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Academic Upgrading

Open for Fall 2020

Open for Spring 2020

Closed for Winter 2020

Available: Full Time Classroom or Online

Program Highlights

SAIT academic upgrading courses prepare students for admission into SAIT career programs. These courses are Alberta high school equivalency courses. They may be accepted for admission purposes by other Alberta post-secondary educational institutions. You may be required to take placement tests for selected courses.
(Also available part-time through Continuing Education.)

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Tuition and fees per course*

Year 1: $2,881
Year 1 (International): $11,805

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


This is a direct entry program. Applicants who meet the admission requirements are offered spots based on first qualified, first acceptance if space is available.

When can you apply?

  • Applications are accepted until the program start date.
  • Applications for Winter 2020 open May 1, 2019. 
  • Applications for Fall 2020 open Oct. 2, 2019. 
  • Applications for Spring 2020 opened Dec. 13, 2019.
Term Program start
Winter 2020 Jan. 6, 2020
Spring 2020 May 4, 2020
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020

Program Details

Program description

SAIT academic upgrading courses prepare students for admission to SAIT career programs. For SAIT program Admission requirements, refer to the appropriate sections of the  SAIT Academic Calendar. 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.

SAIT academic upgrading courses provide students with a flexible approach for their transition to 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.

Government grant funding may be available for eligible students. For more information on funding, please check the following website: www.sait.ca/sip. Student loans are not available for upgrading courses.

It is recommended that all students have access to a personal computer. 

Your career

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

Student success

Attendance and punctuality are directly related to academic success. Students who attend all of their classes do better on assignments and tests. Students are encouraged to access free SAIT student services such as tutoring, learning strategy workshops, appointments with a learning strategist, and student counselling services.

Credentials and accreditation

No credentials and accreditation awarded.

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Applications are open until the program start date.
  • Winter 2020: applications open May 1, 2019. 
  • Spring 2020: applications opened Dec. 13, 2019.
  • Fall 2020: applications open on Oct. 2, 2019.

Admission requirements

  • Minimum of 50% in the following courses or their equivalents:
    • English Language Arts 10-1 or 10-2,
    • 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 current or 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.

Placement testing

  • Transcripts will be reviewed by the academic upgrading team to determine the appropriate level of upgrading courses.
  • Placement tests may be recommended or required to determine the proper level of placement in academic upgrading. You must book your test at least 24 hours in advance — review the booking instructions and email upgrading@sait.ca if you have any questions. 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.

Contact Academic Upgrading at 403.210.5756 for more information, or email upgrading@sait.ca.

Direct entry: four-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply to Academic Upgrading and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.

      • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.

Step 4: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply.


Program outline

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

Course codeCourse nameAB Education equivalentOfferedCredits
APSC-180* Science Preparation Science 10 for SAIT programs only Classroom, Online or Blended 3.0
BIOL-181 Biology I Biology 20 Classroom or Online 3.0
BIOL-182* Biology II Biology 30 Classroom, Online or Blended 3.0
CHEM-181* Chemistry I Chemistry 20 Classroom, Online or Blended 3.0
CHEM-182* Chemistry II Chemistry 30 Classroom or Online 3.0
COMN-180 Literature and Composition I English 10-1 Classroom or Online 3.0
COMM-181 Literature and Composition II English 20-1 Classroom or Online 3.0
COMM-182 Literature and Composition III English 30-1 Classroom, Online or Blended 3.0
MATH-100 Mathematics Foundations None (Skill Development) Classroom 3.0
MATH-162 Technical Mathematics II Math 30-2 Classroom 3.0
MATH-172 Applied Mathematics II Applied Math 30 Classroom 3.0
MATH-180 Mathematics Preparation Math 10C Classroom or Online 3.0
MATH-181 Mathematics I Math 20-1 Classroom or Online 3.0
MATH-182* Mathematics II Math 30-1 Classroom, Online or Blended 3.0
PHYS-181 Physics I Physics 20 Classroom or Online 3.0
PHYS-182* Physics II Physics 30 Classroom, Online or Blended 3.0
Program Total 48.0

* 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. Please review specific course schedules. 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 the 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 more information about this delivery format, please contact  as.coned.info@sait.ca.


Students must pass the necessary 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. For information about course sequencing and prerequisites, go to Academic Upgrading.


Domestic tuition and fees*

Number of courses Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees 2019/20 total
1 $480 $80 $48 $608
2 $960 $80 $96 $1136
3 $1441 $80 $144 $2045*

International tuition and fees*

Number of courses Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees 2019/20 total
1 $1766 $80 $48 $1894
2 $3532 $80 $96 $3708
3 $5297 $80 $144 $5901*

*Including dental and health plans and Upass ($380)

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 is included in your SAIT fees.

Student Association (SAITSA) fees

Health plan†: $110**
Dental plan†: $125**
Student Association: Please see the chart above as charges are based on the number of courses you are taking.
† included in your fees if you are taking three or more courses

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.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
** For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.


Academic Upgrading

Contact us

Contact us today to learn more about academic upgrading at SAIT.

Inspiring Stories

Mike's academic journey started at SAIT in 1985. At that time, he didn't see the value of education and decided to go into the workforce instead.

After an injury that prevented him from being able to work in his field, Mike decided to return to SAIT to pursue the Civil Engineering Technology program.

Mike has won two academic upgrading awards for service and academic achievement. He is also the vice president of SAIT's 2017 Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR).

A scholarship recipient and graduate from the Petroleum Engineering Technology program, Miles credits the Academic Upgrading program for giving him a competitive edge, helping him establish a strong academic foundation that contributed to his academic success.

After graduation, Miles plans to transfer to Universtiy of Wyoming for a degree in Petroleum Engineering.

Prior to starting at SAIT, Samantha didn't think she would ever go back to school, and if she did, she thought she would fail. 

She proved herself wrong after completing her academic upgrading courses in the 90th percentile and credits her instructors for contributing to her success.

Samantha graduated from the Dental Assisting program and is now working in her field.

Mike Van Dyk
Civil Engineering Technology | 2016

"Academic upgrading gave me a great head start to relearn a few necessary skills. Thanks to SAIT I am on the right track to a rewarding career."

Miles O'Keefe
Petroleum Engineering Technology | 2017

"As a mature student, the choice to come back to school would have been difficult without upgrading my high school classes."

Samantha Dixon
Dental Assisting | 2016

"After finishing Academic Upgrading ... I took Dental Assisting and found a job after graduation. Now, I plan to continue on to university to study nursing."  

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