Overview

If you don’t meet the requirements for our certificate, diploma, applied degree, and bachelor’s degree programs, our Academic Upgrading program can help get you there.  

Complete a variety of our high school equivalency courses depending on your academic goals and journey. We want you to feel comfortable here at SAIT and develop successful strategies for ongoing learning. Many adult learners use the Academic Upgrading program to upgrade high school courses.  

All courses are Alberta high school equivalency courses (not Alberta Education credit courses) and are accepted by other Alberta post-secondary educational institutions for admission.  

Check the current Alberta Transfer Guide published by The Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer for a listing of all formalized transfer agreements among Alberta post-secondary institutions. 

Please note that you cannot use the Academic Upgrading program to earn your high school diploma.  

Why upgrade at SAIT

The benefits of taking Academic Upgrading courses at SAIT include:

  • flexible class times where you can choose when and where to take your classes - during the day, evening, online, or even a combination of in-person and online through our blended option
  • a supportive environment with access to free student services like tutoring, workshops to improve your learning strategies, assistance with writing, and counselling services.

We recommend you have access to a personal computer for your classes. Attendance and punctuality are directly related to academic success. Attending all your classes gives you a better chance of succeeding on assignments and tests. 

As an upgrading student, you may also take Open Studies courses if you take at least one Academic Upgrading course alongside your Open Studies course(s) each semester. 

To succeed in the Academic Upgrading program, you need some key qualities and abilities, including: 

  • motivation and a strong desire to improve your academic skills and achieve your educational goals
  • time management skills to balance coursework and other responsibilities 
  • self-discipline so you can stay focused while studying and completing assignments 
  • computer literacy 
  • being able to understand written materials in English 
  • study skills, including knowing how to take notes and prepare for exams 
  • effective communication skills, expressing your thoughts clearly verbally or in writing.   
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Courses

All SAIT upgrading courses are three (3) credits and 90 hours in length. Three or more classes per semester (9+ credits) are considered full-time studies.

All prerequisites are set at 60% except for Science 10 and SAIT courses, which are 50%.

Course Credits

This course will develop the necessary science and related math skills to be successful in higher level physics and chemistry courses. Science Preparation includes the topics of technical measurement; energy flow in technological systems; energy and matter in chemical change; and properties in water.

Pre-requisites:
  • 50% in ELA 10-1, 10-2, 10-3 or equivalent placement test.
  • And one of the following:
    • 50% in Grade 10 math
    • MATH 100
    • 60% in Mathematics placement test
Equivalents:
  • None - Science 10 for SAIT programs only
3

Topics in this course include: the biosphere; diversity of life; cell structure and function; photosynthesis and cellular respiration; and selected topics in human anatomy. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s Biology 20.

Pre-requisites:
  • 50% in Grade 10 math or equivalent placement test.
  • 50% in ELA 10-1, 10-2, 10-3 or equivalent placement test.
Equivalents:
  • Biology 20
3

Topics in this course include: the nervous and endocrine systems; human reproduction and development; molecular and classical genetics; cell division; and populations and communities. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s Biology 30.

Pre-requisites:
  • 50% in Grade 10 math or equivalent placement test.
  • 50% in ELA 10-1, 10-2, 10-3 or equivalent placement test.
  • And one of the following:
    • BIOL 181
    • Transcript evaluation at 60% in Biology 20 or equivalent
    • 60% on a placement test
    • 50% on SAIT’s Biology 20 admission exam.
Equivalents:
  • Biology 30
3

Topics in this course include mathematical, scientific, and laboratory standards for chemical measurement, elements and compound, introduction to atomic theory and structure, periodic table of the elements, simple inorganic compounds, acids and bases, chemical equations, gas and solution stoichiometry, and chemical bonding. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s Chemistry 20.

Pre-requisites:
  • 50% in Grade 10 math or equivalent placement test.
  • 50% in ELA 10-1, 10-2, or 10-3 or equivalent placement test.
  • And one of the following:
    • APSC 180
    • Transcript evaluation at 50% for Science 10 or equivalent
    • 60% on a placement test.
Equivalents:
  • Chemistry 20
3

Topics in this course include mathematical, scientific, and laboratory standards for chemical measurement; introduction to organic chemistry; thermochemical changes, electrochemical changes; equilibrium of chemical systems; and acids and bases. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s Chemistry 30.

Pre-requisites:
  • 50% in Grade 10 math or equivalent placement test.
  • 50% in ELA 10-1, 10-2, 10-3 or equivalent placement test.
  • And one of the following:
    • Transcript evaluation at 60% in Chemistry 20 or equivalent
    • 60% on SAIT’s CHEM-182/Chemistry 30 placement test
    • 50% on SAIT’s Chemistry 20 admission exam
    • CHEM 181.
Equivalents:
  • Chemistry 30
3

Students will study short stories, poems, a novel and a play in order to expand reading comprehension and writing skills. Paragraph and essay structure, as well as grammar and public speaking, will also be covered. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s English 10-1.

This course is unavailable during the summer semester.

Equivalents:
  • English 10-1
3

Students are introduced to a variety of literary forms, primary and secondary sources, and the associated referencing techniques. Written and oral assignments based on a variety of literary and visual materials are used to guide comprehension and critical analysis of studied texts. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s English 20-1.

Pre-requisites:

One of the following:

  • COMN 180
  • Transcript evaluation at 60% in English 10-1 or English 20-2 or equivalent 
  • 75% in English 10-2 or equivalent
  • 50% on SAIT’s COMM 181/182-ELA 20-1/30-1 placement test
Equivalents:
  • English 20-1
3

Students explore a variety of literary and visual texts, and demonstrate an understanding of literature, primary and secondary material, and referencing techniques. Development and demonstration of skills in comprehension and critical analysis in written and oral assignments are required. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s English 30-1.

Pre-requisites:

One of the following:

  • COMM 181
  • Transcript evaluation at 60% in English 20-1 or English 30-2 or equivalent
  • 75% in English 20-2 or equivalent 
  • 70% on SAIT’s COMM 181/182-ELA 20-1/30-1 placement test 
  • 50% on SAIT’s English 30 admission exam.
Equivalents:
  • English 30-1
3

This course focuses on the preparation for further studies in mathematics. Topics include operations on whole and real numbers; fraction, decimal, and percent notation; geometry and measures; polynomials; and equations and inequalities.

This course is unavailable during the summer semester.

Equivalents:
  • None (Skill Development)
3

Math 162 continues to develop the topics of expressions and equations through an investigation of exponential and logarithmic functions as well as rational expressions and equations. Among other topics, students are also introduced to the concepts of probability, permutations and combinations.

This course is unavailable during the summer semester.

Pre-requisites:

One of the following:

  • MATH 161
  • MATH 181
  • 60% in MATH 162/MATH 30-2 placement test
  • 50% in MATH 20-2 admissions exam.
Equivalents:
  • Math 30-2
3

This course covers Matrices and Pathways, Statistics and Probability, Finance, Cyclic, Recursive and Fractal Patterns, Vectors, and Design. The approach used in this course is primarily data driven, using numerical and geometrical problem-solving techniques. As a way of increasing relevance, students collect data in experiments and activities and develop mathematical concepts from analysis of the data. Algebraic constructs are addressed as a result of activities that students perform or as a result of experiences in which they are engaged.

This course is unavailable during the summer semester.

Pre-requisites:

One of the following:

  • MATH 180
  • 50% in Mathematics 10C admissions test 
  • 60% in MATH 172 placement test.
Equivalents:
  • Applied Math 30
3

Math 180 is designed to provide students with a foundational understanding of algebra, number systems, measurement, trigonometry, relations and functions. Among other topics, students will be introduced to concepts involving the use of exponent laws, factoring of polynomials, the measurements of different variables, the analysis of right angle triangles, as well as graphical analysis as it applies to relations and functions.

Pre-requisites:

One of the following:

  • MATH 100
  • 60% in Mathematics placement test
Equivalents:
  • Math 10C
3

Math 181 further develops the concepts of algebra, trigonometry, and relations and functions. Among other topics, students will investigate radical expressions and equations, trigonometric ratios, sine and cosine laws, as well as general factoring techniques and quadratic expressions and equations.

Pre-requisites:

One of the following:

  • MATH 180
  • 60% in Mathematics placement tests
  • 50% on SAIT’s Math 10C admission exam.
Equivalents:
  • Math 20-1
3

Math 182 explores concepts involving the composition and transformation of generalized functions, as well as polynomial operations. Students are exposed to the nature of exponential functions and their relationship with logarithms, as well as a detailed investigation of trigonometric functions and identities.

Pre-requisites:

One of the following:

  • MATH 181
  • 60% in Mathematics placement test
  • 50% on SAIT’s Math 20-1 admission exam.
Equivalents:
  • Math 30-1
3

This course is an introduction of the fundamentals and theory of physics as it relates to technology. Problem solving is emphasized. Four units of study are covered: kinematics; dynamics; circular motion; work and energy; and oscillatory motion and mechanical waves. These units prepare students for further studies in physics. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s Physics 20.

Pre-requisites:
  • 50% in Grade 10 math or equivalent placement test
  • 50% in ELA 10-1, 10-2, or 10-3 or equivalent placement test
  • And one of the following:
    • 60% in Grade 10 Physics placement test
    • APSC 180
Equivalents:
  • Physics 20
3

This course completes the introduction of the fundamentals and theory of physics as it relates to technology. Problem solving is emphasized. Four units of study are covered: momentum and impulse; forces and fields; electromagnetic radiation; and atomic physics. These units prepare students for further studies in physics. This course is considered equivalent to Alberta Education’s Physics 30.

Pre-requisites:
  • 50% in Grade 10 math or equivalent placement test
  • 50% in ELA 10-1, 10-2, or 10-3 or equivalent placement test
  • And one of the following:
    • 60% on SAIT’s PHYS-182/Physics 30 placement test
    • 50% on SAIT’s Physics 20 admission exam
    • PHYS 181
Equivalents:
  • Physics 30
3

Progression

You must pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program. Admission to SAIT and other post-secondary programs can be highly competitive. Grades higher than a minimal pass improve opportunities for admission to post-secondary programs. 

See our course upgrading pathways.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

Admission requirements

Once you have applied to the program, your transcripts will be reviewed by the Academic Upgrading team to determine the appropriate level of upgrading courses. 

You may be required to complete placement tests. You must complete testing in all relevant subject areas if your transcripts are unavailable.

All applicants, including those educated in Canada, must demonstrate English language proficiency.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

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English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more
Students sitting around a table

Placement testing

Once you have been confirmed in the Academic Upgrading Program, you are required to take a placement test to determine the proper placement level in upgrading courses for math and physics.

Learn more

Available intakes

Spring 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: n/a
International students: Open
  • Application deadline: n/a

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: n/a
International students: Open
  • Application deadline: n/a

Costs

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.

Domestic students

Number of courses per semester Tuition fees Additional fees Total per semester
1 $561 $205.66 $766.66
2 $1,122 $254.32 $1,376.32
3 $1,683 $785 $2,468

Number of courses per semester Tuition fees Additional fees Total per semester
1 $1,941.51 $370.66 $2,312.17
2 $3,883.02 $419.32 $4,302.32
3 $5,824.53 $785 $6,609.53

Books and supplies are approximately $150 to $200 per course.

MATH 181, MATH 182, and MATH 172 use Open Educational Resources (OERs), so no purchase is required. Some instructors may recommend additional supportive books in the form of math workbooks. 

Consider waiting to purchase COMM 181 or COMM 182 textbooks until the first class so instructors can inform you of their preferences.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

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Financial aid

You could potentially qualify for funding for your courses if you are out of high school for more than 12 consecutive months, are unemployed, working less than 20 hours per week, and/or earning a modest annual income, or are 18 years old and a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or convention refugee.

Foundational Learning Program

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 

We recommend you add the upgrading@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list, or you risk missing critical email messages. 

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Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

Academic Upgrading

Phone
403.210.5756
Email
upgrading@sait.ca
Book an appointment

International Student Advising

Phone
403.284.8852
Email
international@sait.ca