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Academic Upgrading

Open for Fall 2020

Open for Summer 2020

Available: Full Time Classroom or Online

Program Highlights

Missing an admission requirement? Upgrade your prior education to help you recieve admission into one of SAIT's career programs. Our courses in math, science and English are equivalent to Alberta high school courses.


Daytime & Evening Classes


Classroom, Online, Blended

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Tuition and fees per year*

1 Course: $608  
2 Courses: $1,136  
3 Course: $2,881 

1 Course (International): $1,894
2 Courses (International): $3,708
3 Courses (International): $5,901

*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 Spring 2020 opened Dec. 13, 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
Spring 2020 May 4, 2020
Summer 2020 July 6, 2020
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020
Fall 2020 Oct. 5, 2020
Winter 2021 Jan. 11, 2021

Why upgrade at SAIT?

  • Meet admission requirements for SAIT career programs and other post-secondary schools in Alberta
  • Flexible course delivery options: daytime, evening, online and blended (online and weekend)
  • Develop successful learning strategies to prepare you for further studies
  • Discover the post-secondary culture and connect with our diverse student population
  • Access to academic upgrading liaisons who can assist you with program planning and refer you to additional SAIT resources to support your academic success

Program Details

Program description

SAIT academic upgrading courses prepare students for admission to SAIT career programs.  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 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.

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.

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

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

Admission and selection

  • Applications are open until the program start date.
  • Fall 2020 start: applications open on Oct. 2, 2019.
  • Winter 2021 start: applications open on March 30, 2020.

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 l

Formula Sheet ll

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 2019/20 total
1 $480 $80 $48 $608
2 $960 $80 $96 $1136
3 $1441 $80 $144 $2045*

*All evening, weekend and blended courses offered in May and July 2020 will have a flat fee of $500

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.

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


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: 403.210.5767 
Email: upgrading@sait.ca

Academic chair

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

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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