intended to prepare you for advanced professional practice (course-based). Your choice will depend on your own study preferences and professional goals.

If you are self-motivated and interested in developing your knowledge in a specialized area of research, thesis-based study is ideal. With this option, you can pursue research at the PhD level, work closely with a leader in your field and undertake a substantial research project. 

The course-based path may appeal to you if you are more interested in advancing your professional skillset. Some course-based master’s degrees are intended for students who have recently completed a bachelor’s degree, while others may require prior work experience for admission.

After completing a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree is normally the next step, though it’s sometimes possible to move directly into a PhD.

Note: some course-based research degrees allow you to pursue a PhD.

The thesis-based Doctor of Education (EdD) program is one of our professional (distance) programs, in which students can continue to work full-time while completing degree requirements. The program is delivered in a blended format; while the majority of the coursework is completed online, students are required to attend the UCalgary campus for the Summer Residency portion of the program in Year One and Year Two. Summer Residency is scheduled for the first two weeks of the Summer term; the remainder of the summer term, as well as the Fall and Winter terms, are delivered fully online.

The program can be completed in three years however, students do have six years to complete the program. Typically, the majority of students complete degree requirements within 4-5 years.

You are not required to have a research proposal prepared before submitting an application; you are welcome to review the research interests of specialization faculty members to search for faculty who may share your research interests and include this information in your formal Statement of Intent. Supervisors are appointed at the time an offer of admission is extended.

Unlike our PhD program students, EdD students do not receive program funding and in the majority of cases do not qualify for scholarships and awards as they are full-time, working professionals. However, students are welcome to review the Awards tab on the Graduate Programs in Education website for scholarships and awards that they may be eligible for, as well as the Awards Database, which is available on the UCalgary Faculty of Graduate Studies website. It is the student’s/applicant’s responsibility to carefully review the eligibility criteria and application deadlines for individual scholarships and awards. 

Our EdD specializations are offered on a rotational basis; not all specializations are offered each year. For example: as the EdD in Adult Learning specialization had a Summer 2022 program start, it is expected that the next intake will be in Summer 2024. It is recommended that you review the Graduate Programs website in the Fall of 2023 to confirm the specializations that will be inviting applications for the Summer 2024 program start.

Should you wish to discuss the preferred specialization program in greater detail as it relates to your background, employment, goals and objectives, please feel free to contact the program Academic Program Coordinator(s) via email. 

A supervisor is required for a PhD, EdD, MSc, and MA, but it is not necessary to find a supervisor before applying to the program. Thesis-based students are appointed a supervisor at the time of admission. The supervisor is cc’d on the offer of admission email to the applicant with their name provided in the email.


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