Master’s Program FAQ

Prospective Students | Current Students

FAQs for Prospective Graduate Students

About the Program

The MA is a research-oriented degree. As such, it is the preferred route for individuals planning to pursue a doctoral degree after the Master’s. While the MEd also includes research courses, its focus is primarily on knowledge of professional practice.

A number of ECED graduates have been admitted to on-campus PhD programs in related educational fields at UBC and elsewhere, after graduation. At this time, the UBC Faculty of Education does not have plans to establish a PhD program in Early Childhood Education.

On-campus

The on-campus MEd can be done as a full-time or part-time program. Courses are chosen by the student in conjunction with the supervisor from across the Faculty of Education. For a list of program requirements for the on-campus MEd, please see here.

Online

The online MEd is a part-time only program. The online program runs as a cohort and has a predetermined course schedule for the program (with the choice of two electives).

For a list of program requirements for the online MEd, please see here.

Full-time and part-time designations refer to payment schedules and not to the minimum (or maximum) number of credits that need to be taken per term. All students, both full-time and part-time, must be registered in at least one course per term throughout the entirety of their program.

Graduate tuition is assessed as an annual program fee, which is divided into three equal installments due at the beginning of academic terms in September, January, and May. Tuition per term will always be the same regardless of how many course credits the student is registered in.

Full-time students are assessed tuition according to Schedule A. Part-time students are assessed tuition according to Schedule B. All graduate students (except those in some online programs) are assessed according to Schedule A (full-time tuition), unless they apply for Schedule B (part-time) at the beginning of their program.

For more information on tuition Schedules A and B, please see the UBC Calendar under 'Master of Arts and Master of Education (full-time) in the Faculty of Education' for full-time fees, and 'Master of Education (program off-campus)' (8 minimum instalments for program) for online cohort part-time fees.

MA

The average time to complete the MA program is 2.6 years for a full-time student, and 3-4 years for part-time students.

MEd

The average time for completion for the on-campus MEd program is 2.3 years for a full-time student. Part-time students take 3-4 years on average. The online MEd is designed to take exactly 2.6 years and is considered a part-time program.

All courses are fully online. You will access course materials and participate in online discussions and project collaborations with your instructor and other students via the Internet. Currently, most courses are delivered via UBC’s Learning Management System, Canvas. Some courses are offered using other experimental online platforms.

You will need a current computer [any operating system, Mac or Windows] with standard word processing software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and reliable access to the Internet.

All graduate programs in ECED (MA, MEd on-campus and online) start in September. We do not accept admissions with any other start date.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a member of Universities Canada. Incorporated in 1908 by an act of the provincial legislature, it operates under the authority of the University Act of the Province of British Columbia. Membership in Universities Canada and operation under the authority of the University Act is equivalent to accreditation in the US system.

The MA and on-campus MEd programs are eligible for Study Permits, and may be eligible Post-Graduate Work Permits.

The online MEd program is a part-time distance education program, and therefore is not eligible for Study Permits or Post-Graduate Work Permits.

No, the MEd degree does not allow you to get a Teaching Certificate in BC. However, if you are interested in attaining a Teaching Certificate in BC, UBC offers a Bachelor of Education Program that prepares teachers for their responsibilities in British Columbia schools. For more information regarding the B.Ed. program, please visit the UBC Teacher Education Office website.

Section 5.1 of the current BC Teacher Qualification Service Policy (PDF) describes the criteria for master's degrees that make graduates eligible to move up to category 5 or 6 in British Columbia. Successful completion of the ECED MEd degree program has historically met these criteria.

Note, a Graduating Capstone is no longer required within an acceptable graduate degree.

Admission Process, Eligibility, and Required Documents

The admissions portal will be open from October 1st of the preceding year until December 1st. For example, to apply for a September 2022 start, an applicant would need to submit their application between October 1 and December 1, 2021. All references and other documents must be received by January 3, 2022.

We only accept applications for a September start date, and we do not accept late applications.

We do not offer conditional admission for the following: work experience; English language test scores.

We will consider your application if your are still in the process of completing your academic requirements. For example, if you are in the final terms of your Bachelor's degree (or equivalent).

Please see the How to Apply page for requirements for the ECED Masters programs.

If you are an international student and would like to see if your GPA meets minimum requirements, please see the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies site for details of academic requirements based on country of the institution.

The MA and MEd require a minimum 2-years professional experience working with young children in an appropriate setting. Appropriate settings include any paid or volunteer position in a formal workplace setting working with students pre-Kindergarten to grade 3 (e.g., preschool, childcare, Strong Start, etc.).

While at least one academic reference is preferred, it is not absolutely required. Work references that can speak to your initiative, intellectual capacity, and industry are welcome.

All applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. The ECED program only accepts TOEFL or IETLS scores and adheres to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies minimum required scores. Please see the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies site for details of English language proficiency examination score requirements.

All English Language Test scores, if required, must be received by the application deadline. We do not offer conditional admission.

No, the ECED program does not require either a GRE or GMAT test score.

If you do not meet minimum work experience, English language test score, or academic requirements at the time of application, you are not eligible for admission to the program. The exception to this is if a degree is in progress and will be completed before the program starts; in this case, you may be eligible for a conditional admission to the program.

You must submit a writing sample in your application, preferably related to early childhood education. If you do not have a term paper or similar available to you, any piece of writing that uses a scholarly format is acceptable. Please note that we only accept documents in PDF format.

For those applicants who have no access to a previous paper completed in the last 15 years, or to a publication, or report, you may select one of the two articles linked below and provide a scholarly summary of the article with your own reflections and connections to practice. This summary should have a word count of 500 words, in addition to the reference list that matches references provided in text (preferably using APA format; at the same time, MLA and other formats are acceptable).

  1. Educators’ Social and Emotional Skills Vital to Learning, by Stephanie M. Jones, Suzanne M. Bouffard, and Richard Weissbourd (May 2013). Phi Delta Kappan, available at https://casel.org/educators-social-and-emotional-skills-vital-to-learning/
    • Reference: Jones, S.M., Bouffard, S.M., & Weissbourd, R. (2013). Educators’ social and emotional skills vital to learning. Phi Delta Kappan, May 2013, 62-65.
  2. “Today I Had Fun!” Playing Outside A Box Inside A Role Drama (2010) by Scott Hughes. Available from http://einsights.ogpr.educ.ubc.ca/v14n01/articles/hughes/index.html
    • Reference: Hughes, S. (2010). “Today I had fun!” Playing outside a box inside a role drama Educational Insights, 13(4).

The UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies allows students to transfer up to 12 previously completed credits (four 1-term courses or their equivalent) into a graduate program at UBC. These courses must meet the following criteria:

  • They must approved by the ECED Academic Advisor.
  • They cannot have been used for any conferred degree (Master's program, diploma, etc).
  • All transfer credit requests must meet the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies policies for transfer credit approval.

Transfer credit requests that do not meet these requirements will be automatically rejected.

Funding and Fees

Tuition and fee information is available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ tuition, fees and cost of living page.

Graduate tuition is assessed as an annual program fee, which is divided into three equal installments due at the beginning of academic terms starting in September, January and May. Tuition per term will always be the same regardless of how many course credits the student is registered in.

On-campus MA / MEd

On-campus MA and MEd students are assessed full-time tuition. See the UBC Calendar under 'Master of Arts and Master of Education (full-time) in the Faculty of Education' for current full-time fees.

Online MEd

Online MEd students are assessed part-time tuition. See 'Master of Education (program off-campus)' (8 minimum instalments for program) for current online cohort part-time fees.

On-campus MA/MEd

See https://www.grad.ubc.ca/scholarships-awards-funding/award-opportunities and https://ore.educ.ubc.ca/grad/funding/ for information about graduate student funding opportunities.

Online MEd

As the online MEd is a part-time program, it is generally not eligible for funding.

On-campus MA / MEd

The MA in Early Childhood Education is considered to be ‘full-time” regardless of the number of courses taken each term, and is eligible for financial aid.

The MEd on-campus program is considered to be ‘full-time’ regardless of the number of courses taken each term, and may be eligible for financial aid. Note, as a professional-based program, funding options through UBC are limited.

See https://www.grad.ubc.ca/scholarships-awards-funding/award-opportunities and https://ore.educ.ubc.ca/grad/funding/ for information about funding opportunities.

Online MEd

The online MEd program is a part-time program, and therefore not eligible for financial aid.

A UBC Enrollment Services Professional (ESP) specialized in graduate student financial issues can offer you information and advice. Contact an ESP representative at 604 822 9836 or submit your question through the online form.

FAQs for Current Graduate Students

Courses

MEd (On-campus)

Normally, students in the ECED on-campus MEd program take ECED 508 in their first term of study, and ECED 585 in their second term of study. It is recommended that students take EDUC 500 in their first year, as well. These three courses offer core academic and research skills that will benefit you in later courses. If, for some reason, you are unable to take ECED 508 in your first term, please consult with the program advisor, Dr. Iris Berger, for recommended alternative starting courses.

Select your electives according to your interests, goals, and the expertise you want to develop through the program. All electives must be pre-approved by the program advisor, Dr. Iris Berger, or choosen from a pre-approved list of electives (see https://earlychildhood.educ.ubc.ca/programs/graduate/).

MEd (Online)

Students in the MEd Online Cohorts follow a prescribed part-time schedule of courses each term. The program assistant will register cohort students into the specified course each term, other than electives.

In addition to the 7 courses and the Capstone Project, students will take 2 approved electives, one in each summer term. Students will register themselves for their electives, and require pre-approval from the program advisor, Dr. Mari Pighini.

MA (On-campus)

Students in the ECED MA program normally take ECED 508 in their first term of study, and ECED 585 in their second term of study. It is recommended that students take EDUC 500 in their first year, as well. These three courses offer core academic and research skills that will benefit you in later courses. If, for some reason, you are unable to take ECED 508 in your first term, please consult with your supervisor for recommended alternative starting courses.

MA students will also start with ECED 599, the MA thesis, from the beginning of their program.

Select your electives according to your interests, goals, and the expertise you want to develop through the program. All electives must be pre-approved by your supervisor or choosen from a pre-approved list of electives (see https://earlychildhood.educ.ubc.ca/programs/graduate/).

Reminder: Graduate students may take up to 6 credits of pre-approved senior undergraduate coursework as an elective.

Graduate students must maintain their registration throughout their program, and therefore must be registered in at least one course each term (Summer terms 1 and 2 count as one term for this).

Students in the MEd Online Cohorts follow a prescribed part-time schedule of courses each term. The program assistant will register cohort students into the specified course each term, other than electives.

Students in the MA or MEd on-campus programs typically take 1-3 courses per term. It is recommended to consult with your supervisor or the program advisor, Dr. Iris Berger, when planning your course load.

The amount of time individual students spend preparing for class and completing course assignments varies widely in any educational setting. The time students spend completing activities for an online course will depend on a number of factors, including individual reading speed, writing competency, familiarity with web-based learning environments, familiarity with the subject matter at hand, and investment in the learning process. The time commitment is usually comparable to a graduate-level, 3-credit, face-to-face course. A common rule of thumb for online graduate courses is ‘up to 3 hours per week per credit’, or up to 9 hours per week for a 3 credit course.

All courses are fully online. You will access course materials and participate in online discussions and project collaborations with your instructor and other students via the Internet. Currently, most courses are delivered via UBC’s Learning Management System, Canvas. Some courses are offered using other experimental online platforms.

You will need a current computer [any operating system, Mac or Windows] with standard word processing software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and reliable access to the Internet.

As graduate student tuition fees are charged on an annual basis, and not per course, students may choose to take credit courses from outside of the ECED program at no additional tuition cost (distance education administrative fees or other fees may apply). Please note that if you are an online student and take an on-campus UBC course, you will be required to pay applicable student fees.

Students wishing to take additional courses outside of the program should consult first with their supervisor or the program advisor. Keep in mind that only pre-approved elective courses may be counted towards program completion.

Reminder: Graduate students may take up to 6 credits of pre-approved senior undergraduate coursework as an elective.

Graduate students may include up to 6 credits of senior level (300- or 400-level) undergraduate coursework as electives in their program, either as credits transferred in during admission or credits taken after admission, provided that these credits have not been applied to another degree or used as part of the basis of admission. All electives must be pre-approved by your supervisor or program advisor.

Students wishing to enrol in or transfer credits from an upper level undergraduate course must obtain the approval of your supervisor or program advisor for each course. The request for approval should include a rationale for how the course fits within your program and interests. Please note that if you are an online cohort student and take an on-campus UBC course, you will be required to pay applicable student fees.

UBC graduate students wishing to take courses as a visiting student at other universities must have the courses approved for credit at UBC by the graduate program and the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (G&PS) prior to registering at the host university. UBC students can visit other universities using the Western Dean's Agreement, Graduate Exchange Agreement and other exchange agreements at Go Global (see https://www.grad.ubc.ca/current-students/managing-your-program/going-another-university-visiting-student).

Please consult with your program advisor well in advance if you are interested in taking a course as a visiting student at another university. Fully completed and authorized forms must be received by G&PS a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the start of the term of enrolment at UBC. If a form is not received and approved in time, the student may not receive permission to take the course. In addition, fee waivers are not available retroactively.

See the Transfer Credit policy in the UBC Calendar for the requirements for transferring credits from another university into your UBC degree program.

As in any course, any problem should first be taken up with the course instructor. If this does not result in a satisfactory resolution of the issue, contact the program advisor (Dr. Mari Pighini for MEd online cohorts; Dr. Iris Berger for on-campus MEd and MA). If this does not result in a satisfactory resolution, you may contact the Director of the Early Childhood Education program (review the current ECED Faculty page to find contact information for the current ECE Director).

The UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies allows students to transfer up to 12 previously completed credits (four 1-term courses or their equivalent) into a graduate program at UBC. These courses must meet the following criteria:

  • They must approved by the ECED Academic Advisor.
  • They cannot have been used for any conferred degree (Master's program, diploma, etc).
  • All transfer credit requests must meet the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies policies for transfer credit approval.

Transfer credit requests that do not meet these requirements will be automatically rejected.

Graduate students must maintain their registration throughout their program, and therefore must be registered in at least one course each term (Summer terms 1 and 2 count as one term for this), except during pre-approved leaves of absence.

Students who find it necessary to interrupt their graduate studies may request a leave of absence. A leave of absence must be requested before the date on which the leave will start. Retroactive leaves will only be approved in highly exceptional cases (see https://www.grad.ubc.ca/current-students/managing-your-program/leave-absence). Master’s students may take up to a total of 12 months of leave time in their program, which does not count towards the five-year maximum time for program completion.

Important: International graduate students should consult International Student Advising in the Life Building before pursuing a Leave of Absence to discuss the impact on their ability to stay in Canada, study permit and future post-graduation plans.

The UBC Faculty of Education is dedicated to providing every student with full and equal access to University programs and services. We have worked to extend the accessible features of many of our online courses.

If you have challenges that affect your ability to understand or read course material, engage in discussions, or complete coursework, it is important that you discuss this with your instructor at the start of term, so that they are aware and can make any reasonable adjustments.

See Accessibility to learn about adjustments you can make to your computer and devices, and software you can use, to support your access ECED course materials.

You may also choose to speak with someone at the UBC Centre for Accessibility, who can assist you with requesting special accommodations and services.

Email: access.diversity@ubc.ca
Tel: +1 604 822 5844

Funding and Fees

Tuition and fee information is available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ tuition, fees and cost of living page.

Graduate tuition is assessed as an annual program fee, which is divided into three equal installments due at the beginning of academic terms starting in September, January and May. Tuition per term will always be the same regardless of how many course credits the student is registered in.

On-campus MA / MEd

On-campus MA and MEd students are assessed full-time tuition. See the UBC Calendar under 'Master of Arts and Master of Education (full-time) in the Faculty of Education' for current full-time fees.

Online MEd

Online MEd students are assessed part-time tuition. See 'Master of Education (program off-campus)' (8 minimum instalments for program) for current online cohort part-time fees.

On-campus MA/MEd

See https://www.grad.ubc.ca/scholarships-awards-funding/award-opportunities and https://ore.educ.ubc.ca/grad/funding/ for information about graduate student funding opportunities.

Online MEd

As the online MEd is a part-time program, it is generally not eligible for funding.

On-campus MA / MEd

The MA in Early Childhood Education is considered to be ‘full-time” regardless of the number of courses taken each term, and is eligible for financial aid.

The MEd on-campus program is considered to be ‘full-time’ regardless of the number of courses taken each term, and may be eligible for financial aid. Note, as a professional-based program, funding options through UBC are limited.

See https://www.grad.ubc.ca/scholarships-awards-funding/award-opportunities and https://ore.educ.ubc.ca/grad/funding/ for information about funding opportunities.

Online MEd

The online MEd program is a part-time program, and therefore not eligible for financial aid.

A UBC Enrollment Services Professional (ESP) specialized in graduate student financial issues can offer you information and advice. Contact es.gradsupport@ubc.ca.