Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry (Online)

Our online, part-time Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry is designed for educators and other professionals who want to take their career to the next level.

Consisting of only 5 online courses, the Graduate Diploma is an excellent way to try out online education while working towards a diploma. Should you decide to continue on after you finish the Graduate Diploma, take an extra 5 courses to earn a Professional Masters in Education.

Queen’s is unique in offering a diploma in professional inquiry, which is the intentional examination of your practices or programs in order to understand more about them, solve problems or effect change. In both public and private education sectors, inquiry is critical for informing teaching practice and student learning.

Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry (Online)

About the Courses

  • The Graduate Diploma consists of 5 online courses - 3 required and 2 electives.
  • Courses are approximately 36 hours online with your professor and 70-100 hours independently.
  • Courses are 7 weeks in spring and summer and 10 weeks in fall and winter.

Required Courses (students complete all 3 courses)

  • GDPI 800 - Self-Regulated Inquiry and Learning - Explore current theories of self-regulated learning.
  • GDPI 801 - Collaborative Inquiry - Understand and enact the foundational principles of collaborative learning in professional practice.
  • GDPI 802 - Program Inquiry and Evaluation - Learn to conduct systematic evaluative inquiry in support of data-informed program decision-making.

Elective Courses (students select 2 courses)

  • GDPI 810 - Integrated Planning, Instruction, and Assessment - Inquire into the interconnected structures of planning, instruction, and assessment through an understanding of curricular frameworks.
  • GDPI 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.
  • GDPI 812 - Organizational Learning - Examine theory, research and case-studies on organizations in public service sectors using professional inquiry approaches.
  • GDPI 813 - Knowledge Translation and Mobilization - Strengthen connections between research, policy and practice in public service sectors

Full descriptions of the courses offered in the Graduate Diploma are available here.  GDPI courses will be listed near the bottom of the course description page.  Each course is 3.0 units/credits. 


GDPI Application Frequently Asked Questions

How many references do I need?

The GDPI program requires 2 references to be submitted. We will accept a combination of academic and professional references. 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 applicant’s capacity to undertake the work in the GDPI. References must have a date and signature. Letters that are photocopied or ‘stale’ (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 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 unopened 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?

If you are a Queen’s University alumnus, 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?

Changes can only be made prior to payment and submission of your application. Please email edonline@queensu.ca if you need to note an important mistake or change after it has been submitted.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

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

GDPI Program Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the difference between the online Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry & the Professional Master of Education?

The GDPI and PME are both about developing professional leadership.  They are set up as laddered programs in which students are encouraged to complete the GDPI first (5 courses) and then move on to the PME (an additional 5 courses) so they can receive two credentials for the same price as just the PME.   The first year of the PME is the same as the GDPI. 

In the GDPI, candidates examine their professional environment to understand it more deeply, to solve problems, and to effect change.  The PME focuses on the practical application of theory to professional practice in order to manage and lead within educational contexts.  Students in the PME become highly skilled in their chosen concentration (Aboriginal Education, Assessment and Evaluation, Literacy Education, Education Abroad and Classroom Specialist).  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.

Students can exit after their GDPI is completed if they do not wish to continue.  Applicants can also apply for direct entry into the PME if they choose.

How long will the GDPI take to complete?

The GDPI requires 5 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 1-year mark. Students have up to 3 years to complete the program. 

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

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

What is the course load like?

The GDPI is designed for part-time studies, and as such is flexible to what? Also, note that this program is ‘asynchronous’, meaning there is no requirement to attend lectures or be online at a certain time, so you can arrange 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?

GDPI courses are broken into modules through which the student proceeds sequentially, each lasting 1-2 weeks. Each module typically includes collaborative learning through discussion posts (e.g., reflections on questions and responses posed regarding course material), and the completion of an artifact (e.g., a blog post).  There is never any need to come to campus to write examinations. 

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.

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.

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.

Application & 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. 

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). 

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.

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

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.