MEd Specialist

Master of Education: Specialist

A course-based degree program for leaders of professional practice.

Master of Education (MEd), Specialist route

The Master of Education (MEd): Specialist Route is a course-based degree program that provides students with a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice in one specialization area. The Master of Education degree program has been designed to ensure that the courses and sequence provides a demanding, coherent, robust, credible and high-level academic experience that educates students as leaders of professional practice in the field of educational research. 

This route is a two-year program consisting of 12 half-courses (36 credits) within a specialization area. Students complete eight courses in the specialized area of study and four research courses that focus on research methods, program evaluation, collaboratory of practice, and reading and writing research pertaining to the specialization.

Students in our masters programs are engaged in immersive experiences that require them to:

  • Critically and analytically read research literature
  • Evaluate research literature
  • Review and critically analyze the literature to enable them to make practice and policy decisions
  • Carry out the scholarship of teaching and learning in schools, on campus and other organizations
  • Evaluate and apply research to complex learning problems and problems of practice
  • Write and report on research using a range of academic writing genres.

Our MEd programs are innovative, current, and practitioner-oriented. Graduate Programs in Education has conceptualized and designed the MEd as a possible pathway into the professional Education Doctorate (EdD).

Program Delivery

Topics are offered in fully online and blended (combined face-to-face and online) options. Blended topics begin with face-to-face classes at the University of Calgary, during Summer, with online follow up. Courses 2 (Fall), 3 (Winter), and 4 (Spring) are delivered fully online. Check each topic to confirm format for delivery.


Blended topics begin with face-to-face classes at the University of Calgary, during Summer, with online follow up. Courses 2 (Fall), 3 (Winter), and 4 (Spring) are fully online using Desire2Learn and Zoom.

Fully Online

Fully online courses require no in-person meetings; students meet with their instructor and class through Desire2Learn and Zoom.  Our online learning environment allows you to participate in live classes and complete coursework from wherever you are in the world. There are typically no more than 5 sessions over a 13-week term (Fall and Winter) and fewer over a 6-week term (Spring and Summer). For additional information regarding online delivery, please refer to the eLearn website.

Apply for 2024 Admission

We are inviting applications for the following specialization programs. All MEd Specialist programs begin in Summer.

Adult, Community, and Higher Education

This program is geared to adult educators, practitioners, individuals involved in profit/non-profit community-based organizations and initiatives, and higher education leaders. This specialized degree provides graduate students with an opportunity for advanced professional education and learning to increase both knowledge and competence in creating and supporting the development of educated and sustainable adult learning communities that thrive in a variety of settings.

Learn more about this program

Contextualizing Curriculum, Pedagogy and Learning

This two-year specialist program consists of twelve-courses within which you will take up an independent research project related to questions, issues, and concerns meaningful to your work as an educator. 

Learn more about this program

Leadership for Learning

Fully online
This topic will explore and examine competencies and approaches that current and aspiring school leaders can utilize to foster effective relationships, model commitment to professional learning, embody visionary leadership, lead a learning community, enable Indigenous student success, provide instructional leadership, develop leadership capacity, manage school and district operations and resources, understand and respond to the larger societal context, and support effective governance.

Learn more about this program

Summer Residency 2024

Summer classes run from June 24 - August 6, 2024.

Students are expected to be available for this period of time and able to complete online course work before and after the summer residency period. Further details will be available in the course outline.

On-campus summer residency dates are July 8 -  July 19, 2024.

What you need to know

The Master of Education cohort-based degree consists of a total of 36 credits (12 half-courses). Graduate students are required to complete their courses in a prescribed sequence.

Students are expected to complete all program requirements within two years or three years depending on program course schedule.

The minimum admission requirements for a course-based Specialist MEd degree program in Education include:

a) 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.

b) 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.

c) A written statement indicating the applicant's reasons for pursuing a graduate program in Graduate Programs in Education.
The statement of intent should include answers to the questions below: (Suggested length 300 words).

  • Please identify your reasons for applying to this graduate program.
  • Please outline the particular topics or questions that you plan to pursue in your specialization.
  • In what way is this program related to your desired career path or employment objectives?

d) Meeting the 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 must fulfill the English language proficiency requirement. For additional information, please visit our How to Apply page.

e) Two references - References are submitted directly through the online application system.  No hard copy documents are required.

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 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:

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, coordination.

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.

Application start date:  November 1
Application deadline: March 1
Program start: Summer (July) 

Applicants must use the online application found at the the Faculty of Graduate Studies Apply Now page.  In the application system, please choose:

Program:  Education - Master of Education

Specialization:   Choose the Specialization associated with the Topic area you are applying for.

Please note that it is advisable to prepare the answer to the following question prior to starting the online application as you will then be able to copy and paste it directly into the space provided.

Question:  Please write your “statement of intent” indicating 1) your reasons for pursuing this graduate program, and 2) how completion of this program is related to your desired career path, academic goals, and/ or employment objectives.  (Suggested length 300 words).

Applications, transcripts and all supporting documents must be submitted 11:59 pm MT on the application deadline date for each program. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that transcripts arrive before the application deadline, and that referees are aware of this deadline.

Please visit the FGS applicant transcript page to answer frequently asked questions on transcripts. 

For additional information on transcripts and where to send them, please visit our How to Apply page.



Two (2) 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 may be academic or professional.

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 March 1 supporting document submission deadline. Applications without completed reference forms will be considered incomplete after the March 1 deadline has passed.


Statement of Intent
Required of all applicants.

Applicants must submit a written statement of intent as part of the online application form. Your statement of intent should indicate your reasons for pursuing a graduate program with Graduate Programs in Education. We suggest a length of 300 words for your statement.

Your statement of intent should address the following: 

  • Please identify your reasons for applying to this graduate program.
  • Please outline the particular topics or questions that you plan to pursue in your specialization.
  • In what way is this program related to your desired career path or employment objectives?

Hard copy statements of intent or additional information (such as a CV/résumé) are not accepted as part of the application package.

Students are eligible for some internal scholarships.  See the program-recommended awards page for details. 

Program Checklist

At the beginning of program:

  • Activate your University of Calgary IT computing account that comes with a UofC email. We strongly encourage you to use this email while in program. Before you start utilizing your UofC email, update your email address in the Student Centre, as well as email it to your Graduate Program Administrator (see your Admission Letter for contact information). Please include your full name, UCID number, program, and specialization in your message.
  • Attend one of the scheduled Virtual Welcome Sessions.
  • Attend one of the scheduled Student Orientations to Course Delivery Modes/Tools.
  • Initialize your registration through your Student Centre.
  • Register for your courses.

Program Forms

There are various forms related to a student’s progress through his/her graduate degree. Please refer to the forms for detailed instructions on their proper completion. Students who have any questions or concerns should contact their Graduate Program Administrator. Required forms are available in the GPE office and some can be accessed by downloading them from Faculty of Graduate Studies.