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, participatory and action oriented research in a 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
  • Investigate, understand and resolve problems of practice through undertaking their own action oriented research
  • Conceptualize and conduct disciplined inquiry and field-focused research
  • Write and report on research using a range of academic writing genres.

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

Program Delivery

Topics are offered in face-to-face, 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 the first part of July, 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 the first part of July, with online follow up. Courses 2 (Fall), 3 (Winter), and 4 (Spring) are fully online using Desire2Learn and Zoom.

Fully Online

The fully online courses are held in both an asynchronous environment (D2L) and a synchronous (real-time) environment (Zoom) which allows instructors to virtually meet and talk with students and experience a live exchange of ideas, hear class presentations and do group work with access to a whiteboard. 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 Online Delivery and eLearning website.

Specializations inviting Application (July 2021 start) will be listed by November 1, 2020 when application to the program starts. Topics are offered yearly and subject to change. For programs that are currently in progress please visit: 2020 Topics in Progress

MEd Spec

Details on Summer 2021 admission

Thinking about beginning your MEd program in Summer 2021? Check back this fall for available specializations and application deadlines.

What you need to know - Summer 2021 applicants

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) Candidates will be expected to have a minimum of two years of teaching experience OR  alternative professional experience.

e) 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 at 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.

f) 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 15
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).

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 1N4

Program Checklist

At the beginning of program:

  • Register for an eID to access myUCalgary. Keep your eID and password confidential.
  • 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.