Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is a blended delivery thesis-based degree program designed for practicing professionals.


This is a blended (face-to-face and online delivery) program designed to accommodate working professionals and students who reside in or outside of the city of Calgary. Students have up to six years to complete all degree requirements. The first three years of the program include course work.


Our Doctor of Education (EdD) program is designed to support the learning needs and interests of individuals who work and learn in a variety of diverse work and learning contexts. Our EdD student learning community includes a broad range of learners in various contexts, such as teachers, leaders and administrators in K-12 and post-secondary/higher education contexts; community-based educators and facilitators; adult and lifelong learning educators and practitioners; health and wellness educators; outdoor education and environmental educators, human resource professionals and workplace learning facilitators; counsellors and career-development specialists; and professionals and educators in non-profit public service organizations who focus on teaching and learning.

This degree program designed for practicing professionals in aforementioned roles, occupations, and organizations. The EdD program focuses on developing scholars of the profession who lead research informed and research active change and innovation in educational communities. The EdD is a cohort based program that is compatible with the busy lifestyles of professionals in aforementioned fields of study. Students in this program continue to work in their communities while developing new skills, engaging in scholarly discourse, and carrying out field-focused research.

EdD program components include: course work, candidacy, research, and completion of a dissertation. This is a blended (face-to-face and online delivery) program designed to accommodate working professionals and students who reside in or outside of the city of Calgary. Students have up to six years to complete all degree requirements. The first three years of the program include course work.

Year 1 involves a two-week residency at the University of Calgary in the month of July and is designed primarily to develop students’ competencies as “critical consumers of educational research” and to develop skills to conduct field-focused research.
Year 2  includes a second, two week residency, also in July, at the University of Calgary and is designed to engage students in an in-depth analysis of an identified research focus in their specialized areas of practice.
Year 3 is designed to support students in synthesizing their Year 2 field-focused research projects into a dissertation. 
*Coursework from September through May is completed online by students.
Year 4-6 provides students with up to six years to complete all degree requirements.

Specializations with a July 2020 start

Please note that not all specializations and topics are offered each year.

Adult Learning

Informed by a rich heritage rooted in a commitment to human, community and social development. As a hub of interdisciplinarity, the focus of graduate studies within this specialization is on adult learning and adult education. Our graduate students draw from multiple and diverse contexts and interest areas, which include: traditional post-secondary and continuing education; business and industry; NGOs; community development and international organizations.

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Leadership-Senior Leadership in K-12 Education

This EdD stream involves investigation of problems of practice within the K-12 education context. The audience for this program is senior principals, district leaders, ministry personnel, policy makers, and government officials who are interested in: assuming leadership roles in the K-12 educational environment, becoming an expert educational consultant, and/or obtaining an advanced (doctoral level) qualification for career advancement.

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Learning Sciences

An interdisciplinary field of scholarship that works to further scientific, humanistic, and critical theoretical understandings of learning as well as to engage in the design and implementation of pedagogical innovations to support learning. The primary mission is the advancement of knowledge and the preparation of future researchers and scholars of the discipline.

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Program Details

  1. Application Dates

    Application opens:  September 1
    Application deadline: December 1
    Official supporting document deadline: December 1

    Students must use the online application found at the How to Apply page.

  2. Program Delivery

    Includes both online and face-to-face courses.

    In years 1 and 2, EdD students are required to come to the UCalgary campus to complete two Summer courses per year. Summer courses include both face-to-face sessions followed by supplementary online assignment submissions. Fall and Winter courses are offered fully online.

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

  • A course or thesis-based Master's degree in an appropriate field. Degrees and grades from foreign institutions are evaluated for their equivalency to those of the University of Calgary.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.50 on a four-point scale in a Master's degree program.
  • A written statement of approximately 500 words indicating the applicant's reasons for wishing to pursue a graduate program. In this statement, briefly outline how your research interests and goals align with the specialization you have applied to; identify relevant prior research, teaching and leadership experiences, publications, awards and recognitions, that you bring to doctoral research. To help us to consider potential supervisors, please identify Werklund School of Education academic faculty members whose research expertise aligns with your own.
  • Candidates will be expected to have, or to obtain, relevant practical experience in their area of specialization.
  • For applicants required to prove proficiency in English, a TOEFL score of 97 (Internet-based test), an IELTS score of 7.0 (Academic version), or a MELAB score of 83. The test must have been taken within the last two years. Note: When requesting that official TOEFL test scores are forwarded to the University of Calgary, please indicate institution code 0813.
  • Two references - References are submitted directly through the online application system.  No hard copy documents are required.
  • Current CV

Admission Portfolio

Applicants to the Doctor of Education program are strongly encouraged to submit an Admission Portfolio containing examples of their work. The purpose of the Admission Portfolio is to give applicants the opportunity to provide additional documentation that demonstrates their suitability and qualifications for doctoral studies. The Admission Portfolio is especially relevant for applicants who do not hold a thesis-based Master's degree.

This document may contain the following (please include a table of contents):

  • thesis (if applicable) methodology chapter only
  • writing sample (curriculum development, conference presentations and/or proceedings)
  • non-print materials, e.g. link to personal external website, blogs)

Relevant Prior Learning Considerations

In exceptional circumstances, individuals who do not meet formal academic requirements, but who have significant life achievements, may be considered for admission to some graduate programs. The candidates must provide evidence demonstrating a potential to successfully undertake 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:

  • evidence of personal continuing education/training,
  • results in these continuing education efforts,
  • experience in the field related to the aspired degree,
  • effective management of people, resources, finances, situations,
  • increasing or varying responsible positions in organizations related to the aspired degree,
  • work-related products, e.g., reports, programs of learning or training, handbooks, videos, manuals, workshops, seminars,
  • evidence of personal growth in knowledge, understanding, management skills, and intellectual resources,
  • evidence of innovation,
  • evidence of leadership, coordination.

In all these cases, the decision whether or not to admit the applicant rests with the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

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.

Please check Application Process for details.

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.

Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. Original documents or certified true copies of each of your official transcripts and degree certificates, in the original sealed envelope, sent directly from the issuing University. Current and previous University of Calgary students are not required to order official University of Calgary transcripts.

If original documents are not in English:

Original documents or certified true copies of each of your official transcripts and degree certificates in the original language, in the original sealed envelope, sent directly from the issuing University, and an English translation from the issuing University or a notarized word-for-word English translation of a duplicate copy of that original.

Applications, transcripts and all supporting documents must be submitted 11:59 pm MT on the deadline date for each program.

Official transcripts must be submitted to the following address:

Werklund School of Education
Graduate Programs in Education
Education Tower 114
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N

Supporting documents (Statement of Intent) must be uploaded to your Student Centre after the application has been submitted.  Applicants will receive a confirmation email with instructions and information regarding this process upon completion and submission of the online application.

As a Graduate Student you are expected to devote the time, effort, and energy necessary to engage in scholarship.  As a graduate student, you will determine the specific milestones and requirements of your program of study in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar and with your graduate supervisor. 

An integral part of the masters experience is working closely with a supervisor on the development and completion of a research project.  A graduate supervisor mentors graduate students through regular meetings and research training aimed at research, scholarship, teaching and professional development. Graduate supervisors support students in the timely completion of their programs.  As a Graduate Student, you are expected to meet with your graduate supervisor on a regular basis.  While each student-supervisor relationship is unique, graduate supervisors can assist graduate students in a number of ways: advising on course selection, applying for awards and scholarships, obtaining research funds, applying for teaching assistant and sessional teaching opportunities, developing track records in refereed publications and conference presentations, getting involved in leadership and service, and encouraging and supporting apprenticeship in a research community of practice (collaborative review of papers, grants, academic writing, and data analysis). 

In the EdD program a supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission.

Candidacy Examination

Candidacy must be completed within 28 months from the program start date.

The Werklund School of Education Candidacy procedure falls under the Faculty of Graduate Studies Candidacy Regulations.  Graduate Programs in Education Council (GPEC) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies have approved new Werklund School of Education guidelines for Candidacy.


The Doctoral dissertation is the focus of the degree program. In consultation with the supervisor, the student should formulate an appropriate thesis topic as early as possible in the program because the nature and type of proposed doctoral research will affect the time needed to complete the program.  The student’s research problem, research questions and the development of the research proposal will be tied to engagement in coursework and the preparation needed in order to complete the program. The thesis proposal must be approved by the supervisory committee before continuing towards candidacy. 
For guidance in preparing the research proposal, please refer to the Werklund School of Education Candidacy Requirements.
For guidance in preparing the final thesis/dissertation, please refer to the GPE Thesis/Dissertation Rubric and the Student Guide to the Dissertation Oral.

Ethics approval is required for all research projects involving the use of human subjects before data collection begins. Prior to submitting an ethics application, students are required to complete the TCPS 2 tutorial and upload the certificate of completion into their Researcher Profile in IRISS. Do NOT upload in the documentation section of a study. Register on theTCPS 2 website When registering, be sure to use your institution email address (name

To initiate the ethics approval process, the student 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. There are no paper application forms.

Doctoral students should consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies Handbook of Supervision and Examination - Part III: Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Education for details regarding supervision and examinations, including candidacy and thesis oral examinations.

Spring 2019

Registration Start Date: February 4, 2019
Start of Classes: Monday, May 6, 2019
End of Classes: Monday, June 17, 2019

EDER 603.08 L11 Case Study Research Approaches in Education

Summer 2019

Registration Start Date: February 4, 2019
Start of Classes: Tuesday, July 2, 2019
End of Classes: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

EDER 783.02 L02 Critical Praxis as Social Justice
EDER 783.01 L01 Introduction to Curriculum Inquiry

EDER 719.31 L02 Building Capacity for System Enhancement and Innovation in Education
EDER 719.14 L01 Advanced Study in Ed Leadership I

EDER 768.08 L02 New Literacies & Digital Media
EDER 768.06 L01 Language, Culture & Intercultural Communication

EDER 779.08 L02 Advanced Seminar in Design and Practice
EDER 779.07 L01 Advanced Seminar in the Learning Sciences

Fall 2019

Registration Start Date: Friday, April 5, 2019
Start of Classes: Thursday, September 5, 2019
End of Classes: Friday, December 6, 2019

EDER 709 L02 Dissertation Seminar I

EDER 709 L01 Dissertation Seminar I

EDER 713 L02 Participatory Methods in Education

EDER 707 L01 Collaboratory of Practice I

EDER 707 L02 Collaboratory of Practice I

EDER 707 L02 Collaboratory of Practice I

Winter 2020

Registration Start Date: Friday, April 5, 2019
Start of Classes: Thursday, January 10, 2020
End of Classes: Wednesday, April 15, 2020

EDER 710 L02 Dissertation Seminar II

EDER 710 L01 Dissertation Seminar II

EDER 714 L01 Action Research Methods
EDER 701.19 L01 Interpretive and Critical Research Methodologies

EDER 708 L02 Collaboratory of Practice II

EDER 708 L01 Collaboratory of Practice II

EDER 708 L01 Collaboratory of Practice II

Contact Us


Have Questions?

Please refer to the EdD Specialization page for Graduate Program Administrator (GPA) contact info


Academic Coordinator

Specialization specific AC contact info listed on specialization page.

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