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School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1970
    • Size:
    • Large (>15,000 students)
    • Type:
    • Public
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
    • Specialization:
    • Distance Education Institution 1
    • Climate:
    • Cold (Continental)
    • Location:
    • 1 University Drive, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada
    • Phone:
    • +17806756100
    • Email Address:
    • N/A
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of Athabasca University (AU)

Athabasca University was created by the Alberta government in 1970. It was part of the expansion of the higher education system in Alberta at that time to cope with rising enrolment.

In the late 1960s, the University of Alberta (U of A) had long been established, the University of Calgary was created after legislation had been changed, and an Order in Council had created the University of Lethbridge. In 1967, the Manning government announced its intention to establish a fourth public university, but this would be delayed by three years as the government considered different proposals. The U of A wanted to expand rather than see another university open in Edmonton to compete with it. One proposal favoured establishing a Christian university instead of a secular one. Another early suggestion was an "Alberta academy" that would take credits students had earned at multiple universities, evaluate them for transfer, and perhaps award degrees. A Department of Education ad hoc group favoured the establishment of a fourth public university

Academic Highlights

Athabasca University (AU) is a Canadian university specializing in online distance education. It is one of four comprehensive academic and research universities in Alberta. Founded in 1970, it was the first Canadian university to specialize in distance education and AU's has five faculties: College of Business, College of Health Disciplines, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Science and Technology and College of Graduate Studies.

Life in Athabasca University (AU)

In June 2014, Athabasca University formally partnered with the CFLPA as the official education provider for their players – both past and present. 

School Ranking

The university is accredited with the United States by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States . Athabasca University Ranking @ 2018. Ranking in Canada – 44, World Ranking – 1396.


Admission requirements vary by program, degree, and course choices make sure to identify which student profile matches your interests before starting the application process at the Athabasca University (AU)

Notable Alumni

  • Shannon-Ogbnai Abeda - Olympic athlete
  • Frank Appleby  - Alberta MLA

Acceptance Rate

Other Campuses
    • 10011 109 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    • 345 ? 6 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada



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