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Athabasca University

Master of Business Administration
Admission Requirements

Applicants to an AU MBA program must have:

  • an undergraduate degree from an accredited post-secondary institution, and at least three years of acceptable managerial experience that may include supervisory or professional experience with management-level responsibilities;


  • an acceptable professional designation as approved by the Graduate Management Program Council and at least five years of acceptable managerial experience that may include supervisory and professional experience with management-level responsibilities;


  • a minimum of eight years of substantial managerial experience and relevant education and/or training. Applicants without a degree or designation must first apply to the AU Graduate Diploma in Management (GDM) and upon successful completion, transfer into Phase Two of the MBA program. The GDM is identical to Phase One of the MBA.

Non-Program Admission Requirements

Individuals who are not enrolled in one of the graduate programs with the Faculty of Business, may be permitted to register in an MBA course for which they have the appropriate prerequisites on a first-come first-served basis, space permitting and upon meeting minimum program entrance standards. The non-program applicant must:

  • meet the qualifications for admission for either the Graduate Diploma in Management (GDM) program or the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, or
  • have an MBA degree from Athabasca University or an MBA or equivalent master degree from another accredited post-secondary institution, or
  • be an active student in good standing in another AU graduate program, or
  • be an active student in good standing in an MBA or equivalent master degree program from another accredited post-secondary institution and receive approval from the AU MBA Program Director, or
  • receive special exemption from the AU MBA Program Director.

The non-program applicant must demonstrate:

  • appropriate level of management experience required (minimum 3 years) to contribute positively to both online and in-residence group discussions/projects;
  • have the system requirements to take the course online (hardware and software);
  • meet any course prerequisite requirements (with the exception that STMT 500: Strategic Management as a prerequisite will normally be waived for non-program students);
  • access to organizational information required for MBA course activities and assignments.


Applicants must be proficient in the English language and confirm access to a computer system that meets the program's requirements. A GMAT score is not normally required, but the MBA Admissions Committee may request one should they deem it necessary. Detailed instructions for assembling an application package can be found on the program's website at MBA and GDM Admissions.

Accelerated Admission Route Admission Requirements

Applicants holding a bachelor degree in business (e.g. Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Management, or Bachelor of Business Administration) from an accredited post-secondary institution may be admitted into the Accelerated Admission Route in the MBA program, at the discretion of the MBA Admissions Committee. An applicant admitted through this route will be considered to have completed Phase 1 of the MBA program but will not be eligible for the Graduate Diploma in Management (GDM).

To be eligible for the Accelerated Admission Route, the applicant must have obtained an overall GPA of 3.0 in the final 60 credits of the presenting bachelor of business degree and the degree must have been obtained in the previous ten (10) years. At the discretion of the MBA Admissions Committee, applicants with a bachelor degree in business that is more than ten (10) years old may be admitted through the Accelerated Admission Route but may be required to take one or more Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 core courses in addition to the regular Accelerated Admission Route courses.

Applicants applying under the Accelerated Admission Route will pay the transfer credit fee to have their transcripts reviewed for acceptability to the admission route.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit means that students may apply to transfer graduate course credits earned elsewhere at recognized academic institutions into the MBA programs.

In order to apply for transfer credit, applicants must first apply and be accepted to the MBA program.

Only graduate level course credits that have never been applied toward any degree program, are eligible for consideration. Up to a maximum of 15 credits can be transferred upon approval of the MBA Program Director.

Courses being considered for transfer credit must be from a fully accredited institution (i.e. members of Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Canadian Association for Distance Education, Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, etc.).

Applicants are required to complete a transfer credit form, pay a transfer credit evaluation fee, and provide official transcripts and detailed course outlines for each course (outline requirements will be provided by the MBA Program Director).

The MBA Program Director will determine whether transfer credits will be permitted into the MBA program. If transfer credit is awarded, a study plan will be provided outlining how students will integrate previous coursework with the program. 

Transfer of Elective Courses

Subject to the approval of the MBA Program Director and payment of the appropriate fee, students may take one of their required MBA program online elective courses from another post-secondary institution if such a course is relevant and equivalent to courses in the MBA program at Athabasca University. Transfer credit will not be permitted for the in-residence elective requirement.

A written request, including a detailed outline of the course, must be sent to the MBA Program Director at least one month before the course registration deadline. Upon successful completion of the course (with the appropriate passing grade), students must submit an official transcript in order to obtain credit for the course.

English Language Proficiency

There are minimum English Language Proficiency Requirements allowed for admission to a graduate program at Athabasca University. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they meet the minimum requirements.

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

Updated April 13 2021 by laurab

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