Simon Fraser University Graduate Diploma Programs

Last Updated on December 26, 2022

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University Overview

Founded in 1965, Simon Fraser University is a non-profit public higher-education institution located in the urban setting of the small city of Burnaby (population range of 50,000-249,999 inhabitants), British Columbia. This institution also has branch campuses in the following locations: Vancouver, Surrey. Officially recognized by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a very large (uniRank enrollment range: 30,000-34,999 students) coeducational Canadian higher education institution. Simon Fraser University (SFU) offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as pre-bachelor degrees (i.e. certificates, diplomas, associate or foundation), bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study. See the uniRank degree levels and areas of study matrix below for further details. This 55 years old Canadian higher-education institution has a selective admission policy based on entrance examinations and students’ past academic record and grades. The admission rate range is 80-90% making this Canadian higher education organization a least selective institution. International students are welcome to apply for enrollment. SFU also provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students including a library, housing, sports facilities, financial aids and/or scholarships, study abroad and exchange programs, online courses and distance learning opportunities, as well as administrative services.


The Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA) is a competitive credential that offers the rigour of MBA-level courses with more flexibility. Delivered 100% online, its value is clear from the first class. Study while you work and put your new skills into practice straight away. You can also apply your GDBA toward a future MBA at SFU Beedie, as you will already have completed a third of the MBA program.

Whether the GDBA is your starting point or your end goal, boost your career with a deeper understanding of the different functional areas of a company. A solid grounding in a broad spectrum of business theory and practice enables you to collaborate with colleagues across disciplines.Overview

Who it’s for

If you have an undergraduate degree in any discipline, at least two years of full-time professional work experience, and the motivation and self-discipline to learn business in an interactive online setting, the GDBA could be the best next step in your career. It’s ideal for someone who wants to test business graduate level courses before fully committing to an MBA, and/or who wants the flexibility of an online program. Or, if you’ve already decided you want to study for an MBA, the GDBA could be the pathway you’re looking for.

What you’ll learn

Graduate-level courses ground you in business theory and practice. Learn to communicate with colleagues from diverse backgrounds across the functional areas of business as you prepare to move forward into an MBA, a new organizational role or a new career.

Our online learning system is interactive and user-friendly. It’s a collaborative learning space that provides everything you need to succeed as a graduate student, including 24/7 access to educational resources. You can take classes whenever works for you. There’s no need to be online at the same time as your classmates and instructors.

Where it can take you

The GDBA can help prepare you for an MBA. If you successfully complete 14 GDBA credits with a CGPA of at least 3.50, you won’t have to take the GMAT. In addition, some GDBA course credits can be applied to the MBA program of your choice. It also spreads out the costs of taking an MBA and reduces your future workload as an MBA student.

The GDBA is also a valuable graduate qualification in its own right. It lets you:

  • Demonstrate your business acumen to future employers
  • Try out graduate-level business education in a low-risk setting
  • Gain the core business skills you need to launch or progress your career
  • Expand your network with your fellow SFU Beedie students and join SFU Beedie’s global alumni community


We schedule lectures, exams and assignments to accommodate individuals working between Monday to Friday 9am to 5 pm PST. If you fall outside of this time zone or schedule, you may need to make occasional adjustments to your schedule.

We move through the modules at the same rate, meeting the same dates for individual and team assignments. That keeps you on track and engaged with the coursework. Instructors deliver each course online in weekly or bi-weekly modules. During that time, you are free to study whenever it suits you. Expect to spend 10 to 15 hours per week on each course (a full course load is two courses per semester). Each course in the program ends with a final exam/paper.

Most GDBA students complete the program in two years. However, you have the option to study at your own pace, adjusting your academic plan to accommodate your changing life and career.

MBA-level courses and instruction

All GDBA courses are equivalent to courses taught in our MBA programs. In addition, our MBA professors teach most GDBA courses. That makes the GDBA a valuable program and qualification in its own right.

  • Begin the program in January, May or September
  • Attend GDBA Boot Camp, a 10-day online orientation before classes begin
  • Complete the GDBA in 24 months (six semesters) by taking one course per semester while working full-time—or take more or less time
  • Each course is delivered online in weekly or bi-weekly modules
  • Each course GDBA course ends with a final assessment (exam, paper or project) administered online

Tuition and Fees


Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year: $16,800* plus additional costs for textbooks and student fees.

Tuition is paid each term depending on the number of credits (Full class $2850*; Half class $1425*)

*Subject to Board of Governors approval.

Fees and other costs

Additional fees & costs for textbooks and related materials: $1,500 approx.

For information on funding opportunities, visit Fund Your Degree. Employer sponsorship is also an option; to learn more, visit Benefits to your company.

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Graduate Diploma in Education

The Graduate Diploma in Advanced Professional Studies in Education (GDE) programs are designed in collaboration with BC school districts for educators whose primary focus is school-based practice. The GDE provides educators with the opportunity to engage in focused, sustained, reflective inquiry into their practice within a 2-year cohort model. Classes run in all terms of the academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer) during the 2-year program. There is a one-week Summer Institute in August and no classes in July.

Due to current Health and Safety protocols, the Summer 2021 term will be conducted online, through both synchronous and asynchronous methods. If there is the possibility of some optional face-to-face components, we will inform applicants. Courses will embody the program’s core foundations of relationship building, inquiry and collaborative learning.

The Graduate Diploma in Education can also be used for TQS Category Advancement.

Students can apply to use credits from a completed GDE program towards a Master of Education in Educational Practice (additional one year program).

Tuition and Fees

Fees are subject to change, subject to provincial legislation, and subject to board of governors approval.

Audit fees are set at 50% of the rate for the courses in which the student enrolls.

Where indicated, some graduate program fees at previous years’ rates may apply.

Regular Programs










full-time fee$1,985.88
(per term)
continuing fee*$992.94
(per term)

*After 6 completed terms of full-time fees in a regular fee master’s program, and 8 completed terms of full-time fees as a doctoral student.

A completed term is defined as a term a student is not on leave, or has not withdrawn (extenuating or otherwise).

Specialty Programs








Co-operative Education

Per term fee students in a co-operative education term who are completing at least one course will pay a per term fee based on the stage they have reached in their program (either regular fee or continuing fee). Students not completing a course will pay the co-operative education fee.

Per unit fee students in a co-operative education term will pay the co-operative education fee. If students are also completing courses, they also pay the fees that are applicable to those courses.

Fees are listed in the tables above.

graduate co-operative education$844.21
(per term)

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Per Unit Fee Programs

In programs in which there is a final ‘capstone’ requirement such as a thesis, project, extended essay or field exam, this requirement is assigned a number of units. Students must enroll for this and pay the appropriate fee for at least one term, normally at the end of their program of study. Once they have enrolled for this requirement in a particular term, they must enroll in all subsequent terms until degree requirements have been completed.

Students in per unit programs who complete undergraduate or graduate courses in other programs at Simon Fraser University, or who complete courses at other institutions covered by the Western Deans’ Agreement, will pay the same fee per unit as they do for courses in their own programs.

Fees are listed in the tables above.

Extension and Readmission

Per term fee students who receive an extension beyond the time limits of their program pay tuition at the continuing rate of 50% when enrolled.

Per unit fee students who receive an extension beyond the time limit of their program pay the per unit fee that is applicable to their program when enrolled.

Fees — Ancillary

In addition to tuition fees payable for each term of enrollment, both undergraduate and graduate students pay three further assessments. For further information, consult the undergraduate information on Student Services and Recreation-Athletics Fees and Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass BC) websites.

Graduate Student Activity Fee

Universal Transit Pass

Student Services and Recreation-Athletics Fees

Special Fees

Additional Fee Information

Non-degree, exchange and qualifying students, and students who take courses that are outside their program requirements will pay whatever the rate is for the courses in which they enroll (i.e. if an undergraduate course, the applicable undergraduate domestic or international fee, if a graduate course, the applicable graduate fee, etc.) in addition to their regular graduate tuition payable. For courses in specialty graduate programs, the relevant per unit fee will apply. For courses in regular graduate programs, the graduate basic per unit fee will apply.

graduate basic per unit fee$299.74

Audit fees are set at 50% of the rate for the courses in which the student enrolls.

International Programs

Mandatory Supplementary Course Fees

For information about these fees, which are applicable to both graduate and undergraduate students, visit Mandatory Supplementary Course Fees.

Courses at Another Institution

Except for situations covered by the Western Deans’ Agreement, a student enrolled at Simon Fraser University who is approved to complete a course at another institution for credit toward their graduate program is responsible for enrolling at the other institution and paying fees assessed by that institution. When the student submits proof of tuition fee payment at the other institution, the Simon Fraser University tuition fees for that term will be decreased by that amount and will not exceed the lesser of the two amounts.

Basic Medical Insurance

For information concerning basic medical insurance, visit Medical Requirements.

International Student Medical Insurance: $281.00 per term

For information concerning [email protected] mandatory primary medical insurance plan for new international, exchange & study abroad students, visit

Graduate Benefit Plan

Graduate Extended Health and Dental Benefits 

For students beginning in:Fall TermSpring TermSummer Term*
Extended Health Plan (Graduates) (part-time and full-time students)$195.90$130.60$65.30
Extended Dental Plan  (Graduates)(part-time and full-time students)$269.10$179.40$89.70

*For new students beginning in Summer term, you may enroll yourself during the term’s Change-of-Coverage Period. Please visit for more details.


A refund of 75% of the tuition fee will be assessed within the first calendar month of the term. A refund of 50% of the tuition fee will be assessed within the second calendar month of the term. No other refund will be made. Students in per term fee programs are not eligible for a refund if they are still enrolled in any other course.

If students withdraw from their graduate program, refunds will be calculated from the date of the official written notification of withdraw submitted to the associate director of graduate admissions and records.

Early Completion

Students who complete their program early in the term may be eligible for a partial refund of the tuition portion of their term fees. For further information, see graduate and postdoctoral studies website at

Overdue Accounts and Dishonoured Payments

Students with overdue accounts will be considered to be in bad financial standing and will be precluded from enrolling in subsequent terms. In addition, the University will withhold certain services, including but not limited to the release of various letters and documents such as official transcripts of academic record and parchments for degrees, diplomas and certificates. An account that is delinquent without approved resolution will be forwarded to a collection agency for appropriate action.

A student who presents payment in the form of a cheque that is subsequently returned by the student’s Letters of Permission financial institution for lack of sufficient funds or because a stop payment has been placed on that cheque will be assessed a penalty fee of $25. In the event that a student on more than one occasion submits a cheque that is dishonoured for any reason, the University reserves the right to require all future financial transactions with the University to be by cash, certified cheque or money order. The University may cancel a student’s enrollment in a term when payments made by the student are subsequently dishonoured by the student’s financial institution. Late payment fees will apply.

Students with overdue accounts will be assessed a late fee penalty on outstanding fees. 2% will be assessed each month on the outstanding balance, regardless of any pending scholarships, bursaries, awards, tuition waivers and school associate certificates. Total penalties will be adjusted to conform to Canadian laws and regulations when the final payment is made.

Full Time and Part Time Attendance

All graduate students in per term fee programs are considered full time students.

All graduate students enrolled for thesis, project or field exams are considered full time students.

Graduate students in per unit fee programs who enroll for six or more units in a term are considered full time students.

Tuition Tax Forms T2202A and T4A

All Simon Fraser University students who have an active University computing ID can print their T2202A tax form (starting from the 2003 tax year) and T4A tax form using the Student Information System. Financial records are retained for a period of seven years and then are destroyed.

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