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School of Education

4 female students in their convocation gowns walking across the Faryon bridge smiling in the morning sun

School of Education


1. When are applications accepted?

Applications for summer start are reviewed in February and March. The official deadline is February 1st, however we may accept applications past this date, space permitting. 

2. Can international students apply?

At this early point in the program we are only accepting domestic students. 

3. Can I do the program online or do I have to be there in person?

One of the things that the students like best about the program is that it has small classes and is classroom based.  This makes the program more interactive and one of the greatest learning opportunities is to be able to discuss other people’s experiences and perspectives on a subject.

Online options are currently in development and options such as independent reading and research courses that do not necessarily require you to be in class. 

The M.Ed. program is set up with three streams:

  • Course only (This requires completion of 10 half credit courses)
  • Research Project Stream (This requires completion of 8 courses plus a project paper)
  • Research Thesis (This requires 6 courses plus a thesis)

The remaining courses can be made up of: 

  • Electives.   These can be taken within the School of Education and Professional Learning or another department at Trent University.
  • Independent reading and research courses.  These are developed in consultation with a faculty member interested in working with your topic of interest. Meetings are arranged with the faculty member to discuss the readings and assignments. Meetings may be arranged in-person or via video conference.
  • One course taken at another university.  This could be an online course that you could take in the Fall or Winter.

So, as an example, if you were taking the course only stream you could:

Year 1:  Take 2 courses in the Summer, 1 mandatory class in the fall, 1 course where you joined online in the Winter at OISE.

Year 2:  Take 2 courses in the Summer, 1 reading and research course in the fall, 1 independent reading and research course in the Winter

Year 3:  Take 2 courses in the Summer

If you are likely to miss a couple of classes in a course you can always contact the instructor to check if this is acceptable.  There may be the opportunity to join a session by video conference.

4. How often will I need to be onsite?

This is a part time program with the aim that a person can work full time and complete the M.Ed. Program at the same time. The current timetable offers the first mandatory course in July 2016.  This will involve a block of 9 days (Tuesday – Friday in week 1 and Monday – Thursday in week 2). This course will run in daytime hours (9am-1pm). It should be noted that there will be an additional 1 day student orientation. Students will have the option of completing an additional elective over the Summer.  The second mandatory course will then be offered as an evening course in September.  Courses in the Fall and Winter will run in the evenings.  These are anticipated to involve one 3 hour faculty led session per week over a 12 week period. 

5. If I choose to do a thesis when can I start?

All students will be assigned a faculty advisor upon entering the program.  Once a student has declared their stream (course-only, project, or thesis) the appropriate supervisor will be assigned. For those students who declare their interest in the thesis stream, they can begin the process once they have been assigned a supervisor.

6. For the thesis stream should I contact faculty to find out if they would supervise it?

When an application is approved, a faculty member will be initially assigned to the candidate. This is the starting point of building a student-faculty relationship. We aim to assign faculty based on research interests of the student – so if your area of interest is clear in your 'plan of study', this will help in the assignment process.  Our website includes video of each of the core faculty talking about their areas of research interest. https://www.trentu.ca/education/masters/

Over time in the program, students will have the opportunity to be re-assigned where appropriate in order to align interests/styles more directly with a given faculty member.

7. Do I need to decide on my program type when I apply (Thesis/ Project / Course only)?

No.  The program stream that you choose is finalized after your first year of study.  So while you can indicate your current preference in your application, you have the opportunity to change, free of charge, at the end of your first year.

8. How do I send in my references?

Academic references are preferred; however, professional references will be accepted. Links for your referees to submit an online reference will be sent directly to the referees you have provided on your application. We recommend you contact your referees prior to submitting an application to confirm their availability and contact information. If your referee does not receive the link, you can suggest that your referee check their junk email folder and email setting.  The email may have unintentionally been blocked by their email server.

9. Can I get funding for the program?

Some modest internal scholarships will be available for applicants based upon a needs assessment.

10. What about the competitiveness of acceptance?

As a new program we have so far been able to offer a high acceptance rate to suitably qualified applicants.  

11. Where can I find out about the elective courses that will be offered?

We welcome applications made later than 1st February, but our ability to allocate your preferred faculty advisor may be affected.

» Download the list of approved courses here

12. What qualifications do I need to apply to the program?

To meet admissions requirements, students must have completed a 4 years honours bachelor degree with an average of at least B+ (77%, GPA 3.3) in the last 10 undergraduate courses.  Applicants with a 3 year bachelor degree plus a bachelor of education will also be considered.

Additional considerations:

  • Availability of the appropriate faculty as instructors, supervisors and committee members.
  • Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous education and training.
  • Feasibility of the applicant’s proposed course of study and project.
  • Command of appropriate language/s by the applicant.

Admission requirements can be found on the Graduate Studies website https://www.trentu.ca/futurestudents/graduate/requirements/admissions-process-required-documents

13. Is it worth applying if I do not have the grades / how is an application judged?

When the team evaluates an application the applicant get marks for areas including:

  • Qualifications
  • Educational experience (Not necessarily school-related)
  • Plan of study
  • Writing skills

It is the applicants with the highest scores that will be offered a place in the program.  In exceptional cases we may be able to offer a place to an applicant with lower qualification levels who scores well in other areas. 

14. What are you expecting in the ‘plan of study’ part of the application?

The plan of study is essentially your rationale for wanting to join the program.  Applicants should indicate what they would like to learn more about and why. The requirements for the application can be found on the Graduate Studies website https://www.trentu.ca/futurestudents/graduate/requirements/admissions-process-required-documents

In the “plan of study” you can:

  • Describe the compelling reason you want to do a M.Ed., and the background related to this rationale.  
  • Describe prior experiences (educational, professional, home life, etc.) that bring you to wanting to do an M.Ed.
  • Describe a particular area of research you are interested in pursuing and why you think this is a good idea.  If you have a preferred advisor/supervisor please identify this in your plan of study.   (Go to website to see video of each of the core faculty talking about their areas of research interest.) 

15. What is expected in the ‘writing sample’ part of the application?

The requirements for the application can be found on the Graduate Studies website https://www.trentu.ca/futurestudents/graduate/requirements/admissions-process-required-documents

They will be used to assess writing ability.  The writing samples for the M.Ed. should be 6-15 pages if possible and could include samples such as a report, essay, article or document written by you and related to your working environment. The topic does not necessarily need to relate to the program.

17. I am planning on taking more than 2 years to complete the program and would like to spread the costs out over a longer period of time. Can this be done?

The program is designed to provide a flexible learning experience that can fit around the students’ other commitments. It can be completed in as little as two years or as many as five. To avoid financially penalizing students who may take more than two years to complete the program, we have front-loaded the fee structure, so that the main costs associated with the program remain the same whatever the time to completion. For some applicants this arrangement may be too challenging to budget for and so we may be able to set in place special payment plans to spread the cost over a longer period subject to review and negotiation.