Athabasca University



Athabasca University is Canada's leading distance education specialist, created by the Government of Alberta in 1970. The central campus is located about 145 kilometres north of Edmonton and there are additional learning centres at Calgary and Edmonton.

Areas of Expertise

As an open university with no formal admission requirements for most programs, Athabasca offers around 550 courses and 60 programs through distance education. This includes a wide variety of bachelors' degrees, the largest Executive MBA program in Canada, North America's first Master of Distance Education program and a unique Master of Health Studies. Instructional methods include the full range of distance-education tools: Internet communications, radio and television broadcasts, audio and videotape, CD-ROM and print, and other packaged materials delivered through the post. Students study in their own communities and most follow a self-paced route with toll-free telephone access and e-mail access to tutors. Around 20% of students choose "paced" study, which involves participating in groups and following the group's schedule. Self-paced students set their own study schedules within the time allowed for course completion. This, combined with the ability to start most courses at the beginning of every month, gives maximum flexibility to students.

On Campus Housing

Athabasca University is a distance and online university. Study from home or your workplace, so campus housing is not required.

Off Campus Housing

Not applicable. Students study in their own communities through distance and online learning.

Incoming Students

Specialized materials on study and exam skills. Pre-enrolment orientation sessions (optional).


Athabasca University is a distance and online university, thus there are no sport teams.


Not applicable as students study at a distance.


Athabasca University Student's Association and Athabasca University Alumni Association.

Information Technology

Internet e-mail access; multimedia lab; accounts on mainframe; extensive web-based library and other services; on-line application and registration; and full Internet access to course materials in selected courses. AU Library: Full borrowing and search services available.

Special Services

Services have been developed to respond to a wide variety of needs including physical, sensory, learning, emotional, and other disabilities. Students can receive information, assessments for assisted technology, assistance and/or referral for funding and services, help with study skills and organization, extension of course contract dates, and alternative methods for writing exams. Contact the Access to Students with Disabilities Department at 1-800-788-9041, ext. 3424.

Affiliated Institutions

Athabasca University is a full member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the International Council for Distance Education and the Canadian Association for Distance Education.

International Involvement

International students may enrol in a program of study leading to a university credential provided entrance requirements are met and Registrar's approval is granted. International students requiring an evaluation of post-secondary course work should contact the Office of the Registrar for an information package.

Campus Tour

Year round.

Modified on July 22, 2020