Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Doctor of Business Administration Course and Program Requirements

Upon admission to the program, DBA students will receive a program schedule for the cohort group to which they belong. Registration information is provided to students on a regular basis.

Courses are paced, with specific start and end dates, and should be taken in sequential order.

Athabasca University may modify the list of courses at any time.

Course Registration

Students are automatically registered for DBA courses and onsite workshops according to the course schedule provided when they commence the program. Students should take courses in the order outlined in the course schedule.

A student is considered registered for a course on the 21st day before the start date for that course as indicated on the schedule.

Program Deferrals

DBA students who have commenced the program can defer upcoming courses should they find themselves experiencing changed circumstances in either their personal or professional lives. Course deferrals must be requested at least 21 days prior to the start date of their next course. Deferring courses will delay program completion. All course deferrals or withdrawals must be approved by the DBA Program Director or his/her designate.

Course Withdrawal

Students are considered registered for each of their courses on the 21st day before the start date for their course. Students can withdraw from the course in which they are registered, subject to the following:

  • To avoid academic penalty, a course withdrawal must be received within 14 calendar days of the course start date. Withdrawals will not occur by default, and a withdrawal fee will apply.
  • DBA students withdrawing after 14 days from the start date of the course will be withdrawn from the course and an F (Fail) grade will appear on their transcript. With approval of the DBA Program Director or his/her designate, such candidates will be permitted to retake the course, with full payment of the course fees.
  • DBA students who do not withdraw and do not complete a course will fail the course. There will be no opportunity for re-registration.

Incomplete Status

Under extraordinary circumstances, DBA students may receive permission for an incomplete status for a course but they must submit such a request to the DBA Course Professor or his/her designate prior to the end date for the course. If approved, DBA students will have up to a maximum of thirty (30) calendar days to complete the outstanding individual written assignments (as approved). Group assignments and participation components of the course are not included under this policy.

Active Status and Continuation

To maintain active status, a DBA student must successfully complete at least one course in his/her program of study within a 12-month period, or be enrolled in DDBA 806 or 899 and be actively pursuing research toward the doctoral degree. A student who does not maintain active status will be deemed to have withdrawn from the program, and will be required to pay the tuition portion for courses completed and in which they are currently registered. They may also be assessed a Program Discontinuation fee.

DBA students who do not maintain "active status" may speak to their supervisor to gain permission to have their program extended, with the final decision to come from the DBA Program Director or his/her designate.

Program Withdrawal

DBA students who choose to withdraw from their program of study, without record of registration, must do so within thirty (30) calendar days of the commencement of the program. A withdrawal occurring in this time will not be recorded on the DBA student’s transcript.

A student who withdraws from his/her program of study after the thirty calendar day period from the start of the program will:

  1. have this withdrawal recorded on his/her transcript;
  2. pay the tuition portion for courses completed and currently registered in; and
  3. may be required to pay a program discontinuation fee. Any program fees paid will be non-refundable.

Re-Enrolment in the Program

Re-enrolment to the DBA program can occur within three years of student departure, subject to review and approval by the DBA Admissions Committee, and payment of all applicable fees. Fees will be assessed at current rates. Re-enrolled candidates will be required to pay any fee increases that occur between the time of re-enrolment and last registration. Credit for courses previously completed will be re-evaluated and applied to the program requirements, where appropriate. Additional extensions and alternatives may be granted by the DBA Program Director or his/her designate only in exceptional circumstances and on payment of the appropriate fee.

Grading System

Each assignment and participation component that is to be counted towards the final grade for a course shall be given a percentage grade from the instructor. The official recorded grade will be the Alpha/4.0 grading scale. Please review the Graduate Grading Policy and Academic Records FAQ for more information on grading scales.

The dissertation proposal defence/candidacy exam and the final dissertation oral defence are assessed using the following categories:

  • pass
  • pass subject to revision
  • adjourn for re-examination
  • fail

Regulations and Appeals

AU policies and regulations governing academic conduct and appeals apply to all students. Refer to the Student Code of Conduct and Right to Appeal Regulations website.



Information effective September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017.

Updated July 12 2016 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.