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Athabasca University

Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Management
Course Regulations and Procedures

Course Delivery

All online MBA/PBDM courses are paced, meaning there are scheduled start and end dates, and assignment deadlines within each course. Individual course activities vary, but participation in online discussions and group projects is mandatory and forms part of the grade for every course. The learning environment is asynchronous, meaning students do not have to be online at a prescribed time.

Upon admission to the program, PBDM students will receive a timetable outlining course start and completion dates for the cohort group to which they belong.

Courses are paced, with specific start and completion dates. Courses are offered in sequential order, but, subject to the approval of the MBA Program Director, students may be permitted to take more than one course at a time, or to take courses in a different order within a phase except for:

a) STMT 500 - Strategic Management, which must be completed successfully before students can progress to any other course; and
b) STCH 600 – Making Strategic Choices, which must be successfully completed by students admitted through the accelerated route before they can progress to any other course.

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

Course Registration

Students are automatically pre-registered in courses according to the course schedule provided when they commence the program.  Students are considered registered for courses on the 21st day before the start date of each course as indicated on the schedule.

Successful Course Completion

A minimum grade of 60 per cent is required for both the assignments and participation components in each course. The comprehensive examination, written upon completion of the six core PBDM courses, is graded on a pass/fail basis; an overall grade of 70 per cent is required to pass.

It is each student’s responsibility to ensure that any course and/or examination participation and any assignments and/or examination requirements are maintained and submitted on time. There will be no leniency or considerations given to students who choose a double course workload. Exemptions to these requirements may be made only by the MBA Program Director.

Advanced Standing

"Advanced standing" means the student is exempt from some or all of the required assignments in a particular course.

At the time of admission, a graduate student may be awarded advanced standing in specific courses in light of the student's combined education and experience. Requests for advanced standing must be made to the Admissions Committee at the time of application to the program. Exemptions to these requirements must be approved by the MBA Program Director.

Students awarded advanced standing in a course:

  • are provided with full course materials,
  • remain responsible for full program tuition,
  • remain responsible to know and understand all components of the course and to demonstrate this knowledge in the comprehensive exam.

Course Withdrawal

A student is considered registered for a core course on the 21st day before the start date for that course. Students can withdraw from courses in which they are registered subject to the following:

  • To avoid academic penalty, a course withdrawal request must be received within 14 calendar days of the course start date. Withdrawals will not occur by default, and a withdrawal fee will apply.
  • Students withdrawing after 14 days from the start date of the course will receive a W (Withdrawal) grade on their transcript. Full course tuition will be required to re-register in the course.
  • Students who do not withdraw within 14 days of the start date of the course and/or do not complete the course will fail the course and an F (Fail) grade will be awarded. Full course tuition will be required to re-register in the course.

Incomplete Status

Under extraordinary circumstances, students may receive permission for an incomplete status for a course but they must submit such a request to the academic coach before the end date for the course. The academic coach will seek approval from the course manager to grant incomplete status.

If approved, students will have up to a maximum of 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.

Re-registrations and Repeats

Students who have received a Fail (F) or Withdrawal (W) grade in any course in the PBDM program may repeat that course only once. Full tuition will be required for each course repeated.

Students who fail to successfully complete the same course twice will be removed from their program of study, with no opportunity for re-enrolment.

Students who fail the comprehensive examination may repeat the examination only once. An appropriate fee will be charged for repetition of the examination and the student must wait until the next scheduled offering of the examination to re-write it. Students who fail the second writing of the comprehensive examination will be withdrawn from their program of study with no opportunity for re-enrolment.


Program tuition paid is refunded after the tuition portion for the courses completed and currently registered in is deducted, and any outstanding administrative fees are processed.

Grading System

With the exception of the comprehensive examination and the applied project which are graded on a pass/fail basis, 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 academic coach. 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.

Information effective September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019.

Updated February 20 2019 by laurab

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