Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada stands as a beacon of excellence in distance education, offering a diverse range of programs and flexible learning options for students seeking transformative higher education at universities in Canada. However, the admission process can seem daunting if you're unfamiliar with the requirements and procedures. Use this blog to assist and guide you on applying to Athabasca University, from the selection factors that may influence admission decisions, program prerequisites, how to write a killer statement of purpose that will make a powerful impression or a glimpse into possible interview questions, helping you exude confidence and preparedness. In this article, you will learn the important steps on how to get into Athabasca University, thereby ensuring you are well-prepared for everything you need. 

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Article Contents
6 min read

Mission Statement Admissions Statistics Selection Factors and Eligibility Available Programs at Athabasca University Admission Timeline Tuition and Financial Aid Contact Information FAQs

How to Get into Athabasca University

Embarking on a journey of higher education is an exciting chapter in one's life, and finding the right university to achieve your academic goals is paramount. For those seeking a distance education or online learning experience, Athabasca University stands as a beacon of excellence and opportunity.

With a pioneering approach to learning and a commitment to accessibility, Athabasca University has earned its reputation as a leading institution in the realm of online education. It is located in the picturesque province of Alberta, Canada. Whether you aspire to undertake undergraduate or graduate studies, this esteemed institution offers a wide range of programs and flexible learning options that can help you achieve your academic goals. 

Mission Statement

“To remove barriers that restrict access to success in university-level study and to increase the equality of educational opportunities for adult learners worldwide” 

Admissions Statistics

Admission statistics play a crucial role in helping prospective students make informed decisions about their educational journey. By examining these statistics, students can gain insights into the competitiveness of the admission process, the profile of admitted students, and understand their chances of acceptance. Analyzing admission statistics allows individuals to assess their qualifications and make necessary adjustments to increase their chances of securing admission.

  • Acceptance rate Overall: 75%
  • Acceptance rate for Bachelors of Arts in General Studies: 90%
  • Acceptance rate for the Bachelor of Nursing: 50%
  • Average number of students: 43,300 (38,600 undergraduates and 4,670 graduate)
  • Minimum IELTS Score: 6.0
  • Minimum TOEFL Score computer-based: 213
  • Minimum TOEFL Score internet-based: 80  

This variability in acceptance rates highlights the diversity and specialization of programs offered at Athabasca University. The institution's commitment to providing high-quality education is reflected in its rigorous selection process for certain programs, ensuring that admitted students possess the necessary skills and qualifications to succeed in their chosen fields.

Selection Factors and Eligibility

It is important for applicants to thoroughly review the specific admission requirements for your desired program, since prerequisites, supporting documents, and deadlines may vary. Furthermore, prospective students should research their desired program's admission requirements on the Athabasca University website, ensure they excel in their academics, create a compelling personal statement or college essay showcasing their passion and uniqueness, seek advice from advisors or current students, and submit their application early to demonstrate enthusiasm and avoid complications. These steps will enhance your chances of embarking on a transformative educational journey at Athabasca University.

Athabasca University’s Admission Process: General Requirements

The prerequisites for admission to Athabasca University vary depending on the program you are applying to. Before diving into program-specific requirements, let's explore the foundational prerequisites that apply to all aspiring students:


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Athabasca University’s Admission Process: Requirements for International Students

At Athabasca University, international students are warmly welcomed with open arms. Just like their Canadian counterparts, international students must meet the same general admission requirements. However, in some cases, they might need to provide additional documentation to showcase their enthusiasm and commitment.

If you want to study in Canada as an international student, you may be asked to submit a letter of motivation, a college letter of intent or a statement of purpose. These documents allow applicants to express their passion for their chosen program and highlight their academic and professional aspirations. It's a chance for students to stand out from the crowd and show why they are a perfect fit for the university.

Athabasca University's commitment to inclusivity and diversity means that it cherishes the opportunity to welcome students from all corners of the globe. Whether you're from a bustling city or a quaint town, the university provides a nurturing environment where students can thrive academically and culturally.

If you're an international student considering Athabasca University for your higher education journey, rest assured that the institution is dedicated to making your transition smooth and rewarding. The admissions team is always ready to assist and guide you through the process, ensuring you have all the necessary information and support. You should also check out scholarships for international students in Canada, which can help pay for your education abroad.

Here's a quick guide on how to apply to universities in Canada as an international student!

Available Programs at Athabasca University

Athabasca University boasts an impressive array of over 800 undergraduate and graduate programs, catering to a diverse range of academic interests and career aspirations. Whether you're seeking certificates, diplomas, or degrees, the university offers a wealth of options across various disciplines, encompassing business, education, health sciences, humanities, social sciences, and technology.

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Bachelor of General Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts: Anthropology, English, French, History, Humanities, Labor studies.
  • Bachelor of Commerce: Accounting, Finance, Marketing
  • Bachelor of Professional Arts: Criminal Justice, Communication studies, Human services
  • Bachelor of Science: Applied Mathematics, Architecture, Computing, and Information Systems
  • Post-LPN & Post-RN Bachelor of Nursing
  • University Certificate: Accounting, Finance, Counselling, French Language
  • University Diploma in Arts

Admission Timeline

Athabasca is no conventional school, so of course, the institution doesn’t do most things the traditional ways. In terms of their admission policy, Athabasca allows their incoming students some form of flexibility. Instead of imposing deadlines for application, the school allows students to apply when it is most convenient. This means you can apply anytime throughout the year for admission to Athabasca University.

While you have the luxury to apply for admission anytime you desire at Athabasca, you do not have the same privilege when it comes to registering for your courses. If you want to join a class for a course, which mostly begin on the first of every month, you would need to have made payment on the 10th of the previous month, and finished your registration for the course.

Tuition and Financial Aid

At Athabasca University, tuition and fees vary depending on your chosen program and residency status. For Canadian students, undergraduate program costs range from $500 to $2,500 per course, while graduate programs range from $750 to $4,000 per course.

For international students, tuition and fees are slightly higher. Undergraduate programs range from $1,000 to $3,500 per course, and graduate programs range from $1,500 to $5,000 per course. However, this is just an estimate, to get a more accurate cost specific to your intended course of study, you should check here.

Athabasca University understands the financial challenges that some students may face and offers various financial aid options to support learners in achieving their educational goals. Financial assistance may come in the form of scholarships, grants, bursaries, and student loans.

Scholarships and bursaries are typically awarded based on academic achievement, financial need, or specific criteria related to the program of study. The university may also participate in government-funded financial aid programs available to eligible Canadian students. Students also have the opportunity to engage in part-time work while studying to help offset their educational expenses.

Before applying for government student financial aid, certain prerequisites must be met. Firstly, you should be an enrolled or accepted student at Athabasca University. For undergraduate programs, ensure that you have successfully applied and received acceptance into your desired program of study.

Additionally, if requested, your transfer credits should be evaluated. To make the most of your educational journey, familiarize yourself with AU's Learner Support Services, including Counselling Services, Advising Services, and Access to Students with Disabilities. Lastly, complete the Full-Time Readiness Assessment, thoughtfully provided by Athabasca University's Counselling Services. Meeting these requirements will help streamline the financial aid application process and facilitate your pursuit of higher education at Athabasca University.

Contact Information

Athabasca University

1 University Drive

Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3


1-780-675-6100 (international) or

1-800-788-9041 (toll-free in Canada/US)


1. What is the acceptance rate at Athabasca University?

The acceptance rate at Athabasca University is approximately 75%. However, the acceptance rate can vary for different programs. For example, the acceptance rate for the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies is 90%, while the acceptance rate for the Bachelor of Nursing is 50%. Some programs may have a more competitive admission process, while others are more inclusive.

2. What are the general prerequisites for admission to Athabasca University?

The general prerequisites for admission to Athabasca University include holding a high school diploma or equivalent, demonstrating English language proficiency (for international students), and completing specific coursework for certain programs. For example, the Bachelor of Nursing program requires prior completion of high school biology and chemistry.

3. What are the additional prerequisites for international students applying to Athabasca University?

International students applying to Athabasca University must meet the same general prerequisites as Canadian students. However, in some cases, they may be required to provide additional documentation, such as a letter of motivation or statement of purpose, to demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to the program.

4. Do I need to submit a statement of purpose when applying to Athabasca University?

Generally, a statement of purpose is not required for all programs at Athabasca University. However, certain programs may mandate a letter of intent or statement of purpose. If a program requires it, you should tailor your document to showcase your skills, experiences, and passion for the program.

5. How does the interview process work at Athabasca University?

Not all programs at Athabasca University require an interview as part of the application process. For programs that do require an interview, it serves as an opportunity for the university to assess candidates beyond their application and academic records. Applicants should research the program, showcase their expertise, communicate their passion, and practice interview techniques to make a positive impression.

6. How can I increase my chances of getting accepted to Athabasca University?

To increase your chances of getting accepted, thoroughly review the admission requirements for your desired program, excel in your academics, and ensure you meet all prerequisites. For programs that require a statement of purpose or interview, customize your application to the program's focus, express your enthusiasm, and showcase your suitability. Early application submission and seeking guidance from advisors or college admissions consultants can also enhance your chances.

7. What resources and support services does Athabasca University provide to its students?

Athabasca University offers a range of support services to its students, including Counselling Services, Advising Services, and Access to Students with Disabilities. These resources aim to assist students academically and personally throughout their educational journey. Additionally, the university provides a learner-centered environment with dedicated faculty members and interactive online learning platforms to ensure students receive personalized support and guidance.

8. Can I work while studying at Athabasca University, and what resources are available to help me balance work and studies?

Yes, many students at Athabasca University work while pursuing their studies. The flexibility of the online learning format allows students to balance work and academic responsibilities effectively. The university provides resources such as time management tips, study guides, and support from academic advisors to help students manage their time efficiently. Additionally, the Learner Support Services at Athabasca University are available to assist students in navigating the challenges of combining work and studies, ensuring a successful educational experience.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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