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Frequently Asked Questions


Questions regarding Applications to the MDP Program

1. What is an official transcript?
As described on the website of the Graduate Studies and Research:

  • An official transcript is one that has been received directly from the issuing college or university. The envelope in which the document was mailed should bear an institutional postage meter mark rather than a postage stamp.
  • Transcripts from North American institutions should bear a recent date of issue, an authentic registrar's signature and an embossed university seal. Transcripts received that do not meet these requirements should not be considered official and should be rejected for any permanent use.
  • Unofficial documents are records that may have been in the hands of the student, such as student-copy transcripts or letters, grade reports, diplomas, or graduation lists, and are not considered official.

We recommend applicants obtain official transcripts for all academic programs they plan to list on the application form before completing the online application. While certain summer courses may help an application, the extra-ordinary amount of the time needed to obtain an official transcript for some of this type of courses may seriously delay the admission process of an application.

For applicants who have graduated a few years ago, we recommend that you request a new copy of your transcript from your former institution so that it will bear a recent date of issue. The transcript issued to you at your graduation several years ago may NOT be considered official.

2. Should I request the official transcript be mailed directly to UAlberta?

Official transcripts recently issued directly to a student from an institution can be uploaded as part of the application package at the FGSR application portal, in the form of a high-definition scan in the pdf format. This will be accepted as an official transcript.

3. Do you offer a part-time option?

While we may offer a part-time option in the future, this option is not available for the current admission.

4. Does MDP program offer scholarships or Teaching Assistantships?

The MDP program is a student self-fund program. No financial assistance is offered. Summer internships are usually paid internships and can help students to partially cover their tuition.


Questions regarding MDP Academic Programs

1. Is it possible to complete the MDP Program within 16 months?

The MDP program requires students to complete 8 courses (24 credit-hours), and additional 6 credit-hour Capstone project. These can be achieved as follows:

  • First Fall Semester: three graduate courses, a total of 9 course credits
  • Frist Winter Semester: three graduate course, a total of 9 course credits
  • Second Fall Semester: two graduate course and the Capstone project, a total of 6 course credits and 6 Capstone credits.
Students may choose to conduct a research project or work as an intern during the Spring and Summer semesters, but this is not required.

In the case a student choose to take a research project or work as an intern during the Spring and Summer semesters, the following is a plausible schedule:

  • First Fall Semester (September to December): 3 core courses or 2 core courses + one selective course
  • Winter Semester (January to April): 3 core courses or 2 core courses + one selective course, discussions with a Mentor about a research project, or applications for internships and interviews
  • Spring and Summer Semesters (May to August): carry out a research project or work as an intern
  • Second Fall Semester (September to December): complete the remaining course requirements, and complete the Capstone Project and write the final report (which can be based on research project or your internship experience), apply for jobs, graduation.
2. What is a full-time course load for the MDP Program?

For graduate programs, the full-time course load is 3 graduate courses per semester. International students need to take the full course load to maintain their full-time status. Students in the MDP program are expected to take 6 courses during the first two semesters, and complete the course requirements by completing the 2 remaining courses and complete the Capstone project during the last semester.

3. Can I take the required courses during the summer?

The required courses of the MDP program are not offered during the Summer or Spring Semesters (April-August).

4. Can I take more courses than required, e.g. can I take courses during the summer while working on internships?

Students can choose to take courses in addition to those required by the MDP program. Please note that additional fees will be assessed for additional courses taken.

5. Can I take all 8 courses during the first two semesters?

For the MDP Program, 3 courses is definitely a full-time course load, because graduate-level courses are more challenging and require more of a time-commitment. Taking 4 graduate-level courses in one semester is definitely an over-weighted schedule, and is not recommended.

6. How does an internship work, are students provided with an internship? What if I cannot get an internship?

Students can choose to find intern jobs with companies or gonernment agencies, typically during the summer break when students are not required to register full time. For international students, off-campus working needs to be in compliance with the Canadian immigration rules. All of the 12 students in the 2021 MDP cohort found paid intern positions.

The MDP program will host professional development workshops to prepare students for job applications and interviews.

A student can also choose to conduct a research project. Students with prior work experience may choose to do a research project to gain more in-depth understanding of a particular field. Either working as an intern or on a research project can facilitate the completion of the Capstone project.

7. For an international student, is a special work permit required to work on an internship?

Students are advised to consult with immigration specialists at the University of Alberta International, or make inquiries at an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada office about work permit requirements.


Questions regarding Study Permit, Tuition and Fees

1. What would be the procedure after accepting the offer from the MDP program?

After receiving your official admission letter issued by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, you should begin the process of apply for your study permit and a temporary resident visa to enter Canada from a Canadian Consulate General office in your country.

Information about applying for Study Permits is available on the University of Alberta International website: https://www.ualberta.ca/international/international-student-services/immigration/study-permit.html.

Your estimated tuition and fees should be stated in the admission letter. Tuitions are paid in installments. The deadline for paying the first installment of your tuition and fees is in September.

You will receive notifications and instructions in August to register for courses for the Fall semester. This can be done online remotely through Beartrack.

Your Fee Assessment and course registration will be available through Bear Tracks (https://www.beartracks.ualberta.ca/), which will include your individual invoice for your tuition fees and other costs associated with your specific choice of courses.

For more details, please contact FGSR directly at grad.mail@ualberta.ca or gradfees@ualberta.ca.


Questions regarding MDP Registration and Enrolment

1. When will I be able to schedule my courses for my first term?

You should receive an email with instructions when course selection becomes available. You should also log into your Beartracks account and try to register for the classes you want to take as soon as possible. You can login to your University of Alberta Beartracks account here: https://www.beartracks.ualberta.ca/. (You should receive your CCID and login instructions in your acceptance package.)

2. May I switch to another course-based program after I am admitted to the MDP program?

Because each specialization program has its unique set of requirements, admission to one specialization program does not guarantee acceptance to another. Students wishing to explore other directions that are better fits to their interest and career objectives are encoureged to discuss their options with MDP faculty mentors, and also discuss their suitability for admission with faculty members in the targeted specialization program.