Master of Arts

Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based, on-campus degree

Master of Arts

Research degrees embrace the notion of preparing "Stewards of the Discipline", scholars capable of generating new knowledge, conducting research with a high degree of competence and integrity, transforming knowledge, and communicating the results to advance the field.

The Master of Arts (MA) is a research-intensive (thesis-based) degree intended to prepare students for further research. This program is available on-campus only.


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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Curriculum & Learning

Encompassing issues of content, context, and teaching in both formal and non-formal educational settings. Students can explore contemporary themes of curriculum and learning, including issues of globalization, gender, culture, power, traditions of wisdom, ecology in education, and the ideas and practices of social justice, examined from social, cultural, historical, political, discursive, ecological and other interpretive perspectives.

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Language & Literacy

  Prepares students to understand and conduct research on various dimensions of literacy, linguistic and cultural diversity, especially as they relate to 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 . This program is open to applicants from a broad array of regions/countries.

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The Master of Arts program in Leadership draws upon the social sciences and humanities to prepare researchers and practitioners for the analysis and resolution of issues and problems related to educational policy and the direction and management of schools, school systems, other institutions, and governmental bodies concerned with public and private education. This specialization prepares graduates for administrative and research-related careers with an understanding of organizational change in the field of educational leadership.

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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

    Full-time on campus

The minimum admission requirements for a thesis-based Master degree program include:

  • A University of Calgary four-year baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from a recognized institution. Degrees and grades from foreign institutions are evaluated for their equivalency to those of the University of Calgary.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00 (on the University of Calgary four-point system). This is based on the last two years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents. Requirements for admission to an MA program in any given year usually exceed this minimum.
  • A written statement indicating the applicant's reasons for pursuing a graduate program in Graduate Programs in Education.
  • Where appropriate, candidates will be expected to have, or to obtain, relevant practical experience in their area of Specialization.
  • Proficiency in the English language is essential for the pursuit and successful completion of graduate programs at the University of Calgary. Prior to admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, an applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirements as outlined in the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.

    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.

Application deadline:  December 1

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

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
Course# 31261     

Summer 2019

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

Fall 2019

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

EDER 618 L01 Research Design and Statistics I
Course# 76345     

EDER 620 L01 Introduction to Interpretive Inquiry
Course# 76343         

EDER 620 L01 Introduction to Interpretive Inquiry
Course# 76343

EDER 612 L01 Participatory Methodology in Education
Course# 76341

EDER 608 L01 Research Methods in Education
Course# 74421

EDER 635.04 L01 Topics and Perspectives in the Field of Adult Education
Course# 74421

EDER 682 L01 Conceptualizing Interpretive Inquiry
Course# 71979

EDER 664.06 L01 Special Topics in Language and Literacy
Course# 75843

EDER 678.01 L04 Cognitive and Socio-Cultural Foundations of the Learning Sciences
Course# 74634

EDER 678.01 L04 Cognitive and Socio-Cultural Foundations of the Learning Sciences

Winter 2020

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

EDER 624 L01 Introduction to Phenomenology and Hermeneutics
Course# 24693

EDER 635.02 L01 Global Trends in Adult Education

EDER 684 L01 Contemporary Themes in Critical Pedagogy and Social Justice

EDER 664.02 L01 Issues in Contemporary Bilingual Education

EDER 619.02 L01 Introduction to Leadership & Governance

EDER 678.02 L03 Introduction to Learning Design and Development         

Contact Us


Have Questions?

Sylvia Parks Graduate Program Administrator (GPA)


Academic Coordinator

Specialization specific AC contact info listed on specialization page.

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