Athabasca University

Athabasca University (AU) is dedicated to the removal of barriers that traditionally restrict access to and success in university-level studies, and to increasing equality of educational opportunity for all adult Canadians regardless of their geographic location and prior academic credentials.  AU has a general mandate from the Government of Alberta to provide university education through distance education, the provision of lecture courses in smaller centres and the use of various forms of technology to deliver educational experiences.  AU is unique in nature as students may enrol in programs and register in courses year round.

Admission Requirements

AU has an open admission policy.  Applicants, however, must be at least 16 years of age or older.  Exceptions require consideration by the Registrar.

Students may not enrol in an Athabasca University undergraduate or graduate program while they are enrolled in a program at another post-secondary institution. Those students may take courses as unclassified students until they have either completed or withdrawn from the other program.

  • Evaluations and Transfer Credits

    In general, Athabasca University will review your previous post-secondary education toward your credential. A one-time Evaluation Fee will be charged for this service. Please note this fee is non-refundable once an evaluation has been completed. For detailed information regarding the awarding of transfer credit please refer to the Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policy.


    AU has articulated courses and programs from more than 240 institutions and organizations. These decisions can be searched on our online database.


    Non-Canadian students who will be presenting international credentials for possible transfer credit to an AU program must refer to Foreign Transcript Evaluation.

  • Transcript

    Arrange to have official transcripts of your previous education—from each institution that you formerly attended—sent directly to AU, Enrolment Services, Office of the Registrar. AU will evaluate all post-secondary course work completed within Canada and the United States. In some cases, additional supporting documentation may also be required in order to begin the evaluation.


    Documents received in support of an application for admission become the property of AU. Copies of your foreign documents submitted may be sent to you upon request (please notify Enrolment Services). Ensure the correct mailing address is provided or the documents will be sent by registered mail to the most recent address on file. AU does not assume responsibility for lost documents.


    NOTE: Faxed and emailed transcripts are not accepted as Official Transcripts.


    Effective November 5, 2018, students requesting a transfer credit evaluation are responsible for providing recently issued official transcript(s) to the Enrolment Services Unit. These documents will be retained for 3 years.


    International Assessment Services (e.g. IQAS, WES, etc.) documents are requested as required and will be retained indefinitely.


    Questions regarding sending AU transcripts can be forwarded to:

  • Course Outlines/Syllabi

    This information will be of use to students who want to have unassigned credit changed to direct equivalency credit, as well as to students who wish to have courses evaluated which have not been granted transfer credit.


    For either of the above type cases, the student must present detailed course outlines (syllabi)* to Transfer Credit Services, Office of the Registrar. Calendar descriptions will not suffice.


    The information in the detailed course outlines should include:

    • Institution name
    • Course name, number, and year completed
    • A statement of the course objectives
    • A detailed outline for the course
    • The number of weeks of duration
    • Hours per week of lecture (laboratory/tutorial/seminar/studio work)
    • The method of evaluation and grading
    • The textbooks usedContent of assignments and assignment weighing
    • Credential of instructor(s)Course title of prerequisite or corequisite courses (if any)
    • Credit value


    Some departments or faculties may require students to provide copies of examinations and/or assignments. When this information is received, it will be reviewed by the appropriate department. You will be notified of the results in writing.

    * Course outlines for courses other than language courses must be presented in English. If the course was taken in a language other than English, the original outline must be presented with the translated version.


    Questions regarding detailed course outlines can be directed to:

  • Foreign Transcript Evaluations

    Students presenting non-Canadian/non-United States credentials for possible transfer credit to an AU program must obtain an evaluation of post-secondary course work from an international assessment agency, for example, the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS). The credential assessment agency will assess each student’s international educational documents and compare them to educational credentials in Canada.


    All assessments, regardless of the agency used, must be completed using original documents or certified copies—official documents issued directly from the sending institution are preferred. AU only accepts detailed course-by-course assessments. Students must also submit copies of all foreign transcripts used in the assessment to AU. Please note AU reserves the right to request that official documents be sent directly from the institution to AU.


    If you elect not to use an assessment agency, you may not obtain any transfer credit for your course work towards an AU program.


    There are a number of other foreign credential evaluating services whose assessments may be accepted. In Canada, refer to the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC).


    AU can also accept assessments from the U.S. from members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Foreign Education Credential Service (AACRAO).

  • Timeline for Evaluation Completion

    Evaluations take time. When Transfer Credit Services receives all the transcripts, supporting documents, and required fees, your evaluation request enters a queue. It can take from six (6) to eight (8) weeks to complete your evaluation. If additional information is required, or AU is experiencing high volumes of requests, it may take longer. In addition to official transcripts, supporting documentation, such as course and program descriptions, may be required from the sending institution.


    Failure to provide this information when it is requested will impede the evaluation process. When the evaluation is complete, you will be notified what transfer credit has been awarded and how it applies to your program of study.

  • Transfer Credit Time Limits

    Usually, courses will be considered for transfer credit regardless of when they were completed. There are some exceptions.


    Depending on the program, AU will not award transfer credit for some administrative studies courses (e.g., law, senior-level accounting, management science, marketing or finance courses), information systems courses, or science courses that were completed more than 10 years ago.


    Athabasca University will not award transfer credit in the following programs for nursing courses that were completed more than seven (7) years ago, or for non-nursing courses that were completed more than 10 years ago:

    • Post-RN Bachelor of Nursing Degree Program
    • Post-LPN Bachelor of Nursing Degree Program


    In addition, AU will not grant transfer credit in the following programs for computer science courses that were completed more than five (5) years ago:

    • Bachelor of Science in Computing Information Systems
    • Bachelor of Science in Computing Information Systems (Post Diploma)
    • University Certificate in Computing and Information Systems


    Students transferring credit completed within a Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) accredited diploma or who have completed a science-related diploma program from a college or technical institute, and who are enrolling in the Bachelor of Science Program, may not be eligible for a block transfer of credit if the diploma is more than five (5) years old.


    Consequently, if student diplomas are more than five (5) years old and students are currently active in their field of study, they should arrange to provide evidence of this activity to Transfer Credit Services (e.g., a letter from their employer, a copy of professional membership etc.).


    Students who choose to change programs may ask a student advisor for help in determining whether courses they have completed through AU will be accepted into the new program.

  • Transferring AU Courses to Another Institution

    Generally, AU courses are transferable to other Canadian degree-granting institutions.


    AU is unable to advise you on which of its courses would transfer into a program at another institution. The decision to accept courses for transferability lies exclusively with the home institution.


    If you are in a program at another post-secondary institution and wish to take an AU course, you are advised to obtain a Letter of Permission from your home institution before taking the AU course. If you do not obtain permission you may not receive credit for the course at your home institution.

  • Additional Resources

    Transfer Credit 


    Transfer Credit Services
    Office of the Registrar
    1 University Drive
    Athabasca, AB
    T9S 3A3


    Transfer Policies Updated: 2020

Main Campus | Athabasca
1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3