Open Studies

Open Studies is available if you wish to take post-secondary-level credit courses at NorQuest, but are not applying to a specific certificate or diploma program to attain a credential. All Open Studies students must apply and pay a one-time application fee.

To review class availability before applying, see NorQuest’s Visual Schedule Builder.

Who could be an Open Studies student?

Open Studies may be right for you if you are:

  • using Open Studies as a pathway to a credit program:
    • You want to take courses to get a head start on your education.
    • You plan to apply to a NorQuest program and wish to take courses to reduce your course load once you are in the program.
    • You want to study at NorQuest, but are not sure which program to take. You're taking some courses to see what interests you.
  • a general interest/lifelong learner:
    • You take classes for your own general interest or for personal or professional development.
    • You are not interested in applying to a program or obtaining any kind of credential from NorQuest right now.
  • a visiting student:
    • You are currently enrolled in a program at another post-secondary institution. You want to take a course at NorQuest because it fits your schedule and/or the course isn't offered at this time by your home institution.

Admission and Prerequisite Criteria

New and former students who intend to take Open Studies courses must first apply at ApplyAlberta and pay a one-time, non-refundable, non-transferable application fee. Former Open Studies students can contact Enrolment by email at to inquire if an application fee is required.

Prerequisites for individual courses will be verified by the Office of the Registrar. To register for an Open Studies course that has prerequisites, you must have your official transcript(s) sent to NorQuest College.

Open Studies students are more likely to be successful if they have an English language proficiency level that is appropriate for the program under which their courses are offered.

General Open Studies Requirements

You may take a maximum of 30 credits in Open Studies before you will be required to submit an application for admission to a desired NorQuest program.

Open Studies courses (noted on the program pages) are available for registration to Open Studies students on the following dates:

Term Open Studies Registration Date
Fall August 1
Winter December 1
Spring April 1
  • In-person applications are not accepted for Open Studies. Apply early at ApplyAlberta to ensure eligibility to enroll on the Open Studies registration date.
  • Transfer credit is not assessed while a learner is enrolled in Open Studies; however, if you apply and are accepted to a NorQuest certificate or diploma program, transfer credit will be assessed upon request.
  • Open Studies students may audit courses; permission from the program chair and/or course instructor is required. All regular audit procedures and financial processes will be followed.
  • All courses are subject to availability and may not all be offered each term.
  • Some class section may be restricted to students enrolled in a specific program.

First-time applicants to Open Studies

You must apply to Open Studies prior to your registration date. Space in Open Studies classes is limited. Register early for the best opportunity to select the classes you want.

  • Application fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • There is a processing time for applications. Once your application is processed, you will be notified by email about how to register in courses online through MyQuest. Be sure to leave yourself enough time to meet registration deadlines for your course.

How to Register in Open Studies Courses

  1. Open Studies students must first apply for admission online at ApplyAlberta.
  2. Once your application has been processed, an email will be sent to your MyMail account with instructions for registering in your courses. Full payment of tuition and fees is due within 24 hours of registration. Visit for options to pay your tuition and fees.
  3. If you intend to take an in-person class, you should register a minimum of five working days prior to the start of any class to ensure you are able to access all course materials and resources. If you intend to take an online class with a monthly intake, regular Open Entry/Open Exit online registration rules apply. See Registering in Open Entry/Open Exit Online Courses.
  4. If you need to drop an Open Studies course, the standard withdrawal process and schedule applies. See Withdrawal Chart of Academic and Financial Penalties.

Course Listings

Accounting Technician

Addictions Recovery Practitioner

Administrative Professional

Arts and Sciences

Business Administration

Community Support Worker

Dental Office Assistant

Disability Studies

Early Learning and Child Care

Environmental Protection Technology

Hospital Unit Clerk

Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant

Medical Office Assistant

Medical Device Reprocessing Technician

Mental Health Recovery Practitioner

Optical Office Assistant 

Pharmacy Technician

Practical Nurse

Practical Nurse Refresher

Settlement Studies

Social Work

Therapeutic Recreation

University Transfer Courses

Veterinary Office Assistant