Athabasca University Graduate Programs in Canada: Comprehensive Guide to Application, Costs, Scholarships, and Acceptance Rate


Founded in 1970, Athabasca University has emerged as a pioneering institution in the field of distance education in Canada. With a robust focus on flexibility and accessibility, Athabasca University has revolutionized the landscape of higher education, making it feasible for learners across the globe to access quality graduate programs. As of 2024, the university continues to uphold its commitment to educational excellence and innovation, catering to over 40,000 students annually.

Athabasca University’s model of online learning is designed to support the needs of a diverse student body, including working professionals, international students, and those seeking career advancement or personal growth. The university’s approach aligns with modern educational needs, providing a range of graduate programs that are both comprehensive and flexible.

Graduate Programs Offered

Athabasca University’s graduate program portfolio is diverse, encompassing fields such as Business Administration, Education, Health, Arts, Science, and Information Systems. As of 2024, some of the most sought-after programs include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Education (MEd), and Master of Science in Information Systems (MSc IS).

MBA Program

The MBA program, known for its rigorous curriculum and practical orientation, is tailored for aspiring business leaders and executives. This program incorporates the latest trends and practices in the global business environment, ensuring that graduates are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape.

MEd Program

The Master of Education program is ideal for educators and professionals seeking to enhance their pedagogical skills and knowledge. The program covers various aspects of education, including leadership, curriculum development, and inclusive education, preparing graduates for advanced roles in the education sector.

MSc in Information Systems

The MSc in Information Systems is designed for individuals looking to delve deeper into the realm of information technology and its application in various business contexts. This program emphasizes the strategic role of information systems in achieving business objectives and improving organizational performance.

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How to Apply to Graduate Programs

The application process for Athabasca University’s graduate programs is meticulously designed to assess the suitability and preparedness of candidates. Prospective students are required to follow a detailed application procedure to ensure a successful submission.

Application Process Overview

The application process typically involves submitting an online application form, along with various supporting documents. The process is streamlined to ensure clarity and efficiency for applicants.

Required Documents

Key documents required for the application include academic transcripts, a detailed resume, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Certain programs might necessitate the submission of extra materials, like a portfolio or a research proposal, in addition to the standard documents.

Application Deadlines

For the 2024 academic year, application deadlines vary by program. Typically, deadlines for fall intake are set in the spring (e.g., March or April), while for winter intake, they are in the late summer or early fall (e.g., August or September). Applicants must check specific deadlines for their chosen program on the university’s website.

Application Fee

As of 2024, the application fee for graduate programs at Athabasca University is CAD 150. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid at the time of application submission.

Cost and Fees

Understanding the financial commitment involved in pursuing a graduate program is crucial for prospective students. Athabasca University strives to maintain transparency regarding tuition fees and additional costs.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees at Athabasca University are structured based on the specific program and the number of courses undertaken. For instance, as of 2024, the total tuition fee for the MBA program is approximately CAD 35,000, while the MEd program costs around CAD 20,000.

Additional Costs

Additional costs may include textbooks, course materials, technology fees, and possible residency requirements for certain programs. These costs vary but can amount to an estimated additional CAD 2,000 to CAD 5,000 throughout the program.

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Scholarships and Financial Aid

Athabasca University offers a range of scholarships and financial aid options to support students financially. These include merit-based scholarships, bursaries, and grants.

Types of Scholarships Available

Scholarships at Athabasca University cater to various student needs and achievements. These include academic excellence scholarships, need-based bursaries, and specific grants for research or travel.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Eligibility for scholarships varies, with some focusing on academic performance, while others consider financial need or specific criteria such as community involvement or leadership skills. The application process for scholarships typically involves submitting an additional application and meeting specific academic or financial criteria.

Scholarship Deadlines

Scholarship deadlines are usually distinct from program application deadlines. For the 2024 academic year, most scholarship applications are due several months before the program start date. Students need to check the exact deadlines on the university’s scholarship webpage.

Acceptance Rate and Admission Criteria

Athabasca University is known for its inclusive admission policy, yet maintains a competitive acceptance rate, ensuring that admitted students meet the necessary academic and professional standards.

Acceptance Rate

As of 2024, the acceptance rate for Athabasca University’s graduate programs varies by program but generally falls within the range of 60% to 70%. This rate reflects the university’s commitment to accessibility while upholding academic excellence.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for graduate programs at Athabasca include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum GPA (usually around 3.0 on a 4.0 scale), and specific prerequisites for certain programs. For instance, the MBA program requires at least three years of managerial experience.


Athabasca University stands at the forefront of distance education in Canada, offering a wide array of graduate programs that cater to a diverse and global student body. With a focus on flexibility, quality, and accessibility, Athabasca University provides an enriching and comprehensive educational experience. The university’s commitment to student support, innovative learning methods, and a broad network of alumni and industry connections make it an ideal choice for those seeking advanced education in today’s dynamic world.

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  1. What are the latest tuition fees for Athabasca University’s MBA program?As of 2024, the total tuition fee for the MBA program at Athabasca University is approximately CAD 35,000.
  2. What is the acceptance rate for graduate programs at Athabasca University?The acceptance rate varies by program but generally ranges between 60% to 70%.
  3. What scholarships are available for graduate students at Athabasca University?Athabasca University offers a range of scholarships, including academic excellence scholarships, need-based bursaries, and specific grants for research or travel.
  4. What is the application fee for graduate programs at Athabasca University?The application fee for graduate programs is CAD 150 as of 2024.
  5. What are the admission requirements for the MBA program at Athabasca University?The admission requirements for the MBA program include a bachelor’s degree, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and at least three years of managerial experience.

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