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Athabasca University

Policies & Guidelines

Program Status

Students enrolled in a diploma or certificate program will be expected to maintain program status by completing six credits of course work (two 3-credit courses) in each academic year (September 1 – August 31).

Students will also be expected to maintain a minimum GPA. In core courses, the lowest acceptable grade is B-. In elective courses, the lowest acceptable grade is C+. Students who receive a grade lower than these minimums may be required to withdraw from the program.

Time Limit

Students must complete certificate programs (PBCID and PBCTBL) within two academic years and diploma programs (PBDID and PBDDET) within three academic years. In extenuating circumstances students may apply for a program extension, for which fees may apply.

Course Extensions

In exceptional circumstances, students may request a course extension from their instructor. Extensions are at the discretion of the instructor but may only be granted for students with one assignment outstanding.

Instructors may grant a 30 day extension at no charge to the student and be granted a short course extension. Students taking MDDE courses may submit assignments up to 30 days after the last day of the course upon approval of the instructor.

A further Course Extension is required to submit assignments after that date. Course Extensions for a period of up to 50 extra days may be granted upon approval of the instructor and payment of a $250 Course Extension Fee. Courses not completed within 90 days of the final day of the course may receive a grade of "F".

Course Withdrawals

Students may withdraw from a course by submitting a Withdrawal Request Form to Students should not return any printed course materials.

If a student withdraws from a course before the early withdrawal deadline (30 days from the course start date), no record of the course will appear on their official transcript. Students will receive a refund of the full course tuition fee less the course withdrawal processing fee ($350).

If a student withdraws from a course after the first month of the course and before the last month of the course, their official transcript will show a W, meaning that the student withdrew without credit and without prejudice or academic penalty. No refund will be granted.

Program Withdrawals

Students may withdraw from the program by submitting their request in writing to the program director.

Students who withdraw are welcome to re-apply at a later date, but will be competing against all other applicants and will not receive special consideration.

Grading System

With the exception of MDDE 694, 701, 702, 703, and 704, which will be graded on a pass/fail basis, all courses will be graded using the Alpha/4.0 grading scale.


When students are enrolled in the final course of their program, they must submit an online Application to Graduate through the Office of the Registrar (

Graduations are processed and parchments sent via mail every month. Students who graduate before May 1 will be invited to Convocation in Athabasca in June.

Updated September 20 2017 by CDE

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