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Education & Training

Choosing a Graduate Program

Once you’ve decided graduate school is right for you, the next task is deciding which school and program will meet your needs.

Alberta graduate faculties recommend prospective students consider the following when researching a graduate school and program:

  1. The program you are applying for
  2. The faculty of graduate studies
  3. The website of the institution you are planning to attend to obtain information regarding student services, library resources, policies, further funding information, and much more.

Choosing a graduate school

Here are a few questions you should consider when choosing a graduate school and program:

  • Which programs are offered? Do they specialize in your area of interest?
  • Where is the school located?
  • What other opportunities are available at the university, such as potential travel, further research and personal growth?
  • Is graduate funding available? If so, how much funding?
  • What is the cost of tuition and living expenses?
  • What are the admission requirements?
  • Are there language requirements?
  • What is student life like? What activities, programs and services are available, such as clubs, research teams, interactive groups or support for special needs?
  • What is the quality of the resources available, such as laboratories, equipment and research materials?

Alberta offers graduate programs at five different schools. Programs offered range from master’s and doctorate degrees to professional post-graduate studies, as well as distance and online learning opportunities.

For a list of graduate programs offered in Alberta, visit each school’s website:

In addition, there are several other non-resident institutions that offer approved graduate degree programs in Alberta and which do not receive funding from Alberta Advanced Education.  However, these degree programs must still undergo the same rigorous program approval process to ensure they meet the needs of Albertans. Learn more about other institutions with approved degrees.

Choosing a graduate program

  • Is the program offered full-time, part-time, on-site or off-site (distance education)?
  • Is there a residency requirement?
  • What employment opportunities will this program lead to? Can you speak to current students or alumni?
  • What are the typical guidelines for a thesis in the program?
  • Is there a course work requirement? If so, which courses are offered each semester?
  • How many students apply to the program? How many are admitted annually?
  • Is there a supervisor available who can mentor you? Who would be your supervisor?

Choosing a supervisor

Before deciding on a school or program, it may be beneficial to contact potential supervisors to discuss your research opportunities.

  • What type of research have they conducted in the past? What are they currently researching?
  • Can you do your degree (or multiple degrees) with the same supervisor?
  • How long does it usually take students to complete the program?
  • Are there opportunities for financial support as a research or teaching assistant?
  • Will there be an opportunity for you to work with the supervisors on their research?

Find out more information about choosing a graduate school and program [pdf].

Additional resources

For further information, check the following resources:

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