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Future Students

You have the potential, both as a student and as a successful graduate, to flourish in a career that will challenge and excite you. Through our programming, applied research and industry partnerships, you will thrive in our innovative and technologically advanced learning environment-centred around the collaboration between students and the agriculture and technology industries. We hope you get excited as you fuel your curiosity and choose to grow your career at Olds College.


Launch Experience

Student Pathways

Attending Olds College provides you with a variety of opportunities and pathways that you can take along your educational journey.

Whether you start in one of our 1-year Certificate programs or our 2-year Diploma programs, or begin in a Pre-Employment or Apprenticeship program, there are a variety of ways you can enhance your education once you have completed your credential. As a Diploma graduate, you could take one of our Post-Diploma Certificate programs or head into a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree program. Many of our programs also have transfer opportunities to other post-secondary institutions. You can find out more about those on the Articulations & Agreements page.

Note: Recognition of Prior Learning may apply across multiple programs.

Step 1: Program Fit

You want to pursue a career that is meaningful to you, that you will find interesting and hopefully enjoy every day (for the most part!). But how do you do that? First, you need to think more about YOU. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my skills? What am I good at? What do I know how to do?

  • What are my interests? What types of things do I enjoy doing? 

  • What are my values? What is important to me? What are my “deal breakers”?

  • What are my traits? What makes me who I am? What makes me unique?

Remember, you can be skilled at something and not very interested in it...or vice versa, you can be really interested in it but not have much skill (yet!). You want to ensure that the career you choose matches up with the things that are most important to you and take advantage of the skills and traits you possess (or can develop through training).

Check out the ALIS - Plan Your Career page for even more helpful information.
Next, you need to find a program/career that suits you. You can accomplish that a few different ways, such as:

  • Doing research online about various careers. Many of the sites below also have quizzes you can take to see what careers might be the best option for you. They also tell you where you can get the training for that particular career.

  • Meeting with a Career Practitioner or Career Counsellor. Maybe there is one at your high school, at the post-secondary you are considering or in your community. These folks are great to talk to about what careers might be a best fit for you.

  • Find someone who has the job you want and ask if you can job shadow or interview them. Things to ask include:

    • What do you like about this job? What is the most challenging part of this job?

    • What program or training did you take?

    • What was your “path” to this job?

    • What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into this job?

  • Look for programs that might be a good fit for your personality.

Remember that an investment in post-secondary education provides transferable skills that may be used throughout your life and will open doors when you least expect it!

Learn more about all of the unique programs offered at Olds College on our Programs page.

Finally, you also need to find out what level of education this career requires. Do you need to take an Apprenticeship? A Diploma? Do you need to take a Bachelors Degree or possibly pursue a Masters Degree or PhD?

Check out the ALIS - Post-Secondary Credential Types page to learn more.

Step 2: Explore the Options

Once you have a career in mind, you need to explore the different post-secondary institutions that offer the program or training you need to achieve your career goals. There are so many different options out there, how do you know which one is right for you?

Some things to consider when choosing a post-secondary institution are:

  • Distance from home. Do you want to stay close to family so you can live at home, keep costs low and have your support network nearby? Or do you want to spread your wings, explore new places and gain some independence by moving away from home?
  • Admission requirements. Is the institution/program you are interested in competitive or “first qualified, first admitted”? Do you meet the admission requirements for the program or do you have to consider upgrading?
  • Cost. Every post-secondary is going to be a little bit different when it comes to costs. Public institutions may be less expensive than private institutions. If you can live at home, that will save you on living costs, thus making your education less expensive. Which institutions might offer the best scholarships to help you with your costs?
  • Size. Post-secondary institutions come in all sizes. Some are large research universities or extensive colleges that can have upwards of 40,000 students on-campus. Class sizes can be in the 100’s of people. Community colleges and smaller universities might have between 800 - 10,000 students, with class sizes ranging from 10-100. 
  • Program Delivery. It’s important to consider how you want to learn and how the program you want to take is being delivered. Is it online or on-campus? How much of the class is spent in lectures versus labs? Some students learn well online while others do better in-person. Many students like to have “hands on” learning opportunities in their programs. It’s good to know as much as possible about how your program will be delivered before you start so you can ensure that method of delivery is suitable for your particular learning style.
  • Campus Housing. If you are going to be moving away from home, one of the most affordable and convenient places to live is right on campus. Make sure to check if the post-secondary institution you are considering has on-campus housing options.
  • Athletics & Recreation. Are you an athlete looking to take your game to the next level? Do you want to stay active while going to school? There are a ton of teams you can try out for or activities you can participate in, but not every post-secondary has the same options available.
  • Campus Life. Going to post-secondary is obviously about studying and learning. BUT, part of the experience also includes making great friends, trying new things and having fun. Explore the ways you can get involved, be engaged and make a difference at the post-secondary institution you are considering.

You can visit the individual post-secondary institution websites or use a variety of websites to explore the plethora of post-secondary opportunities available to you. Some examples of these websites are:

What happens if you find multiple post-secondary institutions that have the program you are looking for? 

How do you decide which one is going to be your best choice?

One of the best ways to determine which post-secondary institution you should attend is to VISIT! You would never purchase a vehicle without test-driving it first and it’s the same with a post-secondary institution.

Get on campus, see what it looks like, talk to current students & instructors, and find out if it feels like the right place for you.

We have a variety of ways that you can explore our campus to see if Olds College is the place for you:

Step 3: Meet The Requirements

Once you have chosen a program of interest, you have to do some more research to find out what you need to be admitted to that program.

You want to ensure that you do or will meet all of the requirements for admission, including:

  • Academic requirements from high school
  • Other program requirements (Verification Forms, Questionnaires, etc)

You also want to find out HOW the program is admitted. Is it a competitive admission program or is it “first qualified, first admitted”? Not all university programs are competitive and some college programs can be competitive, so it’s important to do some research so you know what to expect.

  • Competitive Admission: applicants are ranked by their grades or average and the applicants with the highest grades are admitted first. 
  • First Qualified, First Admitted: applicants are admitted based on when they submit a complete application and have met the admission requirements. As long as the applicant applies before the program is full and meets the minimum admission requirements, they will be offered a seat.

The requirements can also vary depending on the “type” of student that you are. Below is some additional information on the Olds College requirements for various student types:

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment and any available interim/midterm marks. 

Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Alternate Admission Option: Alternate Admission status may be offered to applicants who have not or will not complete one of the academic admission requirements. 

To be considered under Alternate Admission Status at Olds College, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  1. (Required) Transcript(s) showing any completed high school and post-secondary courses
  2. (Required) Letter of Introduction and Intent, outlining the following:
    • Introduce yourself, indicate why you wish to enrol in the program, elaborate on your career goals and detail your experience relevant to this program and the industry
  3. (Required) A resume of your work history, extracurricular & volunteer activities for the last 5 years
  4. (Optional) Include copies of any tickets and/or certificates you currently hold 
  5. (Optional) Letter(s) of reference from current or past employers/coaches/etc. (maximum of two letters)

*Please Note: Alternate Admission is not available for all programs. Submitting Alternate Admission material does not guarantee admission*

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants: Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students.

Step 4: Apply!

YAY! You have made a choice and are now ready to submit an application. That’s fantastic!

You want to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of getting admitted, so here are a few things to keep in mind to make the application process as easy as possible:

  • Know when applications open. Many institutions open for applications on October 1 for the following Fall intake, but every institution and program may have different application dates, so make sure you do your research and know when you can begin to apply.
  • Submit a complete application. The best way to ensure your application is processed quickly is to submit a complete application. Review the admission requirements and make sure you include all requested documents.
  • Pay the application fee. Every institution will have a fee to apply. This covers the cost of processing your application. The amount varies by institution and can range from $50 to over $150. For those applying through the ApplyAlberta online application, the application fee must be paid with a credit card.
  • Know if there are deadlines. Some institutions will have application deadlines, while other institutions will continue to accept applications until the program begins. Make sure you find out if the program you are interested in has an application deadline so that you don’t miss out!
  • Apply early. Just because a program does not have an application deadline does not mean it won’t fill up. Many programs are very popular and fill quickly, even though they are not “competitive” admission or programs with a deadline. Applying early is the best way to ensure you get a spot in the program you want and aren’t disappointed by ending up on a waiting list.

Check out our Admissions page for more information on the application process.

Submit Documentation

You may be required to submit documentation to the Office of the Registrar to assist the Admissions Officer with making a decision about your application.

These documents may include:

  • High School Transcripts

    • If you attend a high school in Alberta, we can access your high school transcripts on your behalf. If you attend high school in another province or country, you are responsible to submit your transcripts to Olds College.

  • Timetable or Proof of Enrolment

    • If you are still in high school (or upgrading) and you want to be considered for Conditional Admission, we will ask that you submit a timetable or some other proof that you are enrolled in the classes that you need in order to be admitted to your program of choice.

  • Post-Secondary Transcripts

    • If you have attended another post-secondary institution and that institution is in Alberta, we can request your transcripts on your behalf. If the previous post-secondary you attended is in another province or country, it is your responsibility to submit your transcripts to Olds College.

  • Program Specific Requirements

    • Many programs, especially at Olds College, have program specific requirements that you must meet, such a job shadowing hours, questionnaire completion, portfolio submissions, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes! You are welcome to apply to multiple programs, but it will require that you submit an application and application fee for each program that you wish to be considered for. We are unable to admit you to multiple programs, so once we have determined which programs you are admissible for, your Admission Officer will contact you to see which one you would like to move forward with.

    If you are looking to save a bit of money, you can attend one of our campus visit opportunities that provide attendees with a free application, such as our Open House event. Some programs do fill up quite quickly, so it’s best to check with your Admission Officer to see if you can wait for one of these free application events or if you should submit an application sooner to ensure you get a spot before the program fills up.

  • Programs at Olds College do not have application deadlines. We will continue to take applications until the start-date of the program. However, just because there isn’t a deadline does not mean that the program won’t fill up quickly, so we do encourage students to apply as early as possible so they ensure there is still a seat available for them.
  • Submitting an application to Olds College does not mean that you have a seat in the program. Once you have submitted your application to Olds College, you will receive a confirmation e-mail indicating that we have received your application, typically within 48 business hours of your submission. Your application will then be processed by an Admission Officer to determine if you meet all the admission requirements for the program.

    If you are admissible, the Admission Officer will send you an e-mail indicating if you have been granted Conditional or Full Admission into the program, and there will be an Offer of Admission letter attached to that e-mail. If you are not admissible, the Admission Officer will send you an e-mail letting you know the status of your application and the missing admission requirements.

    Assuming that the Admissions Officer has received all the necessary documents to review your application (transcripts, etc), and that you meet all of the admission requirements, it typically takes about 2-4 weeks for an application to be processed, reviewed and a decision made. This will vary depending on the time of year and the application volume at that time. If there are delays in getting required documents to your Admission Officer, this will delay the time it takes to get an admission decision.

  • If you apply to a program and it is already full, or your average is not competitive enough for you to be admitted, you may find yourself on a waitlist. Being on a waitlist is not the end of the world, as there is definitely still a chance that a spot may become available for you. However, we cannot guarantee how much movement there will be on a waitlist each year, so we strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible for the program you want or maintain a competitive enough average in high school to try and avoid ending up on a waitlist. Seats may be offered to students on the waitlist up until the first or second day of classes, so an offer could come at the very last minute. You are always welcome to check your waitlist position with your Admission Officer at any time and discuss your options.
  • Students are granted Conditional Admission on the basis of their current marks and confirmation of enrolment in the courses needed to fulfill the admission requirements for their program. Applicants with Conditional Admission must submit final marks/transcripts within one month following the completion of each course and no later than one month prior to the program start date. Final marks/transcript will be reviewed and their admission status reassessed. If they have successfully completed the admission requirements, then the Admission Officer will send a confirmation e-mail that they have received Full Admission. If they are not successful in meeting the admission requirements, then their admission will be cancelled and the Admission Officer will contact them regarding next steps.
  • You can apply to live in Campus Housing here at Olds College once you have been admitted to a program. Once you are admitted to a program, your Olds College e-mail account will be activated. You need this account in order to apply to Campus Housing through their online application.

    It is not mandatory to live on campus but we highly recommend it! Living on campus is a great way to make new friends, get involved in your campus community, and it’s very safe and convenient too!

  • You can find an estimate for the tuition & fees, as well as books & supplies, on the program page. For a more detailed breakdown of the costs for each program, please refer to the Fee Schedule.

    You are required to pay a tuition deposit once you are admitted to your program. The remainder of tuition and fees are due on the first Friday of each term.

  • You don’t have to! The majority of the programs at Olds College are prescribed, so you will be automatically registered in the courses you need to take each term. If your program has electives you need to select, or you are taking Open Studies, or you wish to make adjustments to your schedule, please watch your Olds College e-mail for more information from your Student Advisor at the Office of the Registrar.
  • Olds College participates in men’s & women’s basketball, soccer, futsal and volleyball, as well as badminton, curling and women’s hockey. We also have a varsity rodeo team! If you are interested in participating on a Broncos Athletics team, we encourage you to connect directly with the coach of that team to determine the recruitment and try-out process. Visit the Broncos Athletics website for more information. Go Broncos!
  • Students from all of the diploma programs at Olds College have the option of continuing into an Applied Degree here once they have successfully completed their diploma. Many of our programs also have articulation or transfer agreements with other institutions, where students can use their studies at Olds College towards earning a Bachelor's Degree. Check out the Articulations & Agreements page for more details.

Need more information?