Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AU has temporarily closed telephone services. Click here for more information on how you can contact us.
At the AU Faculty of Business, we offer flexible, dynamic and relevant business education. We have courses for everyone, depending on experience.
Athabasca University (AU)’s undergraduate programs have year round enrollment with courses starting every month. There is only one formal entrance requirement for online business degree programs: you must be 16 years of age or older.
If you have already done post-secondary coursework, you can request a transfer credit evaluation on your application form. Once documentation from your school is received by our Registrar’s office, it takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks to receive the results. You may register in courses prior to receiving your transfer credit results, however you may wish to consult a Senior Program Advisor as any courses taken before your evaluation is complete are at your own discretion. There is a $116 fee for transfer credit evaluation.
Alberta transcripts can be submitted through the ApplyAlberta web application (part of the online application, step one, above left). If you are transferring coursework from outside of Alberta official transcripts must be mailed directly from the issuing institution to Athabasca University at the following address:
1 University Drive
Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3 Canada
Graduate & MBA Requirements
Discussion, collaboration, and peer learning are at the heart of the AU Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) for executives program. To effectively contribute, students must have a solid base of education and management experience.
The Admissions Committee considers your entire application profile holistically, including academic records, managerial/professional experience, your essay, and letters of reference. You are assessed on your own merit and your application is considered separately from other applications.
Athabasca University follows the “Open University” philosophy. A key part of our mission and mandate is to reduce barriers to entering post-secondary education globally. At the master’s level, this includes admission pathways that go beyond recognition of undergraduate degrees: if you do not have an undergraduate degree but have significant management experience (see pathway #3 below), we encourage you to apply.
You can apply to the AU Online MBA for executives (or GDM) through one of three pathways:
- You have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university plus at least three years of managerial experience (managerial experience must demonstrate progressive responsibility and should include managing people, projects, or budgets, or any combination of these);
- You hold an accepted professional designation (see list) and at least five years of managerial experience;
- You have at least eight years of progressively responsible managerial experience.*
*Students who wish to apply to the online MBA for executives using route 3 must apply to the Graduate Diploma in Management (GDM) first. Upon successful completion of all Phase One courses and the comprehensive exam, they may apply to transfer into Phase Two of the MBA.
To be accepted into the Accelerated route to the online MBA for executives program, you must have:
- an undergraduate degree in business, completed within the past 10 years;
- grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for the last 60 credits taken;
- at least three years of managerial experience.
Graduate Diploma in Leadership & Management Admission Criteria
You can apply to the online Graduate Diploma in Leadership and Management (GDLM) through one of the following pathways:
- You have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university plus professional experience,
- You have professional experience and a letter of support from your employer identifying readiness to complete the program,
- You have permission from the dean or program director of Athabasca University Faculty of Business (AUFB).
A strong base of experience and education is necessary for doctoral studies with an emphasis on applied research. To be admitted to the Athabasca University (AU) online Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program, you should have significant prior knowledge and experience in the area of management research you intend to pursue.
All applicants are carefully evaluated to assess ability to handle the requirements of the online DBA program. We ask for a wide range of information in order to assess your suitability for doctoral studies, and to match your expectations, learning, and experience with the capacities and goals of our program. The online DBA demands that you be committed to your studies and able to balance the demands of education, work, and family.
Online DBA applicants are accepted into the program based on admission criteria and the availability of faculty expertise for supervising proposed research areas.
Applicants will have:
- An MBA or equivalent master’s degree from an accredited university,
- Five or more years of significant management and/or professional work experience,
- An acceptable university level course in statistics, and
- English language proficiency.
- An expression of research interests (500 – 1,000 words), and
- Three reference letters: two business references + one academic reference OR two academic references + one business reference OR three business references.
DBA applicants wishing to transfer from other accredited doctoral programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, they must meet the DBA admission requirements (above) and complete at least 50 per cent of their doctoral courses and all DBA dissertation requirements with Athabasca University.
Applicants must provide all materials as outlined in the admission requirements above with the exception that at least one letter of reference must be provided by an academic from the institution from which the applicant is transferring. Courses being considered for transfer credit must be from a fully-accredited institution. To apply for transfer of credit, applicants are responsible for all applicable fees and must submit the following documents:
- Official transcripts showing the successful completion of the courses to be transferred; and
- Course descriptions. The DBA Admissions Committee will review these documents to determine whether transfer credit will be permitted.
Leadership & Management Development Requirements
Our LMD courses are graduate level; structured with course objectives and focused learning outcomes specifically designed for managers and professionals with significant work experience who are poised for advancement.
Our courses are also developed and presented by professors, who are typically academic faculty from AU, other academic institutions or expert practitioners in their field. Their role is not to lecture, but rather to guide group discussions and collaborations to achieve more effective peer learning.
Applicants who wish to enroll in LMD courses or certificates of completion can register at any time.
Visit the course schedule page for a list of courses available for registration.
Transfer credit available
Eight LMD online courses can transfer to a Graduate Diploma in Leadership and Management (GDLM). You will need to complete ten additional credits to satisfy requirements to earn the GDLM. In addition, three online courses may transfer for one three-credit elective within Athabasca University’s online MBA for executives should you meet the entry requirements and be accepted into the MBA.Leadership & Management Application Process