Scheduling and Timelines

How fast can I complete a course or program?

As a typical Athabasca University student, you likely have different responsibilities and perspectives than do most students at traditional universities.

Most AU programs are open-ended and give you as much time as you need to finish, but some do need you to complete your requirements in a specified time frame. If time limits exist, they will be listed in the program regulations. You decide how long it will take to complete your credential within that range.

Students in individualized study courses have up to 6 months to complete a 3-credit course and up to 12 months to complete a 6-credit course. Students in grouped study courses or those receiving financial assistance must complete 3-credit courses within 4 months and 6-credit courses within 8 months. If life gets in the way, you can buy up to three 2-month extensions. How quickly you complete your coursework within these guidelines is up to you.

Timelines for graduate courses

Most of Athabasca University’s graduate programs use an online grouped study format. Generally, group study courses follow a traditional semester system; for example, courses which begin in September will end in December. Grouped study courses are usually 13 weeks (three-credit courses) or 26 weeks (six-credit courses). Course extensions are not allowed.

"I can’t thank my mom enough. Helping me out and showing a lot of patience and understanding and really allowing me to work late into the evenings on this — particularly with the research, it’s so difficult." Greg ToffnerBachelor of Nursing, Master of Health Studies Read Greg's story

When do courses start?

Undergraduate courses start the first day of each month, but you must register and pay your fees by the 10th of the previous month to begin on the first. You can also choose to set a start date for a course up to 5 months in advance. Start dates can sometimes vary depending on the course, delivery mode, or other variables, so be sure to double-check before getting started.

When you register for a course, you can provide a preferred start date. Your actual course start date will be confirmed after your course registration has been successfully processed. Whether or not you receive your preferred start date will depend on when your registration is received.

When do graduate courses start?

Start dates for graduate courses may be different from those of undergraduate courses. Current academic schedules can be accessed from the Graduate Programs page of our website.

Did you know?

Your classes take place when and where it’s convenient for you. Take one course at a time, or pursue a full-time program. The choice is yours.

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