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Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that you may have some questions about the program, costs and funding, and the application procedure. If you don’t find answers to your questions here, please call or email us.

The Program

What is Literacy Education?

Literacy Education is the theory and the practice of teaching literacy skills: reading and writing. Our graduate programs in Literacy Education will help you to develop strategies to become a more effective educator in a range of educational settings by combining literacy theory with an exploration of the current educational practices in the field.

What is the difference between the MEd, the MA Ed and the RMA?

The MEd is an applied (non-thesis) program; students complete ten courses. The MA Education is a thesis-based degree; students complete eight courses and then research and write a thesis. The RMA is a research-intensive, thesis-based degree. Depending on their academic backgrounds, students may be required to take graduate courses in addition to writing their thesis.

How long does the program take to complete?

Completion times vary. Depending on course availability, and whether you want to study full-time or part-time, you can finish the MEd in as little as one year, and the MA Education or RMA in as little as two.

Part-time students have up to five years to complete the program requirements.

Do you offer flexible and distance learning options?

Yes! Many of our students work full- or part-time, have families, and other personal and professional commitments. We offer a variety of learning options, including full- or part-time enrolment and evening classes. Some of our electives are offered via distance education.

If I have an interest in pursuing the MA Education (Literacy Education) or the RMA, how do I find information about the research backgrounds of potential supervisors? 

Visit the faculty profile pages to learn about the academic interests of faculty members. These pages describe our faculty’s research interests, publications, and academic and professional backgrounds.

What careers will the MEd, the MA Education , and the RMA prepare me for?

Our graduates work in a wide variety of fields. Some are teachers, tutors, and administrators in the public school system. Others are educators, consultants, tutors and administrators in the corporate, not-for-profit, post-secondary education, and arts sectors.Some of our graduates are writers, researchers, and academics.

What is the expected workload?

Graduate students should come prepared to do a greater amount of reading and independent study than undergraduate students are expected to do.  On-campus classes normally meet once a week in a three-hour seminar format where students analyze and discuss assigned readings. Cohort classes are organized by the instructor and may involved monthly day-long weekend meetings with substantial online work between sessions. Graduate students are expected to go beyond the assigned readings to broaden their knowledge.

Money Matters

Do you offer any scholarships, awards or financial aid?

MA Education , MEd and RMA students are eligible for several internal and external scholarships vetted by the Mount’s Office of Graduate Studies.  Visit the Office of Graduate Studies’ Research and Funding page for more information on scholarships, bursaries, assistantships, and other funding opportunities.

Applicants will automatically be considered for entrance scholarships. We also encourage all applicants to apply for external awards, including Canada Graduate Scholarships.

What are the program costs?

Consult the Graduate Academic Calendar for a full and up-to-date listing of tuition and fees. For an estimate of these costs, visit the Office of Graduate Studies’ Program Costs page.

Applying to the Program

How do I apply?

First, complete the Graduate Online Application form. This page contains instructions on how to complete the form, and how to pay the application fee.

Next, download the Graduate Supplementary Application package. This package will contain information on obtaining two letters of reference and submitting a Statement of Intent.

Do both my references have to be academic references?

Applicants with work experience in the field who have been away from the classroom for some time may use one academic reference and one professional reference.

How should I instruct my referees?

You should provide you referees with the reference form contained in the Graduate Supplementary Application package.  You should request that your referees provide us with specific examples of your abilities, knowledge, professional experience and motivation for advanced study in Literacy Education.  We encourage referees to attach a more detailed letter of reference to the reference form. 

Do I need the GMAT?

No, a GMAT score is not required.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline changes from year to year but is usually around mid-February for September entry and November for January entry.  Please consult the Graduate Academic Calendar for the year you are applying. You can also find deadline information on the Graduate Online Application page.

When space is available, we will continue to accept applications after the deadline. If you would like to ask about applying to an upcoming cohort, you can email the department.

May I transfer credits to obtain advanced standing?

If you have completed graduate courses before applying to the program, your file will be assessed on an individual basis to determine which courses might be applied to this degree. If you would like to apply a graduate course from another university to your literacy program, please contact the Director of Graduate Education.

Who makes the admission decision?

The Admissions Office will ensure that your file is complete.  Complete files are then forwarded to the departmental graduate studies committee which makes the final decision.

How can I contact you?


Do you still have questions about our graduate programs, the admissions process, the campus, or life in Halifax? Call or email us—we’d love to hear from you.

Literacy Education


Mailing address:
Mount Saint Vincent University
Faculty of Education                           
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, Nova Scotia  Canada
B3M 2J6

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