Advanced Standing Program

St. Thomas University offers an Advanced Standing program for students currently in or entering their final year of high school. The program will give students an opportunity to engage in university-level coursework on a part-time basis, taking a maximum of two courses per semester.  A limited number of bursaries are available on a first come, first served basis for students in financial need. 

Small University | Big Opportunities

At STU, you will explore competing and controversial ideas in a supportive environment. We have welcomed grade 12 students looking to complete university-level coursework into our community for years.

“Choosing to take two university classes while in 12th grade was undoubtedly the best decision I made while in high school. It allowed me to have a gradual transition into my post-secondary studies, begin to forge connections with professors, and explore disciplines I am passionate about.”

- Ashley Thornton, BA ’22, Francis M. McLaughlin Scholarship Recipient





“It was a great experience that helped me get a first taste of what to expect when I attend university. It also helped me clarify my interest in economics - if I would not have taken the introductory course, I probably would not be studying this discipline. Ultimately, it gave me an opportunity to take on a new challenge from which I have learned a lot and that I am still grateful for today.”

– Patrice Cammarano, BA ’22, Francis M. McLaughlin Scholarship Recipient



“Taking a university course in high school prepared me for my future university career. I took an introduction to gerontology course in my final year of high school. Now, I am majoring in gerontology and am the President of the Gerontology Society! Every decision you make opens up a world of possibilities; that is why taking the course was one of the best decisions I have made.”
- Robyn MacCara, BA ’24, President’s Scholarship Recipient 


2023-2024 Course Offerings

First Semester

  • Courses start Wednesday, September 6, 2023 and end Thursday, December 7, 2023.  
  • Exams take place from Monday, December 11 to Saturday, December 16, 2023. 

Courses offered in the Advanced Standing program are asynchronous, online options, meaning that students can work away at the course material at times convenient to them throughout the week.

Semester 1 (September to December)

Introduction to Criminology 1013

This course is designed to introduce the student to the discipline of criminology: its origins, the nature of disciplinary debates, and a sampling of theoretical and methodological issues. It involves an examination of crime patterns, causes of criminal behaviour and crime prevention strategies. This course also introduces the student to core topics covered in electives in the second year: courts, young offenders, police, corrections, and victimology. This introductory course is a prerequisite for all upper-level courses.


Introduction to Psychology 1013

This course will introduce a variety of topics within psychology. Topics to be covered include research methods, history of psychology, brain and behaviour, sensation and perception, learning, memory, and cognition.


Introduction to Gerontology I013
This course explores aging from a multidisciplinary perspective. Topics include myths and realities of aging; population aging globally and locally; the intersections of age with gender, ethnicity and class; the physical and psychological aspects of growing older; as well as key concepts in gerontological theory.


Introduction to Communications 1013

This course introduces students to the history and evolution of the communications profession, with particular emphasis on communications in the public policy sphere, from the pioneers who sold ideas on behalf of their clients, to the modern world of two-way communications with the public through the internet and social media tools. The course will explore how this evolution is changing the way governments, politicians, non-governmental organizations, citizens groups and corporations interact with the public.

Cars in World History 1173
Cars have shaped our world more than any other technology over the past century. Mass motorization created new opportunities for travel and consumption, changed the way people worked, transformed cities, and contributed to rising pollution and climate change. In this course we will explore the car's social, cultural, and environmental impacts on a global scale.


Second Semester

  • Courses start Wednesday, January 9, 2024 and end Thursday, April 11, 2024.  
  • Exams take place from Monday, April 15, 2024 to Saturday, April 20, 2024. 

Courses offered in the Early Start Credit program are asynchronous, online options, meaning that students can work away at the course material at times convenient to them throughout the week.


Semester 2 (January to April)

Digital Literacy ENGL-1233

Students will learn, use, and critique digital productivity tools, multimedia and website development tools, and Web 2.0 tools, while they apply literary methodologies to broader issues and debates like cyber safety, digital privacy laws and ethics, the economic and social engineering implications of user-data, as well as modes of digital communication and collaboration. Familiarity with critical theories and historical trends will help students understand how social and political movements develop the form, genre, and style of digital platforms.


Environment and Society: Understanding Environmental Problems  1013
Earth systems science reveals that the environmental conditions that supported the development of human civilization over the past 10,000 years are becoming increasingly destabilized. This course introduces students to the Earth's regulatory systems such as climate, nitrogen and phosphorus flows, forests, oceans and biodiversity, and the social structures and processes that are interfering with them. Students will come to understand that environmental problems cannot be solved by individual behavioural changes; solutions will require collective action to achieve systemic change.


Introduction to Gerontology  1023
This course examines the various factors that impact growing older in Canadian society. Topics to be discussed include: health care, pensions, housing, transportation, family life, social support and death and dying.


Introduction to Human Rights 1003
This course introduces students to the study of human rights by investigating the question What are human rights? The course will proceed primarily through a number of examples and case studies. Students will also be given an overview of the basic instruments, institutions, and ideas relevant to human rights.


Introduction to Psychology 1023
This course introduces a variety of topics within psychology. Topics to be covered include research methods, developmental psychology, intelligence and creativity, personality, abnormal behaviour and therapy, social psychology, and applied topics.

Application Process 

To be considered for admission to the program, students must submit:

  • an application for admission at as non-degree, part-time students. Students are asked to note their intention to participate in the Advanced Standing program in their application for admission;
  • a non-refundable $40 CAD application fee;
  • a high school transcript;
  • a letter of support from their high school; this can be provided by a guidance counsellor, teacher, or principal. 

Students must apply and submit supporting documents by December 1, 2023


Registration Process 

Admitted students will be able to register on a first-come, first-served basis as part-time students in designated second-semester courses with the assistance of an admissions team member. 
Prior to the start of classes students will participate in an orientation meeting to ensure they well-informed and well-equipped for success in their studies.  
Payment will be due by January 13, 2024
Fees: The cost (per three credit hour course) was $807 for the 2022-2023 academic year. Fees for the 2023-2024 academic year will be announced in May. Please note that depending on the course taken, there may be additional materials (e.g. textbooks, course supplies) and associated costs for which the student is responsible.  Additional information about funding post-secondary education can be found here
Please note: A limited number of bursaries are available for students in financial need.  If you are interested in the program, but require support to pursue this opportunity, please contact

Admission Criteria 

Applicants will be required to meet the following minimum requirements for admission to the Advanced Standing program at St. Thomas University:  

  • Be currently enrolled in the final year of a high school program of study;  
  • Have an 80% or higher on a grade 11-level, academic English course (or equivalent);  
  • Have an 80% or higher on a grade 11-level, academic history or social studies course.  

When final grades are not available for these courses at time of application, the decision will be made by the Director of Admissions based on the applicant’s overall academic record. Fulfilling these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, as space in the program is limited.  

Support for Student Success 

Before the start of the semester, a tailored, online orientation program will be made available for Advanced Standing students, in addition to one-on-one appointments, to ensure students are informed and well-equipped for success.  Throughout the semester, including once before the deadline to add courses and once before the deadline to drop courses without penalty, the administering admissions team member will conduct outreach to Advanced Standing program participants.  

Notification of Admission  

Candidates are notified of any supporting documents which may be missing through their applicant portal. 
Normally, Advanced Standing candidates will be advised of their admission status within 3-5 business days. 
All candidates admitted to the Advanced Standing program are required to electronically confirm acceptance of their offer on their applicant portal as confirmation of their acceptance of the admission offer. 
Successful candidates are referred to the Advanced Standing program coordinator upon notification of their acceptance for information pertaining to orientation and course registration. 

Learn More: Contact Admissions 

Phone: 506-452-0532 
Toll-free: 1-877-788-4443