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Athabasca University

Graduate Diploma Program


The Graduate Diploma in Heritage Resources Management (GD-HRM) program is designed for students that already hold a Bachelor's degree.

Graduate-level training provides students with range of important opportunities academically, professionally, and personally. Those who choose a career in the heritage field benefit from a commitment to ongoing professional development, lifelong learning, and a high level of academic training. The GD-HRM meets these needs, and provides an important professional credential which additionally may be used as a stepping stone to further graduate work such as AU's Master of Arts - Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

A baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the Graduate Diploma. Students must complete all of the HRM Graduate Diploma courses including the 400 hour Practicum. This totals 18 credits (four courses worth 3 credits each plus a 6 credit Practicum). All graduate courses are offered in an online distance format utilizing discussion boards and other innovative interactive techniques. All courses have full-time Instructor support.

Graduate Diploma (GD-HRM) students must also demonstrate competence in the topics covered in HERM 322 (Collections), HERM 327 (Heritage Policy), HERM 339 (Conservation), and Philosophy 334 (Ethics and Heritage). See the list of Certificate courses for details. Competence in these subjects can be demonstrated in one of three ways:

  • taking the Undergraduate Certificate courses
  • having transcripts assessed by the HRM Program Director to receive Competency through prior undergrad courses

In most cases, HRM graduate students will have to complete at least some of these four undergraduate courses. Note that these undergraduate courses do not have to be completed prior to admission to the graduate program; rather, they must be completed before graduating with the GD-HRM. Thus, students may take the undergraduate and graduate courses at the same time.

Many of our students come to the HRM graduate program with relatively little academic or professional experience in the heritage field, so for these students the complete graduate program consists of the four graduate core courses, the practicum, and all or most of the four undergraduate foundational courses.

While the GD-HRM is a valuable as a stand-alone professional credential, students may also ladder their studies in HRM into a full Master's-level degree at AU. For graduate students, the 18 credits earned in the graduate Diploma program may be applied to the 33-credit MAIS degree at Athabasca University. For details, see this page: Laddering the GD-HRM to MAIS

Graduates of the GD-HRM program are assured of a solid foundation in both general theory and established practice associated with the heritage field, and a flexible graduate credential that creates many opportunities for further professional or academic pursuits.

Getting Started

Graduate students interested in Heritage Resources Management may take individual courses as a Non-Program student or they may enrol as a GD-HRM Program student. We accept applications for either student category throughout the year.

Non-program students fill out one form, pay a fee, and submit unofficial copies of their transcripts. Once the HRM office receives these three items, students may immediately begin taking courses. Non-program student status

Program Students can apply on an ongoing basis, and must complete a multi-step application which is then reviewed by the Program Director. Application process for program students

Financial Help for Graduate Students

To help facilitate student participation in the GD-HRM, we offer a number of funding opportunities through scholarships. Further information about funding is available on our web site.

AU also supports students with financial aid solutions.

Updated June 19 2019 by Student & Academic Services

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