Doctor of Philosophy
A research-intensive (thesis-based) degree, normally intended to prepare scholars for careers in research and teaching
PhD in Educational Research
The Werklund School of Education's Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Educational Research allows students to explore and develop expertise in the field of education. Our program is full-time with a residency (on campus) component.
The Werklund School of Education's Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Educational Research is a research-intensive program that prepares scholars for careers in research and teaching. Students work with a supervisor, assigned at the time of admission, to complete scholarship that includes coursework, candidacy, research and writing, and the eventual defense of your dissertation.
Our graduates are scholars that demonstrate expert knowledge, understanding, skills, and critical thought processes in their careers as researchers, teachers, administrators, professors, and more.
Applicants are encouraged to explore our Educational Research specializations to determine which specialization would be the best fit for your scholarship.
Adult learning and education is informed by a rich heritage rooted in a commitment to human, community, and social development. Studies in adult learning draw from multiple and diverse contexts and interest areas that include post-secondary and continuing education, business and industry, NGOs, community development, and international organizations.
Curriculum & Learning
Curriculum and learning studies compass issues of content, context, and teaching in both formal and non-formal educational settings. Students may explore contemporary themes including issues of globalization, gender, culture, power, traditions of wisdom, ecology in education, and the ideas and practices of social justice. Themes are examined from social, cultural, historical, political, discursive, ecological, and other interpretive perspectives.
Language & Literacy
Language and literacy studies prepare students to understand and conduct research on various dimensions of literacy, linguistic and cultural diversity. Our studies encompass the acquisition, use, teaching, and learning of languages, multiliteracies (multiple meaning-making systems, including print, visual, oral, audiovisual, and gestural texts), and new literacies and digital media.
Studies in leadership and educational policy draw upon the social sciences and humanities to prepare our researchers and practitioners for administrative and research-related careers. Students analyze and resolve contemporary issues related to educational policy, organizational change, and the direction and management of schools, school systems, other institutions, and governmental bodies concerned with public and private education.
Learning science is an interdisciplinary field of scholarship that works to further scientific, humanistic, and critical theoretical understandings of learning. Our students engage in the design and implementation of pedagogical innovations to support learning. Our primary mission is the advancement of knowledge, and the preparation of future researchers and scholars of the discipline in the learning sciences.
Study with us starting in either Summer or Fall 2022
Ready to begin or continue your graduate studies with Graduate Programs in Education? Please review the important information outlined below.
Identify your specialization
Consider the research that you would like to pursue, and identify which of our specialization areas you would like to apply to.
Review admission requirements
Carefully review and ensure that you meet the admission requirements outlined below. Applications open September 1-December 1.
Gather supporting documents
Supporting document requirements are outlined below. The deadline for supporting document submission is December 1. This is the same as our application deadline.
Submit your application
Your complete online application is due on December 1. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions after applications have been reviewed and assessed. We appreciate your patience with our response.
Application opens: September 1
Application deadline: December 1
Official supporting document deadline: December 1-No Exceptions
Students must use the online application found at the How to Apply page.
The PhD in Educational Research is a full-time program that is normally delivered on campus for the first two years of the program for either a Summer term start or a Fall term start. Please note that this requirement may be subject to change due to considerations around COVID-19. More details on program delivery will be announced shortly.
Admission requirements are also outlined in the University Calendar.
In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies admission requirements, Graduate Programs in Education requires:
a) A thesis-based master’s degree in an appropriate field. Outstanding applicants holding master’s degrees without thesis may be considered.
b) A minimum grade point average of 3.50 on a four-point scale in a master’s degree program.
c) A written statement indicating the applicant’s reasons for wishing to pursue a graduate program.
d) Where appropriate, candidates will be expected to have, or to obtain, relevant practical experience in their area of specialization.
e) English Language Proficiency Requirement:
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 may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement for academic purposes in one of the following ways:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt) score of 97 overall (Academic Version)
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 overall (Academic Version).
- Canadian Academic English Language test (CAEL) score of 70 (no less than 70 in each section).
- Academic Communication Certificate (ACC) score of A- in each course.
An applicant whose first language is not English is exempt from the ELP requirement if they meet the following criteria:
The applicant has completed:
- a Bachelor’s Degree (minimum of 3 years in length), or
- a Graduate Degree
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
To submit an official TOEFL test score report:
Arrange for the agency where you completed the academic TOEFL test to send an electronic copy of your test score report to the University of Calgary. Indicate the institution code 0813 and the department code associated with your program of interest, as listed on the ETS website (https://www.ets.org/s/toefl/pdf/dept_code_list.pdf).
To submit an official IELTS test score report:
Please send a copy of your academic IELTS test score report and TRF number to: email@example.com. We will use your IELTS TRF number to search the IELTS database and retrieve your official test.
After your ELP test score reports are received by firstname.lastname@example.org:
You will receive an email from email@example.com 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.
f) Two references. Referees will be asked to complete an online reference form.
Applicants to the Doctor of Philosophy program are 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 qualification for doctoral studies. The Admission Portfolio is particularly relevant for program applicants who do not hold a thesis-based master’s degree.
The Doctoral Admission Portfolio may contain the following:
a) Thesis (if applicable).
c) Research grants or scholarships.
e) Curriculum documents.
f) Non-print materials, (e.g. multimedia).
g) Evidence of relevant prior learning (see below).
h) Personal statement documenting research skills and interests.
The Doctoral Admission Portfolio must include a Table of Contents and an Executive Summary that outlines the contents of the Portfolio.
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 the program. The candidates must provide Graduate Programs in Education 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:
a) Evidence of personal continuing education/training.
b) Results in these continuing education efforts.
c) Experience in a field related to the aspired degree.
d) Evidence of successful management of people, resources, finances, situations.
e) Increasing or varying responsible positions in organizations related to the aspired degree.
f) Work-related products, e.g. reports, programs of learning or training, handbooks, videos, manuals, workshops, seminars.
g) Evidence of personal growth in knowledge, understanding, management skills, and intellectual resources.
h) Evidence of innovation.
i) Evidence of leadership or co-ordination responsibilities.
The applicant must make advanced credit request 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.
Graduate Programs in Education does not normally accept undergraduate courses for credit toward graduate degrees.
All supporting documents are due on December 1. This is the same date as the application deadline. NO EXCEPTIONS
It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that transcripts arrive before the application deadline, and that referees are aware of this deadline.
To finalize your admission: Submit one official copy of your final official transcript(s) and degree certificate (if degree is not clearly stated on transcripts) in a signed, sealed envelopes from all institutions you attended.
For initial evaluation purposes: Submit one copy of your unofficial transcripts with the grading scale/transcript legend for all post-secondary institutions to your online application by your application deadline. Offers of Admission are conditional upon receipt of all official transcripts/degree certificates.
FOR DOMESTIC APPLICANTS: The unofficial transcript must clearly state the degree awarded. If this is not clearly stated, then a copy of the degree certificate must be included with the unofficial transcript upload. Once an application is submitted, the unofficial transcript and degree certificate are uploaded as one PDF to the application.
FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: The degree certificate must be included with the unofficial transcript upload. Once an application is submitted, the unofficial transcript and degree certificate are uploaded as one PDF to the application.
Transcripts can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the following address:
Faculty of Graduate Studies
Earth Sciences, 1010
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
These documents may be sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies from the institution or they can be mailed to you and you can mail them to us yourself.
Email transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution's transcript office to email@example.com.
Open official transcripts are not considered as official.
Please visit https://grad.ucalgary.ca/future-students/how-apply/transcript-faq-applicants to answer frequently asked questions on transcripts
Applications, transcripts and all supporting documents must be submitted 11:59 pm MT on the application deadline date for each program.
Transcripts for courses taken at the University of Calgary are not required.
Two (2) academic references are required. References will be asked to complete an online reference form. No hard copy letters of reference or documents will be accepted.
Please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies' advice on finding references for your application.
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 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 after the application deadline has passed.
Statement of Intent and Admission Portfolio
Applicants must submit a written statement of intent and are encouraged to submit an admission portfolio as part of the application to the PhD in Educational Research program.
Hard copy statements of intent and admission portfolio components will not be accepted. Please ensure that you are using the online application system to submit these documents.
Information on tuition and fees can be found in the University Calendar.
Students in a thesis-based degree (master's or doctoral) program are assessed annual tuition fees. All tuition fees are pro-rated over four terms: one-third in Fall, one-third in Winter, one-sixth in Spring and one-sixth in Summer.
Students in Doctor of Philosophy programs are assessed tuition fees until the term immediately following admission to candidacy (Spring/Summer are counted as one term).
Our Doctor of Philosophy program is full-time, and full-time general fees are assessed.
Please visit the candidacy and dissertation section of our website for information on regulations around these components of our PhD program.
Candidacy must be completed within 28 months from the program start date.
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 GPE - Student Guide to the Thesis Oral.
The Werklund School of Education provides funding opportunities for full-time doctoral students admitted to the on-campus program, for the first 4 years in program.
As a Graduate Student, you are expected to devote the time, effort, and energy necessary to engage in scholarship. 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 student 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).
A supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission to the PhD program.