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Athabasca University

Faculty of Health Disciplines
Program Student Application

All applications for admission must be submitted electronically using the online systems described below. Applications will not be accepted by mail or fax. As payment is required at the time of application, please ensure you have met the Admission Requirements prior to applying to the program. Application fees are not refundable.

Application Deadlines

The Faculty of Health Disciplines typically recommends that students start the application process at least 12-16 weeks prior to the application deadline (noted in the chart below). Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. It may take 8-12 weeks after the deadline to receive an admission decision.

Program Spring Fall Winter
Graduate Diploma in Counselling February 1
Master of Counselling February 1
Master of Health Studies November 1 March 1 July 1
Master of Nursing: Generalist November 1 March 1 July 1
Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner December 1 April 1 August 1
Post-Masters Certificate in Counselling December 1 April 1 August 1
Post-Masters Diploma: Nurse Practitioner December 1 April 1 August 1

These deadlines are final, and no exceptions will be granted. There are no appeals to admissions decisions. Incomplete or late applications are not assessed nor retained for consideration for admission the following year.

Course Registration Deadlines

For course information and details about deadlines and registering, please see the Athabasca University course listings and follow online course registration procedures.

Step 1 Apply to be an AU Graduate Learner

The application process has two parts. You must first apply to become a Graduate Learner at Athabasca University, and then apply to your program.

Complete the Graduate Program Application through the AU Office of the Registrar Online Services to receive your student ID number, which is needed to apply for your specific program.

Current/Returning Students:

    1. Click here and login with your existing AU student ID number. Once logged in, click on "Change of Program".
    2. Click on the "Graduate Application" and complete the required steps.
    3. Be sure to select the appropriate Graduate Program.

New to AU:

    1. Click here, and click on "Apply Now" under the Graduate Application heading in the middle of the screen.
    2. You will be assigned an AU student ID number, which will be used to access all AU services and resources.
    3. Be sure to select the appropriate Graduate Program.

Step 2: Pay the Application Fee

As part of the AU Graduate Program Application process, pay your non-refundable application fee.

Step 3: Apply to your Program

Once you have received your student ID number and paid your fee, log into your myAU account to begin the program application process. You will complete your program application using the Faculty of Health Disciplines' Graduate Student Admission System (GSAS).

In your GSAS application, please select the same program as you did in Step 1.

As part of the application process, you will provide information related to:

  • Academic background
  • Work and volunteer experience
  • Professional development activities
  • Rationale for applying to the program and other pertinent information

You can log into your GSAS application and change your information at any time during the application process. However, once you finalize and submit your GSAS application for review, it can no longer be modified. You will be able to track completion of various components of the online application through the GSAS Application Checklist after submission (receipt of reference forms and hardcopy documents). You do not need to wait for your Hardcopy Materials Package to be confirmed as received before submitting your online application for review, however, the Hardcopy Materials Package must be received no later than your chosen application deadline.

To check your application status, return to the GSAS application, not myAU.

Letter of Reference

Letters of reference must be submitted within the online application process; paper copies will not be accepted. Each applicant is required to provide three official letters of reference, including providing the email address of each referee. At least one of the letters of reference should come from someone familiar with your academic skills. If an academic reference is not provided, you will be asked to explain within the application why you were unable to meet this requirement.

All referees must be able to provide an objective assessment of your background and capabilities with respect to the prospective graduate program. Letters from friends, family members, clients, colleagues, or people currently registered in an AU graduate program, or general reference letters (letters that are not written in support of your application to the particular graduate program) are not acceptable. For professional or employment references, please select individuals who are familiar with your work, preferably if they have supervised you in some way.

You must submit current letters of reference with your application, even if you have previously applied to an AU graduate program.

Note: The application system does not allow changes in the References section after the application deadline (e.g. to modify a referee email address, changes a referee, etc.).

Step 4: Submit Required Hardcopy Materials

Please print the Hardcopy Application Material Checklist and include this form with your completed hardcopy application package.

Assemble and then mail or courier all required hardcopy information. Email attachments, photocopies, unsealed/opened transcripts and faxed documents are considered unofficial and will not be accepted. Send your hardcopy information when you have compiled all the required materials, and in sufficient time to be received by the Faculty of Health Disciplines and date stamped by the application deadline.

When assembled, send your hardcopy materials to:

Graduate Programs
Faculty of Health Disciplines
Athabasca University
1 University Drive
Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3

Required Hardcopy Materials

Official Transcripts

Submit official transcripts from ALL institutions (including Athabasca University, if applicable) regardless of the number of courses taken or the amount of time spent there. Please note the following:

  • To be considered official, transcripts in your package must be received in envelopes that have been sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution.
  • Do not include transcripts from high school.
  • Transcripts must state the degree awarded and must be dated within one year of the application deadline.
  • Official transcripts must be issued directly to you and mailed/couriered as part of your hardcopy documents package to the address listed above. AU is not responsible for the delay/loss of transcripts sent directly to the University.

Additional Materials for all Programs

  • Applicants with international credit (completed outside Canada and the US) must request a course-by-course educational assessment from a member of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (members include: World Education Services (WES) or International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)). The assessment must be dated within five years of the application deadline. If your assessment was issued more than five years prior to the deadline, it must be reassessed or reissued by the credentialing agency prior to your package submission.
  • Official translated transcripts must be submitted for applicants with transcripts issued in a language other than English (e.g., Canadian French language post-secondary institutions).
  • Applicants without Canadian citizenship must provide a photocopy of permanent resident documentation.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency. See the English Language Proficiency Requirements.
  • Applicants requesting transfer credit for courses taken outside Athabasca University must review the Transfer Credit page and follow the steps provided.
  • Note: All transcripts, references, test scores, and other documents become the property of Athabasca University and will not be returned to the applicants or forwarded to another program or institute.

Additional Materials for Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner and Post-Masters Diploma: Nurse Practitioner ONLY

You must provide the following documents in your Hardcopy Application Package:

  • Photocopy of current Nursing Registration,
  • Copy of current Basic Life Support (BLS) Certificate,
  • Photocopy of Nursing Practitioner (NP) license (if applicable), and
  • Letter of Verification (from employer or College of Registered Nurses) confirming 5,000 hours of recent clinical practice as a Registered Nurse.

Step 5: Track your Application Status

Track receipt of your hardcopy documents and your application status by logging into your GSAS application.

Nursing/Health Studies applicants

Counselling applicants

It is your responsibility to ensure that all components of your application package have been received by the FHD program office and date-stamped no later than the application deadline.

Allow sufficient time prior to the deadline for the assembled package containing transcripts, etc. to be received by the FHD Program Office. The Faculty recommends you allow at least eight (8) weeks for this. Please ensure that your former institution does not send your transcripts directly to Athabasca University's Registrar's Office. You must assemble and mail/courier the Hardcopy Materials Package directly to the FHD Graduate Program Office (address above).

Once your file has been reviewed the status of your application will be updated online. It is your responsibility to continue to check you GSAS application for updated information. Due to the large volume of applications, the FHD administrative staff are unable to provide information on the status of your application by phone or email.

Application deadlines are final and no exceptions will be granted. There are no appeals to admission decisions. Incomplete or late application packages will not be assessed nor retained for consideration for admission the following year.

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

Updated June 30 2020 by laurab

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