FAQ – Prospective Students


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General Application Questions

  1. How does the part-time program work?. For example, how many days a week. Is it night courses? Typical number of years to complete program? 

    Part-time status is determined by the tuition schedule that you would need to submit prior to the start of your program. For MEd programs, students can take one course per term and still be considered “full time”. Many of our students in the MEd programs work full time and take one or two courses per term. Many of our courses are held 4:30pm7:30pm or online.
  1. Is it possible to switch to an MA if we decide an MA is a better fit than a MED? 

    Yes. MEd students may apply for program transfer after first year. The application will be reviewed by the MA Admission Committee. 
  1. Curious to know if we need to lock in part or full time when we apply? Can this be changed? 

    You don’t need to decide when you apply. After you get admitted, you may request to be a part-time student. Please be advised that your PT/FT status cannot be changed once you start your program.
  1. Are there opportunities to take courses outside of UBC as part of the Masters?

    It is possible subject with the authorization of your Academic Advisor. As well, you can take courses as part of the Western Deans Agreement in Canada. This WDA allows students to take relevant courses in any of the higher education institutions in Western Canada.
  1. I’m wondering what the general difference is between MA and MEd programs? 

    An MA involves a substantive thesis (which will involve original research/scholarship–generally of around 80-120 pages). The MEd can be completed entirely as a course-based program for most programs. MA and MEd students with the same concentration (e.g. HIED) take the same core courses but the difference is in the electives and the thesis. 
  1. Can we apply for multiple programs? 

    Yes–but you need to pay separate admission fees for each program.
  1. When we apply, can we request for feedback if we are unsuccessful in the selection process? Is there a review or appeal process if we don’t get admitted? 

    If you do not meet minimum requirements, this will be communicated to you (e.g., GPA, IELTS) or if your application is incomplete (e.g., missing a reference letter). You can ask for why you weren’t successful but sometimes it really just has to do with limited spots and large numbers of applications, so the coordinator may not be able to always give you a satisfying response.
  1. What would constitute as an academic reference? I have not taken a formal university class in a few years. 

    An academic reference is from a former university or college instructor. We understand that this can be a challenge especially if your previous degree was several years ago. You can always describe this in your statement of intent. 
  1. Would an undergraduate course paper be acceptable as a writing sample? 

    Yes. Most of our applicants do not have graduate school experience so undergrad writing sample is fine. 
  1. I graduated university in Québec, can an academic reference be written in French? 

    Yes, we would accept reference letters in French. 
  2. Among three referees, two should be in academic institutions? Not one? 

    If your undergrad was too far in the past, 2 professional references and 1 academic are acceptable. 
  1. How can I get in connection with the current students? 

    Every program has a student representative. You can contact the Graduate Academic Assistants at edst.gaa@ubc.ca and request to be put in touch with your Student Representative. 
  1. In our online application, can we provide unofficial transcripts, and then mail in hard copies? 

    For initial application, only scanned copies are needed. Once admitted, you will be asked to send in the official transcripts. 
  1. Does the graduate office offer any Assistantship or scholarships (tuition reduction) for international students (Med Students) who receive an offer to read such a program? 

    Unfortunately, little funding/scholarship is available for MEd students. Many of our students do work part-time and many of these students find work on campus. You may ask GAAs for more information and advice. 
  1. Can International students study fulltime and work fulltime as well, since the program is designed for working professionals? 

    Yes—currently, there is no cap to the maximal hours that an international student may by IRCC, but we don’t recommend full-time work for international students– unless you’re taking 1 course at a time. 

Program-specific Questions 


  • I’m currently a special education kindergarten teacher-I don’t have much experience teaching adults, but I’m interested in the Master’s of Adult Education program. Would I still be able to apply? 

    We define adult education broadly–so if you have experience in coaching, community development, tutoring, volunteer work in working with adults, this could count. 


  • For master program of ALGC, can UBC help apply study permit if students prefer to study the electives on campus? 

    Since ALGC is fully online, ALGC students are not eligible for study permits because students are not required to be in Canada to complete the program. 


  • If I want to apply for ALGC, is the work experience in adult education a must in application? (in other words, I will not be successful selected if I do not have such experience) 

    Typically, we like to see applicants with some life or work experience in relation to adult education (but this can be broadly conceived). I would suggest reflecting on how your work experiences have connected to adult learning or globalization so that you can articulate your motivations for applying. What we don’t usually like to see is someone going straight from an undergraduate program directly into ALGC without any applied experiences (sometimes those experiences can happen during degrees but not always). 

  • How much interaction is there for the Adult Learning and Global Change students?

    The program is entirely asynchronous (so not in real time), but smaller group projects are often set up so that students see each other on Zoom in real time (it just takes some logistical strategizing on students’ part to figure out time zones). We also have some synchronous zoom sessions (sometimes 2 per course) which are optional due to time zones, but which can be helpful for students to connect and talk about course topics. 


  • After successfully completing MEd in Higher Education, will I be able to work as a teacher and what are the procedures involved in getting a teacher registration? 

    It depends what type of teacher you’d like to be. For example, if you’d like to be a K-12 teacher in the public school system in British Columbia, you would need to complete a teacher education program (e.g. Bachelor of Education). In other words, the M.Ed without a B.Ed would not typically allow you to teach K-12 in our provincial context. 

  • For the HIED, would undergraduate TA work could as enough experience? 

    It could but you should describe the duties in your statement of intent. As we do not explicitly focus on teaching and learning it is important to understand what  experience you might have that would help you to understand higher education  as a field of study and career area. We are interested in professional development for those who plan to work in a postsecondary setting, but not necessarily as instructors.

If answers to your questions are not found above, you can contact the Graduate Program Assistant at grad.edst@ubc.ca