May 19, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2024-2025 
    
University of Alberta Calendar 2024-2025

Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies General Information


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Graduate Programs Offered

Graduate work has been offered at the University of Alberta since its inception in 1908. The present organization of the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, headed by a Dean, was adopted in 1957.

The University of Alberta offers graduate programs leading to doctoral and master’s degrees. In addition, the University offers graduate certificate and diploma programs designed to provide an opportunity for individuals to take a sequence of courses to increase their knowledge of a specialized area without needing to enrol in a degree program.

The learning outcomes required for all master’s and doctoral programs are defined below and aligned with the Alberta Credential Framework.  For more information on individual graduate programs offered, refer to the Program Search Results on the GPS website or see Graduate Programs .

Minimum Core Graduate Academic Requirements

The following is a list of minimum core graduate academic requirements that must be successfully met for that graduate credential to be awarded to the candidate who is seeking it. The successful completion of each core graduate academic requirement specified demonstrates that the essential knowledge and skills commensurate with the credential being sought have been attained. Accordingly, these core graduate academic requirements cannot be waived nor exempted.

Reasonable accommodations may be provided in accordance with the University of Alberta’s Duty to Accommodate Procedure; however, they cannot alter the integrity and/or the standard and/or the requirement as it is approved. While these core graduate academic requirements cannot be waived, the manner of achieving them may be accommodated, up to the point of undue hardship. In such instances, the Vice Provost and Dean of GPS will be consulted prior to approving the accommodations being considered. Students requiring accommodations need to register with the U of A’s Academic Success Centre Accessibility Resources.

It is important to note that these are the minimum core graduate academic requirements for each graduate degree/certificate offered; academic units may wish to add, in addition to these minimums, their own disciplinary specific supplemental core graduate academic requirements that must be met for their respective graduate programs. Any additional requirements would require approval through the University’s established governance pathways, including GPS Council.

Course-Based Master’s Programs
  • The student must successfully complete all coursework at the graduate level as required by their program.
  • The student must complete a capstone project or capping exercise as required by their program and commensurate with the degree being sought.
  • The student must complete the ethics and academic citizenship training (INT D 710 ) as required by GPS.
Thesis-Based Master’s Programs
  • The student must successfully complete all coursework at the graduate level as required by their program.
  • The student must successfully defend their thesis, (where required) by the program in real time, as determined by the examining committee.
  • The student must produce a published/recorded thesis commensurate with the degree being sought.
  • The student must complete the ethics and academic citizenship training (INT D 710 ) as required by GPS.
Thesis-Based Doctoral Programs
  • The student must successfully complete all coursework at the graduate level as required by their program.
  • The student must successfully complete a doctoral candidacy exam as required by their program.
  • The student must successfully defend their thesis in real time, as determined by the examining committee.
  • The student must produce a published/recorded thesis commensurate with the degree being sought.
  • The student must complete the ethics and academic citizenship training (INT D 710  and INT D 720 ) as required by GPS.
Certificates and Diplomas
  • The student must successfully complete all coursework required for the certificate or diploma as approved.

Thesis-Based Master’s and PhD Learning Outcomes

The table below defines the elements and learning outcomes of the University of Alberta’s research-focused degrees. A Master’s degree enables students to develop mastery within a discipline, and to learn how to do research via guided discovery. A PhD degree enables students to develop mastery of research and advanced expertise within a specialist field via designing and conducting original research of broader scope and greater depth than within a Master’s degree.

 

Program Elements
Thesis-Based Master’s PhD
(PhD program elements are inclusive of and cumulative to those of Master’s programs)
Designed to prepare graduates for:
Careers requiring specialized expertise, evidence-based judgment, personal responsibility and initiative, in complex and unpredictable professional environments.
Designed to prepare graduates for:
Leadership roles in careers requiring a high degree of autonomy, the ability to make informed judgments on complex issues in specialist fields, navigation of ambiguity, and innovation in tackling and solving problems.
Students will acquire knowledge and develop skills through a combination of:

Directed learning;

Formative experiences in writing;

Formative experiences presenting a research project;

Executing advanced research or creative work;

Working with experts.
Students will acquire knowledge and develop skills through a combination of:

Self-directed learning;

Formative experiences in writing;

Presenting and defending research proposals and results;

Designing and executing original research or creative work;

Working with experts.
The program requires creation of:
A thesis or thesis-equivalent that, at a minimum, should reveal that the student is able to work in a scholarly manner and is acquainted with the principal works published on the subject of the thesis. As far as possible, it should be an original contribution.
The program requires creation of:
Original research, or other advanced scholarship, culminating with a thesis or thesis-equivalent that a minimum, must embody the results of original investigations and analyses and be of such quality as to merit publication, meeting the standards of reputable scholarly publications. It must constitute a substantial contribution to the knowledge in the student’s field of study.
At a minimum, programs will:

Monitor student skills development and progress through ongoing supervision of research;

Assess student competencies through assessment of the student’s knowledge in the field, ability to reason with new information and the quality of the thesis or thesis-equivalent at the final examination.
At a minimum, programs will:

Monitor student skills development and progress via ongoing interaction with the supervisor and through annual supervisory committee meetings;

Assess the student’s competencies during a candidacy examination and assessment of the thesis or thesis-equivalent at the final examination.

 

Graduate Competencies
Graduate Competencies
(Graduates of each program will be able to demonstrate the competencies noted)
Thesis-Based Master’s PhD
(PhD graduate competencies are inclusive of and cumulative to those of Master’s programs)
Knowledge Demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge, and critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, informed by the forefront of the student’s academic discipline or field of study;

Demonstrate awareness of the complexity of knowledge and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and disciplines.
Demonstrate thorough understanding of a substantial body of knowledge with expertise that is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice;

Demonstrate awareness of: the limitations of one’s own work and discipline, the complexity of knowledge, and the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and disciplines.
Research Competency Critically evaluate existing research and scholarship within a discipline or field of study;

Demonstrate development and support of a sustained argument or originality in the application of knowledge.
Conceptualize, design and implement advanced level research for the generation of new knowledge, applications, or understanding;

Make informed judgments on complex issues, in specialist fields.
Communication Skills Communicate ideas, issues, and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences. Communicate complex and/or ambiguous ideas, issues, and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
Professional Capacity / Autonomy Research, reflect upon, and take ownership of the development of skills and career goals;

Demonstrate personal accountability, initiative, and decision-making in complex situations;

Demonstrate the intellectual independence required for continuing professional development.
Research, reflect upon, and take ownership of the development of skills and career goals;

Demonstrate personal accountability and autonomous initiative and decision-making in complex situations;

Demonstrate the intellectual independence required to be academically and professionally engaged and remain current.
Ethics Identify, explain, analyze, and propose solutions to existing ethical issues particularly as they pertain to the conduct of research in the field of study. Identify, explain, analyze, and propose solutions to existing and new ethical issues particularly as they pertain to the conduct of research in the field of study.

Graduate Teaching and Learning Program

The Graduate Teaching and Learning Program is offered through the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

The primary objective of the program is to provide opportunities for master’s and doctoral students to develop an ethical, philosophical, and practical basis for teaching in academic and non-academic careers. Successful completion of each of the components is recorded on the student’s transcript. The program is voluntary and no additional fees are required.

Graduate students are expected to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the Graduate Teaching and Learning Program and are responsible for meeting the requirements and deadlines for each respective level.

Graduate students are not required to complete all four levels of the program; however, levels must be completed in sequence.

Program Levels: 

Level 1: Graduate Teaching and Learning Foundations. A minimum of 20 hours of workshop participation and an exit survey and critical reflection.

Level 2: Graduate Teaching and Learning Practicum. Course equivalent to 17 hours of instruction in multifaceted classroom experience, including lesson design and delivery; feedback from student peers and course instructor; creation of teaching development plan; development of a statement of teaching philosophy; an exit survey and critical reflection. Prerequisite: Level 1

Level 3: Graduate Teaching and Learning Pedagogy. Course equivalent to 36 hours of instruction in the fundamentals of pedagogy, resulting in the design of a course, and a teaching dossier; revision of a teaching development plan; and, an exit survey and critical reflection. Prerequisite: Level 2

Level 4: Graduate Teaching and Learning Research. A minimum of 60 hours of project work related to the design of learning experiences and measurement of learning outcomes; literature review, participation in cohort meetings; peer and mentor feedback; dissemination of research project; revision of teaching development plan; an exit survey and critical reflection. Expected completion time up to one year. Prerequisite: Level 3.

The goals of the program are:

  1. Participants will build self-confidence and personal effectiveness in the classroom. Participants will develop pedagogical knowledge, competencies in course design and delivery, and classroom management and leadership skills. Participants will develop research skills in the scholarship of teaching and learning.
  2. Departments will improve their teaching practice with teaching assistants who are better equipped for their role in the classroom and laboratory, and faculty members who have a heightened awareness of teaching and learning issues
  3. The University will support its mandate to provide excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. The University will strengthen the quality and reputation of its graduates.

It is highly recommended that students pursue teaching opportunities outside the Graduate Teaching and Learning Program to further complement their teaching practice developed through the program. Students do not require access to teaching assistantships to complete the program. The entire program is designed to be completed over a two- to three-year period.

Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Community Connect Program

The Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Community Connect (CC) Program provides opportunities and activities to share knowledge and gain experience for personal and professional growth.  Graduate students will learn how to engage public curiousity, develop creative means of disseminating research, and strengthen community and global citizenship. 

See the Community Connect Program website for more information.

Information for International Students

International students (i.e., neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents) studying in Canada require a Study Permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Study Permits must be obtained before coming to Canada-they cannot be issued here.

While it is not possible to obtain a Study Permit until an official letter of admission from the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies has been issued, students are advised to begin the procedures necessary to secure admission to Canada and to complete the documentation required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as soon as possible after submitting an application for graduate admission.

The University of Alberta International conducts orientation seminars and assists students after they arrive in Canada.

Fees

The University of Alberta’s fees policies and procedures are stated in Tuition and Fees  of the Calendar. Information on fees for graduate students is found in Graduate Instructional and Non-Instructional Fees  of the Calendar. Individuals seeking fees information should consult these sections or the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies website.