Athabasca University

Review Averages: 5.8 out of 10 (147 reviews)
Ranking: #62

Athabasca University of Alberta, Canada was founded in 1970 by Alberta’s provincial government with the mandate to offer distance education to students aged 16 and older. This leader in online learning offers more than 70 programs in French and English to students worldwide. Individual and group learning formats are available.

Accreditation: Province of Alberta
Non-Profit: Yes
Country: Canada

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Athabasca University Reviews:

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very slow follow-up
Bachelor of Commerce - September 6, 2017
Student Finance Department officer assigned to me was very slow at following up given the 5-Business day response time as outlined in her email signature. She never once answered her phone after multiple calls on multiple days (why bother assigning a phone number to the poor girl), and the one email message that I received from her was condescending in tone with no explanation provided regarding why my course start dates needed to be pushed out (not just one month, but two months) despite my financing application having already been approved for weeks and the government just needed confirmation of my course registration. I highly recommend that Athabasca University hire more qualified staff as it appears that the current workload for this financing officer is just too much for her to handle. As a result, I found another institution to study with and they were able to register me into my courses AND approve my student funding with the government in less than 2 hours today. Now I am set to begin studies on September 18th of this year versus the recommended November 1st that the Athabasca University's Student Finance Officer mandated for me. I am disappointed, to say the least, as I had originally heard great things about AU, and for courses that are self-studied online, I was foolishly expecting their timelines to be more flexible than traditional in-class learning institutions.

Fantastic Experience
Bachelor of Professional Arts -Communications - July 13, 2017
I am surprised to see so many bad reviews here. My experience was very different. I completed the BPA degree in Communication Studies and absolutely loved it. All of my professors/tutors were knowledgeable and responsive; the courses were well organized and interesting; and the assignments were challenging and, for the most part, enjoyable. There was no wasted lecture time (which I experienced with the first couple of years at a traditional university) and I feel that I learned much more through the distance format. Maybe the program you are enrolled in makes a difference. I was so happy with my experience that I am now taking my MA through AU. The university is accredited and well recognized. I am in an executive position in my career and having education from AU has never been a problem for my career advancement. I highly recommend the BPA program and the arts/humanities/social sciences courses at AU.

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Perverted Culture toward learning--STAY AWAY!
Athabasca University - June 27, 2017
I've recently completed 2 Accounting courses and I completely agree with the negative reviews. I can only speak to the courses that I have taken (some positive reviews on here which is surprising to see, but good for them). I'll start with the premise that of course it is the student's responsibility to put forth the necessary effort to be successful, to me this is understood. I will also disclose that I have graduated twice already with previous programs from different schools and I also completed a specialized MBA. I know what it’s like to be a student and I have taken online courses in the past. This being said the courses I took here were needlessly confusing, the text was very unclear and the overall support was poor. To be fair, the support staff did try to answer questions but I've found their responses to be condescending, “read chapter xx”. Not only did I read the material, I’ve read and re-read it many times and even reviewed it with a CPA! If information is unclear or confusing, one can read something many times over and still not understand it, unsure why this simple concept is not grasped by the support team. To this note, although they will not admit it, seeing the many questions and concerns by the former students, which are posted for any to see, it was quite evident that the material was unclear by many, yet they continue to use the text. One course required that two assignments be completed prior to the mid-term exam. The explanation was that these assignments will greatly improve one’s success on the mid-term. Completely false! In my opinion, the actual mid-term did not contain very much of the assignment material at all! I felt it was a complete bait and switch and frankly a waste of time. As well, interestingly enough, 2 assignments were required prior to the mid-term but NO assignments were required before the final exam! How bizarre. So one was literally going into the final exam blind (yes, I know a good student should know all of the material going into the final exam, all 1400(approx.) pages worth!). When I inquired about the course breakdown, I was told that it would be too much marking from the course co-ordinators to handle more assignments. I can accept the logistics of this but then why not require 1 assignment prior to each exam to give some minimal assistance to the student? Because they either don’t care or cannot change the course program, therefore, the default is to defend it and accusing the student of having a poor attitude. The second course really opened my eyes to the underlying (perverted) attitude that Athabasca has toward learning. I will mention here that I have taken this accounting course in my prior learning but I was required by CPA to refresh because my original degree with 10 years old. I accept this. I did fairly well the first time around and thought that this was be a nice refresher. Again, the text was so poorly written and confusing. Even the instructors admit several times one the online discussions that often the question or material is confusing or poorly worded. I’ve attempted to do something silly and that was to actually read the material and try to understand it. I even shared the text with CPA friends and they were shocked how terrible the explanations were on various topics. Granted, some of this material at this level is quite complex but either something is clearly explained or it isn’t. In my opinion, there is no such thing as “hard” when it comes to teaching. We can easily make it difficult and confusing to a child when teaching them how to tie their shoes but why? Sadly, this course was needlessly confusing but considering this, the marking was extremely harsh! Furthermore, 20% of the course was covered through online assignments. The introduction states that the student will not receive any help at all on the questions, so basically you don’t understand the question, too bad. It’s your problem. As well, if you are frustrated, good, you should be. Other words, all the questions are perfectly clear and if you don’t understand the question, then you must be stupid and it sucks to be you. Such arrogance! Many questions are labelled as “Question 1” but when you open it, many have several data inputs that are required and if you get any of the 9 inputs wrong…the entire question was wrong! In one case, a student complained that the question required 40 data inputs and was this really necessary to demonstrate knowledge of the question. The response was that Accountants are often required to do boring and repetitive work. This is what I was referring to the perverted attitude from the school! I honestly feel that I’ve been ripped off, not only of my money but my time! I’ve easily spent 2-3 hrs a day on average, reading the material and completing the questions. I did get the course but the mark is certainly not any reflection of my time and effort. After each exam, I felt completely comfortable with the material, nothing surprised me but my mark. I was completely stunned to see how low they were only to find out after the fact that every question had a twist or a subtle trick. Remember, this material is difficult to learn without the unnecessary added difficulty. It was truly just mean spirited. Let me learn the material first! Overall these programs were very poor excuses of online courses, certainly the worst I’ve experienced and I really think it’s a cash grab to try and fail students so that they have to pay more.

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Horrible Experience.
Athabasca University - May 30, 2017
Athabasca is hands down the worst! Firstly, I had to figure out how to navigate the website myself; they never give you a video of how to actually do the course itself. That's the first obstacle. Next, they just give you a huge textbook you have to read cover to cover. No tutorials, no lectures, no videos - just reading. I basically paid to teach myself. If that was the case, I would have bought the book, read it, and saved myself 2 grand. Also, I find the tutors seem annoyed by having to help you, and their hours of help are never convenient. I asked my one tutor to help me find something in my textbook and he told me he couldn't, and that it was my job to figure it out. I also find the grading to be really harsh. I did go to a formal college prior, and the grading was on what you knew about the material, not specifications on exact grammar or use of words in a written exam. Even essays are harshly marked, and I find this incredibly dumb, given that the tutor never actually teaches you anything. In the end - I TAUGHT MYSELF EVERYTHING! I would never recommend anyone to this school, nor will I continue my education with them. I wasted money on this place, when I could have bought the textbook and read it myself for a tenth of the cost.

Masters programs are excellent
Master of Education in DIstance Education - May 15, 2017
I found the Masters program to be far above my expectations in every way. If you are a procrastinator - stay clear. Distance learning is not for the faint of heart. Masters programs in particular require effort and persistence to complete. I have completed both a Bachelors degree and a Masters at AU and am very pleased with the school, its instructors, and the course materials. Each course I was able to directly relate to my current work which greatly enhanced the learning experience. If I was to score my undergrad experience it would be much lower than the score I have given this program. The Masters program was the best learning experience I have had to date (and I currently hold a Masters degree, a Bachelors degree, three college diplomas, a post graduate certificate, and many professional industry certifications. Thoughts on Distance learning One of my original criticisms of distance learning, that it may lack interaction, was debunked as my courses and the creation of my representative artefacts turned out to be the most interactive (student–student, student–instructor, and student-content) and challenging that I have ever undertaken. Early in some of my group work, a fellow group member mentioned that he was surprised and pleased with the approachability of the Professors. They replied promptly and showed a great deal of respect and helpfulness to program learners. This was new to most of us, but I have always remembered his comments and found them to be true in my personal experience. Much different than when I was 18 old and enrolled in an Engineering Program at another Canadian university. Back then (1979), we thought the Professors were unapproachable Gods. I was working 24 hours a week at Kmart, and taking the mandatory seven courses each semester that the Engineering program demanded. Student-student interactions were limited, ethnically similar, and regionally centered. This was a typical “brick and mortar” environment, professors lectured, and students listened and Professor – Student interactions other than lectures were rare. Contrary to my original fear of possible low interactivity with Athabasca University – I always had a chance to converse and share opinions with most of my classmates and instructors through asynchronous forums, and sometimes email. Class members were ethnically diverse and located world-wide. Group work developed even closer working relationships (forums, Skype, email). One project I remember working very late into the night and continuing into the early morning with my partner in India (what a time difference). The course content was current, appropriate and engaging at Athabasca. It consisted of: textbooks; academic articles; publications; journals; and internet websites – all of which were enhanced by the forum discussions to aid understanding and reflection. Meta-cognition was encouraged and my personal research while developing the artefacts was internet, educational journals, interviews, surveys, books and other sources. I found the student–student, student–instructor, and student-content interactivity in my courses to be much better than my original experience with a university. This M.Ed. program, its distance learning process, and the immediate relevance and usability of artefacts to my work has made me a strong supporter of distance learning, and Athabasca University in particular.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Best MBA Online Experience
MBA - April 30, 2017
Just completed my Masters at Athabasca. In summary, a great institution and enjoyable experience. The technology and process is well defined and they are a leader in how they use the technology for their program. The support mechanisms are fantastic and there are real people who you interact with if any issues. The profs / coaches are very open and available and totally understand where you are coming from and are flexible within reason -- For example if you have to travel as part of your work, as long as you are clear, they will be very helpful to provide needed flexibility. Further, this program is very credible - and it is not a money grab like you would find elsewhere --- put simply you are not "buying" a degree. Be prepared to contribute and work hard where needed --- you will come out of the experience as a much greater person. AU is a great choice --- you won't be disappointed.

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Athabasca University - April 20, 2017
The other people writing terrible reviews on here are definitely not exaggerating. AU is nothing more than a money grab and they do not really care if you succeed or not. I was in my last year of my degree and needed to take this course online because it wasn't offered during the winter semester at my institution and I just needed it to graduate. Did my assignments and my final and got my grade back with an overall of 61. Sweet! I passed (this was the second time I was taking this course so a 61 was great in my eyes). Not...apparently that is a fail because I got less than 50 on either an asignment or the final. Never, EVER have I ever encountered an institution that is run that way. I understand where they're coming from because one could easily get someone else to do their assignments for them because it is an online couse, but after begging and pleading and explaining that I only needed this class to graduate and that I'm actually graduating from MacEwan and NOT Athabasca, and my school will recognize a 61 as a C- and not an F, but they wouldn't budge. It's ridiculous. And then charge you another 150$ to rewrite the exam. The only way to communicate with your tutor is via email and mine wouldn't respond for DAYS at a time. So hard to get a hold of. And when you call the school, everyone is extremely rude and unhelpful (except Sandra Blaquiere, bless your heart). Seriously, do not go to Athabasca if you do not have to. Instead of getting my degree in june 2017, I have to put it off until November 2017 because of Athabasca giving me and F even though my overall grade is 61. That doesn't even make sense. UGH

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
MBA - April 16, 2017
Poor management and lack of leadership at graduate level. The Admissions committtee is very arrogant and dishonest. Even when program is complete they will take your application. Would prefer international students as better cash-flow.; yet Alberta government subsidizes. Lack accreditation is a big problem. Not recognized in Ontario and Quebec. Try the university of Michigan. They have a new online program AASCB approved and cost much less.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Slow marking, otherwise good quality
Bachelor of Professional Arts - Human Services - January 24, 2017
I've completed 5 courses through Athabasca, with 4 more in various stages of completion (one exam to be written in a course, one just waiting on final grades and two that are in-progress.) Athabasca is great value for the money. $800 including textbooks is competitive with Ontario universities. Many of my courses feature useful textbooks that I've actually kept as reference material, so I enjoy that. Writing exams may be an additional invigilator fee if you're not near the in-person campus, but with the new ProctorU option it's dropped from $100 (at my local university to) $40. Marking is very slow but this is heavily dependent on tutor/instructor/professor. The service standard is supposed to be 8 business days but most of the time I wait 3+ weeks to have assignments marked - this is just part of the process. Tutorial support is lax. Your professors are available via email but it would be difficult for someone who really relies on this as a method of support. I rarely ever talk to them unless I need to clarify an assignment question. You're given textbook pages to read with written commentary (instead of lectures) and I love that, but that style isn't for everyone. I notice in these reviews that individuals taking computer and science courses tend to have a harder time than those in Humanities courses that lend themselves to this method of instruction. I don't have any experience with financial aid unfortunately, choosing to pay for my courses as I complete them. All in all I would recommend Athabasca's BPA in Human Services program.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bachelor of Arts - Multiple courses
Athabasca University - January 22, 2017
I have taken several course at AU, both individualized study and the group format. My experience has been very positive. Initially it was very easy to register and transfer courses from my "bricks and mortar" school. Every time that I have had a question the response time has been well within the guidelines listed on the website. I find that the myau portal has good guidance around which courses you still need to take and I have been assisted with my program planner usually within 2-3 days when I had a question. I find the tutors are just as available as any tutor I have had in the physical world. The teacher experience is no different than attending a university in person or even high school. Some teachers are hard markers, or not particularly helpful and some are, I don't think the online format changes that. It's as though some people expect that because the format is online all of your questions should be answered within the hour. When I have been physically at my university campus my teacher would take a few days to respond to my emails and I typically had to schedule an appointment to meet with them to talk about anything in more detail. And occasionally I had great teachers and occasionally I had terrible ones. In my experience all of my teachers at AU have been helpful and provided good feedback on assignments and responded to queries relatively quickly. To be honest, I think some of these negative reviews may have less to do with the school and more to do with the type of learner you are. In order to succeed here you need to be VERY independent. You don't have the ability to lean over and ask your fellow classmates for help and you can't corner the teacher after class. I have found all the textbooks and materials to be comparable to what I experienced at the university that I transferred from. In some cases I found the courses to be even more difficult. With all things in life, if you reach out and work hard you will succeed. I think some people are apt to blame a bad mark on the format or a bad teacher on the format. You will get bad marks and have bad teachers in any school whether in-person or online. The other piece is that some people just require more structure. They will need deadlines and frequent human interaction in order to succeed. AU does not often provide that as most of the courses are individualized study. Yes, you will need to read some dry text materials and direct your own learning. Essentially, you will need to be your own teacher because that is the piece that is missing, the individual standing at the front of the class "teaching" the information to you. If you NEED that then you will not do well at this school. As for the people complaining that these courses are "designed" to be so difficult that you will need to pay for multiple extensions that is simply not the case. I have been able to complete all my courses within the designated time frame. I had one course where I did not put in the required time and I had to rush the last month to complete the materials and as a result I did not do as well on the final exam, but that was my fault. In all scenarios where I have structured my time and focused on my studies I have been well within the deadlines and had plenty of time to communicate with my instructor and schedule my exams.

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Old Comments

Nov. 21, 2010, 7:01 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi, I hadn't seen any posts re. the Bachelor of Science In Nursing (RN to BScN program AU offers). I live an hour from Toronto and would have to go to Ryerson University to get my BScN, however, I have been looking into fulfilling my desire to get my BScN online. I have an almost 2 year old and I work part-time, so the convenience is there, and hopefully the discipline. Anyone out there that has completed the program and what do you think? Thanks.
Nov. 20, 2010, 2:46 a.m.
+1 vote/
Hi Brad,

After I graduated from the 3 year program from College I transferred to Athabasca University and began dedicating myself (full-time) to the studies as I was unemployed (by choice). 

If you are planning to do this while unemployed I believe that it is a good choice to get it out of the way now than later. You should start by taking 2 or 3 courses and see how you do. Remember, you really have to be focused and dedicated as the courses are no cake-walks. They require time, effort, and discipline as they are well structured. 
When I was unemployed, I took two at a time and it took me 6 months and another 6 for the other two. Now that I work full-time, I am taking one at a time and it takes me 6 months to do for one course and working at the same time. I know that 6 months seems like a lot of time (and it is) but hey, maybe you can do it faster than me? On the plus side, I am having better marks than what I ever did in College or anywhere for that matter. 

So as you can see, it takes a long time, but if you’re focused, then it shouldn’t matter. What I like most is that they get you to do you’re major courses right away (straight to the point), rather than having to take other courses that are not related to your major the way that other Universities would have you to do.

Good luck!
Oct. 26, 2010, 12:31 a.m.
+1 vote/
Athabasca University has a strong reputation- been a university for 40 years and produced lots of professionals.  Materials and expectations are the same as anywhere.  AU is great in my view.
Oct. 25, 2010, 2:56 a.m.
+1 vote/
Athabasca University has been both challenging and intellectually stimulating.  I actually did 2 degrees prior and I find this as good as both- actually better in some ways- one has to participate in readings and discussion whereas at campus I could go and just sit.  

AU is very good in my view and has a good reputation.
Oct. 17, 2010, 8:23 p.m.
+1 vote/
I am interested in enrolling in the Post-LPN Bachelor of Nursing Degree program.  I would appreciate any advice or comments from anyone who has completed it through AU.  How was your experience and ease in job placement?  How about final costs?  Grand total for your degree was...??
Oct. 4, 2010, 9:03 p.m.
+3 votes/
I am finding that there is far too much material assigned for the 3-credit courses at Athabasca. Compared to courses I've taken at a bricks and mortar university, these Athabasca courses should be valued at 6 credits in my opinion. I mean Humanities 201 covered a vast expanse of time and required two essays and a three hour exam for what is essentially half a credit. Does anyone else feel this way?
Aug. 30, 2011, 8:09 p.m.
0 votes/
Hey i noticed that you are taking HUMN 201, Im currently taking that same course. I was wondering if you could tell me about the final exam. Im really not sure how this website works, but if you could email me, that would be greatly appreciated., thank you so much. 
Nov. 4, 2010, 8:12 a.m.
0 votes/
I am looking to do the Bachelor of Management:Post Diploma(3yr), so I receive a block transfer for my diploma and have to complete 10 - 3 credit courses for 30 credits. If someone can help your many classes can you manage at a time? and with the suggestion how long would you say it would take to complete them? I am currently unemployed and can dedicate my time to finishing this. Thanks for all your help!
Sept. 7, 2011, 1:38 a.m.
0 votes/
Brad, I am thinking of doing the same thing.  Have you gone through with you plans in doing this course?  How have you been doing with it if so.  How many course can you handle at a time?  I will still be working full time.
Sept. 25, 2010, 8:02 p.m.
+1 vote/
Does anyone find the time it takes your tutor to mark your assignment very discouraging?  I am talking about the "10 business day policy" - which varies from course-to-course...

I would LOVE to go a lot faster in my program of choice, but am forced to wait it out or juggle multiple courses at once (while working full-time), just to always have a course on the go.
Dec. 18, 2012, 5:17 p.m.
0 votes/
Has anyone written HRMT 322 Employment Law final exam and have any guidance, it seems very intense...I am writing in one week.
Aug. 19, 2012, 11:42 p.m.
0 votes/
What is the 3rd year of the 3 year management degree at athabasca like? 

July 6, 2012, 6:49 p.m.
+1 vote/
The profs have PhDs and the materials are the same as most universities.  However, if you need lots of hand holding look elsewhere.  I am pleased with my learning experience and see why lots of rankings are high for the graduate dept. 
June 14, 2012, 2:17 p.m.
+1 vote/
I have been working as RN for 3 years..and now want to go master of nursing at Athabascau university.

"Linda and nurse patiently waiting"..I see that you guys are already accepted to the master of nursing this year..

I caculated my GPA..and is not meeting the requirements of GPA 3 in my 10 last courses(including 3rd and 4th year)-mine is around 2.7-2.95.
If I only caculate 4th year courses(including pass/fail).mine is over 3..I sent e-mail to a graudate administrator..and she said they use last 10 courses to caculate GPA, excluding pass/fail courses. 

I am wondering what you guys's GPAs were..and wondering what you had to send to the master of nursing department at Athabascau university.

Thank you.
June 6, 2012, 6 p.m.
+1 vote/
I find the 'processing fees' to be extortionate. 

After enrolling for three courses, circumstances changed within a week, and I had to drop two of them. I was charged 300$ in 'processing fees' and had to return the materials on my own dime. 

I don't feel they value our relationship: the 7000$ I've paid them so far for full time study doens't buy allot of love.
May 8, 2012, 6:21 p.m.
+1 vote/
solid MA programs- for instance, "To be eligible for admission you must have either an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with at least 3 years of managerial experience, or an accepted professional designation with at least five years of managerial experience."
May 2, 2012, 7:33 p.m.
0 votes/
Courses are for the most part very good, most of the tutors are great people.  Some tutors, however, seem to have a point to prove.  First year bird course tutors seem to want to prove some point.  Some of my lowest marks are in courses that were very straight forward.  Most tutors are as hands on or hands off as you'd like but I had at least one that gave me a 22% on a major project because I did not call her first to review the material.  The web interface for online courses is generally awesome although you will occasionally run into out of date information.  Course work is challenging and you feel you're actually earning your degree not getting it handed to you for nothing.  Administration is the worst I've ever seen.  I have never ran into such an unapologetically cold group before.  You'll have to fight tooth and nail for every  transfer credit, it took me over 2 years to get all of mine despite having two previous diplomas.  There was a screw up on my plan and I was recommended the wrong course for my degree which the administrators blamed on me.  That took 2 months to get straightened away.  Even graduating has proven to be a chore as professors failed to enter my marks on time and my actual grad date will be about 45 days after I finished my course work.  Keep this in mind if you plan on going to graduate school and need your marks from Athabasca.  If I had my time back I definitely would of looked more closely at part time studies at local universities.  The great tutors were far overshadowed by the abysmal administrators
April 30, 2012, 2:09 a.m.
0 votes/

I am a 4th year philosophy major at Queens University. I have to take some philosophy courses over the summer in order to complete my degree on time. I was looking into taking phil 231 and phil 334, is there anyone out there who has taken these courses before? I will only have 3 months to complete them before I return to Queens upon the fall. I am moving the UK during the summer and will most likely be travelling; I will also have a part time job. Do you think taking two courses and successfully completing them within 3 months is possible?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
April 4, 2012, 2:22 a.m.
+1 vote/
@ nurse patiently waiting, Congratulations!! I got my acceptance today as well !! :)
April 3, 2012, 2:58 a.m.
+3 votes/
@Linda, I finally heard today...accepted, I am so excited. It was updated in my gsas this afternoon. The school called as well, as I had a question regarding another class I am already enrolled in, and the lady stated that they are going through all applications now and we should hear within the next day or two. Good luck again, I hope you hear some good news soon. 
April 2, 2012, 2 a.m.
+2 votes/
I'm in the Bachelor of General Studies program, Arts and Sciences concentration.

I've taken almost 20 courses through Athabasca and I am very happy with the quality of my education. There are no "free rides" here - you work for your grades. The study guides are generally well organized and very useful. Almost all tutors are very helpful. Exams are "free" except if you must pay an invigilator in your area. The list of invigilators doesn't always include everyone approved in a community, however; I paid a community college $30 per exam to invigilate before I discovered that our local library would do the same job for free. In withdrawing from courses (which I've done twice)and encountering other issues I've found the administration very helpful. I've also found the student advising department helpful in evaluating my degree requirements. Transfer credit system in fairly good, but like anywhere that does take time. 
March 20, 2012, 6:51 p.m.
0 votes/
Has anyone received offer of admission into Master of Nursing program at Athabasca for Fall 2012?
March 23, 2012, 1:58 a.m.
0 votes/
I called the school and they said they were basically bombarded with applications (which worries me) and we should know by mid-April re: acceptances. 
March 23, 2012, 6:47 p.m.
0 votes/
Thanks for replying it makes me feel much better...I have seen in grad cafe...other schools are sending out acceptance letters, so I was starting to get worried. Good luck
March 30, 2012, 1:22 a.m.
0 votes/
No problem! I know what you mean, my co-workers already received acceptances from their schools. The waiting is the worst part. Good luck to you too :)
Feb. 28, 2012, 3:57 a.m.
+1 vote/
Depends.  Depends on the student, the program, but if you are a grad student or a mature, independent learner it is a quality school with a sound reputation.   The MBA, for instance, is highly respectable.  As well, if you are going to pick up some credits for another institution, Athabasca is a good option.  
Feb. 21, 2012, 4:38 a.m.
+3 votes/
Athabasca Univeristy is a good school and I recommend it for people who are motavated and can figure things out on their own. Yes, there is a lot of support at AU. I find the people complain are the people who do not do good and have to blame someone for their failure.
Feb. 15, 2012, 4:07 a.m.
+3 votes/
 I recently completed two online courses at AU: BIOL204 and CHEM217. I decided to take these courses mainly out of interest. 

BIOL204 was mainly readings, two written assignments, at-home labs, and two exams.The written assignments were not hard but information presented must be detailed, exact, and with lots of examples. The labs were fun and did not take up a lot of time. The mid-term was based on 7 chapters and mainly multiple choice and short/long answer. The textbook plus assignments ( including assignments grouped by first name that i did not have to do but did anyways) provided enough info for the exams. The final exam tests your memory re-call as it is cumulative. My final course grade was an A-. 

CHEM217 was definitely harder and more consuming. I felt like I was doing 3 courses. Each chapter included problem sets that needed to be worked through before progressing onwards. I was essentially doing problem sets at least 4 days each week, about 4 to 6 per day. I scored well on the assignments but I got a lot of help from youtube lectures and online examples from various sources. My tutor helped with explaining assignment problems but I was not in contact with them that much. You definitely need to have a tutor available for chemistry. The home lab is requested after passing the first two assignments. I did not get my lab kit until late in my calendar which threw off my study schedule. The labs were also very consuming. It normally took me about 2 days to finish each lab and submit the report. Since i received the lab kit late I was trying to do 10 labs plus problem sets and preparing for my final all in about 3 weeks. I thought the exams were very hard. I scored 68% on my mid-term and 64% on my final (however the marker's feedback for both exams was that I did well). Since I scored 80's on my assignments and 90's in my lab my final grade was a B.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the courses because they were challenging and interesting. I felt like I pushed myself intellectually and feel that I can definitely push through academic obstacles. However doing chemistry on your own requires commitment, organization, focus, and major problem solving skills. 

My biology marks were posted within the two week time frame but the chemistry marks took longer. I notified my tutor if they were taking too long and received them promptly(tutors do not mark exams only assignments)

I cant say anything bad about AU. Distance education means you are essentially doing it on your own so if you are well organized and committed you should do fine. If you get a bad tutor then try and get them to give feedback on assignments so you can tailor your results to fit their standards. I did that with my re-written BIO lab report and went from a 53% to an 80%.

Chemistry was tough but I am proud that I was able to get through it and complete both courses. I am currently enrolled in BIOL205 and CHEM218.
Wish me luck!!
April 8, 2012, 9:58 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi, I just read your review. I'm taking biology 204 and geology200 right now. Would you able to give some pointers for the midterm and final? There are just too many things to remember. Thank you so much. My email is
Feb. 14, 2012, 9:47 p.m.
+3 votes/
Doing initial research into the Bachelor of Health Administration.  Anyone out there taking it?  Any feedback...good or bad???
Feb. 2, 2012, 11:49 p.m.
+1 vote/
So after two months of e-mailing the tutor for advice and getting one to two line answers that showed he didn't read my e-mail, I've e-mailed the course co-ordinator to request a different tutor, and now she's not replying at all.
Jan. 17, 2012, 4:56 a.m.
0 votes/
I am having a hard time deciding my next law course between Labour law (IDRL 320) and Employment law (HRMT 322). Can anyone tell me what they recommend and why?

Also what are the tutors in these courses like? How are the exams (easy, hard)?

Oct. 29, 2011, 5:34 p.m.
0 votes/
I want to know, is it hard to get admission into Athabasca University if you have the minimum requirement for the program. I am BScN and want to get into Nurse Practitioner program and am worried about not getting in because I just have minimum 3.0 GPA that they need. please let me know if anyone knows.
Sept. 29, 2011, 10:06 p.m.
+3 votes/
I am an ottawa university medical school student and i just took 4 online courses with Athabasca university and it is HORRIBLE. From the Tutors, to the Support, to the Exam unit. They are absolutely PATHETIC! They just want your money then to Hell with you! Nobody should EVER EVER EVER SIGN up with them...this is the FIRST and LAST time I will EVER take any courses with them...even if the PAY ME i wouldnt take anything there...I wish someone would have WARNED like i am warning you! 
Feb. 21, 2012, 2:35 a.m.
0 votes/
Sorry to hear about your experience. If you are a current medstudent and just completed the 4 courses then I must assume that your science pre-req courses were not done through AU. Which courses did you just take?
Oct. 12, 2011, 4:27 p.m.
+1 vote/
robbed me of 250 dollars and then said I didnt complete the "registration fee".

the most AWFUL administration I have ever dealt with me in life, was so disrespected by the program coordinator that I would NEVER ADVISE anyone to take a course at this school!
Aug. 15, 2011, 11:30 p.m.
-1 vote/
I took the Global Studies 209 course at Athabasca University and was very disappointed. The workload was massive, with 1 40-page chapter per week as well as 5-10 study questions AND a 1-hour video. On the final exam, they expected you to write an essay about a question that would normally only have a one-word answer. No guidance from the instructor either, and when I contacted her previous to the final exam she basically told me she couldn't help me.
July 24, 2011, 7:14 a.m.
+4 votes/
I would recommend AU coursework for MA students who are self-directed.  For BA, less mature students, I would point to more conventional means. Overall, I am satisfied and I have taken courses from a few universities.
April 26, 2011, 10:30 p.m.
+2 votes/
Their administration staff is so unprofessional it almost hurts. Honestly I wish their tutors ran the administration.

Other students will agree.
March 25, 2011, 2:36 p.m.
0 votes/
I just completed the University Certificate in Human Resources and Labour Relations. The courses were not easy to say the least but then they were not extemely difficult either. These courses require extensive reading and research before completing a majority of assignments. I found the exams "do" relate to the course material.  The only problem I have had with taking these courses is that some tutors are willing to contact the student and talk at length and others are not.  My last tutor for Employment Law would only contact me by email...Employment Law is a very difficult course.
March 11, 2011, 9:45 p.m.
+1 vote/
Athabasca is like all universities.  There are good and bad aspects, but it is designed for an independent learner.  The content is the same as any uni in Canada.
Feb. 17, 2011, 4:57 a.m.
0 votes/
Can someone who has or is attending Athabasca in the MASTER OF COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY please comment on their experience with the school and the program.  Is it fairly interactive? are the profs helpful?
Feb. 9, 2011, 10:44 p.m.
-1 vote/
I'm thinking about doing my Masters in Counselling. Can anyone comment on doing this program through AU?
Jan. 17, 2011, 5:44 p.m.
+1 vote/
Yea, AU is a great university but you have to be self motivated and a go-getter. If you struggle with courses normally, then AU might not be for you, as courses can become very hard without the aid of a class. If your academically strong and want a degree in half the time (put in the hours) it is a great alternative to traditional university. 
Jan. 17, 2011, 5:44 p.m.
+1 vote/
Yea, AU is a great university but you have to be self motivated and a go-getter. If you struggle with courses normally, then AU might not be for you, as courses can become very hard without the aid of a class. If your academically strong and want a degree in half the time (put in the hours) it is a great alternative to traditional university. 
Jan. 7, 2011, 5:43 p.m.
+1 vote/
Ath. U is good if you are self-directed.  Courses are the same as any Cdn Uni.
Jan. 3, 2011, 8:40 a.m.
-1 vote/
I am a Master of Science student from AU. I am very happy with the courses offered from this university so far. This is an on-line program and there is of course no lecture. It meets the need of working professionals to upgrade their qualification and knowledge at their own place and own schedule.

The works are challenging and pave the way for me to either continue my career in either research, or advance in the industry. The professors requirement on the works done are appropriate to master level education. I learn a lot from the program, especially in apply research methods. I suggest those compliant about this university's master program re-think of what do you expect from an on-line program.At master level education, students are required and expected to discover knowledge by themselves, not necessary being transferred from the professors.
Dec. 19, 2010, 2:10 a.m.
+1 vote/
It depends on the course, Bio 235 was fine.  Learned from a text but it was straight forward.  health studies 201 was AWFUL! poorly communicated, really outdated, expectations were not communicated at all.
Terrible terrible joke of a course.
Dec. 15, 2010, 3:41 p.m.
+1 vote/
AU courses, I find, are the same as the other universities I have been to.  Good quality in my view.
Sept. 22, 2010, 12:37 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi Evryone,
I am wondering if anyone has taken Bachelor of Health Administration at AU?
Aug. 24, 2010, 1:48 p.m.
+1 vote/
Hi Everyone,
This has been very useful information, thank you. 
I am interested in the Masters of Counselling. I am wondering if anyone has taken it, or had experience with someone who did. I am wondering if future clients/employers of mine will be skeptical because I have an online degree, not a brick and mortar degree. Does this make me seem less effective/competent as a counsellor?
The problem is, I live in Toronto, and I'm not able to re-locate. There is a program for counselling psyc at OISE (U of Toronto), however, it is HIGHLY competetive, and I was rejected. I feel frustrated, and just want to get on with my education, so I can start working, and ultimatly get on with my life. 
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
Aug. 20, 2010, 7:22 p.m.
+1 vote/
Bachelor of Professional Arts(BPA)- Criminal Justice Studies(CJ). 

i would like to find out if anyone finished this degree through AU or even in process of finishing. I spoke to their counsellors/advisors who were very helpful so far but i'm particularly worried about ENGLISH courses as per some comments along with a few other concerns. Those are as follows.

Invigilators - There is a cost associated to this? How much is it and if i go with some other peers who are considering taking this course too, would there be a price difference i.e, 1 individual writing a test VS 5 students writing a test all at one spot, same date? 

Course start time - I was under the impression that courses start on each month basis not like uni/college base which is per term. Correct me if my information is wrong. Unless i looked at your own pace which is 6 months vs a group study one. 

Has anyone had any PLAR assesment experience in this BPA- CJ program or any other program?. How was it? What were the contributing factors etc?

Fee and course load - Fee is 700 something dollars per course which covers the cost of books and everything included. Do we pay from our pockets for sending or mailing the assignments or this is another hidden cost like the cost of invigilators which some people might not know about?

Residency- I saw this on their website as well as someone asked this question earlier about residency. Can someone explain this.

I am considering this stream of education because a professor of mine from sheridan college is finishing her Master through AU. She is a very well organized, well experienced lady who have worked in the related field for X amount of years. I would take her recommendations highly. Therefore i look at it as a learning curve and an opportunity for me to keep my full time job while i avail my Undergrad.

Thank you for all your responses and help in advance.
Aug. 5, 2010, 4:03 p.m.
-1 vote/
Has anyone here become a CA in Ontario through the Athabasca Bachelor of Commerce with Accounting Specialization? I am unable to find a degree that I can do online in Ontario but would like to get my degree and become a CA while working full-time. I've heard that becoming a CA in Ontario has different requirements than in Alberta.
Aug. 4, 2010, 4 a.m.
+1 vote/
I took Intro Geology through Athabasca and it was horribly organized. The course manual gave you a breakdown of everything you should read in the textbook and everything to focus on but it was referring to a textbook that was outdated.  This meant that all the page numbers were wrong and when it would review a chapter there were a lot of discrepancies between the textbook and the review.

There were 12 assignments that had to be completed plus a final course project, all of which were very time consuming, and some had very confusing instructions.

You have one hour every week that you can call your tutor, so you are pretty much on your own.

I would not recommend Athabasca University to anyone.
July 12, 2010, 9:34 p.m.
+1 vote/

AU is an online school... your friend is a liar.
June 29, 2010, 3:30 a.m.
+1 vote/
Has anybody had problems with final project advisors? A friend of mine has sent his final project to his advisor, but he hasn't heard anything. His advisor won't answer any emails. He will have to register for yet another term. This has been going on for about 2 months now. My friend doesn't want to complain because the staff at Athabasca are very curt and tend to take the professors' sides in these situations.

What can my friend do?
June 24, 2010, 3:38 a.m.
+4 votes/
really pablo???

this is an online where exactly did your friend interact with her tutor?
June 11, 2010, 8:37 p.m.
+3 votes/
Right Pablo.  Right......
June 10, 2010, 8:20 p.m.
-6 votes/
This University has become the leading racist of all. they have a poor complaining policy.
Last year they maliciously failed my moslem friend who complained to the authorities that her tutor was trying to remover her buqour. The man toched her hair. When she compalined they told her that she does not fit in Canada. 
Even if am not a moslem women need to be respected by soem of these white horny tutors in Athabasca university.
Secondaly there professors failing students for refusing their intimate  advances.
Watch out. This university is after making money from you but not willing to accept minority students.
Parents please dont take your femae students there.
May 5, 2010, 2:37 a.m.
+1 vote/
@ Casey.

The invigilator process is simple....and makes the school different than many other online programs.

The format of the exams is the same as other Canadian brick and mortar schools.  3 hours long, depending on the particular course it would be closed book (most common), open book or "cheat sheet allowed"

When you are ready to take the exam, you inform the school of the location you have selected and the date you want to write (at least 4 weeks ahead). The university ships the exam directly to the testing site. Locations typically have set days available for proctored exams.  You show ID when you arrive at the site and pay for the service...then you write the exam.  The centre handles sending the paper back to the University for marking. 

I wrote my exam at the local University with local students writing their own exams.

The only down side is that if you need clarification about a question, it is likely that the proctor will not be able to help you.  There is no guarantee that they know anything about the area you are taking the course in.  Their job is just to supervise to make sure you follow the rules, to keep the exam confidential and to ensure it returns to Athabasca.
April 22, 2010, 8 a.m.
+1 vote/
Brandi: you could potentially take 120 units or 40 classes. If you were to take 5 classes/semester then it would take you 4 years, if you didn't do summer classes. 

Can someone tell me about the invigilator process? I have an approved invigilator and I want to know how the exams are formatted and then carried out.
April 12, 2010, 1:09 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi there! 

I'm a little confused on one point, as I'm sure I'm misunderstanding the credit system.  If I were to enroll in the BA Psychology (4 year), how many COURSES would I take?  Every person I've contacted has given me spitouts of credits, but I'm not sure what that means.  For entertainment's sake, let's say each course is worth 3 credits; how many would I be taking?
Oct. 21, 2011, 12:19 p.m.
+1 vote/
Hi Brandi,
The credit system confused me at first also. It's like any other university - 5 courses a semester, 10 a year for a total of 40 classes. Each of these classes is worth 3 credits for some reason. If you take a course worth 6 credits, it covers 2 semesters.
Jan. 11, 2010, 10:13 p.m.
+1 vote/
frank:  Thanks for the feedback.  There is very little motivation for me to switch to a more rigid and costly BM program if the AU degree is recognized equally for grad school admissions.  

kristy-lee:  You will not have the frustrating waiting period with AU that you had with your high school ILC.  AU gives you the entire course right away. While waiting for an assignment to be marked you can work on the next one.  
As far as not completing high school goes...I started with AU last year when I was in grade 11.  In June when I should be graduating from grade 12 I will have completed 12 university courses but will be 8 high school credits short of my OSSD.  I don't foresee this becoming a major problem.  After 1 year of AU you can transfer to another university if you have decent marks.  
A great thing about the AU program is that the residency requirements for graduation are quite low.(I think equivilent to 1 year's study)  This means that you can apply for a letter permission to take several of your courses from other universities while you are "travelling and living anywhere" and apply them toward your AU degree.
Jan. 11, 2010, 4:23 p.m.
0 votes/
Hey everyone ,

I am currently in high-school and considering Athabasca as an option after graduation.I live in Ontario and will be moving soon with my boyfriend to either Manitoba or Alberta,he's in the Army and is waiting on finding out his posting. I know there are other schools in Alberta, im just not sure they're for me and I may not end up there. I go to a very small private high-school currently with 4 students. I've done an ILC before and it went quite well other than trouble handing in the marks and the waiting period.Im thinking of taking either general studies or psychology. The reason i'm interested is I can have a flexible schedule and I can work. I can also pursue other personal interests, live anywhere and travel.Moving out is hard enough but if I could have my university education and work full time,it sounds like a deal to me. Originally I was going to wait until graduation, in June, now im thinking of starting in a month or two, which would mean not finishing high-school. Not sure of what to do .. what is the best route... If I could get a decent job after finishing this. Need some feedback. thanks
Jan. 9, 2010, 6:43 p.m.
+1 vote/
hi ian...

I'm sure you may have seen comments about my experience above so I will not reiterate but I don't think that a AU degree is a bad thing from that point of view.  It is accredited like any other BM in Canada.  Admission committees at the schools you speck about put high emphasis on the LSAT or GMAT respectively, so a high score on these tests are way more important than the school you went to.  Many profs at AU are full-time lectures at BM schools so you are getting about the same difficulty of work that you would anywhere else.  Thus getting an AU education shouldn't make you any less prepared for taking standardized tests.

Hope that helps.
Jan. 9, 2010, 3:55 p.m.
0 votes/
I have nearly completed year 1 of the AU B.Mgt 4 year program. My experience has been positive so far...
Upon completion of my undergrad I would like to go to law or business school at an Ontario B&M University.
I am wondering if my AU degree will be recognized equally with other degrees or whether I should be transfering to a BM school.  
All the BM schools I've asked said that they accept AU, however entrance to law and coop MBA programs is very competitive. Has anyone had any experience with this?   Do admissions committees view AU as an inferior degree?
Nov. 16, 2009, 10:06 p.m.
+2 votes/
Just graduated with a BA - Psyc from AU and it was a great experience!!

I had moved around a lot during the course of this degree and attended three B&M Ontario universities during that time.  They were all terrible about transfer credits from one school to another, but AU was able to transfer all of my credits from the three B&M schools and guided me in meeting the remaining credits needed to graduate.

Highly recommend this school!
Nov. 2, 2009, 1:15 a.m.
+1 vote/
AU is a great school and while it has all the usual personalities and problems of all big schools, it works and works well. Good luck and make sure you research completely before you commit to any program or school. I've read about people who has spent thousands and years for a degree that is a sham.
Oct. 30, 2009, 4:20 a.m.
+1 vote/
Sorry Nat, I haven't stopped by for a minute...but in general the difference will be in the electives you take...

The BA requires more humanities, business type courses.... the BSc will contain more math, programming and science type courses....

I dunno which one is better...depends on what you want to do with it.  For most people wanting to stay on the pure "techie" side, the BSc is likely better for you.  Those courses tend to be a bit more intense....especially if you don't have a strong math background.

The BA route is likely better for computer users/managers as oppose to IT professionals.

You should contant the AU School of Computing directly, they are good at explaining the differences.  Also, since it is a publicly funded school, you don't have to worry about the hard sell of some other online schools.

Your George Brown work may get you upto 2 years credit of the post-diploma program...again contact the school for more details.
Sept. 22, 2009, 4:03 a.m.
+1 vote/
Hey Everyone, glad I stumbled on this site (love Google).  Anyways, I was wondering if anyone here as completed or is in the process of completing their degree in Information Systems (BA or BS don't matter).  Basically I REALLY want to enroll with AU but I'm confused...I have a college diploma - George Brown College - as a Computer Systems Technician Program and I've worked 6 years in IT (and going).  Does anyone know what the difference is between these programs? Could you guys suggest what is best suited for me?  Appreciate all the feedback thanks and have a great day.  Here is the list:

Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems Degree 
(4 years—120 credits) Link:


Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems 
(Post Diploma) (4 years—120 credits) Link:


BA Information Systems Concentration (3 years)


Information Systems Major (4 years)

***Don't forget to add the www to view the links above".***
Sept. 19, 2009, 9:02 p.m.
0 votes/
hey I've read all those comments from joy and ray ect and I was wondering if any of you guys could tell me if other big schools and universities accept credits from AU.
i live in the Bahamas so I wanted to do an associates online with AU in health infomation systems and maybe transfer to a school in the united states to finish my B.A. so i just want to know if i went to AU if they others schools would aaccept my credits.
Sept. 6, 2009, 5:44 p.m.
+2 votes/
Reading the threads, there has been a lot of good and bad experiences with AU. For myself, going through the MBA program, I found the experience was great! The profs were good (leading discussions periodically) and the students helped each other through it all. Your own drive will be the key to your learning experience; the classmates are a big second factor, nothing really to do with the profs. Online learning is not for everyone, there is no hand-holding at all. With group sizes around 5-9, weekly participation/discussions/workloads are manageable with full-time work and family priorities. 

Q. Was it worth it?
A. Comparing to other MBA programs, I think it was a good investment. 
Q. Is AU understaffed? 
A. I could see it being understaffed, but the staff always provided excellent customer service, so it wasn’t noticeable. 
Q. Is AU out to make money through tuition and service fees? 
A. Somewhat, it’s comparable to any other school. 
Q. Would I recommend AU? 
A. Yes, but only if it fits your personal drive and learning goals.
Sept. 3, 2009, 4:40 p.m.
0 votes/
I am looking to the Marketing program here at AU and I was wondering if anyone has feedback about this.  Through this thread I have read allot of positive and negative comments and I am torn.  I need to do online studies as I have to work and survive and I am looking for a good recognized school to do this.  Help me please!!!
Sept. 1, 2009, 6:44 a.m.
+1 vote/
Just started on a B.A with a Major in History nad Sociology, starting with Eng255 next month. Has anyone completed this entire B.A with AU? 
Would be extremely grateful for any advice or feedback. Thanks!
Aug. 28, 2009, 9:23 p.m.
0 votes/
Athabasca aside, my opinion is that unless the business undergrad degree is a HBA from an “elite” school such as Ivey, Rotman, Schlich etc, it will not give you any significant advantage in the marketplace.  With so many MBAs out there, a BCom will just give you the opportunity to apply for positions that require a degree.

This degree is good as a means of gaining entry into an MBA program.  I think here is where the AU degree provides value.  You can do it at your own pace and without the need to quit your current job.

If you are not willing to do the graduate schooling and want career advancement and/or more money, I think you are better served by doing financial industry certifications….securities exam, financial planner etc. and skip the degree altogether.  

The only way I see any benefit is if you have an understanding within your company that a degree will increase the probability of getting a promotion.

Just my 2 cents
Aug. 26, 2009, 4:05 p.m.
0 votes/
I am thinking of enrolling in the Bachelor of Commerce(financial services major).

My main concern is the perception of the employers across Canada for the BCOM degree from Athabasca. 

The only reason I am considering taking this program is for career development and to increase my earnings. Due to my work hours and job demands I can't attend on-campus classes so online studies would be my only option. 

I was wondering if anyone has done their BCOM at Athabasca and what their experience has been?
July 22, 2009, 3:55 a.m.
+1 vote/
junior ...

Can't speak for the Bachelor of Science...

I did the Master's of Science in about 3 years while working fulltime.

There is no hard and fast answer because the number of required courses varies depending on your background (the admissions committee decides based on your application).  It also depends on if you do the "course" or "thesis" option.

I would say that the fastest you could complete it (assuming fulltime all year study, and a favorable course offering schedule) is about 2 years or 6 semesters.  For speed.... you must ensure that you plan your course schedule carefully because unlike the undergrad work, you take your courses as a group and follow the traditional university calendar.  Not all required courses are available each term either.

The average working professional I interacted with during the program took about 4 years to finish.
July 17, 2009, 3:41 p.m.
0 votes/
Can someone tell me how long it takes to complete a Bachelor of Science Post Diploma and a Masters of Science at AU?

July 17, 2009, 3:41 p.m.
0 votes/
Can someone tell me how long it takes to complete a Bachelor of Science Post Diploma and a Masters of Science at AT?

July 11, 2009, 7:40 a.m.
+1 vote/
I have taken a couple of upper-level undergrad Sociology courses at Athabasca, and I thoroughly enjoyed my online learning experience with AU. I have found my tutors to be very responsive; they always returned my email within 24 hours. For one tutor, I had to talk to them on the phone to discuss course concepts and my essay. While phone is not as context-rich as the traditional face-to-face meeting, it was helpful to me as a student to have that option to access my tutors by phone. I should also mention that my tutors were actual professors, with PhDs and a long list of published work in their CVs (i.e., they're legit, working scholars). 

I like how my course package arrives in one neat bundle, complete with all textbooks, study guide, extra readings, etc. At US-based Excelsior (which is excellent too, by the way!), you'd have to order your books separately, and they're not included in the tuition. With AU, you pay one-time when you register for the course, and that one-time fee covers all learning materials. 

I am now working full-time and enjoying my job, but am missing the intellectual rigor of being in school. I am seriously considering the MAIS program, as it would be excellent for me. It would allow me to enjoy the best of both worlds - master's school and my career, that is!  

Overall, I would DEFINITELY RECOMMEND Athabasca U. I love it.
July 9, 2009, 9:37 p.m.
+1 vote/
Like Nisha I am also looking at the Psychology program just wondering if anyone is taking it and what their rating of it would be.
July 9, 2009, 4:22 p.m.
+1 vote/
Sujun: Yes, I completed one of AU's courses in 4 weeks :) I never had a 4-month course, all are 6-month courses. By the way, I just finished my master's degree and I loved it !!!
July 2, 2009, 6:32 p.m.
0 votes/

I am thinking of transferring my courses from Simon fraser university to AU, i want to go into the undergraduate program for psychology, is anyone in the psychology program currently? and how is it?
June 25, 2009, 3 a.m.
+1 vote/
can I finish 4 month course in 2 months if I work hard?
June 15, 2009, 6:45 p.m.
0 votes/
I was thinking about ding a MAIS thru Athabasca, but I'm suspicious of their requirement that I have a computer with Xp or Win2000. My computer is a little old for those OSes, but I do have Win98 and Linux installed on it. I'm not particularly interested in buying a new computer, and a new Windows OS for it, just for the MAIS program if it's not going to be necessary. 

I can watch DVDs, use Skype, write essays in Word format, post to message boards and so on with the computer I have.

Can someone familiar with MAIS (Drew? Luciano?) tell me the reasons for this Win2000/WinXP requirement? Is it because you have to install some sort of proprietary software on your computer in order to do the courses?
June 9, 2009, 9:28 p.m.
0 votes/

I'm considering doing some French distance ed courses through Athabasca. Depending on how that goes I'd probably continue on with more courses.

Has anyone enrolled in language courses through Athabasca? Was it difficult to learn a language using the distance ed method?

June 6, 2009, 7:12 a.m.
+1 vote/
Hey Peter:
I am doing a B.A. French Major at AU and know for a fact that teacher's colleges do not distinguish between AU degrees and one's at bricks and mortars universities.  In fact, I remember calling the Registrar's office at York University and them telling me exactly that!  and I agree with Frank re: finishing the degree in 2 years- it's not worth it, since you need decent grades to get in to teachers college.
May 24, 2009, 4:11 p.m.
+1 vote/
Peter ...

Can't comment on the perception in the teaching community.  You can however accelerate your graduation if you are dedicated enough.  You are given 6 months to complete 4 months worth of work but you still have the same number of credits to complete as any other 4 year degree program so 2 years seems ambitous.  You also have to keep in mind that if you want to get into teacher's college you will have to get decent marks so rushing through may work to your disadvantage. 


The degree doesn't say anything about it being online.  I don't know how employers evaluate degrees in your country of choice, but in Canada I don't think accreditation bodies differentiate between online and campus based schools.  I believe they do in the US though.  AU is accredited in both countries.  If you are that worried about it, you should speak with organzations that do the degree evaluations in the countries you are looking at moving to.
May 22, 2009, 1:37 p.m.
0 votes/
To all those that have graduated from Athabasca U, I was wondering if the diploma actually says 'distance education' or 'online university' on it? I'm asking because I want to do the degree then move to Asia, and it doesn't look good to an employer if it's an 'online degree'.

Any help would be much appreciated!
May 19, 2009, 6:02 a.m.
0 votes/
I want to be a teacher in Ontario. I am thinking of taking the 4 year Bachelor of Arts, Major in French. I have a few questions:

- How is the perception of this online degree in the Ontario Teachers College community?

- Can I work at my own pace? (Like 4 years in 2 years?) - Is this possible?

May 17, 2009, 2:51 p.m.
+1 vote/
I do not believe that it is a money grab. There are numerous students who are not required to take the English course. There are also a number that are. I believe that if they have recommended that you do, then you should. When I took mine, they did not require that I take the course, but they did recommend that I take advantage of their English coaches for the first semester for help and guidance (which I did). 

The writing requirements at the Masters level are quite demanding and they need to ensure that you have the required basic skills to write at this level. I hope this helps...cheers!

May 15, 2009, 7:21 p.m.
+1 vote/
Hey guys,
I recently completed a degree at Athabsca and I found the programme both challenging and rewarding at the same time. I was able to do this while I worked a full time job and the professors...well lets face it...every now and then you are going to have a personality clash. Also, many employers acknowledge this training in Ontario and training institutions as well acknowledge the out though for entry requirements and the need for a four year degree is starting to show up for programmes.

I thought I would throw my inquiry out there as I have received a letter of acceptance to Athabasca's MAIS programme. There is an English test and my question is that I was recommended to take ENG255 course.  After reviewing the feedback and reviewing the site,  I was wondering if anyone took ENGL255 after the recommenation from the school and found this course worthwile.  My first reaction was if this was a quick "cash grab" from the University as the course credit would not be used towards the MAIS programme and it is an undergraduate course NOT a graduate course.  

Does anyone have any insight. 
I would appreciate any feedback!

Have a great long weekend
May 8, 2009, 4:29 a.m.
0 votes/

The short answer is "It depends"  ...a long one and more useful one is ....

If you are looking for job connections, HEC is internationally known from what I understand.  Top tier schools like Ivey, Rotman, Schliuch etc...have well connected people in them.....HEC also is a big city school so many of your classmates would be active in that city's business community...athabasca tends also have working professionals, but you don't interact with them face-to-face often, you don't have the ability to forge relationships that could be useful to you later.  Most students there are already well-connected so this isn't as important to them.  They are just looking for a good education.

If you require a lot of flexibility AU is a great option though.

Just remember in biz, who you know is often more important than what you know.

There is a Canadian business mag that profiles and rates the b-schools in Canada.  I don't remember the name of it, but that may be of interest to you.
May 4, 2009, 5:32 a.m.
0 votes/

I work full-time and take 1 course per semester (3 per year). I just started my 5th. course. Some do take 2 courses per semester, but I feel this is a very heavy load particularly if you have a demanding job (which I do).

I devote as a minimum about 2-4 hours per night during worknights. I devote Saturday morning's (3-4 hours)and late Saturday evenings (2-3). I also devote Sunday mornings (2-3) and late Sunday evenings (3-4). These include readings and responding to postings and on-line discussions.

Term papers require much extra time for research and analysis. In these cases I would probalbly devote at a minimum 4+ hours during the weekdays and probably 8+ hours per day on weekends).I hope this helps....cheers!

April 29, 2009, 5:31 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi there Luciano,

How many hours a week do you have to dedicate to each course (including readings and essays)? I am wondering whether it is possible to complete the 2 year program stream for the MAIS while working full time?
April 23, 2009, 2:43 a.m.
0 votes/
hi all, if I have the choice between let's say the hec MBA program in montreal, the dalhousie MBA online program or the emba at athabasca, which should be my first choice?
April 20, 2009, 2:09 a.m.
+1 vote/
I am currently enrolled in the bachelor of management program and it is going well. I think AU is a great University to obtain an undergaduate degree and it gives you a competetive edge becasue it shows you are self motivated and can get things done.  For entering the workplace a degree is very general and usaully experience as well as post graduate education play an important role.
I believe that if you are a well disciplined individual and are able to organize yourself well then it can be a very positive experience.
It is very flexible and you can get ahead. I personally get alot of work done and am able set aside alot of time for work and travelelling as I have family in various parts of the world.
On of the cons is that you dont get the group experience and the same interaction with other students as you wold in a traditioinal University however if you work a decent job you can compensate for that.  may also transfer to other schools after 2 years if you keep a high gpa. I also read alot of books and do my own  resaerch on the side so i believe my education is not inferior to that of others.ONe thing i woudl I would critisize are overpriced business schools across Canada such as Richard Ivey at the University of Western Ontario I dont understand why tuituion costs 20 000 a year. I know many students from thsoe schools and though they believe they are getting their moneys worth, in my opinion it is not so.
April 17, 2009, 6:13 p.m.
+1 vote/
AU is pretty good overall. There are times you may get the odd tutor who is unhelpful or very hardcore at marking. However, the majority of your tutors you get are extremely helpful and nice. Thus, AU is not any different compared to other schools in this aspect. I will, however, admit that marking may take a bit more than expected. The average time, however, is usually about 10 business days max. I noticed that tutors usually take awhile to mark assignments during the end of in-campus institutions. Those being December and March.

In terms of whether or not you will get a job fast after you graduate from your program all depends on the job field you want to enter. If your trying to enter a competitive job field, it may take awhile. However, this applies to all schools. There are thousands of graduates from different universities each year. But job placements are relative few unless your going into the high demand ones such as engineering or medical-related jobs. 

I'm currently 21-years-old. I graduated from my previous college in Spring 08 and transferred to AU for credits towards a degree. I've done almost half of my program's courses already - only need about till next Spring hopefully to complete it. So far, my experience has been great with AU. 

To those who want to attend this school, I definitely encourage them into looking into it. AU is probably the top long-distance university that is most credible across the world.
April 14, 2009, 8:56 p.m.
0 votes/
Has anybody taken the Computing and Information Systems post diploma degree?  How was it?  And is it hard to find work after completing this degree?  Or better yet what kind of work are you doing now since completing the degree?

April 2, 2009, 2:46 a.m.
0 votes/

You do need to take 11 courses (2 core courses - of the 11, the final one is a research paper). You must take at least 2 courses per year (right now I take 3 per year). Some students do take 2 courses per semester, but this is a very heavy load if you also work full time.

There is a summer break. For example, my current course will finish by the end of April. If I do not take a summer course (which starts in May - I am taking one), I will take one starting this September.

The courses do allow time for a 'reading week' in the fall and winter semesters.

There are two streams you can follow - grouped studies (weekly sessions with other students - which is what I am doing) or self-paced learning (which allows the student up to 6 months to complete a course on their own with assistance from a professor).

I hope this helps....cheers!

March 31, 2009, 10:36 p.m.
0 votes/
I have also considered the MAIS program at Athabasca...I am confused over how many courses we need to complete before graduation...on their website it says you need to complete 33 credits, or 11 courses to graduate, so how many do I enroll in each year? Also, do we receive summer holidays and breaks like the rest of the university community?
March 18, 2009, 10:21 p.m.
0 votes/
I am thinking about taking the MAIS program....From the onset, I have had trouble just trying to reach an advisor in the department....I finally spoke to someone today and she was not very helpful and could not answer several questions that I had.  I don't want to discount the program because of this...I really wanted some feedback from graduates of this program and if they found it helped them reach their career goals,
March 18, 2009, 2:07 a.m.
0 votes/
I was actually wondering how good the MAIS program is at Athabasca compared to other B&M schools? As well, how do employers view this degree compared to getting a Masters of Arts from UofT?
March 7, 2009, 6:04 a.m.
+1 vote/
I am currently taking the MAIS Program and I am absolutely thrilled! I will be starting my 5th. course in May/09. Of course no institution is perfect. I have attended Lakehead, U of T and York for undergraduate work. All fine institutions, but they too had their problems. I highly recommend Athabasca University and in particular their MAIS Program. 

I have met several professionals who did their EMBA at Athabasca and they were very satisfied with the program. The EMBA is ranked one of the top 100 worldwide.

July 24, 2011, 7:23 a.m.
+1 vote/
Agreed.  Grad studies at AU is a good option for those looking to enhance their credentials and I find the MAIS program really interesting and useful as well.
Oct. 8, 2011, 5:09 p.m.
0 votes/
Hello Francis!
I am very interested in the MAIS program for next year, particularly the Equity Studies branch. How did you find the distance education? And did you have to supply additional documents (letter of recommendations, writing sample etc?). How much does it cost per semester for two courses (I checked online but was not clear on if the 1K+ was for each course or each semester).

March 3, 2009, 4:08 a.m.
+2 votes/
Hi Everyone, 

I, like many of you, work full time and have been doing so for many years.  I need something that is fliexible and completed many of my BA courses through distance education in Ontario from Laurier.  I would like to take the counselling psych graduate program here, however I have concerns with the perception of this school in the Psych Community.  Has anyone taken this course (or another Graduate Psych course) from this university that went on to gainful employment in the field or perhaps a Doctoral program at a B&M school?

Feb. 28, 2009, 9:59 p.m.
0 votes/
Thanks for the input Frank and Joy... At this point I have to work for a bit, so Athabasca seems like a good option. when done I would like the option to go on to a MSc management that is offered at several Uni's it requires an undergrad and experiance. just wanted to be sure I would have the same options as others with a hard earned undergrad... 

I doubt that I have the cash to take the time off to go for a Beng or BSc in engineering.

Feb. 20, 2009, 8:32 p.m.
+1 vote/
You can transfer credit to other Canadian schools...If you want to go to an engineering school, I don't see the need to enroll here.  It would be better to use your college diploma to apply to an eng. program directly instead of going to AU.

I know one or two people that graduated from the program.....they seemed to think it was ok.

In my opinion, it depends on what u want....but again in your case (without knowing all the details), it appears you maybe better served looking at a school that has the program you want.
Feb. 24, 2009, 6:52 p.m.
+1 vote/
I just feel the need to add my 2 cents....... i am stay home mum with 2 kids(3 yrs and 1 yr) and hopefully one more, i am currently enrolled in bachelor commerce degree in accounting, i am taking fulltime courses atleast 4 per session i try for 4 months..... any way the school has allowed me so much flexibility as in i do my classes and studies at my time (when kids as sleeping) and with my time you never know........... i have had a really good experience so far, the tutors are just amazing and i mean they go over and beyond i have taken math classes, business classes and humanities and not in one department have i had a bad experience, i mean the exam marks are the down side and i have waited a month for marks and it could be very frustrating coz i normally need prerequistes but on the over all if you need a degree and are kind of in a tight spot......... you got AU all the way and i am sure there will be other people like Mellisa but i am just trying to encourage any one who has no choice that it is indeed a good place to get your degree at your own convenience and pace :)
Feb. 17, 2009, 2:14 p.m.
0 votes/
I'm Just about to graduate from an Engineering Technology program from a college in Ontario. I'm thinking of taking the BSc (post diploma) offered at Athabasca... Any one out there in this program or graduated from it? 

   Is it transferable to lets say an Engineering Degree or  a graduate program at another bricks and mortar Uni ??? I see this question asked a lot but I have yet to see someone say a definite yes I was excepted to X, Y, Z university from an Athabasca undergrad program.

And finally any thoughts on the program? worth it etc?
Jan. 18, 2009, 12:13 a.m.
0 votes/
I am planning to enroll for MBA online with Informaion systems. would anyone have taken this program and could give me few thoughts?
Jan. 5, 2009, 3:45 a.m.
0 votes/
Is anyone enrolled in or taking the BSc HS undergraduate program? 
Has anyone had transfer credits accepted for ICT Schools Massage Therapy program? 
What were some of your experiences?
Is anyone working with the degree and or have knowledge of the type of jobs you get after graduation?

Jan. 2, 2009, 6:42 p.m.
-3 votes/




July 24, 2011, 7:20 a.m.
+1 vote/
tell us how you really feel.  Do you have any comments regarding the curriculum?
Dec. 30, 2008, 7:01 p.m.
0 votes/
Does you know how transfer credits work? I saw on the Athabasca website that they except transfer from Georgian College, but I only did a one year certificate course there. My marks ranged from 86 to 96, so would I be eligable for any transfer credits?
Dec. 18, 2008, 6:35 p.m.
+2 votes/
hi Melissa....

The tutors are actually professors.  There are also some informal student tutor programs (in the normal sense of the term). I believe that are organized by the student union.  I never used them though.

Exams work as follows.... when you are ready to write your final (and in some cases midterm) exams, you notify the school 6 weeks before so they can send the exam to a testing centre near you.  Many local colleges/universities and professional testing centres across Canada host exams for AU students.  You pay a fee to the centre, typically 20-50 dollars so they can supervise the exam and return it to AU for marking.

There are scholarships available if you qualify. Like any other school, some are granted based on need, others are based on academics.
Dec. 17, 2008, 6:31 p.m.
0 votes/
I want to take the Woen Studies 3-year program here, has anyone taken it? I am interested in becoming an Ontario teacher and this program would be acceptable. 
Also what are the tutors for? Are they the profs or other students?
How do the exams work?
Any information would be great as this is a huge desicion! Did anyone get any funding other than provincial. I don't qualify for OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) as my parents make to much (I am paying for my education though, not them)
Dec. 13, 2008, 5:26 a.m.
+1 vote/
Hi Val....

As you can see there are people that have great experiences while others have poor ones.  Ashton and Johnny are a testament to that.  I have taken courses at AU and at a few traditional schools and overall I have not seen a significant decrease in quality with AU relative to the others.

There are a few points that I thought maybe useful for you to know.

Ashton's comment about exams:  The fact that you must pass the exam to pass the course is not unique to AU.  I have been in many courses at on-campus schools that have such a requirement.  It is designed to maintain the integrity of the courses.  I know someone who is getting an MBA but didn't write a paper in the program as her boyfriend did the work.  AU tries to simulate on-campus course structure and in my opinion getting students to write and do well on exams ensures the AU courses can be viewed as equivalent their on-campus equivalents.

Johnny comment about AU not in University reviews: (I'm assuming the MacLean's annual one).  There is no way they can be evaluated with the same measures as on-campus schools because their mandate is totally different.     Comparing AU's library holdings, operating budgets and % of international student attending the schools is like comparing apples to oranges.

In any event, given your situation, I agree with Ashton in that you should look at an on-campus option if possible.  In general, on-line study is good for students who have responsibilities that prevent them from attending an on-campus institution (ie family, job, location of residence etc, tend to be mature students).  Most of the people it targets do not really need the on-campus experience because they get those intangible things from the working world

You also mentioned reputation, I would say that AU may have a better reputation than some for-profit because they are accredited in Canada which tends to have a more standardized system than the US.  That is an advantage of AU being accredited in Canada. In addition, AU's fees tend to be lower than most American schools. 

If reputation is a big concern and you really what/need to do distance education, I would try to find an online program at a school that has an established campus.  You mentioned that you lived in the US.  Have you tried looking up the online programs in your state?  Many state university systems have large online programs.  (Check out Maryland, Florida and Texas for starters).

You didn't mention if you were living in Russia permanently or not.  You really want to know how your degree will be received where you will be ultimate living.

Hope that helps.
Dec. 11, 2008, 10:09 p.m.
0 votes/
I see, thanks for sharing!

Anyone out there that can anyone recommend a better uni that offers BS in psychology?
Dec. 1, 2008, 6:55 p.m.
+2 votes/
Hi Val,

I hope you read my comments above your post. Regarding the time frame to complete this program - no it does take 4 years to complete the program. Since it is done on your own time, you can do finish courses faster if you want. It is up to you. In terms of quality, I think AU lacks it. At least from my experience, I felt like I was just gambling money and hoping for a good tutor. I had some good ones, but a lot of them were just plain condescending, useless, or rude. If you can afford to go an on-campus school in Russia, I would advise you to do so. The international tuition costs I believe is about $935 for U.S. citizens. For overseas students, it could be more. So be prepared to pay a lot more. It might be cheaper for you to just attend a university in Russia though in my opinion. Please do not, however, be persuaded by my comments though. They're based from my personal experience as a former student from AU and do not represent everyones views of this institution. I am only making suggestions.

Nevertheless, best of luck in your decision.
Nov. 30, 2008, 11:15 a.m.
0 votes/
Hi I'm a young high school graduate thinking about taking a Psychology Major (4-Year) at AU. I will be moving from the US to Russia in a few years, and I have to ask, does this really take 4 years to finish? Do they offer high quality education? I think AU has a good reputation unlike most online for-profit schools, but I could be mistaken.
Nov. 15, 2008, 7:29 p.m.
0 votes/
This comment is to emphasize the previous post. I agree with what he says because I too had the same experience when I was enrolled in some of the anthropology courses at AU. Some tutors were just plain awful. I think AU takes any professor they can get. It is more about quantity rather than quality. A couple of my tutors were never available during "tutor support hours." When I filed a complaint with the course coordinator, she did nothing to help me. I barely passed the course and wasted a lot of money at the time. I also like how final exams are a pass or fail the course style. It is complete BS. You have to pay to redo the exam. It is funny too because one of my final exams was only worth 20 per cent. If you failed that, you don't pass the course. The funny part is that one term paper was worth 40 per cent. So I do not really see the logic in a 20 per cent final that decides if you pass or fail the course. Regardless, I withdrawed from AU and went to an actual on-campus university. The students and professors ARE MUCH MORE HELPFUL than AU. Like Johnny said, think twice before going to this "university." It is a complete ripoff for the quality of learning you actually get from it.
Nov. 15, 2008, 6:30 a.m.
0 votes/
From my experience, Athabasca University's tutors are not consistent. Some classes you will get an amazing helpful tutor, others you will get a discouraging and unhelpful tutor. It is pretty much a gamble. You have no say whatsoever when it comes to marking and how "useful" your tutor is. There are times in which it takes over two weeks just to get an assignment back or a week to get a single question answered. The course coordinators are also useless. Some class material are beneficial while others lack clarity and usefulness. All in all, beware of this school. You might want to do more research about what course you want to be enrolled in. If you are willing to waste $610 for one class whose tutor is useless, then think twice. Do not be fooled with the notion that it is "Canada's Open University." Sure you can work full-time while doing their coursework, but in the end, are you really getting what you paid for? I certainly did not. This school is garbage - that is why they do not participate in Canada university reviews. "They're so called special mission" is BS. This school should be considered a for-profit rather than non-profit post-secondary. It is a ripoff.
Nov. 7, 2008, 4:33 a.m.
0 votes/

AU's MBA program is the one program there that you may not have to worry about perception as much.

The EMBA program is cited in the Canadian business magazine and other major papers.  Many people in that program are already managers at their corporations.

Having said that, the business world is all about perception. If you are in a major centre and can go to a "prestigous" school, I would do it.

In the greater toronto, S/W Ontario area where I am, if you can get into Schlich, Rotman, Ivey or Queen's...they are seen as superior to Odette or Guelph.....mid of the road would be deGoote, Laurier or Rogers.  Other areas in Canada have there own biases.

if you don't live close to a major centre, or your schedule doesn't allow you to attend a campus, AU is a good option though.

You asked about AU reputation in academic/industry...I think I mentioned that in my earlier posts on this page.
Nov. 7, 2008, 4:19 a.m.
+1 vote/
Hi Ray/Pat/Kira and others...

I can appreciate your frustration with the be fair however it is difficult to pin your problem on the school as opposed to your particular professors.  English courses are very subjective (that's why never went into that field) and often different professors will grade the same work very differently.  I don't think that is unique to AU.

As for your compliant about having say about assignment grades.....I have been to a few traditional campus universities now and have yet been given the opportunity to provide input on how my assignments are marked.  Typically, a professor creates a marking criteria of some sort and tries to stick to it for consistancy sake.  I think you would be surprised at the impersonal approach at many schools (especially the larger more presgious ones....arrogence bleeds in them). 

Manditory class complaints..there are likely dictated by the school's accrediting body (Alberta education ministry and Middle States regional accreditation board) as oppose to AU.  An undergrad degree is supposed to provide training in a specific area and a breath of knowledge.  That is where universities in general are different than community colleges.  

You people may have seen my previous posts on this list. I'm now half way though my first year of doctorate school and I must say that AU's courses were not much different in content/format/quality than what I'm doing now.

One thing I will agree with Ray on however....if you do get the chance to go to a onsite campus institution and your circumstances permit..go for it.  Interacting with other students, working on problems together and hearing their opinion is valuable to the learning process.  AU collaborative tools are not yet advanced enough to facilitate this ascept of learning yet.
Oct. 31, 2008, 2:50 a.m.
+1 vote/
Wow I was just reading my posts and realized I named myself Pat. Sorry real Pat I was thinking about your comments while I was filling out the name box and must've placed your name in it. Very stupid of me. 

Anyways, for anyone considering the BPA of Communication at AU , please consider other options.
Oct. 30, 2008, 10:12 p.m.
0 votes/
Oh yeah, a few last things I left out.

A lot of their mandatory classes seemed to be a way to make more money. However, the service you actually get is ridiculous. For example, feedback and response times by your tutors. 

Pat mentionned you don't have any say regarding the tutor you get. It's true. You can have a very condescending professor who probably could careless about you're work and progress. So be careful before considering AU.

One positive aspect I left out thought was that you might get credit for doing a class at AU instead of doing it at an on-campus institution. For example, doing a history class at AU might give you credit for a history class you are supposed to take at University of Alberta. 

Anyways, good luck.
Oct. 30, 2008, 10:04 p.m.
+1 vote/

Moreover, you have to take a bunch of option courses which seem completely irrelevant to communications. Although this can be said about other universities, AU's idea of mandatory classes is a joke especially if you're majoring in the Communications degree.

If you really want to specialize in Communications, it might be wiser attending an actual on-campus university or another  accredited university such as Royal Roads. I for one am really considering withdrawing and going to another school. From my experience, I really felt like I have not learned anything from their coursework. It is cool learning on you're own while working. However, that seems to be the only acceptable reason to attend AU. If you're in you're early 20s, consider attending an actual on-campus class. At least you'll make friends and develop contacts. In addition, you can meet interesting profs who you can actually communicate in person with regarding assignments or other concerns. You don't have to wait a week just for one question to be answered.

So really consider you're option before attending AU's BPA in Communications Program. This is based on my experience as a student who has almost completed three courses for this program. My reflections in this comment may not necessarily reflect other students' view who are enrolled in the BPA of Communications program.

Hope this helps. I know its rather long, but it is a good analysis of my experience in AU's BPA of Communications program.
Oct. 30, 2008, 10:03 p.m.
+1 vote/

By the way, Pat noted that students really have no say on how their tutor marks them. It is true. Pretty much what you get is what you get. I recently was allowed to redo two questions for my assignment because I misread the requirements for my responses; hence I received a extremely low mark. The total marks for these two questions was worth 40 marks of my assignment. I am very fortunate to have a tutor to allow me redo it so I could achieve a higher or more acceptable grade. I am not saying all AU's tutors are not sympathetic, but remember, a lot of them are based on contract. Therefore, they're only asked to mark assignments once - that's it. If you fail an assignment worth 30 per cent of you're mark - too bad. Better do well in your other assignments to make up for it.

There have been cases (mainly my ENGL class) in which I have tried to argue for a better mark - but to no avail. The only answer they always provided me with was with their so-called "marking criteria." If you have to take this class or currently enrolled, its wiser to use simple sentences, repetition and basic words. Don't try to be too creative or you will be docked heavily for it. I personally felt like the course wants students to write boring sentences. By that I mean only a sentence with a subject and verb. Be careful with you're usage of adjectives because a lot of words have many meanings. If you use the wrong word, you'll also get heavily penalized for it. So be wary. It is a BS class as I have said.

Regardless, I felt as though I was submitting my assignments and hoping for the best. This applies to all my classes. It also takes awhile before your tutor actually responds to your e-mail regarding an assignment or assistance. Sometimes they do not respond at all and the course coordinator is sometimes useless.
Oct. 30, 2008, 10:03 p.m.
+1 vote/
I have similar thoughts to what Pat said. But my views reflect their BPA in Communications Program.

I am almost done three of my classes. However two of my classes, one is the ENGL255 and the other PHIL252 seem to be very confusing. From my experience, both classes ask students to summarize and write critical essays - which is fine. The PHIL252 class asks students to summarize and criticize arguments by analyzing their form and provide additions reasons or counterexamples. This is reasonable. However, in the ENGL255 class (I am not sure whether the department's tutors mark similar for all ENGL classes), it seems summarizing can easily be misinterpreted as a critical analysis. Therefore, as soon as you start to sound like you are criticizing a piece of writing, you get penalized heavily for it. This becomes very irritating. According to the ENGL marking standards, if you're content for example, does not suit the proper style, it affects all the categories (i.e. structure, organization, mechanics, grammar.) It is not a few marks either, it results in severe chunks of you're mark which will either result in a C, D or F. I personally believe this is BS.

One thing I found interesting is that the ways I summarized articles in my Philosophy classes seemed commendable according to my tutors. However, for the ENGL class, it was garbage to them. Thus, I feel sorry for anyone enrolled in this class or who have to take this class. I warn you, be wary of how tutors mark in the ENGL department. If you're planning on taking their BPA Communications degree, ENGL255 or some other ENGL class is mandatory. It is funny too, because a student who has either a diploma or certificate from another college with credentials such as public relations or journalism is asked to do an ENGL class. However, students in those field of study should already have a proper grasp of writing; therefore, they should not be obliged to take an ENGL class because their skills in writing should be acceptable. Moreover, this is the only way to enter the BPA degree - with a previous diploma or certificate in the fields of communications, journalism, PR or other practices of technical writing.
Oct. 25, 2008, 8:16 p.m.
0 votes/
You have as a student no control or say regarding the tutor assigned to you. You do not even get even get to submit an evaluation of the tutor's performance. The coures are expensive for what you actually get.
Oct. 22, 2008, 7:30 p.m.
0 votes/
I am thinking about enrrolling in AU's Executive MBA program but i am apprehensive about the perception that employers and the academia community may have about the program.  Has anyone had a positive or negative experience while on a job interview or applying for admission into a university for doctoral pursuits.
Oct. 3, 2008, 8:18 a.m.
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After being enrolled in my classes, my one english class is ridiculous. There is definitely something wrong with my tutor's grading. Apparently she's telling me I do not know how to write; however, I left my previous college with an exceptionally high GPA which involved 95% of writing. Then I transfered to AU to get my Bachelor's in Communications. Sadly, it took about a month to receive one of my marks for a small two-page assignment only to get negative feedback. 

I think I picked the wrong university.
Sept. 29, 2008, 9:27 p.m.
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Terrible! Exams were not sent on time! Tutor responded to questions incompetently! Course instructor does not respond at all! Grading takes months! Tutor grades are not done fairly! I have a 4 year degree from a real college and needed 1 last class before grad school.. I definitely picked the wrong online school to take it through!
Aug. 14, 2008, 7:36 a.m.
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Alright sounds cool. I am actually currently enrolled at AU Communications BPA program which I started this month. Just wanted some feedback from someone who attended AU.

Thanks. Much Appreciated.
Aug. 13, 2008, 2:45 p.m.
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Hi Kira.

It appears like the BPA program is limited to people with prior college experiance. Also there are a fixed number of majors that you can select from.

There are so many specialized degrees out there now that I doubt it matters whether a BA or BPA is selected.  BPA maybe a slight advantage in that it appears like you have specialized in a certain area.

If I were you, I would select the program that includes the most courses you are interested in.  Look at the program's content as oppose to the name and your decision should be easier.

Good luck.
Aug. 12, 2008, 7:33 p.m.
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Is there a major difference between AU's Bachelor of Professional Arts and regular Bachelor of Arts? Do you think employers will be like "What the heck is a BPA?"
July 29, 2008, 3:46 a.m.
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Hi Tammy,

I have been doing courses in the MAIS program without officially being registered in the program (you can take up to 5). It has been a great way to test out the program and get a feel for online learning without fully committing to it. I am now in the process of officially applying. I have absolutely LOVED my experience so far. It has been exceptionally rewarding and challenging. And I've been pleasantly surprised with the number of 'friends' that I have developed online. I have also been amazed at how supportive the profs have been and how well we are able to get to know them - certainly nothing like my undergrad in lecture halls of 300! As I have children and a full time job, I can't imagine a better way to get a graduate degree.
July 9, 2008, 6:42 p.m.
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I actually found out about AU because Dalhousie recommends the MAIS program.  So I can't see them recommending a school that they wouldn't recognize!  But I would contact them anyway....
Does anyone have any experience with the MAIS program?
June 17, 2008, 7:39 p.m.
+1 vote/

A: AU is a provincially accredited school just like any other one in Canada so I would expect that it would be treated no differently than the Laurentian one.  The schools are both part of the Association of Univerisities of Colleges of Canada. 

Check this site.

In general, most schools have wording something like "a bachelor degree from a Canadian univerisity" or equivalent.  I would contact the admissions folks at Dalhousie to get a definite confirmation to make sure.
June 17, 2008, 6:12 p.m.
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Q: I am contemplating on whether or not I should complete my Communications BA through AU, or Laurentian University. 
I would prefer AU because at the same time I can work.
I would eventually like to get the one year bachelor of journalism at Dalhousie university, but to do this you already need a BA.
Will it even count coming for AU?
Sept. 5, 2011, 4:38 a.m.
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Hello Ashley,

I was a student at Laurentian U in the Communications program and am now in the midst of making a switch to Athabasca. 

I loved my time in Sudbury experiencing University life on-campus and the profs were great too. I recently moved to Toronto and decided I was done with residence life up in Sudbury but I would definitely recommend Laurentian if you can try out the on-campus lifestyle (It is beautiful there and learning in-class is always better). If not, enrolling at Athabasca may be better suited for you.

Best of luck!
June 14, 2008, 5:08 a.m.
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Most of my peers at AU were looking for professional (as opposed to academic) advancement while pursuing this degree.  They are already entrenched in the IT field and are "looking to get ahead" or are trying to find a means of getting into a different area of IT.

I still work in industry and my intent when entering the program was marching up the career ladder as well.  For the most part, the degree served its purpose as the courses I took were instrumental in getting me to where I am. (as oppose to the degree letters) 

I'm sure that my peers had similar aspirations. It is too early to determine gage how successful they were.  I know a couple of people who moved into consulting type roles from purely technical ones during their study.  One has gone to do MBA work to complement the degree.  In general though, the grad class is still "green," happy to graduate and is taking a bit of time to reflect.

The program itself is very new and thus has very few graduates.  The concept of a practical master's degree for IT professionals is new to the Canadian marketplace.  It remains to be seen how it will be received relative to more research-oriented, theoretical graduate degrees and advanced industry credentials.
June 13, 2008, 6:21 p.m.
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I have applied to the MSC IS program at AU. I finished my undergrad 5 years ago and I’ve been working in IT ever since. I'm curious to know what sort of jobs or further education the other students went on to. Obviously you've went onto your Phd which is very encouraging but that isn’t really my goal. Do you know anyone who has tried to use the MSC IS as a career stepping stone and what the outcome was?
June 11, 2008, 6:06 a.m.
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Yes I did apply to more than one school.  The Ontario school that accepted me is one of the g13 that you refer to. (Interesting that you mention the g13 because I didn't know anything about it until I tried to find some way to compare the programs). I also applied to another smaller school but have not received an answer yet. 

For those that are curious, the g13 is a group of Canadian universities which look to collaborate for research purposes.  There is no official requirement for membership, but in general its members are known to be the most research intensive schools in the country.

Your concerns are understandable.  I didn't know how the degree would be accepted either.  From my impressions of the doctoral admissions process though, your grad degree is only one of many factors which determine your acceptance.  I have industry experience and an undergrad degree from another g13 institution which probably helped my cause.  Either getting a prof's attention with your application or meeting with them directly seems to be key.  In my opinion, any concerns about the degree can diffused with a good statement of intent, a solid GRE score and a good final publication.

My supervisor-to-be didn't question the authenticity/value of the AU degree during my meeting with him.  In fairness though, I cannot speak of how profs in general view it though.
June 9, 2008, 10 a.m.
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frank - just curious, did you apply for more than one b&m school? and, if you don't mind my asking, which one were you accepted at?

like many others, i'm mostly concerned with major canadian universities (g13 particularly) dismissing an athabasca grad degree.

i can vouch, for any others reading this, that athabasca was recommended to me for grad work by the university of ottawa, after i informed them i was planning to travel after graduation
May 21, 2008, 7:07 p.m.
+1 vote/

I can't comment on the accounting degree's utility in the US.  What I will say is that the school is accredited by the highest level possible in the USA.   I believe it is the Middle States one. (one of five or six regional accreditation bodies there). Unlike Canada, the US has competing accreditation bodies.  For the US you want a degree from a regionally accredited school (which AU is).  Depending on the profession, you may desire a program that is accredited by a specific professional body.  I don't know enough about accounting to know if that is relevant or what body that may be.
May 21, 2008, 6:48 p.m.
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I went through the MSC IS program at AU and like I mentioned, I got accepted at a doctoral program in a traditional B&M school in Canada.  The admissions committee there didn't have a problem with it.  I'm sure some people may see it as inferior.  Some people will be biased, but that holds true for any school.  Smaller less known or remote schools are often seen as inferior to larger, research schools. 

The program mirrors a typical lecture based program.  
- Full term, fixed start courses.  (No accelerated, 6-8 week courses)
- proctored 3 hour written exams
- group projects
- written thesis component with a supervisory committee. (my external reader was with the NRC in Ottawa)

The grad school is accredited in Canada and you can apply for research grants and scholarships like anywhere else.

Does it prepare you for the IT world?  I don't think that any program fully prepares you for it.  The AU core course content has been designed to give you a bit of everything, software development, project management, network design, database design, software engineering etc.  The elective part of the program allows you to take courses in the area you wish to focus on.  Those courses are mostly project/report based so you have the freedom you study want you want.  Finally your thesis is approved by a committee and published.

I find it a unique program in Canada because I haven't seen any program that blends technical and mgt/design courses like this one.  It gives you a decent exposure to various areas of IT. It is not a MBA or a computer science degree but a practical degree for IT professionals that want to learn about IT at large.
May 20, 2008, 2:14 p.m.
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I am considering to take the online accounting bachler degree from AU, but I wonder if this degree will be accepted if someday I want to be an American CPA, bec I just relocated to USA. Hope someone can answer my question, thx!
May 20, 2008, 12:39 p.m.
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Study at AU is a safe bet like Dante has mentioned.  I did grad work here and recently got accepted to a PhD program at a well regarded brick and mortar school.
May 12, 2008, 4:16 a.m.
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I am also trying to decide if UA is right for me. I'm moving to Fort McMurray in the fall and Keyano college there doesn't have any programs that interest me.
What's the work-load like? What does it generally consist of? 
Is anyone currently enrolled in Bachelor of Mangmt. to major in Marketing or HR?
May 14, 2008, 5:57 p.m.
+1 vote/
For those wondering if this degree is useful for pursuing further studies, be aware that it not only has full accreditation in Canada, but it also has been accredited by one of the 5 major (and legitimate) accrediting bodies in the USA, making in the only Canadian university to have attained this. I graduated last spring from the program, and have been accepted to a number of US Law Schools to pursue my studies in this direction. Never once did any question arise, nor will it ever, as this program, like the school, is the real deal with the proper accreditation backing it up. Study with confidence! 

Great program too, BTW.
May 5, 2008, 1:54 p.m.
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Are degrees gained through the university seen as equally prestigious as every other university?  I'm thinking of taking the Masters of Science in Information Systems.  Does anyone know if this will fully prepare me for the IT world?
April 29, 2008, 4:43 p.m.
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Has anyone take the MAIS English language assesment test?  Also, does anyone have any experience with the Masters program at A.U. I have been accepted but am having doubts about the validity of the program, but love the convenience of it.
April 17, 2008, 3:10 a.m.
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Great university for business if you live and plan to work in Canada. Really flexible if you work full time. If you take the correct courses, you can easily transfer them into different designations, CMA, CGA, CA etc. 
You just have to be patient and disciplined. Its a marathon.. not a race.
April 11, 2008, 4:16 p.m.
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Thats always been my question when thinking in attending  AU MAHE! DOES ANY ONE OUT THERE have an experience they could share????
March 15, 2008, 6:56 a.m.
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Does a undergrad degree from Athabasca full fills the requirements of applying to Masters Program of ANY other university? i.e do Other universities in canada consider Athabasca's undergrad  degree same as other brick and mortar university? Is there any one here who has Undergrad from Athabasca and pursued Master degree from other university?
Feb. 18, 2008, 5:17 p.m.
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I am an Athabasca University student, and I love it, the university is the pioneer in online education in Canada since 1970, it’s a fully accredited Canadian public institution ( i.e. Non for profit ).  Their Online learning is very convenient and flexible, so you make your own study schedule, it doesn’t tie you up, you can move from one town to other without changing the university, you can work and finish your degree from anywhere in the world.    Isn’t it great,  I personally love it, and definitely recommend it to busy students who need to work and study simultaneously. Just try it, you won’t regret.
Nov. 14, 2007, 11:51 p.m.
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Athabasca is a great option for those pursuing a flexible education. I would highly recommend AU if you are motivated enough to set your own timtable. I only had concerns with getting information on graduate programs when I was an undergraduate and I wasn't quite sure of the admission requirements from an AU undergraduate course. The communication between some of the staff also posed some difficulties because everyone worked in a different department. Otherwise, this was an excellent program for me.
Oct. 16, 2007, 10:01 p.m.
+1 vote/
Athabasca is an excellent option for anyone interested in a graduate degree.  It is also a very good option for undergraduate degrees, however, due to its undergrad format (it is good for people who have great self-discipline, not so good for those who need some structure - i.e. weekly deadlines, interaction with classmates, etc.).  

As far as course selection and material covered, it is an excellent choice for undergrad and grad school students alike.
Aug. 22, 2007, 9:04 p.m.
+1 vote/

My experience was that the school was pretty flexible when I required it.  I will agree that the school is understaffed (as it is a public, non-profit) and that the graduate schools operate also separately from the undergraduate units.

I never had a concern about policies during my stay there.  The program policies were spelled out on the school's web site and any changes to them were posted well ahead of time.  My letter of admission into my program also specifically stated what courses I required to complete my degree.  A full review of my time at AU will hopefully be posted by the web master soon.

I just wanted to let others know that others have had a good experience at the school (despite some its shortcomings).
Aug. 22, 2007, 5:08 p.m.
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Thank you for your review.  I am considering enrolling in a 4 year degree distance learning program and your input has been very valuable.
April 24, 2007, 6 p.m.
+1 vote/
This is a real buyer-beware situation.  There are a lot of incredibly good things about Athabasca University.  The tutors are pretty nice, the material is challenging, there are accomodations for disabled persons and you can get a degree from home!

The bad part is that AU is very, very inflexible in terms of policies, the learning centers are a bit disorganized in terms of exams and have limited knowledge about the school's graduate programs, the policies are not explicitly clear and change from program to program without much notice, there is little to no communication with students about changes in advisors, etc... and they are extremely defensive.  They are also understaffed.  I would strongly advise those who need student loans to NOT enroll at this school but if you are paying for the courses yourself, it's a good option.  Also, regardless of how you pay for school get someone, anyone, to write down the policies and print them out.  In fact, print out every email you get from and send to someone at AU and keep it safe.  

If anything changes - your program, for example - have someone give you the policies in writing again because they are different and no one is going to tell you that or help you. is not affiliated with Athabasca University in any way.