Online MBA Entry Routes

There are 4 routes of entry into AU’s MBA for executives.

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 #4 below), we encourage you to apply.

  • Standard Entry
    Undergraduate Degree + 3 years managerial experience.
  • Accelerated Entry
    Undergraduate Degree in business completed within the past 10 years + 3 years managerial experience and a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for the last 60 credits taken.
  • Professional Designation Holders
    You hold an accepted professional designation and at least 5 years of managerial experience.
  • Progressive Management Experience
    You have at least 8 eight years of progressively responsible managerial experience.
Do I Qualify for the AU Online MBA?

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.

Standard Entry

If you have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university, you will also need to demonstrate at least three years of managerial experience. Managerial experience should show progressive responsibility and should include managing people, projects, or budgets, or any combination of these.

Applying with a non-Canadian undergraduate degree

If your undergraduate degree is from a university outside of Canada or the United States, your educational qualifications may require independent assessment*. International transcripts can be assessed by:

International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)

International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)

World Education Services-Canada (WES)

*If your business degree is from a university whose business programs are accredited by AACSB or EQUIS, this requirement will be waived.

Accelerated Entry

A new admission route for undergraduate business degree holders.

6 core course credits + 24 elective credits = AWARD OF MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DEGREEFinish your Athabasca University (AU) online MBA for executives in as little as 19 months if you already have a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Management, or similar business degree, and at least three years of management experience.

This accelerated route to your MBA for executives acknowledges that your undergraduate studies—in combination with the experience you have gained in the workplace since graduating—provide a solid base from which to advance into senior management study and practice. The accelerated online MBA route gives you the flexibility to tailor your master’s studies to your own interests and career goals.

Once you have completed two mandatory courses, you can design the rest of your program using a combination of online and in-residence electives, international electives and, if you choose, a major research project. Because the accelerated online MBA route is part of our flagship online MBA for executives, all students study together, meaning you will enjoy the full benefits of peer learning within a student body that spans industries, sectors, and organizations across Canada and around the world (see ‘Being an AU MBA Student’).

Accelerated Program Information

The AU online MBA for executives program integrates theory and practice by focusing on real business problems, building on the knowledge and expertise of both teachers and learners. The accelerated route to the online MBA for executives assumes previous formal education and experience in management fundamentals, and allows you to choose advanced courses in the management areas you wish to develop further. All online MBA courses require you to connect your learning with your experience in your own organization or an organization with which you are familiar.

Intakes

There are three student intakes per year for the AU online MBA for executives program: Winter, Spring, and Fall. Each applicant is assigned a Graduate Enrolment Advisor who becomes their main administrative contact throughout the application process as well as throughout the online MBA program once they become students.

How Online MBA Courses Work

All online MBA courses are paced, meaning there are scheduled start and end dates, and assignment deadlines within each course. Students in each intake progress through the program’s core online courses as a cohort. Online courses are also asynchronous—meaning you are never required to be online at a particular time.

Plan to spend 20 – 25 hours per week on your studies.

All online MBA courses (core and elective) are eight weeks long and three credits (with the exception of some six-credit, ten week in-residence electives). The applied project is nine credits, to be completed within a five-month period. The accelerated route to the online MBA for executives is 30 credits total.

Program Completion Time

Usual online accelerated MBA for executives program completion time is approximately 19 months. The program must be completed within four years.

Structure

Phase One

One foundational course, Strategic Management, is taken as the pre-requisite for all other MBA courses.

Phase One Core Courses:

Phase Two

After completing one core advanced class, students complete 21 elective credits, either in the form of eight* elective courses, or five* elective courses plus an applied project.

At least one elective must be taken in residence. In residence electives are held in locations across Canada and internationally.

*Some in residence electives are six credits and can be taken in lieu of two, three credit electives.

Phase Two Core Courses:

Electives:

  • five, three credit elective courses plus a nine credit applied project, or
  • eight, three credit elective courses

Elective Courses*

To see a list of electives you can choose from, click here »

Schedule

Core Courses

Core courses help students build on their foundation knowledge to take a holistic, organizational view of the senior management function and develop an ethical framework for their leadership decisions.

Core Courses Start Date End Date
May 2020
MBA Orientation May 25, 2020 May 29, 2020
Strategic Management June 1, 2020 July 26, 2020
Ethical Decision Making October 19, 2020 December 13, 2020
August 2020
MBA Orientation August 17, 2020 August 21, 2020
Strategic Management August 24, 2020 October 18, 2020
Ethical Decision Making October 19, 2020 December 13, 2020
January 2021
MBA Orientation January 4, 2021 January 8, 2021
Strategic Management January 11, 2021 March 7, 2021
Ethical Decision Making March 15, 2021 May 9, 2021
May 2021
MBA Orientation May 24, 2021 May 28, 2021
Strategic Management May 31, 2021 July 25, 2021
Ethical Decision Making October 18, 2021 December 12, 2021
August 2021
MBA Orientation August 16, 2021 August 20, 2021
Strategic Management August 23, 2021 October 17, 2021
Ethical Decision Making October 18, 2021 December 12, 2021

Elective Courses (online & in-residence)

Students customize the remainder of their program through completion of 24 elective credits, either in the form of eight elective courses, or five elective courses plus an applied project (for a total of 30 credits).

Some in residence electives are six credits and may be taken in lieu of two, three credit electives. These intensive courses are 10 weeks long and have a very heavy workload.
At least one elective must be taken in residence. In residence electives are blended electives that generally combine 7 or 9 weeks of online study with a 5 to 7 day face to face portion held in locations across Canada and internationally.

2021 Elective Course Start / End Dates CR In-Residence
Due Diligence for Business (EDDB-604) January 4 - February 28 3 None
Business Law (EBSL-631) January 4 - February 28 3 None
Strategic Leadership (ESLS-669) January 4 - February 28 3 None
Management of Non-profit Organizations (EMNO-693) January 4 - February 28 3 None
Supply Chain Management (RSCM-689) February 8 - April 18 6 March 8 - March 12, (Virtual)
Visionary & Entrepreneurial Thinking (RVET-651) February 15 - April 11 3 March 8 - March 12, (Virtual)
Business Transformation in a Digital World (ETDW-603) March 1- April 25 3 None
Energy Industries and Markets: Canada and Beyond (EEIM-665) March 1- April 25 3 None
Knowledge, Learning, Innovation and Performance (EKLI-682) March 1- April 25 3 None
Sustainable Development and Business (ESDB 619) March 1- April 25 3 None
Financial Markets, Risk Management, and the Regulatory Environment (RMRR-699) March 8 - May 16 6 April 12 - 16, (Virtual)
Making Sense of Organizational Change (EOCH-664) May 24 - July 18 3 None
Technology & Innovation Management Strategy (ETIM-686) May 24 - July 18 3 None
Information Risk Management and Security (ERMS-690) May 24 - July 18 3 None
International Finance, Investment and Capital Flow (EFIC-698) May 24 - July 18 3 None
Developing Leaders (RDLD-680) June 28 - August 22 3 July 19 - 23, [Location TBA]
International Business: Understanding and Managing Risks (RIBR-605) (Formerly known as RIBL 687) July 5 - September 12 6 August 23- 27, [Location TBA]
Macroeconomics and Global Economic Trends (EMGT-692) August 9 - October 3 3 None
Managing Diversity for Competitive Advantage (EMDC-644) August 9 - October 3 3 None
Global Marketing Management (EGMK-655) August 9 - October 3 3 None
Essentials of Project Management (EEPM-675) August 9 - October 3 3 None
Corporate Governance and Accountability (RCGA-688) August 30 - November 7 6 September 27 - October 1, [Location TBA]
Doing Business in [Location TBA] September 6 - October 31 6 October 4 - 8, [Location TBA]
New Venture Development (ENVD-612) October 18 - December 12 3 None
Services Management (ESMT-614) October 18 - December 12 3 None
Project Management Governance (EPMG-681) October 18 - December 12 3 None
Implementing Strategy Through Management Evaluation (EISM-622) October 18 - December 12 3 None
2020 Elective Course Start / End Dates CR In-Residence
Management of Non-profit Organizations (EMNO-693) January 6 - March 1 3 None
Business Law (EBSL-631) January 6 - March 1 3 None
Strategic Leadership (ESLS-669) January 6 - March 1 3 None
Supply Chain Management (RSCM-689) February 10 - April 19 6 March 9 - March 13, Edmonton, AB
Visionary and Entrepreneurial Thinking (RVET-651) February 17 - April 12 3 March 9 - 13, Calgary, AB
Energy Industries and Markets: Canada and Beyond (EEIM-665) March 2- April 26 3 None
Knowledge, Learning, Innovation and Performance (EKLI-682) March 2- April 26 3 None
Business Transformation in a Digital World (ETDW-603) March 2- April 26 3 None
Due Diligence for Business (EDDB 604) March 9 - May 3 3 None
Financial Markets, Risk Management, and the Regulatory Environment (RMRR-699) March 16 - May 20 6 None
Technology & Innovation Management Strategy (ETIM-686) May 25 - July 19 3 None
Information Risk Management and Security (ERMS-690) May 25 - July 19 3 None
International Finance, Investment and Capital Flow (EFIC-698) May 25 - July 19 3 None
Making Sense of Organizational Change (EOCH-664) May 25 - July 19 3 None
Developing Leaders (RDLD-680) June 29 - August 23 3 6 scheduled virtual workshops
International Business: Understanding and Managing Risks (RIBR-605) (Formerly known as RIBL 687) July 6 - September 13 6 August 24- 28, Virtual
Developing Leaders (RDLD-680) September 7 - November 1 3 6 scheduled virtual workshops
International Business: Understanding and Managing Risks (RIBR-605) (Formerly known as RIBL 687) September 28 - December 6 6 November 16- 20, Virtual
Macroeconomics and Global Economic Trends (EMGT-692) August 10 - October 4 3 None
Managing Diversity for Competitive Advantage (EMDC-644) August 10 - October 4 3 None
Global Marketing Management (EGMK-655) August 10 - October 4 3 None
Essentials of Project Management (EEPM-675) August 10 - October 4 3 None
New Venture Development (ENVD-612) October 19 - December 13 3 None
Services Management (ESMT-614) October 19 - December 13 3 None
Project Management Governance (EPMG-681) October 19 - December 13 3 None
Implementing Strategy Through Management Evaluation (EISM-622) October 19 - December 13 3 None

Admissions

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.

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.

Professional Designation Entry

At AU, we recognize that achieving certain professional designations requires considerable study and subject mastery.

The following designations have been evaluated by our academic team and deemed acceptable for admission to the online MBA for executives program. Approved professional designations are accepted in combination with at least five years of managerial experience. All other admission requirements must be met.

*Please note that acceptable professional designations are subject to change.

Acceptable Professional Designations

ACCA Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
ACMA Associate Chartered Management Accountant
AScT Applied Science Technologist
CA Chartered Accountant
CET Certified Engineering Technologist
CFA Certified/Chartered Financial Analyst
CGA Certified General Accountant
CGAP Certified Government Auditing Professional
CGMA Chartered Global Management Accountant
CHE Certified Health Executive
CMA Certified Management Accountant
CPA Chartered Professional Accountant
CHRL Certified Human Resources Leader*
CPHR Chartered Professional in Human Resources (formerly CHRP)*
EcD Certified Economic Developer
C Mgr Chartered Manager
FCIP Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional
FCMA Fellow Chartered Management Accountant
FCSI Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute
ISP Information Systems Professional
PEng Professional Engineer
PTech, (Eng) Professional Technologist, Engineering
PQS Professional Quantity Surveyor
RET Registered Engineering Technologist
PBA Professional Business Accountant
SCMP Supply Chain Management Professional

*CHRP designations awarded in Ontario after October 29, 2014 are excluded. The CHRL designation introduced in Ontario after that date is accepted.

Canadian College of Health Leaders

CCHL is a national, non-profit, professional association dedicated to developing, promoting, advancing and recognizing excellence in health leadership. Eligible Canadian health care professionals can receive credit toward the Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation while completing the AU online MBA for executives program.

Accounting
Designations

Athabasca University and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) are committed to developing global business leaders. If you already have an accounting designation, you could finish the AU online MBA for executives up to six months faster.

Supply Chain Management Association

Your Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation gives you enhanced access to Athabasca University’s online MBA for executives program by providing transfer credit for up to nine total credits, which will enable you to finish your online program up to six months faster.

Review of New Designations:

If you have a professional designation that does not appear on this list, but you believe it to be academically equivalent, please email us at business@athabascau.ca. Include the designation name, the granting association, and contact information for the association (including a website link, if applicable).

Progressive Management Experience

Students who wish to apply to the Online MBA for executives using this route (based on at least eight years of progressive management experience) 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.

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