Applying as an open studies student

AU is the largest provider of open studies online courses in Canada. So, what does open study mean at Athabasca University? Open studies students are also known as non-program students and/or unclassified students. These include people who are not in a program, but are taking courses for general interest, or to build on their university credits to qualify for a program.

Whether for personal interest, discovering if attending university is right for you, or earning university credits, you can take one or more courses online at AU without enrolling in a program. Relevant credits can be applied towards a credential should you choose to enrol in a program in the future.

The same course registration regulations apply to program, open studies, and visiting students.

Taking undergraduate courses as an open studies student

Open studies students who wish to take courses without registering for a degree, diploma, or certificate program. If you choose to register for an AU program later, you can apply the credits you earned as an open studies student toward your future program, as long as those credits meet the program requirements you wish to enter.

How to enrol as a non-program student

  1. Fill out the Undergraduate General Application, and enrol as a non-program student.
  2. Pay the one-time general application fee.
  3. Write down your AU student ID number at the end of the application process. Your ID number will also appear on your printed or emailed receipt if you choose one of those options.
  4. You are now ready to register for AU undergraduate courses as a non-program student.
Apply as a non-program student

Register for a course

  1. Use your AU student ID number to log into myAU
  2. Click on "Register for a Course" and follow the steps
  3. If you are studying at another institution, and wish to transfer credit back, find the course in which you received a letter of permission from your home institution
  4. Pay for your course

Taking graduate courses as an open studies student

To enrol in graduate-level courses, you must meet certain requirements, such as an undergraduate degree. However, you don't have to be enrolled in a graduate program at Athabasca University to take our graduate courses.

You can take a few courses as an open studies student in many programs. Each program has a limit on the number of courses you can take and a unique application process.

Any courses you complete as an open studies student may be applied to your graduate program when you decide to become a program student.

Explore our programs

Still have questions?

Take your first step to online learning

We'll send you helpful information about programs, financial options, applying, and studying at AU.