Applying as an international student

At Athabasca University, we take pride in offering high-quality accredited online education, focusing on flexibility, accessibility, and exceptional support to help our students from all over the world succeed.

For Athabasca University international students, the application requirements, deadlines, and processes differ depending on whether you choose to study in your home country or within Canada if you’re already here. It is important to carefully review the sections on English language requirements and transfer credits, as these apply to all international applicants.

If you are an international student applying for a graduate program at AU, please refer to the program page for specific admission requirements, deadlines, and English language proficiency requirements.

For further information on enrolment, please contact the faculty or centre that offers your program. You can reach us at +1-780-675-6100 (international) or 1-800-788-9041 (toll-free in Canada and the U.S.).

Studying at AU and living outside of Canada

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and you plan to stay in your home country while completing your Athabasca University program, you can follow the regular application process. Once you submit your application, there will be a one-time, non-refundable CDN fee. For fee information, please visit Academic-related fees.

It's important to sign up for your courses at least a month ahead of when you plan to start. If you're studying abroad, remember that there may be different timelines for processing exam requests, grading, and regular mail correspondence. If you require a hard copy of a course e-textbook or AU-produced material, please ensure to submit a request at least 8 weeks before the beginning of the course.

Apply using the online application form

English language requirements for international students

If your first language is not English, you must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) to take Athabasca University courses. AU accepts the following as proof of English Language Proficiency:

  • Completion of high school in an English-speaking country.
  • Completion of 15 university credits from a recognized English-speaking university or 1 year at a non-university post-secondary institution with an overall average of 75% (GPA of 3.0).
  • Minimum score of 6 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Minimum score of 60% on the Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL).
  • Minimum score of 80 on the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) test.
  • Minimum score of 59 on the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
  • Minimum score of 213 on the computer- or paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT), with 4.5 on the Test of Written English (TWE).
  • Minimum score of 80 with an essay score of 20 on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT).
  • Successful completion of AU’s English Language Proficiency Program with an overall average of 75% (GPA of 3.0).
  • See the English Language Proficiency Requirements Policy for further details.

AU’s graduate programs have slightly different ELP requirements. In addition to the general graduate ELP requirements, individual programs may also have their own rules.

Find your graduate program

Transfer credit for previous non-Canadian education

If you have credentials from a non-Canadian or non-American institution and want AU to recognize them for transfer credit, you must get them assessed by an international assessment agency.

Transfer credit for foreign credentials

Frequently asked questions

Still have questions?

Updated October 20, 2023 by Digital & Web Operations (