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 post-secondary institution, 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 post-secondary institution 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 post-secondary institution 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’).

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; the content coverage that is expected within the Business degree include: human resource management, accounting, finance, macroeconomics, microeconomics, statistics, management information systems, marketing, organizational behaviour, organizational theory/analysis, and operations management
  • 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.

Accelerated MBA - Frequently Asked Questions

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 24 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
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.

2022 Elective Course Start / End Dates CR In-Residence
Innovation Finance (EFNC-609) January 10 - March 6 3 None
Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility (ECGR 688) January 10 - March 6 3 None
Business Law (EBSL-631) January 10 - March 6 3 None
Strategic Leadership (ESLS-669) January 10 - March 6 3 None
Management of Non-profit Organizations (EMNO-693) January 10 - March 6 3 None
Supply Chain Management (RSCM-689) February 7 - April 17 6 March 7 - March 11, (Virtual)
Visionary & Entrepreneurial Thinking (RVET-651) February 14 - April 10 3 March 7 - March 11, (Virtual)
Financial Markets, Risk Management, and the Regulatory Environment (RMRR-699) March 7 - May 15 6 April 11 - 15, (Virtual)
Business Transformation in a Digital World (ETDW-603) March 21 - May 15 3 None
Due Diligence for Business (EDDB-604) March 21 - May 15 3 None
Sustainable Development and Business (ESDB 619) March 21 - May 15 3 None
Knowledge, Learning, Innovation and Performance (EKLI-682) March 21 - May 15 3 None
Making Sense of Organizational Change (EOCH-664) May 30 - July 24 3 None
Technology & Innovation Management Strategy (ETIM-686) May 30 - July 24 3 None
Information Risk Management and Security (ERMS-690) May 30 - July 24 3 None
International Finance, Investment and Capital Flow (EFIC-698) May 30 - July 24 3 None
Developing Leaders (RDLD-680) June 27 - August 21 3 July 18 - 22, [Location TBA]
International Business: Understanding and Managing Risks (RIBR-605) July 4 - September 11 6 August 22- 26, [Location TBA]
Managing Diversity for Organizational Sustainability (EMDC-644) August 15 - October 9 3 None
Global Marketing Management (EGMK-655) August 15 - October 9 3 None
Essentials of Project Management (EEPM-675) August 15 - October 9 3 None
Macroeconomics and Global Economic Trends (EMGT-692) August 15 - October 9 3 None
Doing Business in [Location TBA] September 5 - October 30 6 October 4 - 8, [Location TBA]
New Venture Development (ENVD-612) October 24 - December 18 3 None
Services Management (ESMT-614) October 24 - December 18 3 None
Project Management Governance (EPMG-681) October 24 - December 18 3 None
Implementing Strategy Through Management Evaluation (EISM-622) October 24 - December 18 3 None
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)
Innovation Finance (EFNC-609) March 1 - April 25 3 None
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) 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 Organizational Sustainability (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
Visionary and Entrepreneurial Thinking (RVET-651) October 4 - November 28 3 October 25 - October 30
Due Diligence for Business (EDDB-604) October 18 - December 12 3 None
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

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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