Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Professional Master of Education (Online)

Take your career to the next level with our part-time, online Professional Master of Education (PME) program – designed for working professionals just like you.

Our program consists of 10 courses: 3 required courses, 3 elective courses, 3 courses in a concentration that you choose, and 1 required course in organizational leadership. You get to choose a concentration to specialize in to help you make the most of your education - concentrations include Aboriginal Education, Assessment and Evaluation, Classroom Specialist, Literacy Education, and Education Abroad.

The program attracts students from a variety of settings—schools, governments, universities, professions, and people in career transitions—enriching everyone's experience.

​Program Structure

  • Courses are approximately 36 hours online with your professor and 70-100 hours independently.
  • Courses are 7 weeks in the spring and summer and 10 weeks in the fall and winter to help accommodate your life schedule.
  • Courses do not need to be taken in a specific order. 

Full course descriptions are available here.  PME courses will be listed near the bottom of the course description page.  Each course is 3.0 units/credits. 

Required courses  (students complete all 4 courses)

  • PME 800 - Self-Regulated Inquiry and Learning - Explore current theories of self-regulated learning.
  • PME 801 - Collaborative Inquiry - Understand and enact the foundational principles of collaborative learning in professional practice.
  • PME 802 -  Program Inquiry and Evaluation - Learn to conduct systematic evaluative inquiry in support of data-informed program decision-making.
  • PME 803 - Organizational Leadership - Examine the social and cultural construction of leadership, and gain an understanding of the range of roles and responsibilities that a leader has within an organization.

Elective courses (students select 2 courses)

  • PME 810 - Integrated Planning, Instruction, and Assessment   Inquire into the interconnected structures of planning, instruction, and assessment through an understanding of curricular frameworks.
  • PME 811 - Innovation in Teaching and Learning - Develop a foundational understanding of innovation in the workplace grounded in exploration of historical, sociological, and philosophical contexts and frameworks.
  • PME 812 - Organizational Learning - Examine theory, research and case-studies on organizations in public service sectors using professional inquiry approaches.
  • PME 813 - Knowledge Translation and Mobilization - Strengthen connections between research, policy and practice in public service sectors.

Students may also undertake PME 896  - Capstone, a self-directed course that allows student professionals to explore current and relevant educational challenges within their own practice and organization, or PME 878 - Experiential Practice in Education, which is an opportunity for experiential learning which entails an authentic work/teaching opportunity for students. These courses can be taken in place of one of the electives above or in place of one of the elective concentration courses below.

Concentrations (students complete all 3 courses in their chosen concentration + 1 elective from another concentration).  PME 878 or 896 can be taken in place of an elective concentration course. 

  • Aboriginal Education - Courses include: Aboriginal Leadership and Knowledge in the School and Classroom, Policy and Models in Canadian Aboriginal Education: From Residential Schools to Culture-Based Education, and Aboriginal Languages and Language Teaching
  • Assessment and Evaluation - Courses include: Using Classroom and Large-Scale Assessment Data, Planning and Implementing Classroom Assessment, and Conducting Quality Program Evaluations
  • Classroom Specialist - Courses include: Innovative Curriculum Planning, The Connected Classroom, and Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Literacy Education - Courses include: Theoretical and Historical Foundations, Component Skills, and Effective Intervention
  • Education Abroad - Courses include: Culture, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Approaches to Professional Learning, and Professional Community Membership

Why Choose Queen's

One of the benefits of studying online is that you can complete the program from anywhere. Courses have start and end dates, but you are not required to be on your computer at a set time every day. All materials and assignments are designed for study anytime.

Our goal is to build a strong online community and a quality learning experience for you. Our faculty members offer both research and online teaching expertise, and they work with an experienced instructional designer to ensure a quality learning experience and continuous development of our courses.

Our online courses are truly interactive and collaborative by design. There are many opportunities for you to interact with professors and peers to help you put your new knowledge and skills into practice and perspective. You will be engaged with your professors and peers in our online community. You will get to know your classmates, discuss ideas, work on team projects, and forge bonds that cross age groups and stages of life.

Our Support and Guidance

In addition to getting a grade on your assignments, you will receive valuable guidance and feedback on your learning from professors. Our Manager of Graduate Studies in Education is available to offer administrative and academic guidance and is able to provide the unique supports that online students need. You can reach us on the phone as well as online. Our office will keep in contact with you over the term to make sure you have all the information you need to complete your course and advance your program. You have access to Queen’s services and events, such as the library and end-of-program convocation.

Application Deadlines & Tuition Fees

There is a non-refundable application fee of $110.00 payable to the School of Graduate Studies. There are no registration fees, as students pay per course. Canadian students pay $1,253.70 per course, and international students pay $2,918.70 per course. There is also a Student Assistance Levy of $16.67 per term. All fees are in Canadian dollars and are subject to change.  Please refer to the Office of the University Registrar website for the most up-to-date fee schedule.

Application Deadline & Start Dates

  • September start  -  Application deadline:  APRIL 1
  • January start  -  Application deadline:  AUGUST 1 
  • July start -  Application deadline:  FEBRUARY 1

These deadlines are firm and include the submission of all supporting documentation (transcripts and references). 

Advanced Standing with Post-Graduate Certificates Completed Through CTE at Queen's University

Applicants to the Professional Master of Education (PME) degree program qualify for advanced standing in PME 800 (Self-Regulated Learning) and/or PME 811 (Innovation in Teaching and Learning) if they have successfully completed any post-graduate certificates through CTE at Queen's - either for British Columbia or Ontario.  To be considered for advanced standing, submit a written request and a copy of your completed certificate to edonline@queensu.ca at the time of your application to the PME.  You can download the Advanced Standing Request Letter here.  If offered admission to the PME, students will be exempt from PME 800 and PME 811 which are 2 out of the 10 courses needed to complete the master's program.  With advanced standing students complete the 8 remaining courses.  




PME Application Frequently Asked Questions

How many references do I need?

The PME program requires 2 references to be submitted. Current academic or professional references are welcome, and we will accept any combination of the two. If you have been out of school for over 5 years, we will accept 2 professional references. In all cases, the information in recommendations should relate to the ability of a prospective student to undertake the work in the GDPI. Photocopied or stale dated letters (more than one year prior to the application deadline) are unacceptable.

What does a professional reference mean?

A professional letter of recommendation should be a letter from an employer or workplace supervisor. The reference cannot not be from a colleague, but should be someone whom you report to.

How will the references be contacted?

When compiling your online application, you will enter the names and email addresses for your two references. Upon submitting your application, your references will be emailed a link to complete a secure online reference form. It is important to submit your application at least a week before the application deadline to ensure that your references have sufficient time to submit their recommendation. If your reference did not receive the link, please have them check their junk folder or contact sgsapp@queensu.ca.

Where do I send my transcript?

Official transcripts should be sent in sealed envelopes directly to:

School of Graduate Studies
Gordon Hall, Room 425
74 Union Street
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6

My university is only sending e-transcripts during this time. Is that acceptable?

In these unusual circumstances, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) will accept e-transcripts if they are generated and sent directly by the issuing university to grad.studies@queensu.ca, or by fax to 1-613-533-6015.  Courier cannot be processed for now, but Canada Post Services is still operational so SGS can pick up and process transcripts by regular mail. 

Parties should understand that official hard copy transcripts will still be required, eventually.  For more information, please see: https://www.queensu.ca/sgs/node/1739.   

I was a student at Queen’s previously. Will the university access my Queen’s transcripts internally?

Yes. There is no need to provide or upload Queen’s transcripts to your application.

Do I need a BEd to apply?

A BEd is not a requirement to apply to the GDPI or the PME programs. A three-year baccalaureate degree is required from a recognized university.

Can I go back to my online application and make changes after it has been submitted?

No, changes can only be made prior to payment and submission of your application.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

Please email us at edonline@queensu.ca for questions regarding the program or application.

PME Program Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the MEd and PME?

The PME is course-based and focused on the practical application of theory to professional practice. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD, the MEd is a better option as it provides you with the necessary research background. If you are looking to increase your professional credentials and working knowledge of theory, the PME is a great fit. We are hoping to unveil an EdD (Educational Doctorate) in 2022 to ladder with the PME, offering graduates of the PME a doctoral degree to pursue online through Queen’s University’s Faculty of Education.

The GDPI and PME develop professional leadership capacity. They focus on developing students’ professional skills in order to manage and lead within educational contexts. Students will certainly read some research, but always with the intension of translating that research into practice and examining the implications of that research within a professional context. Graduates form the framework needed to excel in all areas of education and become innovative leaders by perfecting their critical thinking, change management, and capacity building skills.

The chart below may help as an overview.


Professional Master of Education

(course based-program)

Master of Education

(research-based program)

Study Status Part-time only Full-time or Part-time
Delivery 100% Online On campus
Designation PME MEd

Accredited Master’s Program

Yes Yes
Funding eligible No Yes
OSAP eligible No Yes
Areas of Study

Assessment & Evaluation, Classroom Specialist, Education Abroad, Indigenous Education, Literacy Education

The MEd program gives you the flexibility to choose your own research focus. The MEd does not require you to select a concentration.

Number of Courses 10 at 3.0 units each (30 credit units)

Two degree patterns available:

Pattern 1: Six courses and a thesis + defense

Pattern 2: Eight courses and a project


Yes; students can take terms inactive if needed. New incoming students must take a course in their first term.

Students must be enrolled in a course each term until completion.

Thesis or Project Requirement No Yes
Average Completion time

The average time to completion is 2 years up to a maximum of 5 years.

Full time students are expected to complete within 6 terms.

Intakes per Year 3 1



Pay per course

Pay per term

Website educ.queensu.ca/PME educ.queensu.ca/masters
Contact edonline@queensu.ca educgrad@queensu.ca


Is this master’s program intended for teachers?

While our online graduate programs attract many teachers and education administrators, they also draw professionals from other sectors. Professionals who have education and leadership responsibilities and wish to improve their professional practice come to the program from sectors such as health sciences, engineering, business, social services and the military.

How long will the PME take to complete?

The PME requires 10 courses for completion. There are 4 instructional terms per year: Fall (September to November) and Winter (January to March) which are 10-week courses as well as Spring (May to June) and Summer (July to August) which are 7-week courses.  The university operates on a 3-term academic year and thus all courses taken in spring will fall under the Summer term umbrella.  We advise students to start by taking 1 course to get a feel for the workload and then add from there.  Most students take 1 - 2 courses per term and finish around the 2-year mark. Students have up to 5 years to complete the PME program. 

Are newly admitted students required to take a course in their first term?

Yes, it is a requirement that students admitted to the PME program take a course in their first term. 

What is the course load like?

The PME is designed for part-time studies, and as such is flexible. There is no requirement to attend lectures or be online at a certain time so you can work your coursework around your professional and personal schedule. You receive all course materials and due dates on the first day of the course, so you know what is coming and can manage your time accordingly. Students who have successfully completed our program typically spend anywhere from 2-10 hours per week per course depending on educational background and understanding of course material and demands of an assignment or project.

What does a typical course look like?

PME courses are broken into modules, each lasting 1-2 weeks and focusing on a particular theory of the course. For each module there are typically a few discussion posts (posting your thoughts on the course material and responding to your peers), and then sometimes a small artifact (think blog post or PowerPoint slides). Some courses have fewer small projects in favour of larger ones, and vice-versa. There is never any need to come to campus to write examinations. 

Can I transfer some of my credits from another master's program?

​Consideration will be given for up to two half-credit graduate courses successfully completed at another university. You first must apply to the program by deadline indicated on our website and be accepted by the Admissions Committee. In the event you are granted admission into our program, you would submit a formal request for the transfer credits to the Faculty’s Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The formal request should include supporting rationale, and clearly indicate which current PME course(s) the transfer credits are equivalent to. If the Associate Dean approves the request, we will make a request on your behalf to the School of Graduate Studies for their final approval.

It is important to note that you cannot transfer courses that were counted towards another degree or diploma.

The current PME course listings are available online at https://www.queensu.ca/sgs/graduate-calendar/courses-instruction/educati....

Do I have to choose a concentration right away?

You will be asked in the application which concentration you would like to enrol in. It is important to carefully consider all concentrations prior to submitting your application. The Admissions Committee reviews your requested concentration and rationale as part of the review process.

Can I change my concentration afterwards?

Concentration changes may be considered if you are still in the early stages of the program and have not yet completed your concentration courses. Email your concentration request and supporting rationale to the Manager of Graduate Programs in Education and include your student number. Concentration changes are normally not considered more than once.

Will the PME fulfill the requirements for becoming a principal in Canada?

Please review your current provincial requirements and/or school board for principal qualifications.

Will the MEd and/or PME give me certification to teach in Ontario K-12 schools?

No, to gain certification to teach in Ontario you must successfully complete a BEd program, and then be approved for certification to teach through the Ontario College of Teachers. 

Graduates from our PME program normally receive higher teaching certification levels and increased salaries.  Please check with your Board/Employer for details.

Does Queen's send my transcript to OCT or other teacher qualification services for my category upgrade?

​No, it is the responsibility of the student/graduate to provide transcripts or any documentation needed by OCT for upgrades.

Does the cost of tuition include textbooks?

The cost of tuition does not include any textbooks. Most courses do not require you purchase a textbook, but there are a few courses that do.

What sort of career path can I take after completing the PME or what are the career options for someone taking the PME?

Graduates from our PME program receive higher teaching certification levels and take on careers in the following areas:

  • School Principals
  • Educational Administrators or Consultants
  • Curriculum Developers or Specialists
  • School or Career Counsellor
  • Corporate Training and Development
  • Educational Policy Developer
  • Leadership positions within the government, social services, engineering, business, health sciences and the military.

What online platform do you use for course instruction?

onQ is Queen's University's enterprise learning management system, built in the Brightspace/Desire2learn environment that many students are already familiar with, both at Queen's and at other institutions. It can be used to deliver academic courses on the Web and can also be used for collaborative research and project-based group work. onQ is the same online environment used across all units, including those offered by Continuing Teacher Education, to ensure a consistent student experience across all programs.

How to Apply

Applications for admission to graduate programs are completed and submitted on the School of Graduate Studies website, including an online form and step-by-step instructions for setting up your account.

Note: The application for admission is used for all graduate programs at Queen’s University so you will notice that reference is often made to your research interests. Since you are applying for admission to a professional program, please relate your comments in these areas to your professional aspirations rather than to research.

Two Professional letters of recommendation (e.g. letters from an employer or workplace supervisor) can be submitted in support of applications to professional graduate programs. For applicants who apply to a professional graduate program, a Professional reference form will be generated for their referees. Academic references are also acceptable. 

Referees are notified that you want them to provide a reference for you by email after you have submitted your online application, so please submit your application at least two weeks before the application deadline and be sure to include the correct email addresses of your referees on your online application. Applications will not be deemed complete and will not be reviewed by the admissions committee until all listed references are received.

In addition to the online application and application fee, applicants are required to submit an official transcript (envelopes from the institution cannot be opened) from all universities you have attended except for Queen's. Transcripts sent from the issuing university should be sent to:

School of Graduate Studies
Queen's University
Gordon Hall Room 425
74 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario
Canada K7L 3N6

If you have questions, please contact the Graduate Studies & Research Office.

Apply now! We will guide you through the application process.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements are:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a recognized university
  • Graduation with a B- graduating average or higher (70% graduating average or a ranking in the top third of the graduating class where number grades are not available)
  • Under exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to highly motivated individuals with relevant field experience who do not meet the B- requirement
  • Applicants whose native languages do not include English must obtain a minimum English language requirement of 580 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL exam; 237 Computer-based; 88 on the TOEFL iBT test or IELTS Band 7 or higher.

You may apply to the Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry first and then to the Professional Master of Education or you can apply to the Professional Master of Education directly. In most cases, applicants must apply for admission to the Professional Master of Education within five years after completing the Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry.

Contact Us
Graduate Assistant
Tel (613) 533-6000 ext. 75201  *Please contact via email as the Graduate Studies & Research Office is working remotely at this time.