1. Concordia University


    Graduate Certificate in University Teaching

    Note: Admissions have been suspended

    Program overview

    Are you a PhD student or post-doctoral fellow and interested in a future career as an instructor in higher education?

    The Graduate Certificate in University Teaching provides you with an opportunity to prepare for it. Following an apprenticeship model, in which you work with both subject matter and pedagogical experts, you develop and deliver a university course in your area of specialization.

    In the process of doing so, you:

    • Develop foundational skills in planning course syllabi (outlines), assessments of learning, and linking specific learning experiences and assessments with broader course objectives
    • Explore basic principles of how people learn, so you can design and deliver courses that facilitate the learning process
    • Discover classroom practices that facilitate learning and build your confidence as an instructor
    • Receive supportive and helpful feedback and guidance on both your proposed lessons and actual classroom experiences from the faculty mentors who oversee the apprenticeship
    • Prepare a portfolio of your work that showcases your qualifications to potential employers

    Because universities expect applicants for many tenure track positions to have prior teaching experience, this certificate not only provides that experience but excellent documentation of it (portfolio) that can be showcased in the job search process.

    Admission requirements

    Application deadline *
    University Teaching Certificate n/a n/a n/a
      Note: Admissions have been suspended

    * Rather than traditional letters of reference, this program requires specific letters of support, which are described in the  are not required for application to this program.

    Academic requirements

    People who are eligible to apply:

    • Current Concordia University Graduate students who are completing either a:
      • Doctor of/Doctorate in Philosophy degree
      • Master of/Magisteriate in Fine Arts (Studio Arts) degree
        (Preferred) Already have obtained candidacy in degree programs.
    • Current or accepted Post-Doctoral Fellow at Concordia University at the time they would be participating in the program

    All applicants must also:

    • Have completed one teaching assistantship.
    • Have completed the Graduate Seminar in University Teaching
    • Been assigned to teach a reserved course that would be taught in the second term of the program (if the applicant plans to start in the Fall term, the reserved course would be taught in the Winter term)
    • Meet these academic requirements:
      • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a scale of 4.30.
      • Demonstrate proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

    Application requirements

    • Provide a letter of support from the chair of the department that indicates that the applicant is assigned to teach the reserved course
    • Secure a faculty member from their discipline to act as a teaching mentor (can be faculty supervisor)

    Prepare a dossier that includes the following:

    1. Documents that confirm:
      • Your status as an MFA student, doctoral candidate or post-doctoral fellow at Concordia
      • That you are in good standing and on track for a timely completion of your program
      • Verify your current GPA
    2. Letter from the Department Chair indicating that you have been assigned to teach a Reserved Course two terms after you would start the program (if you plan to start in the Fall term, the reserved course would be taught in the Winter term)
    3. Letter of support by the faculty member who will mentor your teaching experience and that explicitly states that the person will mentor you
    4. Letter of support from your supervisor your faculty supervisor (if different from the mentor)
    5. Teaching philosophy statement (500 to 750 words) that outlines your
      1. Teaching philosophy
      2. Teaching experiences
      3. Brief description of the course that you are assigned to teach as part of the internship requirement.
    6. Current CV

    Degree requirements

    Students must complete a total of 15 credits, including:

    • Two courses (ETEC 613 & UNIT 601, 3 credits each 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.

    Important note: Students must maintain 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.  

    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.


    Students may be eligible for Conference presentation funding.

    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.

    Contact information

    For more information about the program:

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