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Academic Upgrading

Waitlisted for Fall 2020

Open for Winter 2021

Delivery: Part Time Classroom or Online

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Upcoming Information Sessions

All classes in this program will be delivered online for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines.


Missing an admission requirement? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs. 

SAIT Academic Upgrading courses provide students with a flexible approach for their transition into post-secondary studies. Courses can be taken part-time or full-time in the day, evening or online. Students become accustomed to the SAIT environment and culture and develop successful strategies for learning.

SAIT Academic Upgrading courses are Alberta high school equivalency courses, not Alberta Education courses. They may be accepted for admission purposes by other Alberta post-secondary educational institutions. Check the current Alberta Transfer Guide published by Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer for a listing of all formalized transfer agreements among Alberta post-secondary institutions.

Government grant funding may be available for eligible students. For more information on funding, visit our Foundational Learning Program. Student loans are not available for upgrading courses.

Is this the right fit for me?

Attendance and punctuality are directly related to academic success. Students who attend all of their classes do better on assignments and tests.

Students are also encouraged to access free SAIT student services such as tutoring, learning strategy workshops, appointments with a learning strategist and student counselling services.

Read more


Want to learn more about this program?

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Prepare for SAIT programs

Students complete upgrading courses in order to meet the admission requirements for programs at SAIT and most other post-secondary education institutions in Alberta.

Tuition and fees per year*

1 Course: $671.98  
2 Courses: $1,202.87   
3 Course: $1,999.36 

1 Course (International): $2,239.43
2 Courses (International): $4,164.87
3 Courses (International): $6,104.36

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs

Tuition and financial aid


This is a direct entry program. Applicants who meet the admission requirements are offered spots into the program.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for Fall 2020 open Oct. 2, 2019 and are accepted until the program start date.
  • Applications for Winter 2021 open March 30, 2020 and are accepted until the program start date
Term Program start
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020
Fall 2020 Nov. 2, 2020
Winter 2021 Jan. 11, 2021

Why upgrade at SAIT?

Upgrade or complete high school course equivalencies in English, mathematics and sciences. Our flexible learning options will prepare you for admission to SAIT's career programs.

Admission Requirements

Note: all students taking upgrading courses must apply to Academic Upgrading through Apply Alberta.

There are six intakes for this program offered per year. Please see the following chart to determine which semester to apply for. 

Which semester should I apply for? Fall 2020 Winter 2021 Spring 2021 Summer 2021
When can I apply? Oct. 2, 2019 March 30, 2020 TBD TBD
When do courses start? Sept. or Nov. January or March May July
When can I register for courses? Registration opens approximately two months prior to the start date. 

Admission requirements

  • Minimum of 50% in the following courses or their equivalents:
    • English Language Arts 10-1 or 10-2, or successful completion of an English placement test.
    • Pure Math 10 or Applied Math 10 or Math 10C or Math 10-3 or successful completion of a math placement test.
  • Students will be required to complete testing in the relevant subject areas if transcripts are not available.
  • All applicants to SAIT must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada. For more information, please see English Proficiency.
  • View High School Course Equivalencies by Province.

How to apply for Academic Upgrading

Registration opens approximately two months prior to the start of course start dates. 

Step 1: Apply to Academic Upgrading and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above. You may be required to complete a placement test within two or three weeks of applying to satisfy admissions requirements. You will receive confirmation through acceptance. 

Step 3: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply.

Placement testing

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.

Placement tests are required to determine the proper level of placement in academic upgrading courses for math and physics. Placement tests in other subject areas are also available if you are not meeting prerequisites through high school transcripts. Contact upgrading@sait.ca for more details.

View the table below for courses that require placement testing. Please download and review the appropriate study guide and formula sheet prior to taking the placement test for your desired course.

*Students who have passed SAIT’s upgrading Math or Physics courses are not required to take placement testing.

Course  Educational equivalent Placement Test Guide Formula Sheet Attempt One  Attempt Two
MATH-100 Math 9 MATH-100 N/A

Take the test

Take the test

MATH-180 Math 10C MATH -180 Formula Sheet  Take the test
MATH-181 Math 20-1 MATH - 181 Formula Sheet Take the test 
MATH-162 Math 30-2 MATH - 162

Formula Sheet

Take the test 
MATH-182 Math 30-1 MATH - 182 Formula Sheet  Take the test
PHYS-181 Physics 20 PHYS -181 Formula Sheet  Take the test
PHYS-182 Physics 30 PHYS - 182 Formula Sheet Take the test
BIOL-182 Biology 30 BIOL-182 N/A Take the test
CHEM-181 Chemistry 20 CHEM-181 Data Booklet Take the test
CHEM-182 Chemistry 30 CHEM-182 Data Booklet Take the test
COMN-180 ELA 10-1 COMN-180 N/A Take the test
COMM-181/182 ELA 20-1/30-1 COMN-181/182 N/A Take the test

Study guides are available for the following placement tests:

An individualized program plan will be created. A program plan maps out the courses that need to be taken each semester and will be created for students based on their transcript and/or test results.


Note: all students taking upgrading courses must apply to Academic Upgrading through Apply Alberta.
Step-by-step registration instructions

To register in an academic upgrading or open studies course complete the steps listed below.

Once you have applied and been accepted into the program you can register. You’ll be using mySAIT for registration.

  1. Log into mySAIT with your SAIT ID.
  2. Select a term open for registration.
  • summer: July to August
  • fall: September to December
  • winter: January to April
  • spring: May to June
  1. Find your course and add it to your summary. If you’d like to register for multiple courses, add them to your summary now.
  2. Choose submit in the summary.
  3. Go to account summary and pay now to review your account balance.
  4. Choose pay now.
  5. On the landing screen, choose make payment, and advance to the account payment
  6. Choose to pay the current account balance and verify your payment amount and choose OK.
  7. Choose your method of payment — Visa or MasterCard.
  8. Enter your credit card number and choose continue.
  9. Enter your account information and choose continue.
  10. Review your confirmation details and choose submit payment.

You will receive a confirmation of payment via email. You can find your complete payment history in your account summary on mySAIT.

For downloadable instructions click here

Program outline

All SAIT upgrading courses are 3 credits. Three classes (9 credits) is considered full time.

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

For more detailed information click here

Course code AB Education equivalent Pre-requisite*
APSC-180 None - Science 10 for SAIT programs only None
BIOL-181 Biology 20 None
BIOL-182 Biology 30 Biology 20 or BIOL 181
CHEM-181 Chemistry 20 Science 10 or APSC 180
CHEM-182 Chemistry 30 Chemistry 20 or CHEM 181
COMN-180 English 10-1 Admission in the AU program
COMM-181 English 20-1 English 10-1 or COMN 180
COMM-182 English 30-1 English 20-1, English 30-2 or COMM 181
MATH-100 None (Skill Development) Admission in the AU program
MATH-162 Math 30-2 Placement test or MATH 181
MATH-172 Applied Math 30 Placement test or MATH 180
MATH-180 Math 10C Placement test or MATH 100
MATH-181 Math 20-1 Placement test or MATH 180
MATH-182 Math 30-1 Placement test or MATH 181
PHYS-181 Physics 20 Placement test or APSC 180
PHYS-182 Physics 30 Placement test or PHYS 181

View additional Academic Upgrading program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.

More information

* A limited number of upgrading courses are offered in a blended format. A blended course runs 14 weeks and involves online participation as well as an on-campus class on Saturdays'. Please note that all Saturday scheduled classes are blended courses. Each course has a specific start and end date, as well as a course outline that states requirements and deadlines for coursework. Students are expected to work through course content and assessments outside the weekly on-campus class in order to stay on track with the course schedule. Exams and labs (if applicable) will be completed during class time and, as such, attendance and regular "check-ins" to the course website (in Brightspace/D2L) are essential to succeed in this course format.


For course upgrading pathways click here.

Students 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. 


Domestic tuition and fees*

Number of courses Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees Health & Dental plan 2020/21 total
1 $494 $130 $47.98 $ - $671.98
2 $988.98 $130 $83.89 $ - $1,202.87
3 $1,483.47 $180 $83.89 $252 $1,999.36

*This is a one time payment that covers two 15 week semesters within the academic year.

International tuition and fees*

Number of courses Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees Health & Dental plan 2020/21 total
1 $1889.49 $130 $47.94 $172 $2,239.43
2 $3778.98 $130 $83.89 $172 $4,164.87
3 $5668.47 $180 $83.89 $172 $6,104.36

*This fee will be charged per semester for international students.

SAIT fees

Campus athletic and recreation fee: $80 per semester
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): If you are taking two courses during the semester, you may be eligible to purchase the UPass. If you are taking three courses, the $302 will be added to your SAIT fees.
Student support fee: $25 ($50 for 3 courses)
Student technology fee: $25 ($50 for 3 courses)

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the  Saitsa website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $172
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the  International Centre.

Cost and supplies*

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

Find out about tuition and financial aid and use our cost calculator to get your estimated yearly cost for the program.

You could you potentially qualify for funding for your upgrading 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
  • Are 18 years old and are a Canadian Citizen, Permanent resident or Convention Refugee

If you can answer yes to all three or have any other questions then click here for more details.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Fall 2020


Orientation for new students will take place online on Sept. 4, 2020.

To find the time and platform, visit our orientation page.


All classes in this program will be delivered online for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines.

How to register for classes

You'll follow an open registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

Computers and laptops

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

Preparation courses

To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience and ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices. 

Required textbooks

The Fall 2020 booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start. We recommend you wait to buy your books until your first few days of classes and speak with your instructors.


Phone: 403.210.5756  
Email: upgrading@sait.ca

Academic chair

Enda Morley, Academic Chair
Email:  enda.morley@sait.ca

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

Academic Upgrading

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