Graduate Students under the Western Deans Agreement

The Western Deans’ Agreement is a long-standing agreement between Athabasca University, the University of Alberta, Brandon University, University of British Columbia, University of British Columbia Institute of Technology, University of Calgary, Concordia University College, University of Lethbridge, University of Manitoba, University of Regina, Royal Roads University, University of Saskatchewan, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Thompson Rivers University, University of Northern British Columbia, University of British Columbia (Okanagan), University of Fraser Valley, and University of Winnipeg. The primary purpose of the Western Dean’s Agreement (WDA) is the reciprocal enrichment of graduate programs throughout western Canada. This agreement is not intended to preclude other agreements between participating institutions.

The WDA provides an automatic tuition fee waiver for visiting students. Both the program and course fees are waived. Graduate students paying normal required tuition fees to their home institution will not pay tuition fees for the approved course to the host institution. Students may be required to pay student activity, application, or other ancillary fees to the host institution, according to general policies in effect at the host institution. Wherever possible, these fees will also be waived. Additional information is available on the website at http://wcdgs.ca/western-deans-agreement.html a downloadable form is available at this site.

Students applying to AU under the WDA (incoming students):

Athabasca University has a number of conditions, in order for a student to take an AU course under the WDA:

  • Graduate degree students must be in good standing at one of the above listed western Canadian universities;
  • Before applying, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the course(s) the student wishes to take will be recognized as part of their graduate degree program at their University;
  • Undergraduate and graduate courses may be taken, but they must be used toward credit for a graduate degree program at their home university;
  • AU has a number of restrictions:
    • a maximum of 2 courses can be taken from AU to be used toward credit for the same degree
    • registration for a course will be dependent upon space availability in the course(s)
    • application and registration must meet the registration deadline for the course(s)
    • courses in the MBA and the DBA program are exempt from the WDA
    • an administrative fee will be charged for graduate-level courses, and depending upon the program, additional fees may be charged;
  • By signing the WDA form, the student’s home department is providing written assurance that the course(s) listed on the form: a) is required for the student’s program; and b) will be credited toward the student’s graduate degree program upon successful completion;
  • For each course requested under the WDA, authorized signatures from the centre offering the course(s) at AU are needed. The centre is under no obligation to accept a student into a particular course;
  • If students are not eligible for consideration under the WDA, they may apply for a course as a ‘non-program’ student outside of the WDA. Tuition and other fees will be required to be paid by the student.
  • Refunds for course withdrawals may differ depending upon the program and their own internal processes. Student’s inquiring about course withdrawals and refunds must contact their program administrator.

AU Students applying to take courses under the WDA at another university (outgoing students):

Refer to the regulations pertaining to the WDA of the university to which you are applying:

  • You must be in good standing at Athabasca University and enrolled as a program student at AU;
  • Before applying, it is your responsibility to ensure that the course(s) you wish to take will be recognized as part of the graduate degree program at AU. Talk to your graduate program director;
  • Ensure you make yourself aware of the registration deadlines for the course(s) and begin the application process 2 to 3 months in advance of the course registration deadline;
  • Undergraduate and graduate courses may be taken, but they must be used toward credit for a graduate degree program at AU;
  • The host university is under no obligation to accept you into a particular course;
  • There will be some costs that you may have to pay.

Procedures:

  • Some courses are offered on a semester, trimester, or session basis. Ensure you make yourself aware of the registration deadlines for the requested course(s). http://www.athabascau.ca/programs-courses/
  • Download the form from the website at http://wcdgs.ca/content/dam/ex/wcdgs/Western- Deans-Agreement.pdf
  • You can fax or email the form to your graduate program director, for your program or faculty, who will need to approve your taking the course by signing the form.
  • The graduate program director will then forward the form to the Dean for the Faculty of Graduate Studies at your home university for signature.
  • The FGS will then send the form to the host university for approvals from the department/centre in which the course is offered and the FGS.
  • You will be notified by your graduate program director or designate of the outcome within 4 to 6 weeks after the application has been received.

Fees:

At Athabasca University for incoming students, we provide the tuition waiver. The student must pay the following:

Graduate Courses

  • An administrative fee of $250 per course for each WDA application
  • Students are required to pay the one-time non-program graduate application fee of $105.00
  • AU Graduate Student Association Fee - $13.00 per credit
  • Any other fees not listed associated with the specific program (contact the program administrator)

Note: The $250 administrative fee is only for "incoming graduate-level" WDA students. Our students that take a course at another western university under the WDA, only have to pay whatever fees that host institution charges.

Students are limited to registering for a maximum of TWO (2) courses under the Western Deans Agreement that can be used as credit towards a specific degree.

Undergraduate Courses

  • Students are required to pay the one-time non-program general application fee of $118.00
  • Student Union/Alumni Relations Fee - $13.25 for a 3-credit course
  • Course Materials Fee (if applicable) - $51
  • Any other fees not listed associated with the specific program