Concordia University

Graduate Certificate in University Teaching

Program Overview

The Graduate Certificate in University Teaching is a 15-credit program designed for current doctoral candidates , MFA students, and post-doctoral fellows at Concordia University. The aim of the program is for learners to gain in-depth knowledge about pedagogical practices in post-secondary education and to develop teaching skills in delivering a university course within their area of expertise. Benefiting from the mentorship of experts in university pedagogy and a discipline-specific faculty member, admitted candidates will expand their knowledge about theories of learning and instructional design, as well as enhance their skills in analyzing literature relevant to teaching and learning in higher education. Candidates will also learn to identify appropriate educational resources relevant to their disciplines and make appropriate planning, design and classroom management decisions. All candidates will be required to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to the design, delivery and evaluation of a 3-credit university course.

Why a Graduate Certificate in University Teaching at Concordia?

The Graduate Certificate in University Teaching offers a competitive edge to Concordia candidates seeking a tenure-track position. It provides these candidates an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and skills related to university teaching by engaging in an interdisciplinary program of study. Concordia’s Graduate Certificate is grounded in an apprenticeship model through which students are partnered with discipline-specific faculty members, teaching fellows from Concordia’s four faculties as well as teaching and learning consultants. Finally, the capstone requirement to design, develop, implement and evaluate a full 3-credit university course provides invaluable teaching experience within the student’s area of specialization.

Students may be eligible for Conference presentation funding

Admission requirements

Application deadline *
University Teaching Certificate August 1 December 1 April 1

* Letters of reference are not required for application to this program.

Academic requirements

Admissions will be limited to current doctoral and MFA students and post-doctoral fellows at Concordia in good standing who have been admitted to candidacy, and are on track for a timely completion of their program. The student’s supervisor must provide written support of the student’s intention to pursue the Graduate Certificate and provide details of the student’s plans to complete his or her research.

Additional requirements

Applicants must have completed at least one teaching assistantship and also have successfully completed the Seminar in University Teaching for Graduate Students before beginning the Graduate Certificate (or provide proof of registration in the Seminar prior to the commencement of the Graduate Certificate).

The student must have a faculty member from their discipline who is willing to act as a teaching mentor during the program. At the time of application, the student must also submit a letter of support from the chair of the department in which the teaching internship will be completed which identifies the course reserved for the student. In addition, candidates will be required to submit a 500- to 750-word statement of their teaching philosophy, teaching experiences and a brief description of the course that they wish to teach as part of the internship requirement.

As the Graduate Certificate must be completed within five terms, students will be accepted only for full-time study.

Degree requirements

Candidates must complete 15 credits, with a 3.00 cumulative grade point average based on a minimum of 6 credits. Students whose GPA falls below 3.00 are considered to be on academic probation during the following review period. Students whose GPA falls below 3.00 for two consecutive review periods are withdrawn from the program. Please visit the Graduate Calendar section for full academic requirements.

Students must complete a total of 15 credits, including:

  • Two courses (ETEC 613 & UNIT 601 for a total of 6 credits)
  • The design and development of a university course (UNIT 602 for 3 credits)
  • Internship in University Teaching (UNIT 603 for 6 credits)

ETEC 613 and UNIT 601 are co-requisites and can be taken in Term 1. UNIT 602 must be completed in Term 2, only after ETEC 613 and UNIT 601 have been successfully completed. Finally, in Terms 3, 4 or 5 students will complete the UNIT 603.

Course descriptions

ETEC 613 Learning Theories (3 credits)
The primary goal of the course is for students to develop a critical understanding of classic and contemporary theories of learning, such as behaviourism, cognitivism, neo-cognitivism, and socio-constructivism as they inform instructional practice. Secondary course goals include enhancing students' abilities to: a) read and evaluate the primary literature in the area; b) present and write within the discipline; c) evaluate applications of theory to practice; and d) collaborate professionally including via computer conferencing.

UNIT 601 Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (3 credits)
This seminar course is designed as a survey at an advanced level of the theory and practice of higher education pedagogy through an examination of the existing literature. Topics may include but are not limited to student learning assessment, course design, teaching strategies, student diversity, technology in the classroom and reflective practice.

UNIT 602 Development of a University Course (3 credits)
Prerequisite: ETEC 613, UNIT 601.
In this directed study course, students develop the objectives, outline, content, notes, assignments, and assessment plan for the course that they will teach during UNIT 603, Internship in University Teaching. The prepared materials are evaluated by the students’ teaching mentor. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.
Normally, this course will be one available via the graduate calendar or as a slot course, and not a new course which would require curriculum approval.

UNIT 603 Internship in University Teaching (6 credits)
Prerequisite: ETEC 613, UNIT 601 and 602.
This internship requires students to teach one 3-credit university course in their discipline using the materials developed in UNIT 602, Development of a University Course. Students develop a teaching portfolio which includes a teaching statement, an explanation of pedagogical practices used in the course, self-evaluation of the teaching, students’ evaluations of the course, and a plan for improvements to the course content and teaching practices. This internship is graded on a pass/fail basis.


Residence Requirements

The minimum residence requirement is one term of full-time study.

Time Limits

The time limit to complete the program is five terms. The program is expected to take three terms to complete.

Contact Information

Our staff is happy to send you application materials and brochures, assist you with the application process and answer your questions. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions

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