Master’s Degrees

Are you actively engaged in developing and inquiring into curriculum? Researching your own teaching? Providing curriculum and pedagogical leadership in your school or online? Rethinking current educational trends and issues?

If your professional goals require a rich knowledge base that is both disciplinary and interdisciplinary and related to one or more of our specializations, then consider our master’s programs. Their purpose is to provide depth in your capacities for improving teaching and learning, curriculum and theory, and pedagogical practice within your context.

The chart below summarizes the program choices available to graduate students. Applicants to the department are asked to indicate on their application which program they are applying to. Each program has required and elective courses and other program requirements that are described on pages linked to the specialization. Please browse our admission page for more information and applications to the Department.

The MA programs require 30 credits, or a 9-credit research thesis and 21 course credits. The MEd programs require 30 credits, or typically 9 courses plus a graduating paper. A minimum of 24 credits must be in graduate-level courses (including the 9-credit MA thesis or 3-credit MEd graduating paper) for all master’s programs. All on-campus master’s programs in the Department can be pursued either full time or part time. Theses and graduating papers often focus on questions or issues that cut across disciplines and professional fields. This year there are approximately 300 students studying in the department’s various graduate programs.

The MEd degree is designed primarily for students wishing to pursue professional study in education or to prepare for positions of leadership in varied settings and is often the choice of professionals who want to reflect on issues of practice with colleagues through a breadth and depth of courses. The MA degree is particularly recommended for students who may wish to pursue a doctorate at a later date, although the MEd does not preclude application to advanced study.

The Department offers the following master’s degree programs:

Programs and Specializations MA MEd
Curriculum Studies
Art Education
Business Education
Home Economics Education
Math Education
Media and Technology Studies Education
Music Education
Health, Outdoor and Physical Education
Science Education
Social Studies Education
Human–Computer Interaction
Collaborative Programs
Curriculum and Leadership
= Concentration

Coursework and Specialization

Graduate programs within the Department offer opportunities for students to specialize in the disciplines listed. As well, students may develop interdisciplinary program of study in curriculum theory & design; teacher education; complexity science & education; digital media & learning technologies; scholarship of curriculum & pedagogy in higher education; historical consciousness; museum & visitor education; or health, nutrition & environmental education. Although each student has a “home” in a specialization, students are encouraged to select elective courses from outside their specialization. Students in the master’s programs are expected to take courses in their specialization so that they are familiar with current theory and research. Courses are selected in consultation with a supervisor or program advisory committee.

Curriculum Theory

The Department has an international reputation for advanced scholarship in curriculum theory, and all master’s students are expected to be familiar with current curriculum theorizing within and across their disciplines. All master’s students are required to complete Introduction to Curriculum Issues and Theories (EDCP 562), which focuses on the history and theory of curriculum, and issues that underlie curricular decision-making. The course is concerned with several basic curriculum questions: What knowledge is of most worth? What is the relationship between theory and practice? What is knowledge (knowing) and how does it occur? What should be taught? How should it be organized for learning? What is the state of research in curriculum studies? This is considered to be a first course in curriculum theory and should not be viewed as the only curriculum course to be taken in the breadth and depth of a master’s program.

Research Methods

Master’s students are expected to be familiar with the various methods used in contemporary educational research. Developing proficiency in research methods—including the strengths and weaknesses of each approach—normally requires enrolling in available courses and reading widely in the research methodology literature. All master’s students in the Department are required to successfully complete Research Methodology in Education (EDUC 500), which is designed for graduate students in the first year of their programs. The course surveys research issues and techniques in a manner intended to assist the student in selecting methods and research strategies for more intensive study. This is considered to be a first course in educational research methodology: it should not be viewed as the only course to be taken in the development of competence in research.

Master’s Thesis (MA program)

Usually a thesis proposal is developed during the latter half of course work in consultation with the supervisor, and often first drafted as part of EDUC 500 or other research methodology courses. Once a problem or focus for research is decided upon, a research committee is formed in consultation with the supervisor. The committee should consist of the research supervisor who chairs the committee and at least two other members . The Master’s Thesis Examining Committee must include a minimum of two people; the thesis supervisor or designate, and a person who was not involved in advising the student in his or her research. The examining committee should include at least one member from another graduate program (see FOGS policy).

Graduating Paper (MEd program)

The MEd Graduating Project is intended as a culminating project that is of personal use to the student and that is considered educationally valuable by an audience of professional peers. Although a written document is the standard format, students, in consultation with their Supervisor, may opt for other formats including educational resource materials, exhibitions, journal and magazine articles, multimedia and oral presentations, performances, videos, etc., that can be shared with an audience of educators. A written summary of non-print material must accompany such a project.