Higher Education

The Higher Education Program (HIED) at UBC focuses on the study of all facets of institutions of higher learning. The multifaceted, interdisciplinary Program draws on aspects of history, philosophy, sociology, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, law, and administrative studies. The Program addresses several core themes:

Core Themes

  • The foundations of higher education
  • The contexts in which institutions and systems of higher education operate
  • International and comparative perspectives of higher education systems and policies
  • International and comparative perspectives on access, admissions, and student mobility
  • Current issues in higher education
  • Transitions and access in education
  • Perspectives on retention, attrition, and success in institutions of higher education
  • Student success in higher education
  • Interrogating higher education environments

 

Four graduate degrees are offered for those with an interest in higher education: MEd, MA, EdD and PhD.

Part-time study is possible in the MEd and MA programs; the EdD and PhD programs require various periods of full-time study.

IMG_2275“The M.Ed. in Higher Education program gave me not just an understanding of how systems of higher education work, but most importantly gave me the background of why these systems work. This mix of the how and the why has enabled me to successfully embark on a career in higher education, and set myself apart from others. The faculty were incredibly enthusiastic and supportive, and my colleagues in the program came from a wide variety of backgrounds, guaranteeing that every class meeting was an interesting and valuable one.”

Peter Lukasik, M.Ed.
Educational Assessment Specialist, Learning Services
UBC Sauder School of Business

 

tifa“The M.Ed. in Higher Education at UBC gave me an opportunity to explore the practices of higher education all over the world. The courses on higher education policies, theories, and historical developments were very impressive and helped me understand current issues of higher education from a different perspective. I could always easily combine my personal experiences with course readings and discussions. In addition, the professors in this program are very supportive and friendly and I learnt a lot from them.”

Tifa Cheng, M.Ed.
Teacher, HD Ningbo School
Ningbo, China

Admissions Requirements for Graduate Study

All graduate program applicants in the Department of Educational Studies (EDST) must meet the minimum entry requirements established by the Faculty of Graduate + Postdoctoral Studies, which oversees graduate work at UBC. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will be considered for admission only in exceptional circumstances.

More Info: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate-degree-programs/master-of-education-higher-education

Experience Requirements

What is required is evidence of experience in the field of education, which is quite broadly conceived.

MA / MEd: To be eligible for admission to a Master’s of Education or a Master of Arts degree program in Higher Education at UBC, applicants must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree (apart from applicants from Quebec) with

  1. honours in the field of the proposed master’s courses with at least 12 credits of third- and fourth-year courses in the A− grade range (at UBC 80% or higher) in the field of study; or
  2. a minimum overall average in the B+ range (at UBC 76%) in third- and fourth-year courses prescribed by the Department concerned as prerequisite to the master’s program.

 

PhD / EdD: PhD and EdD program admissions requirements can be found on their respective program descriptions.

General Eligibility

To be eligible for admission to a master’s degree program at UBC, applicants must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree (apart from applicants from Quebec) with a minimum overall average in the B+ range (at UBC 76%) in third- and fourth-year courses prescribed by the Department concerned as prerequisite to the master’s program.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies - Minimum Academic Requirements: Canadian or U.S. Credentials
https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/minimum-academic-requirements-canadian-or-us-credentials

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies - Minimum Academic Requirements: International Credentials
https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/minimum-academic-requirements-international-credentials

English Requirements

English Proficiency Test Score: Applicants whose degrees are from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Minimum score of 600 (paper version), 250 (computer version), 92 with a minimum of 22 in each component (iTB) is required for admission to all programs in Educational Studies. Visit TOEFL’s website
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): Minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no other component score less than 6.0.
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): Minimum overall score of 81.

The applicants must have an official report of their score on one of these tests sent directly from the testing service to the Graduate Program Assistant, Department of Educational Studies at the address below by the application deadline. Score reports more than two years old will not be accepted.

More Information: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/english-proficiency-requirements

Program Requirements

All on-campus master’s students take the equivalent of 30 credits including:

  • a core of 9 credits of higher education courses
  • one 3-credit research methods course.

These credits are supplemented with elective courses that allow students to explore topics and issues addressed elsewhere in the department and the university that have implications for higher education.

Students in the MEd Program have two options for completing their degree requirements.

  • One option is to complete a 3-credit graduating project.
  • Another option is to complete the degree through course work.

Students in the MA Program should consult the MA Page for their degree requirements.

HIED Program Components

Degree Required Courses Research Methods Elective Courses Comprehensive Exam Paper/Thesis
MEd EDST 511, EDST 521, EDST 536 EDUC 500 15 credits not required EDST 590 (3 credits) or an additional course
MA EDST 511, EDST 521, EDST 536, EDST 571 (6 credits), EDST 572 3 credits 3 credits not required EDST 599 (6 credits)

 

PhD and EdD program requirements can be found on their respective program descriptions.

Apply Online: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/apply/online/

The number of graduate students who can be accommodated is limited and only the best qualified applicants can hope to secure places. To ensure that all applicants are treated equitably, your application will go through several stages before a decision is made on acceptance or rejection. Once your transcripts have been reviewed to determine if you are eligible for admission to graduate study at UBC, several faculty members in scholarly areas related to your area of interest will read your application and individually assess your suitability for admission.

As well as evaluating all components of your application, we must be convinced by the statement of intent that your academic interests are congruent with those of the department and the Higher Education Program, that your background is adequate for graduate work in your area of interest, and that the department and university possess the necessary resources for you to complete the degree. An Educational Studies faculty member in your area of interest must be willing to become your adviser.

You will be informed of the department’s decision as soon as possible. The department recommends applicants to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for admission. If you are admitted conditionally, subject to completing a degree in progress or courses, these conditions will be included in the offer of admission. Successful applicants are asked to inform the department as soon as possible whether they will accept a place in the Higher Education Program in the Department of Educational Studies. If you decide to accept our offer, you must contact your adviser. Together with your advisor, you should plan a program of study.

More Info: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate-degree-programs/master-of-education-higher-education

Applications should be submitted online at www.grad.ubc.ca/apply/online. All of the following components of an application must be received by the department’s Graduate Program Assistant before the file can be reviewed by the appropriate admissions committee.

    1. Online UBC application form. When you submit an online application at www.grad.ubc.ca/apply/online, the completed form is automatically forwarded to the Graduate Program Assistant. Non-refundable processing fee payable to UBC. See the cover of the official UBC application form for the exact amount.
    2. Upload digital copies (.pdfs) of official transcripts. See Digital Copies of Official Transcripts tab for details.
    3. Three references – The purpose of the references is to give as complete an idea as possible of your relevant background and capacity to complete the degree. Two of the references should be from a course instructor or other person able to assess your academic ability. Other suitable referees include a supervisor, president, academic dean, or another person to whom you are, or have been, accountable in employment or as a volunteer. The reference letters must be in English. If the original letter is in another language, the letter must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
There are three possible formats for references:
      • Electronic references: In the online application system, applicants are asked to provide an email address for each referee. (Please note that we are unable to accept emails from Hotmail, Yahoo, GMail, MSN or other free email accounts for referees.) Once the online application has been submitted, a unique link will be emailed to each referee, allowing them to log in to a secure site and submit an online reference or upload a reference document as an attachment.
      • Paper letters of reference: Your referee may wish to send a paper letter. Paper letters of reference should be on referee’s official letterhead and must be mailed directly to the relevant program (see address below) in a sealed and endorsed envelope by the referee.
      • Paper reference forms: UBC provides a general reference form. Your referee may fill out this form and mail it directly to the relevant program in a sealed and endorsed envelope.
    4. Statement of intent. You need to describe in one to two pages your specific interests in pursuing a graduate degree and precisely why you are applying to the Higher Education Program in the Department of Educational Studies. This statement should relate your academic background, work experience and other relevant considerations to the course work and research that you propose to pursue toward a graduate degree. Some applicants will have more precise academic goals or intellectual passions than others, but anyone applying to the Higher Education Program is doing so for some purpose, and these reasons need to be made explicit in your statement of intent.
    5. Writing Sample. You must also include an example of scholarly writing, preferably a senior undergraduate paper written for a university course. It is useful to include the instructor's comments or other assessment. Other acceptable writing samples include policy reports generated as part of your work life. The sample of writing should demonstrate your ability to think clearly about complex issues and to communicate in an organized and readable manner.

Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you wish to have submissions returned.

To find out whether all materials have arrived safely, you may want to contact the department’s Graduate Program Assistant at 604.822.6647 or email grad.edst@ubc.ca. Applicants to master’s programs in Higher Education are normally expected to have at least two years of paid or volunteer work experience (e.g., staff or faculty member at a post-secondary institution, employment in the field of higher education in government or non-governmental organizations) in Higher Education, broadly defined.

Applicants from outside Canada should be aware of additional requirements that may apply. Please read the following to determine which of these requirements may apply to you.

International Credentials Equivalency

Please see the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website:
http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/minimum-academic-requirements-international-credentials

International Transcripts and Translation Requirements

See International Transcripts and Translation Requirements tab for details

Entering Canada

To enter Canada, a “Student Authorization” (Student Visa) is required. Apply as soon as possible to the nearest Canadian Consular or Immigration Office since it may take 8–10 weeks for processing. For applicants applying from the People’s Republic of China it may take 3–6 months. Applying for a Student Authorization requires a UBC letter of admission/acceptance; a valid passport; and evidence of adequate funds for tuition, maintenance of the student and, if married, the student’s spouse and children, plus travel funds to and from Canada. Please consult the Immigration Canada website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp.

If the application for a visa is approved, the UBC letter of admission/acceptance will be returned to the student and must be retained for presentation to the Immigration Officer at the Canadian point of entry.

Canadian Transcripts

UBC has changed its application document requirements.

If you are applying to begin study in 2016 or beyond, you will normally scan and upload digital copies (.pdfs) of official required documents in the application system. These are considered "unofficial documents". These uploaded copies of your official documents will be used for initial evaluation of the applicant.

Conditional admission offers may be made based on documents uploaded to the application system. However, admission offers will not be finalized and applicants will not be allowed to register in a graduate program until one set of all required official academic records are received and validated by the University.

UPLOADING UNOFFICIAL COPIES OF TRANSCRIPTS IN THE APPLICATION SYSTEM

Applicants with Canadian transcripts (other than UBC) must obtain an official paper transcript for every post-secondary institution they have attended.  UBC transcripts are not required.

Each transcript should be scanned as an individual .pdf file and then uploaded to the application system as indicated. They should be named: "Applicant Full Name-Document Description.extension"

Examples:

Kelly Smith-University of Waterloo Transcript.pdf
Kelly Smith-CV.pdf
Kelly Smith-Journal of Neurosciences Paper.pdf

Transcripts must be scanned front and back. All pages of one transcript, front and back, should be uploaded as a single file (rather than a separate file for each page).

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS

To be considered official, academic records must either be received in official university envelopes, sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution, or be sent via secure electronic delivery by the issuing institution.

If you have been offered admission conditional upon receipt of official documentation, you must provide UBC with one set of official transcripts for every postsecondary institution you have attended for the equivalent of one year or more of full-time study. UBC reserves the right to also require any individual applicant to provide official transcripts for study of less than one year duration. Do not send official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission unless you have received special instructions from the graduate program to which you have applied.

Documents being provided to meet conditions of admission should be sent directly to:

Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
University of British Columbia
6371 Crescent Rd
Vancouver, BC CANADA  V6T 1Z2

CURRENT AND FORMER UBC STUDENTS

You do not need to submit UBC transcripts as part of your graduate application, as this data is already available through the student database system. However, be aware that you are still responsible for submitting transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions that you have attended (e.g., exchange year, transfer year, etc.).

International Transcripts and Translations

UBC has changed its application document requirements.

If you are applying to begin study in 2016 or beyond, you will normally scan and upload digital copies (.pdfs) of official required documents in the application system. These are considered "unofficial documents". These uploaded copies of your official documents will be used for initial evaluation of the applicant.

Conditional admission offers may be made based on documents uploaded to the application system. However, admission offers will not be finalized and applicants will not be allowed to register in a graduate program until one set of all required official academic records are received and validated by the University.

UPLOADING UNOFFICIAL COPIES OF REQUIRED DOCUMENTS IN THE APPLICATION SYSTEM

Applicants with transcripts from non-Canadian post-secondary institutions must obtain an official paper transcript for every post-secondary institution they have attended.

Each transcripts should be scanned as an individual .pdf file and then uploaded to the application system as indicated. Otherwise, they should be named: "Applicant Full Name-Document Description.extension"

Examples:

Peng Zhang-Peking University Transcript.pdf
Peng Zhang-Peking University Transcript English Translation.pdf
Peng Zhang-CV.pdf
Peng Zhang-Journal of Neurosciences Paper.pdf

Transcripts must be scanned front and back. All pages of one transcript, front and back, should be uploaded as a single file (rather than a separate file for each page).

If you have transcripts that are issued in a language other than English, then in addition to uploading digital copies of the documents in their original language, you must also upload a certified literal English translation of your transcripts from your home university's translation service or certified English translator.

Please consult the document scanning and uploading instructions provided within the online application for detailed instructions.

OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS

To be considered official, academic records must either be received in official university envelopes, sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution, or be sent via secure electronic delivery by the issuing institution.

After being offered admission: If you have been offered admission conditional upon receipt of official documentation, you must provide UBC with one set of official transcripts for every postsecondary institution you have attended for the equivalent of one year or more of full-time study. UBC reserves the right to also require any individual applicant to provide official transcripts for study of less than one year duration.

If an official transcript does not indicate the degree name and the degree conferral date, then an official copy of the degree certificate must also be submitted

If your university issues only one original copy of transcripts/degree certificates:

Make photocopies of your original academic records and send them to your home university. Ask your home university to:

  • verify that the photocopies are consistent with their records.
  • attest that the copies are true photocopies and stamp them with an official university stamp.
  • put the attested, stamped photocopies in sealed envelopes endorsed by the Registrar.
  • mail the sealed, endorsed envelopes directly to Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

If your transcripts are issued in a language other than English:

  • arrange to have a set of all official transcripts issued in their original language.
  • obtain a certified literal English translation of your transcripts from your home university's translation service.
  • send both the original transcripts and the literal English translation to UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

If your home university does not provide English translations of transcripts:

  • make a photocopy of your copy of your transcripts. Do not open a sealed, endorsed envelope containing transcripts intended for submission to your program.
  • take the copy to a certified English translator and ask them to provide a complete, word-by-word, literal English translation.
  • tell the translator to put both the original language photocopy and the English translation into a sealed envelope, and endorse the envelope by signing across the seal.
  • send the sealed, endorsed envelopes from the translator to UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.
  • send your original transcripts in the original language to UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

Note: Academic records must be translated in their entirety, including any information that appears on the reverse side of any document.

UBC does not accept the following:

  • photocopies that have not been stamped, attested and endorsed by the Registrar at your home university
  • documents in envelopes that have been opened
  • documents that do not arrive in sealed envelopes endorsed by the issuing institution or certified translator
  • documents that arrive without the official seal of the university
  • photocopies notarized by a notary public
  • photocopies endorsed by a lawyer, professor, judge etc.
  • unofficial translations
  • non-literal translations

Do not send academic records that are not in sealed and endorsed envelopes. It will only delay the processing of your application.

Documents being provided to meet conditions of admission  should be sent directly to:

Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
University of British Columbia
6371 Crescent Rd
Vancouver, BC CANADA  V6T 1Z2

 

Note that fees are subject to change by the University.

Tuition for HIED Graduate Programs

Tuition fees for MA and MEd Programs are found on the UBC Calendar website .

Tuition fees for PhD and EdD Programs are found on the UBC Calendar website .

Deadlines for applications

Deadlines for the EDST HIED program can be found on the EDST website.

Contact Us

For more information about this program, the department and admission procedures can be found at www.edst.educ.ubc.ca or by contacting

Sandra Abah, Graduate Program Assistant

Email: grad.edst@ubc.ca
Tel: 604.822.6647
Fax: 604.822.4244

Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Education
The University of British Columbia
6445 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z2

or

Dr. Lesley Andres, Coordinator
lesley.andres@ubc.ca