Professional Master of Education (PME)

For students who began their PME program prior to September 2021, please contact for program requirements.

Our fully online, part-time Professional Master of Education (PME) program is designed for educators and other professionals who want to take their career to the next level by exploring educational theory in relation to their practice and the broader field of education.

The PME program provides students with the unique opportunity to focus their graduate learning in a chosen concentration of study, apply that learning to solve problems of practice and effect change in their professional context, and broaden their understanding of enduring, contemporary, and emerging educational theories, approaches, and mindsets in relation to diverse professional contexts.

Program Structure

The PME program offers a flexible and personalized approach to post-graduate studies in education. All PME courses run asynchronously online, which means professionals can participate from anywhere in the world without disrupting their busy schedules.

Students enrolled in the PME program must complete a total of 10 graduate courses, 5 required and 5 elective.

  • Courses do not need to be taken in a specific order, although we recommend taking PME 894 (Introduction to Educational Fieldwork) as your fourth or fifth course in the program and PME 896 (Capstone) as one of your final courses. 
  • You choose a concentration: Assessment & Evaluation, Classroom Specialist, Educational Administration, Global Education, Indigenous Education, and Literacy Education
  • Courses are 10 weeks in Fall and Winter and 7 weeks in Spring and Summer.
  • Courses are approximately 36 hours online and 70-100 hours independently.
  • Each course is 3.0 units/credits.
  • Current course descriptions 

Join us for a Webinar

Want to learn more about our programs? 

  • Wednesday, June 19, 3 - 4 pm 
  • Monday, July 22, noon - 1 pm 

Webinar Registration

The PME program attracts students from a variety of settings—schools, governments, universities, professions, and people in career transitions—enriching everyone's experience. In the PME program, you complete 10 online courses, including a Capstone course with a self-directed project to explore current and personally relevant educational issues and challenges, to earn your degree.

There are two ways to complete your PME degree:

1. Enroll in the Graduate Diploma in Education (GDE) program first, then continue with the PME program

  • Complete 5 courses in the GDE program then complete 5 additional courses the in PME program (10 online courses total)
  • Earn 2 credentials (diploma plus degree)

2. Direct enrollment into the PME program

  • Complete 10 online courses
  • Earn 1 credential (degree)

How to Apply

Applications to all graduate programs are made through the School of Graduate Studies website. 

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 application, so please submit your application at least one week before the application deadline and be sure to include the correct email addresses of your referees. 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.

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 prospective student's ability to undertake the work in the PME program. Photocopied or 'stale' letters (dated 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 to whom you report.

How will the references be contacted?
When compiling your online application, you will enter the names and email addresses of 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

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 or by fax to 1-613-533-6015.  Parties should understand that official hard copy transcripts will still be required, eventually.  For more information, please see SGS website.   

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 B.Ed. is not a requirement to apply to 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 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 for questions regarding the program or application.

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.

The PME program is about developing professional leadership capacity and applying educational theory and research to practice. While PME students read research in their courses, the focus is on translating that research into practice and examining the implications of that research within a professional context. PME students graduate with a deeper understanding of enduring, contemporary, and emerging educational theories, approaches, and mindsets in relation to diverse professional contexts.

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


100% Online


Designation PME M.Ed.

Accredited Master's Program

Yes Yes

Funding eligible

No Yes

OSAP eligible

No Yes

Areas of Study

Students choose 1 Concentration as their focus of study:

Assessment & Evaluation, Classroom Specialist, Educational Administration, Global Education, Indigenous Education, Literacy Education

The M.Ed. program gives students the flexibility to choose their own research focus. The M.Ed. does not require students to select a Concentration.

Number of Courses

10 courses at 3.0 units each (30 credit units)

Two degree patterns are 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



Is the PME 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 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 on 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 flexible part-time studies. 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 the demands of an assignment or project.

What does a typical course look like?
All PME course content emphasizes connections between educational theory, research, and practice and provides students with opportunities to apply their learning in meaningful and relevant ways. PME courses are broken into modules, each lasting 1-2 weeks and focusing on a particular theme. Within each module, there are typically a few discussion posts (posting your thoughts on the course material and responding to your peers) and one short authentic assignment (e.g., blog post, PowerPoint slides, brief video, 1-2 page position paper, or mind map). Some courses have fewer short assignments in favour of one or two larger assignments (e.g., case study, multimedia project, book review, professional resource, or professional inquiry project), and vice-versa. There is never any need to come to campus.

Does the cost of tuition include textbooks?
The cost of tuition does not include any textbooks. Most courses do not require you to purchase a textbook, but a few courses do.

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.

Do I have to choose a Concentration right away?
In the application, you will be asked which Concentration you would like to enroll 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 Graduate Coordinator and include your student number. Concentration changes are normally not considered more than once.

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 the deadline indicated on our website and be accepted by the Admissions Committee. If 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.

Will the PME fulfill the requirements for becoming a principal in Canada?
Please review your current provincial and school board requirements for principal qualifications.

Will the MEd 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.

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

Ladder your Credentials (CTE/PS to GDE to PME)

Applicants to the Professional Master of Education (PME) program who have completed a post-graduate certificate through Queen's Continuing Teacher Education (CTE) or Professional Studies (PS) and the Graduate Diploma in Education (GDE) as part of the Laddering your Credentials option (formerly known as SAGE)  qualify for advanced standing in GDE/PME 811 (Innovation in Teaching and Learning), which is 1 elective course out of the 5 courses needed to complete the degree. With advanced standing, students only complete 2 required courses and 2 elective courses to earn the Professional Master of Education degree.

Once you receive your admission email in the program, you will find information about how to apply for advanced standing using your Continuing Teacher Education Post-Graduate Certificate. 

CTE to PME Program

Applicants who have completed a post-graduate certificate through Queen's Continuing Teacher Education (CTE) or Professional Studies (PS) and are applying directly to the PME program qualify for advanced standing in GDE/PME 800 (Self-Regulated Inquiry and Learning) and GDE/PME 811 (Innovation in Teaching and Learning), which are 2 elective courses needed to complete the degree. With advanced standing, students only complete 5 required courses and 3 elective courses to earn the Professional Master of Education degree.

Once you receive your admission email in the program, you will find information about how to apply for advanced standing using your Continuing Teacher Education Post-Graduate Certificate. 

Note for BC Applicants 

It is important for those taking the PME program with advanced standing and who are from BC to consult with their teacher qualifications service to be sure that being exempt from courses in the master's program still qualifies them for category upgrades.  Students who are approved for advanced standing are only required to complete 8 out of the 10 courses but in some instances, your qualification service will not allow 8 courses but require 10 for a master's program.  Please make sure you check with TQS and/or are aware of regulation 5.04, "where the content of one part of a program overlaps the content of a second program, the common portion shall not be counted twice in assigning a teacher's category.  The TQS cannot split the credit used from a course between two programs".  We do not deal directly with qualification services so we urge potential applicants or current students to do the research about what is required in terms of courses and degrees that would qualify them for potential category upgrades.  Please contact TQS if you have any questions regarding this. 

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 Education 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 Education.

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 & Fees

  • 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). 

Required Courses (5)

PME students choose one of the following Concentrations and take all 3 courses in their chosen Concentration:

Assessment & Evaluation

In the Assessment & Evaluation concentration, students explore how various data sources can be used systematically to inform learning and improvement efforts in classrooms, schools, systems, programs, and organizations. Students completing this specialization gain an appreciation of quality assessment and evaluation as the foundation for meaningful evidence-informed decision-making and develop practical skills that can be applied across diverse professional contexts. The courses in this concentration are: 

  • GDE/PME 826 Using Classroom and Large-Scale Assessment Data
  • GDE/PME 827 Planning and Implementing Classroom Assessment
  • GDE/PME 828 Conducting Quality Program Evaluations

Classroom Specialist

In the Classroom Specialist concentration, students explore and develop innovative curriculum practices intended to support integrated and authentic learning within and beyond the classroom. Students completing this specialization gain a greater appreciation for their role as creators and facilitators of learning experiences as well as the philosophical underpinnings guiding their decision-making practices within the classroom. The courses in this concentration are:

  • GDE/PME 831 Innovative Curriculum Planning
  • GDE/PME 832 The Connected Classroom
  • GDE/PME 833 Supporting Innovative Thinking

Educational Administration

In the Educational Administration concentration, students explore change management in educational organizations and the impacts of funding models, policy, and politics on educational administrators and stakeholders. Students completing this specialization develop an appreciation for evidence-informed administrative decision-making that supports student, institution, and community success and well-being. The courses in this concentration are:

  • GDE/PME 861 Change Management in Educational Organizations
  • GDE/PME 862 Finance and Budgeting in Public Service Sectors
  • GDE/PME 863 Equity-Focused School Leadership

Global Education

In the Global Education concentration, students take an in-depth look at the community and climate of international education. Students completing this specialization gain a greater appreciation for the many voices and stakeholders at play when education attempts to meet the needs of a global community. The courses in this concentration are:

  • GDE/PME 851 Creating Connection in Culturally Diverse Schools
  • GDE/PME 852 International Education in a Globalized World
  • GDE/PME 853 The Business of International Education

Indigenous Education

In the Indigenous Education concentration, students explore Indigenous approaches to education, leadership, and knowledge; the history of Indigenous education policy; models for Indigenous education in Canada; and the diversity of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas. Students completing this specialization gain greater cultural awareness and appreciation, develop an understanding of the need to decolonize ​pedagogy, adopt policies that build towards education for reconciliation, and acquire Indigenous language teaching methodologies. The courses in this concentration are:

  • GDE/PME 820 Indigenous Leadership and Knowledge
  • GDE/PME 821 Policy and Models in Canadian Indigenous Education
  • GDE/PME 822 Indigenous Languages and Language Teaching

Literacy Education

In the Literacy Education concentration, students explore literacy development theories, components of literacy, and research-based literacy interventions. Students completing this specialization develop an in-depth understanding of the roles and responsibilities of instructional leaders in literacy, how literacy interventions can be implemented to meet a diverse range of student needs, and how the success of these interventions is measured. The courses in this concentration are:

  • GDE/PME 841 Critical Foundations of Literacy
  • GDE/PME 842 Literacy Development
  • GDE/PME 843 Effective Intervention

PME students also take the following 2 required courses:

  • PME 894 Introduction to Educational Fieldwork (prerequisite for PME 896 and typically one of your first five courses in the program)
  • PME 896 Capstone (typically one of your final courses in the program)

Elective Courses (5)

Students choose 5 elective courses from the following list:

  • GDE/PME 800 Self-Regulated Inquiry and Learning
  • GDE/PME 801 Cultivating Creativity
  • GDE/PME 803 Organizational Leadership (recommended for Educational Administration Concentration) 
  • GDE/PME 810 Integrated Planning, Instruction, and Assessment
  • GDE/PME 811 Innovation in Teaching and Learning
  • GDE/PME 813 Knowledge Translation and Mobilization
  • GDE/PME 814* Problem Based Learning (*this course includes synchronous and asynchronous learning activities
  • GDE/PME 815 Digital Literacy
  • PME 878 Experiential Practice in Education
  • Up to 5 courses outside their chosen Concentration (see Required Courses section above)

"Student smiling while working on their laptop"

Ladder your Credentials 

Applicants to the Professional Master of Education (PME) program who have completed a post-graduate certificate through Queen's Continuing Teacher Education (CTE) or Professional Studies (PS) and the Graduate Diploma in Education (GDE) as part of the laddering option (formerly known as SAGE) qualify for advanced standing in GDE/PME 811 (Innovation in Teaching and Learning), which is 1 elective course out of the 5 courses needed to complete the degree. With advanced standing, students only complete 2 required courses and 2 elective courses to earn the Professional Master of Education degree.

Ladder your Credentials