5. Undergraduate Admission and Transfer Credit Procedures
Protection of Privacy
Athabasca University became subject to Alberta's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act on September 1, 1999. The purpose of the Act is to make all public bodies, including universities, more open, more accessible and accountable to the public and at the same time protect the privacy of individuals.
Athabasca University collects and maintains information for the purposes of admissions, registrations, and other activities directly related to you being a member of the Athabasca University community and its education programs, and attending a public post-secondary institution of the province of Alberta.
Applicants are advised that the information they provide, and any other information placed into the student record, will be protected and used in compliance with Alberta's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
5.1. General Admission Requirements
Athabasca University's general admission policy has only one formal entrance requirement: you must be 18 years of age or older. Persons under 18 years of age may be admitted and enrolled in a program of study provided they have obtained a high school matriculation diploma. Those under 18 years of age who do not have a high school matriculation diploma may be admitted to the University by petitioning the Registrar for special consideration, provided the application for admission is accompanied by a letter of support from the person's high school principal or designate.
Past academic performance at other educational institutions does not hinder your admission to Athabasca University. Nonetheless, enrolment in some programs of study or registration in some courses may require you to have a specific level of prior academic achievement.
Year-round admission and enrolment to undergraduate programs means there are no application deadlines. However, you are advised to consider postal and processing times when a particular starting time is desired.
See Section 6.2 - Course Start Dates for more information on registration deadlines.
Admissions and Evaluation Services admits you to Athabasca University and enrols you in an undergraduate program of study. Among other duties, the department
- interprets and applies the regulations and requirements for degrees, university certificates, and university diplomas;
- evaluates transfer credit toward undergraduate programs of study;
- authorizes courses, through Letters of Permission, to be taken at other post-secondary institutions; and
- provides information about your graduation, your eligibility to convocate, and informs you of your responsibilities as convocation day approaches.
5.2. International Students
An international student (previously referred to as a foreign national) is defined as a person who does not hold Canadian citizenship or who is not a permanent resident in Canada. Students who are living temporarily in Canada on a Student Authorization (visa) and non-Canadians living outside Canada are also referred to as "international students." In cases of a dispute over a person's status within Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada regulations will be applied. Visa information is available from Citizenship and Immigration Canada at (888) 242-2100.
An international student may be admitted to Athabasca University and registered
in individual courses. An international student may also enrol in a program of
study leading to a credential offered by Athabasca University provided he or she
satisfies the entrance requirements for that program and has the approval of the
International students living in Canada must possess and present a valid Student
Authorization (visa), which gives them permission to study in Canada, before
they may apply for admission or register in a course at Athabasca University.
An international student shall comply with the regulations governing the normal
course contract period and shall not be entitled to additional time to
compensate for postal or other delays. Extensions beyond the normal course
contract period are available for all students providing the application form
and fees are received by the Office of the Registrar before the contract date
ends (see Section 6.7 - Course Extensions).
All students who live outside North America and who register in an Athabasca
University home-study course are assigned a course start date that is two months later
than the regularly assigned home-study course start dates. This allows ample
time for the shipping of course materials.
All course packages sent to students living outside North America are shipped
via airmail at the student's expense unless he or she specifies otherwise.
(Athabasca University covers the cost of shipping course packages at the parcel
post rate to students living within North America.) These students may make
alternate shipping arrangements and authorize billing to their VISA®,
MasterCard®, or AMERICAN® credit card account when the materials are
ready to be shipped. Reasonable attempts are made to provide Library services to
students living outside Canada.
Athabasca University's toll-free telephone system is available only to those
students living in Canada and the United States. Students living outside these
areas are responsible for assuming the costs for all telephone contact with the
University and the course tutor. Students registering in courses that have oral
quizzes must contact the tutor at the student's expense unless the student
arranges an alternative evaluation process with the course professor before
registering. For information on fees refer to Section 8.
An international student is defined as a person who does not hold Canadian citizenship or who is not a permanent resident in Canada. Canadian citizens living temporarily outside Canada are provided the same services as an international student that fall under Section 5.2 - International Students. In cases of a dispute over a person's status within Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada regulations will be applied.
5.3. Undergraduate Application Procedures
If you are a new student you must complete a
General Application Form (GAF) (submitted with a one-time non-refundable application fee). If you would also like to register in a course see Section 6 - Undergraduate Course Registration, Progress Information and use the online course registration form or a form available from the Office of the Registrar, the learning centres, and some cooperating institutions and agencies.
Those students enrolled in a program (certificate, diploma or degree program) who have attended other recognized post-secondary educational institutions, refer to 5.5.1 Transfer Credit Procedure.
If you are an active or returning student (see Section 5.4.4 - Active and Returning Students) wishing to change your program of study, you are required to submit a new GAF to request the change and to update the demographic information the University has on file. The application fee is not required a second time, however, the change of credential fee is required. The change of credential fee will not apply to those students in the "unclassified" status changing to a "program" status (see Section 5.4.2 - Classification of Students).
5.4. Enrolment Information
All students admitted to Athabasca University are required to choose an admission classification or program of study (see Section 4 - Undergraduate Programs of Study).
Athabasca University has three main classifications of students: Unclassified, Program, and Graduate.
Unclassified Students include non-program students, visiting students, and transfer students (students taking courses for admission purposes to another institution).
Unclassified students register in one or more Athabasca University course(s) for credit, but are not enrolled in a program at Athabasca University.
Program students are those enrolled in any of the undergraduate programs including degrees, diplomas, and certificates offered by Athabasca University.
Students may not enrol in a degree, university diploma, or university certificate program at Athabasca University while enrolled in a program at another post-secondary institution. Students may enrol in only one program at a time.
Graduate students are enrolled in any one of the graduate programs offered by Athabasca University.
Athabasca University does not evaluate previous post-secondary education and does not award transfer credit for students enrolled in the unclassified category.
Should you change from the unclassified category to an Athabasca University degree, university certificate, or university diploma program you may transfer credits earned while in the unclassified category provided the course(s) meet the requirements of the program (including any restrictions on the age of a course if applicable).
Generally, Athabasca University courses are transferable to other Canadian degree-granting institutions. The faculties of the receiving institutions assign course credit and determine the extent to which Athabasca University courses can be applied to particular programs of study. If you wish to transfer courses to other post-secondary institutions you should consult faculty advisors at the receiving institution before registering in the Athabasca University course(s).
If you are in a program at another post-secondary institution and wish to take an Athabasca University course(s), you should obtain a Letter of Permission from your home institution before taking the Athabasca University course(s). The Letter of Permission guarantees you the home institution will accept the Athabasca University course(s).
Transfer arrangements from public colleges in Alberta to Alberta degree-granting institutions are outlined in the Alberta Transfer Guide, which can be viewed at the Office of the Registrar, or at the learning centres, at most colleges and universities in Alberta, and online (see following).
In addition to outlining specific, unidirectional transfer credit agreements between Alberta non-degree granting post-secondary institutions and Athabasca University, the Alberta Transfer Guide also outlines transfer credit agreements between the universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Lethbridge and Athabasca University.
Additional courses are being added on a regular basis. If the course you are interested in taking is not listed, contact the Office of the Registrar at the institution where you wish to take the course.
An active student is a student who is currently registered in an Athabasca University course or who has completed an Athabasca University course within the last twelve (12) months. The twelve-month period is based on the most recent course contract date, course completion date, or the date of withdrawal from an Athabasca University course. Students who complete courses on a Letter of Permission from Athabasca University also retain their active status.
An inactive student is a student who has not registered in an Athabasca University course within twelve (12) months of the completion date, the contract date, or the date of withdrawal from his or her last course. Students who complete courses at other institutions without first obtaining a Letter of Permission from Athabasca University may become inactive and forfeit their enrolment status.
- Changes in programs
Active students wanting to change their undergraduate program of enrolment, for example, from a university certificate, university diploma, or university degree program to another university certificate, university diploma, or university degree program, must complete a new General Application Form and submit the required Change of Credential Fee.
Active students wanting to change from the unclassified status to an undergraduate program of enrolment, will not have to pay the Change of Credential Fee. However, there may be an evaluation fee involved if the student has previous post-secondary education that he or she wants assessed for possible transfer credit. Refer to Section 5.5.1. - Transfer Credit Procedure.
Regulations that the student must fulfil are those in effect at the time of the change of credential (the new program of study). Course work completed previously, including transfer credit, will be reassessed and applied to the student's program in accordance with the applicable regulations.
Active students may return to a previous program of study or version of a program only if the previous program or version is still currently offered. Therefore, if students are currently enrolled in a program of study that is no longer offered or has changed substantially, they should carefully consider their options before requesting enrolment in a new program. Advisors will assist students in determining the results of a request for a change in enrolment.
If you have not registered in a course within twelve months (12) of the completion date, the contract date, or date of withdrawal of your last course, you are considered to be an inactive student, are withdrawn from your program of study, and you must re-enrol before you may continue taking courses. To re-enrol, complete a General Application Form and enclose the Change of Credential Fee.
When re-enrolling in a program, you must fulfil the regulations in effect at the time of re-enrolment.
Upon re-enrolment, course work previously completed, including transfer credit, is reassessed and applied to your program using the regulations and transfer credit policies in effect at the time of re-enrolment.
Residency is defined as the minimum number of Athabasca University credits that must be completed to fulfil a program's requirements. In some cases, residency requires that specific courses be completed with Athabasca University.
Requirements: See attached table
While past academic performance at other post-secondary institutions does not prevent your admission to Athabasca University, it is considered when enrolling in some programs (e.g., Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Commerce). Review the individual program requirements in Section 4 - Undergraduate Programs.
Students who have been suspended or dismissed from another post-secondary institution for reasons of academic misconduct may be refused admission and/or enrolment until the period of suspension or dismissal has elapsed. A decision by Athabasca University not to admit or enrol a student, based on reasons of academic misconduct, may be appealed in writing by following the process outlined in Section 12 - Student Code of Conduct and Right to Appeal.
5.5. Transfer Credit to Athabasca University
Alberta Learning has mandated Athabasca University to act as a credit coordinating body. In general, credit courses completed at other accredited degree-granting institutions will be considered for transfer credit to an Athabasca University program on a course-by-course basis.
University transfer courses taken at a college will generally be considered for transfer credit as though they were university courses. All credit transferred to a program must be university or university transfer credits. Official transcripts must be provided directly from the issuing institution to Athabasca University (see 5.5.1). Detailed course descriptions may also be required. Transfer credit is not awarded to students enrolled in the unclassified category.
A maximum of 6 credits at the preparatory (100) level may be considered for transfer toward a first degree in the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of General Studies.
Transfer credit is not granted for individual field placement, professional seminars, work experience, life experience, or elementary skills at this time. The Centre for Learning Accreditation will assist students in determining which learning experiences may be evaluated for credit towards a program through the prior learning assessment process.
Courses completed with the minimum passing grade (as defined by the institution where the course was taken) will be considered for transfer credit.
To transfer credit from other institutions, you must follow one of the following two procedures before an official assessment of your education can be completed.
- Complete and submit the General Application Form and the non-refundable application fee to the Office of the Registrar (indicating the program you have selected: Athabasca University undergraduate degree, university diploma, or university certificate program).
- Enclose the non-refundable Evaluation Fee (see 8.3.10 Other Academic-Related Fees).
Those students who have attended other recognized post-secondary education institutions within Canada and the United States, and who wish to have their evaluation processed within six weeks receipt of all required documentation, must submit this one-time non-refundable fee to have external courses evaluated for possible transfer credit.
|If you successfully complete 6 Athabasca University credits (equivalent of two courses), you will be eligible for a reduction in fees toward your third Athabasca University course registration.|
Those students applying to an Athabasca University program who require an evaluation of their international post-secondary course work (outside of Canada and the United States) will be forwarded an information and application package from the Office of the Registrar. Students are to return the application to:
Since September 1, 1998, all students presenting international credentials for possible transfer credit to Athabasca University programs must make application to IQAS for a "Description of Post-Secondary Course Work."
Those students who elect not to go through the IQAS process forfeit the possibility of any transfer credit for their international course work towards an Athabasca University program.
Students who enrol in a credential program must arrange to have official transcripts of previous post-secondary education sent to Admission and Evaluation Services from each institution attended. Official transcripts are defined as those transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution to Athabasca University.
|Documentation that is submitted via fax transmission is not considered official and cannot be used for evaluation purposes or for the awarding of transfer credit.|
|Documents received in support of an application for admission become the property of the University. If you wish to have irreplaceable documents returned, this will be done on request by registered mail to the most recent address on file. The University does not assume responsibility for lost documents.|
Assessment of previous post-secondary education for possible transfer credit cannot begin until all transcripts, supporting documents, and fees have been received. Once all documents and fees are received, it normally takes up to six weeks to complete the assessment. In some instances, additional information may be required to complete the assessment (e.g., detailed course outlines. See 5.5.5 Course and Program Descriptions).
When the assessment is completed, an assessment letter is sent to you showing what transfer credit has been awarded and how it has been applied to your program of study.
Usually courses are considered for transfer credit regardless of when they were completed. However, Athabasca University will not award transfer credit for nursing courses, some administrative studies courses (e.g., law, senior-level accounting, management science, marketing, or finance courses), information systems courses, or science courses taken more than ten years ago.
Athabasca University will not grant credit for computer science courses taken
more than five years ago in the Bachelor of Arts concentration and major in
Information Systems, Bachelor of Science in Computing Information Systems, the
Bachelor of Science in Computing Information Systems (Post Diploma), and the
University Certificate in Computing Information Systems or for nursing courses
(beyond the R.N. diploma) taken more than ten years ago (in the B.N. [Post R.N.]).
If you are transferring credit completed within a Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) accredited diploma you may not be eligible for a block transfer of credit if the diploma is more than five years old. If your diploma is more than five years old and you are currently active in your field of study, arrange to provide evidence of this activity to Admission and Evaluation Services (e.g., a letter from your employer, a copy of professional membership etc.).
If you completed a science-related diploma program from a college or technical institute and you enrol in the Bachelor of Science program, you may not be eligible for block credit if the diploma was completed more than five years ago. If your diploma is more than five years old and you are currently active in your field of study, arrange to provide evidence of this activity to Admission and Evaluation Services (e.g., a letter from your employer, a copy of professional membership etc.).
A student advisor or Admission and Evaluation Services can assist you in determining whether courses you completed through Athabasca University are still acceptable in a new program of your choice (see Services).
In addition to official transcripts, you may be required to have the sending institution provide supporting documentation; e.g., course and program descriptions. Failure to provide this information when requested will impede the assessment process.
Completion of an assessment of previous education need not delay your course registration, however, the University cannot officially approve any courses as being applicable to your program until the assessment is complete. If such registrations duplicate course work already completed, credit will be granted only once. If you register in a course and are subsequently given transfer credit for a similar previous course, you will be required to pay the withdrawal processing fee for the Athabasca University course registration should you decide to withdraw from the course. Course selection assistance may be obtained from a student advisor (see Services).
An assessment letter (after the evaluation is completed) outlining the transfer
credit awarded, is sent to you by Admission and Evaluation Services. Upon
receipt of the assessment letter, examine it closely, the transfer credit
awarded, and how it has been applied to your program of study. If you have any
questions about transfer credit, contact the supervisor of Admission and
Evaluation Services as soon as possible. See Section 12 - Student Code of Conduct and Right to Appeal for information on the timelines and process of appealing transfer credit decisions.
A Letter of Permission ensures that courses successfully completed at another institution can be transferred to your program at Athabasca University.
Students who complete courses without having first obtained a Letter of Permission will not automatically receive credit for the course.
Before taking courses from other post-secondary institutions for credit towards an Athabasca University program, you must:
- be enrolled in an Athabasca University program,
- successfully complete 3 credits with Athabasca University, or
- have completed a minimum of 30 credits through transfer credit and/or Athabasca University course work,
and you must
- request from Admission and Evaluation Services a Letter of Permission before registering in the course. The Letter of Permission fee must accompany each request.
To allow time to process, approve, and mail the Letter of Permission to the appropriate institution, all requests must be submitted no later than one month before registration deadlines at the receiving institution. Without this lead time a Letter of Permission may not be processed in time for registration.
You may request a Letter of Permission for a maximum of eight 3-credit courses (or equivalent) per session. The Letter of Permission is valid for one year from the session start date.
You may appeal any decision with respect to the awarding of transfer credit for previous education. Appeals to change the designation of certain credits, to obtain more credit, or to reduce the credit granted are allowed (see Section 12 - Student Code of Conduct and Right to Appeal).
5.6. Graduation and Convocation Advice
It is your responsibility to apply to graduate if you expect to complete your program and convocate with your degree. Application for Graduation forms are available from the Office of the Registrar or the learning centres. You must be active in your program of study at the time you apply to graduate. (Inactive students must re-enrol in a program before making an application to graduate. See 5.4.4)
|Application for Graduation forms are available from the Office of the Registrar, the learning centres, or the
Web. You may print and fax the form to the Office of the Registrar at fax (780) 675-6174 or mail it.|
Athabasca University holds convocation ceremonies once a year, the second weekend in June. The University also established a graduation in absentia on the first Saturday in December.
Students who meet their degree requirements and apply to convocate for the June convocation ceremonies, will have their degree conferred at the ceremony. Students who meet their degree requirements and apply to graduate in absentia for the December convocation, will receive their parchments via mail. These graduates will also receive an invitation to participate in the convocation ceremonies the following June. In this way, December graduates have the opportunity to meet their fellow graduates and celebrate their achievement together.
|The Application for Graduation Form must be received by the Office of the Registrar no later than mid-April for the June convocation ceremonies, and no later than November 1 for a December in absentia convocation.|
If an Application for Graduation Form is not received by these deadline dates, you will not be eligible to graduate at the forthcoming convocation. You will have to submit the form and wait until the next convocation before receiving your degree. Graduation applications will not be carried forward into the next academic year. Therefore, if you do not convocate in June, you must re-apply next year.
Students anticipating the award of their degree in June must start their final credential requirements (including credit courses, courses on Letters of Permission, challenge examinations, and/or non-credit requirements, e.g., the Alberta Universities Writing Competence Test) no later than March 1. All final grades must be received by the Office of the Registrar on or before the end of the first week in May. Students completing their final requirements through Athabasca University should write final examinations and submit all assignments no later than the second week in April to allow time for mailing and marking.
Those students anticipating the award of their degrees in December should begin their final credential requirements (as noted above) no later than September 1. All final grades must be received by the Office of the Registrar by the second week in November. Students completing their final requirements through Athabasca University should write their final examinations and submit all assignments no later than the second week in October to allow time for mailing and marking.
|When anticipating the award of a degree either in June or December, students must make arrangements with other post-secondary institutions to ensure that final grades (i.e., official transcripts) are sent to the Office of the Registrar (if completing courses on a Letter of Permission).|
Although Athabasca University confers degrees twice a year, you may complete your program requirements and submit an Application for Graduation Form at any time during the year. Once you have fulfilled all of your program requirements, an official notation can be added to any transcript issued (before convocation) indicating that all program requirements have been met and you are eligible to receive the degree. Therefore, if you need proof of your eligibility for graduation, request an official transcript and indicate on your request that the "eligible to graduate" statement be included on your transcript. Individual letters certifying that a student is eligible to graduate are not available.
Students eligible to receive a university certificate or university diploma from Athabasca University will be awarded their credential as soon as possible after they complete all requirements and submit an Application for Graduation Form.
An Application for Graduation Form may be submitted at any time to the Office of the Registrar. Upon receipt of the Application for Graduation Form, the Office of the Registrar automatically follows your progress until the required final grades are received. Upon receipt of the final grade, the Office of the Registrar will confirm in writing that you are entitled to receive the certificate or diploma. Graduands will be approved by Athabasca University Academic Council at its next regular meeting. You may expect to receive your parchment by mail within two months of completing your program requirements.
Your name, as recorded in the official student record, is used on the parchment. Graduates of certificate or diploma programs are listed in the convocation program the following June, but do not participate in the June ceremonies.
5.7. Parchment Replacement Policy
Athabasca University may, upon completion of the appropriate form and payment of the required fee, reissue parchments
- that are lost or stolen,
- that have been damaged,
- that reflect a change of name,
- and/or parchments for professional display purposes.
- Students wishing to replace a parchment that has been lost, stolen, or damaged, or who wish a second parchment for display purposes, shall be required to sign and date the following declaration:
|"I hereby declare that in requesting this duplicate and/or reissued parchment that neither the original nor duplicate/reissued parchment shall be used for fraudulent purposes, for forgery purposes, or to misrepresent the qualifications, training, and education of either myself or another person. I understand that if I violate this declaration, I shall be subject to disciplinary measures under the Academic Conduct Policy and that this matter will be referred to the proper legal authorities for possible criminal prosecution. I make this declaration freely and solemnly as if it were made under oath."|
Any breach of the above declaration shall be treated as academic misconduct and shall be referred to the proper legal authorities for possible criminal prosecution.
- When a parchment is reissued as a result of a change of name, the name on the parchment must correspond with the legal, current name of the student as recorded in the official academic record. Therefore, students must request in writing that their name, as recorded in the academic record, be changed.
- Students may have in their possession any number of parchments and shall not be required to surrender the original parchment nor be required to submit a statutory declaration stating the current status of the original parchment.
Parchments shall be reissued in the format and style of those parchments being used at the time of replacement not necessarily in the format and style of the original parchment.
- The reissued parchment shall not necessarily bear the signatures of the University officers. In some instances the names of the original signing officers shall be typeset in the appropriate spaces with the exception of the Registrar. The Registrar shall sign all parchments that are reissued.
- The reissued parchment shall bear the following wording in small print: "(date of reissue): Issued as replacement (or duplicate) of original parchment."
- The appropriate fee (see Section 8.3.10 - Other Academic-Related Fees must be paid when the parchment is requested.
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