Facts and Statistics

Courses & Programs

Athabasca University offers more than 900 courses in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree, diploma and certificate programs.


  • AU was founded in 1970.
  • The university moved its main campus from Edmonton to Athabasca in 1984.
  • Over 265,000 students have registered in AU courses since the university's founding.

About Athabasca University

  • AU is Canada's leading specialist in university-level online and distance education. The university has the mandate for the provision of university-level distance education programs in Alberta.
  • AU is one of four public comprehensive Alberta universities, recognized by the Government of Alberta and the Campus Alberta Quality Council. AU is also recognized by the Government of British Columbia and, in the United States, by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). No other public Canadian university holds this level of foreign accreditation.
  • AU students can take a single course or complete a degree, certificate or diploma.
  • AU students can enrol year round and begin most courses at the start of any month.
  • AU has been recognized for excellence in its academic programs and in its service to students.
  • Members of AU faculty are active in research and scholarship.

Student Demographics 2010-11

  • The average undergraduate is 29.4; the average graduate student, 38.2.
  • 83% of AU students work while they study.
  • 67% of AU undergraduate students are women.
  • 31% of AU graduates support dependents.
  • 70% of AU graduates are the first in their family to earn a university degree.
  • 36% of undergraduates reside in Alberta, 36.4% in Ontario and the rest throughout Canada and the world. AU students live in every Canadian province and territory and in 90 foreign countries.
  • 34% of undergraduates are visiting students from other institutions.



AU has a $128 million annual operating budget.


AU employed 1,327 faculty and staff members as of March 31, 2011.