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Athabasca University

History : Prospective Students - Program


AU, a publicly funded post-secondary institution, is one of four public comprehensive universities in the Province of Alberta, Canada. AU was established by Order in Council of the Government of Alberta on June 25, 1970. Originally conceived as a traditional campus-based institution, AU changed course in 1972 through a pilot project to test the concept of an open distance university. The first AU course, World Ecology, was offered in 1973, and AU's first convocation was held in 1977.

See our About AU pages for more on AU's History.

Recognition and Accreditation

AU has achieved the highest possible award each year for the Province of Alberta Performance Funding.

AU reports to the government of Alberta through the Minister of Advanced Education. The government authorizes The Governors of Athabasca University (the Board) to govern its own affairs. Public members of the Board are appointed under orders-in-council of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

AU is the first Canadian university to be accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the U.S. recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

AU is also recognized by the Government of British Columbia.

See our About AU pages for more on AU's recognition and accreditation as well as a listing of AU's memberships.

Updated September 22 2016 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.