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Athabasca University

Doctor of Business Administration
Course Regulations and Procedures

Course Delivery

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.

How Courses Work

All online DBA courses are paced, meaning there are scheduled start and end dates, and assignment deadlines within each course. The learning environment is asynchronous, meaning students do not have to be online at a prescribed time.

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  • DBA students withdrawing after 14 days from the start date of the course will be withdrawn from the course and an F (Fail) grade will appear on their transcript.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 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 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.

Course Refunds

Students will receive a refund of the full course fees if they withdraw from their course more than 21 days before the course start date. Students will receive a refund of the full course fees minus the course withdrawal processing fee if they withdraw from the course 21 days prior to the course start date and up to 14 days after the course start date. After 14 days, no refund will be given.

Grading System

With the exception of the dissertation proposal defence/candidacy exam, 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


Information effective September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

Updated March 23 2021 by laurab

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