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Master of Business Administration

At a glance

  • Credential: master's degree
  • Credits: 48
  • Next start: see program details

Athabasca University's online MBA is an AACSB-accredited program and among the top MBAs in the world. Exercise your critical thinking and decision-making skills and apply what you learn to your work in your own organization—with immediate workplace and career impacts.

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About Master of Business Administration

Athabasca University's online MBA program is designed for experienced managers and professionals, offering them a chance to build advanced leadership and management skills. Our program focuses on real-world applications, letting you bring your own work scenarios into the learning experience for immediate impact in your workplace. With routes like the Online MBA for executives, accountants, health leaders, and supply chain managers, you'll find a tailored approach to enhance your career, making us a leader in online graduate management education.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements vary, depending on the route chosen:

Wondering if you qualify for the MBA? Take this short quiz to find out.

Program details


Develop the advanced leadership and management skills needed to succeed in any sector with Athabasca University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA). This program is designed for working, experienced managers, and professionals.

The Athabasca University MBA for executives will enable you to:

  • develop and hone a high-level strategic organizational view
  • think critically and become a more effective decision maker
  • link theory and practice in varying contexts
  • enhance your change management skills
  • further develop your leadership and related interpersonal skills – networking, communicating online, collaboration, and teamwork

AU’s MBA for executives program integrates theory and practice by focusing on real-world business problems. You will use your own work scenarios and experiences as case studies, allowing you to connect your learning directly to your company and your industry.

Why take the Master of Business Administration?

Athabasca University launched the first fully interactive online MBA program in the world, and since then has continued to build a legacy of online excellence in graduate management education. Today, AU's Faculty of Business is AACSB-accredited and among the top 6% of business schools around the world.

Application deadlines and start dates

Application deadline Start date
Oct. 15, 2023 Jan. 2024
March 15, 2024 May 2024
June 15, 2024 Aug. 2024

All courses (core and elective) are 8 weeks long and 3 credits (with the exception of some 6-credit, 10-week in-residence electives). The applied project is 9 credits, to be completed within a 5-month period. The MBA is 48 credits total.

MBA program structure and course descriptions

If you already have a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Management, or similar business degree completed in the last 10 years, and at least 3 years of management experience, you may be eligible for the MBA accelerated entry route.

Don’t have an undergraduate degree? We recognize the value of your past managerial experience – if you don’t have an undergraduate degree, but do have significant management experience (a minimum of 8 years), you can still apply to the MBA for executives program.

There are 3 intakes each year, in Jan., May, and Aug.

All course activities take place in one online learning environment in small groups of 8 to 10 students under the guidance of a professor. Courses have pre-defined start and end dates, and clearly defined expectations for discussions and assignments. Students are required to take a least one in-residence elective (Canada, US, and International options),combining online work with a week of on-location, face-to-face instruction.

Attend an MBA webinar

Join our program experts to learn how AU’s online MBA can work for you. Attend a live session or watch a previously recorded webinar.

Routes and options

Online MBA for executives

The AU MBA for executives is completed in 2 phases. After successful completion of phase 1, you will be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Management.

Phase 2 includes both core and elective courses, and the opportunity to choose either to continue with electives or to complete an applied project.

Online MBA - Accelerated Entry

If you already have a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Management, or similar business degree having completed the degree in the last 10 years, and at least 3 years of management experience, you may be eligible for the MBA.

Learn more about accelerated entry

Online MBA for Accountants

AU offers special transfer credit arrangements for accountants. If you qualify for the accelerated entry, you’ll earn your MBA even faster.

Learn more about the online MBA for Accountants

Online MBA for Health Leaders

Earn both your MBA from Athabasca University and the Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation from the Canadian College of Health Leaders. The CHE is Canada’s only professional credential available to health leaders. Learn more about the online MBA for Health Leaders.

Learn more about the online MBA for Health Leaders

Online MBA for Supply Chain Managers

If you already have your Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation, and are accepted into the online MBA program, AU will grant direct transfer credit for up to 9 total credits which allows you to finish your online MBA in Supply Chain Management program up to 6 months faster.

Learn more about the online MBA route for Supply Chain Management Professionals

If you have earned the SCMP designation and a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Management, or similar business degree, you can finish your AU online MBA for executives in as little as 17 months.

Learn more about the accelerated online MBA route for Supply Chain Management Professionals

For individuals who have successfully completed the AU online MBA for executives program within the previous 5 years, SCMA will grant advanced standing within the SCMP program for 2 modules and 3 workshops. AU MBA graduates will be exempted from the challenge exam typically required for advanced standing.

Get your SCMP designation online

Completion times

Finish this program in as little as 1.5 years (accelerated entry route) or 2.5 to 3 years (regular route) of study.

If you are in the accelerated route MBA program, you have up to 4 years to complete all requirements. If you are in the regular route MBA program, you can take up to 5 years to complete all requirements.

Resources and links

Additional information that you need to know about AU and this program.

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