Educational Technology & Learning Design PhD


1.  Before Applying (Admission Requirements and Documents)

a) Meet all the admission requirements for SFU, your doctoral program, and the academic requirements by country.

b) Have a valid credit card to pay the application fee (Visa or Mastercard). Please contact the program assistant before completing your online application if you do not have either of these credit cards.

c) Have contact information for three referees, including their email addresses. Reference letters must be specific to this application. At least TWO should be written by referees who are able to comment on your academic competence and to make an informed judgment about your likelihood of success in graduate study (e.g., professors).

Guidelines for Reference Letters (please send to your referees):
Please ensure your referees include the following information:

  • A frank appraisal of the ability of the applicant to undertake a rigorous program of graduate study.
  • Comment on the applicant’s scholarly competence and academic ability to undertake advanced studies in education.
  • Personal qualities that you deem relevant to the candidate’s ability to engage in graduate work.
  • Length of time and the context in which you have known the candidate.

d) Be prepared to gather the required supporting documents. You will be prompted to upload the following documents after your application has been submitted and your application fee has been paid:

  • Newly issued official paper transcripts (of all post-secondary institutions attended except SFU) – we do not accept official electronic transcripts
  • Academic Writing Sample
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Intent

(See #3 below for more details on these requirements.)

  • Start Term: Fall 2021 (September)
  • Applications Open: October 1, 2020
  • Applications Close: December 1, 2020
  • Tuition 2020/21*: $1,946.94/term
    *Subject to estimated 2% fee increase each September.


2. Apply Online

Please note that the Online Application System is only available while applications are being accepted for each program.

a) Complete the Online Application for Graduate Studies at SFU. You do not have to wait until you have all your supporting documents ready before applying. We recommend that you begin your application early so we are aware of your interest; then you can work on completing and collecting the rest of your package until the posted deadline.

b) Enter contact information, including e-mail addresses, for three references. Once you submit your referee contact information, your referees will be sent a secure e-mail link and password enabling them to log into the Online Application System where they will have the option to submit their reference by PDF upload or by simply copying and pasting text.

c) Pay the application fee when prompted. An application fee of $90 CAD (students with Canadian transcripts) or $125 CAD (students with international transcripts) is due after the Online Application form has been submitted.

As programs are competitive, we recommend you complete your online application and pay the application fee as soon as possible and at least one week prior to your program deadline.

Our program office is notified only after you have completed your application and paid your application fee.

If you do not receive an e-mail requesting payment of this fee within 3 working days after submitting your application, please contact the Program Assistant to check the status of your application.

3.  Online Submission of Supporting Documents (PDF uploads)

d) Letter of Intent in PDF format for the following program:

  • Educational Technology & Learning Design

Outline the following in your letter of intent (maximum 2000 words).  Add your last name and initial in the header of your document.

  1. Why do you want to pursue advanced scholarly research in educational technology and learning design (ETLD)? Please be specific about what has motivated you to pursue research beyond the master's degree level.
  2. Describe your research interests in the field of ETLD. What specific topic(s) will you pursue in your PhD program?
  3. Describe how your past academic studies and work experiences have prepared you to pursue the topics you describe in #2.
  4. Describe your future career path and how the ETLD program will contribute to it.
  5. With which of our faculty members do you plan to work? Describe the fit between your interests, described in #2, and those of the faculty member(s) you identify. Examine our research profiles.
  6. Attach a list of your publications and any conference and workshop presentations.

4.  Submit Official Transcripts and a Copy of IELTS/TOEFL Test Results

a) Official Transcripts

Either paper originals or certified copies. We do not accept official electronic transcripts.

Please only submit one transcript from each post-secondary institution you attended. (Exception: You do not need to submit SFU transcripts.)

You can arrange to have the transcript sent directly to our office from the issuing institution, OR you may mail it directly to our office provided it is in its original sealed envelope. 

If your original documents are not in English, please include a certified English translation as well as a certified copy of the degree.

IMPORTANT: Applicants from universities that do not issue transcripts are required to submit official documents showing contents of degree program completed and the standards or grades obtained.

b) English Language Competence Test Results (IELTS/TOEFL)

Required for applicants whose primary language is not English or whose previous education has been conducted in another language. Arrange for electronic English language test scores to be sent to Simon Fraser University directly from the testing agency. TOEFL code for SFU – 0999, and department code – EDUC 85.

One copy of your test results is to be submitted to the Graduate Programs office.

Please submit your official transcripts and a copy of IELTS/TOEFL test scores to:

Graduate Programs Admissions
EDB 8533
Faculty of Education
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC Canada
V5A 1S6

If you are dropping off your official transcripts and IELTS/TOEFL in person:
Visit us at Burnaby Campus in the Education Building (room 8533)
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Please email or call us at 778.782.4215 if you have any questions, we will be happy to assist you.

Additional information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page as well as in the Student Calendar.