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Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research administers all graduate programs at the University of Alberta, including more than 110 master's and 60 doctoral programs in over 300 research areas.
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  1. Theses and Dissertations

    Title: Theses and Dissertations
    Description: This collection contains theses and dissertations of graduate students of the University of Alberta. The collection contains a very large number of theses electronically available that were granted from 1947's to 2009, 90% of theses granted from 2009-2014, and 100% of theses granted from April 2014 to the present (as long as the theses are not under temporary embargo by agreement with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research). IMPORTANT NOTE: To conduct a comprehensive search of all UofA theses granted and in University of Alberta Libraries collections, search the library catalogue at
    - you may search by Author, Title, Keyword, or search by Department. To retrieve all theses and dissertations associated with a specific department from the library catalogue, choose 'Advanced' and keyword search "university of alberta dept of english" OR "university of alberta department of english" (for example). Past graduates who wish to have their thesis or dissertation added to this collection can contact the ERA Mediated HelpDesk at

    Please note: current students needing to deposit their thesis or dissertation for review as required for convocation must follow the steps outlined here.

  2. The WoW Factor: A Virtual Ethnographic Study of Sacred Things and Rituals in World of Warcraft [Download]

    Title: The WoW Factor: A Virtual Ethnographic Study of Sacred Things and Rituals in World of Warcraft
    Creator: Sonja C. Sapach
    Description: This paper describes the method of complete participant observation-style virtual ethnography and how it was used to study sacred objects and rituals in the virtual world of Azeroth, from the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft (WoW). Drawing heavily from the work of Hine (2000), Gold (1958), and Durkheim (1912), and utilizing a case study of the author's MA thesis titled The WoW Factor: The Development of Social Solidarity in Azeroth, this paper provides a detailed description of the unique challenges that a researcher must overcome when planning, and carrying out, an ethnographic study in an MMORPG. Key topics of discussion include: ethical considerations and concerns, recording observations through the use of video-capture and screen-shots, the importance of maintaining the proper balance between being an 'insider' and an 'outsider', and spatial and temporal displacement between the virtual and the real.
    Subjects: Virtual Ethnography, MMORPG, World of Warcraft, Methodology
    Date Created: May 29, 2015