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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Numbers tell the story at University of Alberta

By Nick Candiotto
Special to The Toronto Sun

More than 32,000 students in 200 undergraduate and 170 graduate programs. A total of 110 masters and 60 doctoral programs for the school's 5,500 graduate students. Representation from more than 100 countries in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

But the numbers are only part of the story at the University of Alberta.

"We are one of the fastest growing and most exciting universities in the world ... linking world-renowned researchers with students in all disciplines," says Brad Wuetherick, special projects officer with the school's Research Profile Office.

One of the faculty's newest programs captures this combination. The Education Doctorate program is truly an inter-disciplinary course, successfully merging graduates from a wide variety of programs.

"It is designed to help Canada deal with shortages in K to 12 leadership in the next four years," Wuetherick notes.

Perhaps the university's most renowned department, Computing Science, also adheres to this combination. Comprised of 44 faculty and 43 support staff, more than half of the department's 300 graduate students are funded by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) -- funding that is not unusual for the school as a whole.

"Last year's incoming PhD students received close to $18,500 each," Wuetherick adds. "That is the kind of funding that makes us stand out in Canada."

Coupled with the school's competitive funding is another standout financial feature -- low tuition. In fact, the cost of a typical five-year PhD program at the University of Alberta is just $13,000.

"The university has made a conscious effort to keep tuition low for graduate programs in order to continue to attract quality students," Wuetherick says. "Combined with the inexpensive cost of living in Edmonton, the University of Alberta offers significant financial advantages to students." Not only does the school's location provide students with access to numerous cultural, business and recreation attractions, Edmonton is the focus of the school's outreach efforts.

"We do a lot to link students from all disciplines into the community," Wuetherick says. "A lot of people don't realize just how big the university is, so we definitely want to be an active part of the community."

Last year, as part of the school's University Outreach program, more than 400 graduate student volunteers donated 2,000 hours of time to talk to various groups in and around Edmonton about a number of important issues. The program earned the school an Alberta Science and Technology Award for Excellence in Science and Technology Public Awareness.

The Research Profile Office also plays an important role in the school's community interaction. In fact, the activities of the office tie directly into president Roderick D. Fraser's mission "that in teaching, research and community service, the University of Alberta will be indisputably recognized, nationally and internationally, as one of Canada's finest universities, and amongst a handful of the world's best."

Mission accomplished.

For more information about the university, visit the school on the Web at or call 780-492-3111.

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