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Athabasca University

Master of Business Administration
Program Regulations

Upon admission to the program, MBA students will receive a course 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 completion dates. Phase One and Two core courses are offered in sequential order. 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 except for:

Program Structure

Program Requirements

Program Structure
Total Credits in the program 48 credits
The MBA is divided into two phases:
Phase One: consists of an orientation, six core courses and a comprehensive examination (18 credits). This phase provides a solid grounding in general management fundamentals.
Required Courses
MBAO 599 MBA Orientation (0)
MBAO 598 MBA Orientation  
STMT 500 Strategic Management (3)
HRMT 502 Human Resources Management (3)
FMAC 503 Financial and Managerial Accounting (3)
MKMT 504 Marketing Management (3)
MEQA 501 Managerial Economics and Quantitative Analysis (3)
OPMT 505 Operations Management (3)
CPEX 506 Comprehensive Exam for Phase One (0)
Upon successful completion, students may apply to receive the Graduate Diploma in Management (GDM).
Phase Two: offers two options for completion. Both options begin with four advanced management courses (12 credits), followed by either three electives (9 credits), and an applied project (9 credits), or six electives (18 credits).
Required Courses
INTS 602 Information Technology Strategy (3)
CFIN 601 Corporate Finance (3)
STOA 603 Strategy and Organizational Analysis (3)
MEDM 604 Ethical Decision Making (3)
Students may choose either:

All students must take at least one of their electives in the in-residence formation and may choose to take more.

* There are some six credit electives scheduled from time to time that are equivalent to two, three-credit electives.

Note: Not all of these electives are always available for registration. Visit the Electives Schedule webpage to see what is currently available.

RAPM 650 Advanced Project Management (3)
EBSL 631 Business Law (3)
EBRM 645 Business Research Methods (3)
ETDW 603 Business Transformation in a Digital World (3)
RCGA 688 Corporate Governance and Accountability (3)
RDLD 680 Developing Leaders (3)
RBGR 695 Doing Business in a Recovering Economy (3)
RDBS 607 Doing Business in Asia-Pacific Region (6)
EEPM 675 Essentials of Project Management (3)
EEIM 665 Energy Industries and Markets: Canada and Beyond (3)
EFNC 609 Innovation Finance (3)
RMRR 699 Financial Markets, Risk Management, and the Regulatory Environment (6)
EISM 622 Implementing Strategy Through Management Evaluation (3)
ERMS 690 Information Risk Management & Security (3)
RIBL 687 International Business: Understanding and Managing Legal Risks (3)
EFIC 698 International Finance, Investment and Capital Flow (3)
EGMK 655 Global Marketing Management (3)
EKLI 682 Knowledge, Learning, Innovation and Performance (3)
EMGT 692 Macroeconomics and Global Economic Trends (3)
EOCH 664 Making Sense of Organizational Change (3)
EMNO 693 Management for Non-profit Organizations (3)
EMDC 644 Managing Diversity for Organizational Sustainability (3)
RNCM 656 Negotiation and Conflict Management (3)
ENVD 612 New Venture Development (3)
EPMG 681 Project Management Governance (3)
ESMT 614 Services Management (3)
ESLS 669 Strategic Leadership (3)
RSCM 689 Supply Chain Management (3)
ESDB 619 Sustainable Development and Business (3)
ETIM 686 Technology & Innovation Management Strategy (3)
RVET 651 Visionary and Entrepreneurial Thinking (3)
Accelerated Admission Route
The MBA also has a 30-credit admission route, recognizing the academic preparation of students who enter the MBA with an undergraduate degree in business. Students in the Accelerated Admission Route will move directly into a modified Phase Two in which they take an orientation and two core courses (6 credits):
MBAO 599 MBA Orientation (0)
STMT 500 Strategic Management (3)
MEDM 604 Ethical Decision Making (3)
followed by either:
  • five electives (15 credits) and applied project (9 credits), or
  • eight electives (24 credits).

All students must take at least one of their electives in the in-residence format and may choose to take more. There are some six credit electives scheduled from time to time that are equivalent to two, three-credit electives.

Note: not all of these electives are always available for registration. Visit the Electives Schedule webpage to see what is currently available.

Hockey Management Specialization
Hockey Management students complete all of Phase One and Two required courses as noted above and the six Certified Hockey Professional Courses below in fulfillment of their elective requirements.
Certified Hockey Professional Courses
HCKY 641 The Business of Hockey (3)
HCKY 642 Marketing Hockey Strategically (3)
HCKY 643 Integrated Marketing Communications for Hockey (3)
HCKY 644 Game Day Management and Marketing (3)
HCKY 645 Hockey Operations (3)
HCKY 646 Applied Franchise Management (3)

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination must be written at the end of Phase One of the MBA program. The comprehensive examination is scheduled on at least two occasions per year as determined by the Admissions Committee.

The comprehensive examination is graded on a pass/fail basis, and a grade of 70 per cent is required to pass.

Students who fail a comprehensive examination may repeat the examination only once. A fee will be charged for repeating 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 the program with no opportunity for re-enrolment.

Applied Project

The applied project is normally associated with the end of Phase Two of the MBA program but students may receive permission to begin work on their applied projects at any time during Phase Two of their program.

The applied project is completed in two consecutive phases. In the first phase, students register in a course that guides them through the preparation of their applied project proposal. Once the proposal has been approved, each student is assigned to an academic advisor who supervises the project through to completion.

The applied project normally requires five months from the time the proposal has been approved and the academic advisor assigned. This time may be extended with the approval of the MBA Program Director or delegated academic manager, and the payment of the Program Continuation Fee.

The applied project is graded on a pass/fail basis, with a grade of 70 per cent being a pass.

Time Commitment

Most students spend about 20 to 25 hours per week on their studies while in the program.

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 graduate students may, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, be awarded advanced standing in specific core courses in light of the students’ combined prior education and experience. Such advanced standing only applies to core courses. Advanced standing will not be awarded for elective courses. 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 who are awarded advanced standing in a course:

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

Active Status and Continuation

To maintain active status, a student must successfully complete at least one course or comprehensive examination in his or her program of study within any given 12-month period. Students who do not maintain active status will be deemed to have withdrawn from the program. Those students will be required to pay the tuition portion for courses completed and in which they are currently registered.

A program continuation fee may be charged for those who have exceeded 12 months and apply to continue in the program.

Time to Complete

Average program completion time is 2.5 to three years, but students must complete their MBA program studies within five years of their initial enrolment in the program. Students admitted through the Accelerated Admission Route must complete their MBA program studies within four years of their initial enrolment in the program. In exceptional circumstances, extensions of up to one year will be considered by the MBA Program Director, and will require the payment of a continuation fee.

A student re-enrolling into the program following a Graduate Diploma in Management (GDM) completion, or program withdrawal, will be expected to complete his or her program studies within five years less the duration of time the student was in the GDM or MBA program previously. Exceptions may be made only by the MBA Program Director.

Program Deferrals

Students who have started the program can defer their studies should they find themselves experiencing changed circumstances in either their business or personal lives. A deferral must be requested at least 21 days prior to the start date of the student's next pre-registered or registered course.

Withdrawal from the Program

Students may withdraw from any phase of the program by completing the Program Withdrawal Form. Students who wish to withdraw from the MBA without record of registration, must do so within 30 calendar days of the commencement of the program. A withdrawal occurring in this time will not be recorded on the student’s transcript.

Students who withdraw from a program after the 30 calendar-day period from the start of program will have this withdrawal recorded on their transcript and pay the tuition portion for courses completed and in which they are currently registered.

Re-enrolment in the Program

Re-enrolment in the program can occur, but is subject to re-application, review, and approval by the MBA Program Director, and payment of all applicable fees. Students will be required to pay any fee increases that have occurred between the time of their last enrolment and re-enrolment. They will be required to contact the Student Services department of the Faculty of Business to confirm their program requirements. Credit for courses previously completed will be re-evaluated and applied to the program requirements where appropriate.

Non-Program Students

All non-program students must complete an online orientation prior to beginning their studies.

If a non-program student subsequently applies for MBA program admission, credit for Athabasca University MBA courses previously completed will be evaluated for credit towards the MBA program requirements, where appropriate.

Non-program students are governed by all other applicable graduate business program regulations and policies, and University appeal process.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded the Master of Business Administration, a graduate student must:

  • successfully complete the program course structure set out at the time of admission into the program,
  • successfully complete the comprehensive examination and all required elective credits in Phase Two: either three, three-credit elective courses and an applied project, or six, three-credit elective courses,
  • complete and submit an Application for Graduation form, and
  • meet all other regulations.

In addition, students must have paid any fees owed to the University and have returned all library resources.

All applications for graduation must be approved by the Board of Governors of Athabasca University.

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

Updated April 13 2021 by laurab

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