Early Start Credits

The Early Start Credits (ESC) program provides an exciting opportunity for Grade 12 students registered in New Brunswick’s Anglophone high schools to select from a range of challenging courses and earn post-secondary credits in their final year of high school. ECS will provide a post-secondary experience online with classmates from a variety of places.

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. I highly recommend taking part in it; you will not regret it.”
– Patrice Cammarano, BA ’22, Francis M. McLaughlin Scholarship Recipient

 “Taking a university course in high school prepared me for my future university career, and it led me to fall in love with the small, yet beautiful, St. Thomas University. I learned so much about the subject area and myself! 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

Sample Courses

Intro to Criminology 
Intro to Criminal Justice 
Intro to Economics: Macro 
Intro to Economics: Micro 
Intro to Gerontology II 
Law, Power, & Politics 
Intro to Psychology I 
Intro to Psychology II 
Intro to Public Policy 
Please note: These courses are subject to change based on availability. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants will be required to meet the following minimum admission requirements for admission to the Early Start Credits program: 

  • Be currently enrolled in the final year of a high school program at an Anglophone high school within the province of New Brunswick; 
  • Be on track to complete their 17 required credits for graduation; 
  • Have an 80% or higher on English 112 or English 111; and 
  • Have an 80% or higher on a grade-11 level, academic history or social studies course.

When final grades are not available for the aforementioned 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.  
Students must also be able to provide a letter of support from their high school in order to qualify for admission to the Early Start Credits program. 

Application Process

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

  • an application for admission at STU.ca/applynow as non-degree, part-time students. Students are asked to note their intention to participate in the Early Start Credits 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.  

Applications, including supporting documents, must be received by Wednesday, December 15, 2021.  

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 on Monday, January 10, 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 Friday, January 14. 
Fees: $769 per three credit hour course.  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: Funding is available for students in financial need.  If you are interested in the program, but require support to pursue this opportunity, please contact admissions@stu.ca.

Support for Student Success

Throughout their participation in the program, students will have access to an admissions team member who can help to support them and direct them to resources — including tutoring, time management assistance, notetaking and motivation coaching, library services, and more — available to them as STU students at no additional cost. 


Students who complete their coursework with a passing grade will receive university-level credit for the coursework completed.  This credit may be applied towards future studies at St. Thomas University, and it may be eligible for transfer credit to other post-secondary institutions.

Contact Us

For more information about this option, contact your high school guidance counsellor.  You may also free to contact our Admissions Office, as we would be happy to provide further information and answer any questions you may have. 
Email: admissions@stu.ca  
Phone: 506-452-0532  
Toll-free: 1-877-788-4443