The Alberta grad school experience will vary depending on the school you choose: its size, location, religious affiliation (if any). Grad schools in Alberta may be found in small rural towns, big urban centres or quiet suburbs, and can be Christian, Catholic or secular, as well as private or public.
However, all Alberta grad schools aim to provide advanced-level study and research opportunities for dedicated students who have already completed a bachelor's degree. To meet this goal, most grad schools in Alberta follow a similar structure, with graduate classes usually consisting of focused, small seminar classes of less than 20 students. The seminar approach means grad students work closely with fellow students and professors. Master's degrees in Alberta can be course-based (meaning non-thesis) or research-based (including graduate courses and a formal thesis). Non-thesis master's degrees typically only take 1 year, while those with a thesis generally take 2 years. Doctoral degrees vary in length and format depending on your field of study. A doctoral degree is generally known as a PhD; however, other doctoral degrees are also granted in certain specialized fields, such as music (DMus) or law (LLD). Most doctoral degrees take between 4 and 7 years of full-time study and require students to undertake an original research project leading to a dissertation (usually between 200-400 pages).
At both the master's and doctoral levels, grad students in Alberta have unique opportunities to get involved with high-level research projects, present at national and international academic conferences, author or co-author journal publications, participate in international competitions and gain experience as a teaching or research assistant.