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Athabasca University

Services to Graduate Students

Library Services

Athabasca University students contact the Library from every Canadian province and territory, the United States, and overseas. Library requests from unique locations are not unusual. You may call the Library, toll free, through the automated attendant (1-800-788-9041, extension 6432); you may dial direct to (780) 675-6432; you may fax a request to (780) 675-6477; or you may make your request by mail or in person.

You may also access the Library through their home page

Using a library is central to the graduate student experience. At Athabasca University the library system is much more than a catalogue of library holdings, we support student access to a growing range of library collections world wide. As a graduate student working at a distance, we recommend that you develop a strategy for maximizing access to research and learning materials. Athabasca University Library supports your need for resources in various ways:

  • We maintain a Library Internet home page and 24-hour access to the Library Information Desk.
  • We maintain a collection of books and supplemental articles for each MA-IS course subject area. Library materials will be mailed to you postage prepaid. Remember that you can order library books, place holds, and make renewals online.
  • We provide access to a growing number of full-text online journals. Check the Library home page. If you find that your Internet connection is too slow when downloading and printing materials, contact Athabasca University Library about document delivery. With sufficient time and complete bibliographic citations, Library staff will print and send articles to you.
  • We provide an evolving set of Web accessible citation and bibliographic databases. Students may read abstracts to identify useful journal articles and order them through the inter-library loan process. We provide efficient and free inter-library loan services for journal articles, which we mail to you. See the Library Internet home page.
  • We provide graduate students with an 8-week extended borrowing privilege, upon request to the Head Librarian. This service is especially useful for graduate students in reading courses and project courses.
  • We provide graduate students with reciprocal borrowing privileges at other university libraries. All graduate students should consider the advantages of reciprocal borrowing privileges. Major university research libraries are resource rich. If you live near a city with a research library with an "open door" policy, your Athabasca University reciprocal borrowing card will allow you to use its collection, borrow books, consult with specialty librarians, and copy relevant materials. Information about reciprocal borrowing programs is available on the Athabasca University Library Internet home page or by contacting the Library Information Desk.
  • We provide a Reference Librarian and a growing range of online and paper reference materials that you can access or have mailed out to you.

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Library Services for International Students

Finally, we strive to help graduate students who live and work outside Canada in countries where English language library materials are hard to come by. Most Canadian Embassies and international libraries carry English language journals and newspapers; likewise if the local university has a Canadian or North American Studies program, the library will have reading materials of interest. Contact the Athabasca University Librarian for a letter of introduction to your local university librarian, to request access to the collection and to request borrowing or user privileges.

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Access to Students with Disabilities

Athabasca University has a long-standing tradition of encouraging individuals with disabilities to seek admission to courses and programs. In keeping with this initiative, the MA-IS is committed to providing students who have disabilities with reasonable accommodations and support services to attempt to facilitate the successful completion of their courses.

Accommodations may range from the use of a tutor, a reader, or assistive technology, to requesting a professor provide additional time or additional mentoring (or all of the above). As some accommodation requests may be beyond what the MA-IS can provide, students who require special accommodation are encouraged to first contact the Accessibility Services for assistance so that they may develop a learning plan/strategy. This must be done well in advance of the intended start date(s) of their course(s). Please refer to the Acessibility Services website for more details.

In assisting students with disabilities, the University's criteria for academic excellence will not be compromised.

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Learning Support

Graduate students sometimes find student-related concerns arising because of the greater academic demands of their studies program. Athabasca University makes learning support resources available to its graduate students through Counselling Services, as well as other areas of the university. For information or assistance in strengthening the academic results of your graduate studies, contact Athabasca University’s Counselling Services by phone at 1-800-788-9041, extension 6723 (toll free from anywhere in Canada or the United States); at (780) 675-6723 (direct line); or by e-mail at

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Computing Services Helpdesk

Students are advised that PCs are the primary equipment supported by Athabasca University's Computing Services (CS) Helpdesk. Only limited assistance for other hardware and software platforms is offered. The CS Helpdesk can assist students with the following inquiries:

  • using e-mail.
  • using common software applications such as Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint.
  • trouble shooting PC problems to determine whether the difficulty is with the AU site or with the student's PC or the Internet service provider (ISP).

You may contact the Helpdesk online filling out their form You may phone the Helpdesk at 1-800-788-9041, extension 6405 (toll free from anywhere in Canada or the United States), or direct at (780) 675-6405.

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If English Is Your Second Language

Unlike campus seminars where students and instructors debate readings and ideas around the table, MA-IS courses may require students to type their thoughts into a computer and post them to an Internet discussion board. The faculty will try to facilitate the learning process as much as possible; however, if students are struggling with their writing and language skills, they have additional options. For more information see the Handbook section titled "Learning Support" and visit Athabasca University's ESL course page.

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Athabasca University now has an On Line Transcript Request form. To order a transcript, please LOG INTO myAu and click on "Transcript Request" in the left margin.

You may request more than one copy to be sent and you can preview your transcript before it is sent.

The student's entire record (including date admitted, program, transfer credit, course registrations, grades, dates completed, dates withdrawn, failures, etc.) is shown on each transcript. Most institutions and agencies require that official transcripts be sent directly from Athabasca University. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for the receipt of a transcript.

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Updated October 28 2020 by Student & Academic Services

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