Degrees obtained from the University of Ottawa are recognized worldwide and graduates enjoy successful and prosperous careers. All academic programs offered by the University are regularly reviewed to ensure the highest quality standards. Designated Learning Institution Number (DLI#): O19397188593
Step 1: Discover
Why study at uOttawa?
uOttawa at a glance
- The largest English-French bilingual university in the world—you can study in English, French or both.
- Among the 10 most research-intensive universities in Canada and ranked as one of the top 200 universities in the world.
- 10 faculties offering more than 450 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs to some 40,000 students from across Canada and 150 countries.
Welcome to Canada
The United Nations has repeatedly named Canada one of the 10 best countries in the world in which to live. Canada is proud of its multicultural character and has both a tradition and a policy of encouraging cultural diversity. This openness means that whatever your origin, religion or nationality, you can easily integrate in Canada.
Studying in Canada makes financial sense. The cost of education and living is reasonable when compared to many other countries, and the quality of education is outstanding. Moreover, degrees and diplomas from Canadian postsecondary institutions are widely recognized and respected for the high level of education they represent.
City of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is located in the province of Ontario on the border with the province of Quebec, in central Canada. Its location, 350 kilometres east of Toronto, 200 kilometres west of Montreal, and just a short 90-minute flight from New York or Boston, makes travel to other centres easy. The National Capital Region has a population of over one million. It is the country’s fourth-largest city and one of Canada’s most bilingual communities—nearly half a million people speak both English and French.
And Ottawa isn’t just a government town. It’s a high-tech city, a tourist city, a big-time sports city, and a university city. Make yourself at home!
Many students dream of studying abroad for an academic session or even a full year. The University of Ottawa allows international students to participate in international student exchange programs, except in their home country.
Choose from a variety of exciting locations at nearly 250 universities in 45 countries around the world. You could receive a mobility scholarship of up to $2,000, depending on your destination and the duration of your studies or internship abroad.
Alternate between work and study!
Take your academic training to the next level by engaging in paid, professional, career-related, employment opportunities specific to your discipline. By taking part in the CO-OP program, you can both work and study. Your work terms, which last four months, allow you to explore different work environments and career options in your field. They alternate with study sessions. You have a valuable learning experience while fulfilling your four-year degree requirements. Your impressive resumé will help you secure work after you graduate.
CO-OP is an excellent way to finance your studies while developing your professional skills in Canada.
Student Academic Success Service (SASS)
Here are a few of the many services at your disposal through SASS:
- Orientation and University 101 programs
- Student Mentoring
- Academic Writing Help Centre
- Counselling and personal development services
- Career Mentorship/Services
- Access Services
Study in English, French or both
All courses at the University of Ottawa are given in either English or French, or in both languages. To gain admission, you must therefore demonstrate proficiency in either one of these languages. You are not required to speak both languages to study at uOttawa.
Visit the Language requirements page to find out if you need to take a language test.
Improve your English and/or French
Students also have many opportunities to improve their skills in English (ESL) and French (FLS).
Depending on the undergraduate program of study, a bachelor's or undergraduate degree usually takes four years to complete. An honours degree is generally a prerequisite for admission to graduate studies. Depending on the graduate program of study, a master's degree usually requires at least one or two years of full-time study (after an honours degree). A doctoral degree, or PhD, requires at least three or four years of additional full-time study.
Most courses at the University of Ottawa are given in English, French or both languages. Therefore, you must master one of the two official languages to be admitted.
Immigration (Study permits, visas)
For all immigration questions we invite you to visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website (CIC). The CIC Call Centre can also answer questions, in English and French, about CIC services and programs, or applications in process inside Canada (1-888-242-2100). Students may also e-mail the Call Centre with questions.
Students can benefit from a wide range of dining options, from fresh and healthy home-style meals to franchise favourites. You can find information about meal plans on the uOttawa card website, including which meal plan is best for you.
University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) is a compulsory insurance plan for international students that covers medical and hospital expenses during your stay in Canada and standard medical visits. It also helps you obtain certain medical devices, as needed, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, etc. Please visit our Newly Admitted Students page for more information about UHIP.
For the Fall session, you must send your application by April 1 and all supporting documentation by April 30. For the Winter session, you must send you application by November 1 and all supporting documentation by November 30. Some programs have earlier deadlines; therefore, see the deadlines for your program of interest and prepare your application accordingly.
Application deadlines vary depending on the program of studies. Please consult the Graduate programs of study page.
When we evaluate your application, we may grant you advanced standing if you have a special secondary school background, if you have studied in a lycée or if you have taken courses in another postsecondary setting, such as a college, CEGEP or other university.
From the beginning of September until the end of April, full-time students will have unlimited access to OC Transpo Services. The U-Pass is a gateway to the City of Ottawa, as it provides access to the entire OC Transpo network during the eight-month academic year.
Step 2: Apply
What to do right now
Read your Offer of Admission very carefully!
Check your name
Ensure that the name in Document A (offer of admission) and Document B (International Student Acceptance Information) is your legal name (it MUST be identical to the name in your passport). If it is incorrect, you must immediately contact the Admissions Office by email or send a fax to +1-613-562-5104 with the corrections and your student number to obtain new documents for visa and study permit purposes.
Ensure that the name in your offer of admission (on every page) is your legal name (it MUST be identical to the name in your passport). If it is incorrect, please contact your academic unit directly.
Respond to your offer of admission
You must respond to your offer of admission no later than by the date indicated in your InfoWeb account. Follow the instructions in the "Response" tab found along the top of the page on InfoWeb.
Please sign the answer sheet from your offer of admission. You can fax it, scan it and attach it to an e-mail or mail it to your faculty to the address indicated at the bottom of your offer of admission. You must do so no later than the date indicated in your offer of admission in order for it to be final.
Apply for immigration documents
Please note that due to a significant change to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), educational institutions such as the University of Ottawa can no longer provide international students with immigration advice. As a result we invite you to visit the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The CIC Call Centre can also answer questions, in English and French, about CIC services and programs, or applications in process inside Canada (1-888-242-2100). Students may also now e-mail the Call Centre with questions.
Designated Learning Institution Number (DLI#): O19397188593
What to do before you leave
Join our Facebook Group
Students who are currently registered to Facebook are encouraged to join the Bureau International Office Facebook group for information regarding:
- Questions and Answers
- Items for sale (used textbooks, furniture, etc.)
- Rooms for rent
- Special events
The University guarantees housing for one year to newly admitted first-year students that satisfy the Housing Guarantee Criteria. Please note that on-campus residences are occupied primarily by first-year students. Find out what housing options are best for you!
Be aware of the Academic Calendar
In one academic year, there are three semesters:
- Fall semester: from September to December
- Winter semester: from January to April
- Spring/Summer semester: from May to August
Please note that some regular courses are not offered during the Spring/Summer semester. For Graduate students, please see the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.There is a study break during the fall and winter semesters.
Check the University’s semester calendar for important dates and deadlines.
Register for courses
Once the admissions office has received your positive response to your offer of admission you may register to courses online by using Rabaska in your uoZone account (as of May). uoZone is also used to obtain your course results, get information about your personal timetable, and even find out your final exam dates. Learn more about registration now so you are well prepared when selecting your courses.
You must budget (on average) an additional CAN$ 12,000 for your rent, books, transportation and other living expenses. We recommend that you open a Canadian bank account upon your arrival. View tuition fees and budget.
Initial money needs
We do not recommend that you carry more than $500 in cash with you while travelling to Canada. Bring sufficient funds in traveller's cheques (in U.S. or Canadian dollars) to cover living expenses during your first month; this may be as much as $2,500 CDN per student (excluding tuition fees) to pay for such things as transportation, temporary accommodation, food, rental deposits, textbooks and other school supplies.
NOTE: One of the first things to do upon your arrival in Ottawa is to open a bank account, if you wish to do so. Please visit the Arrival in Ottawa section of our website for more information on how to open a Canadian Bank Account.
Pay your tuition and other mandatory fees
Tuition fees will appear on your student financial account once you complete your course registration. Once you have selected a minimum of four courses (for undergraduate students) or 6 credits (for graduate students, depending on their program) per semester your financial account will automatically show the total owing for your academic year as a full-time international student. Given that you have completed your course registration, your tuition fees will become available on “You statement of accounts and e-bills” (accessible via uoZone) at the beginning of August. Students who register after the beginning of August will have their student fees appear automatically.
You have several payment options; the most efficient method of payment from outside Canada is a bank transfer. Take into consideration the fact that financial institutions require at least 10 days to process international transfers in order to respect the payment dates.
Please visit the student fees web page for detailed information regarding International Student fees.
Note: Because your student account is NOT a bank account, it is impossible to withdraw leftover money. All refunds will be transferred back to the bank account from which they were originally sent.
Note: International students who do not pay their tuition and UHIP fees will be asked to withdraw from the program.
The Board of Governors reserves the right to change tuition fees, ancillary fees and refund regulations without notice.
Health Insurance (UHIP)
UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) is a compulsory insurance plan for international students that covers medical and hospital expenses and standard medical visits while in Canada. It also helps to obtain certain medical devices, as needed, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, etc. Please read the information about UHIP very carefully.
Join the Buddy Program
The Buddy Program is a volunteer-based program which provides an opportunity to build one-on-one relationships between University of Ottawa local/Canadian students and international/exchange students.
Why participate in the Buddy Program?
- Gain international experience and contacts
- Improve your linguistic skills
- Build new friendships
- Participate in intriguing and fun activities hosted by the International Office
- Learn more about various cultures
- Explore and discover more about the city of Ottawa
How do I register?
Once you have registered, you will be matched with a buddy before the beginning of the semester based on your field of study, interests and other preferences (if the circumstances allow us to do so). You will be able to begin exchanging once you have received the confirmation email from the coordinator with the contact information.
If you have any additional questions about the Buddy Program or if you are unable to complete the form online, please contact the Buddy Program coordinator.
We encourage you to invite your friends to participate in the Buddy Program!
Within 48 hours of registering for one or more courses, you will receive an email addressed to your personal email account explaining how to access your @uOttawa email account. It is your responsibility to check your university email account regularly. If you have trouble accessing any of your uOttawa accounts after this time has elapsed, call the technical help line at 613‑562‑5800 extension 6555.
Order your student card online
In addition to being used as your student identification, your uOttawa card can be used for quick and convenient payment at over a hundred locations on campus. Visit the uOttawa Card website to order your card online, or pick up your card in person when you arrive on campus.
What to bring with you
Make sure you bring the following items with you as you prepare to come to Canada:
- letter of introduction and acceptance from the Canadian Embassy (if applicable)
- valid passport
- original copy of your acceptance/admission letter from the University of Ottawa
- proof of available funds (Bank statement)
- photo ID (picture identification)
- original transcripts or school certificates
- credit cards (if applicable)
- marriage certificate, if your spouse is accompanying you
- your children's school records, if your children are accompanying you
- medical and immunization records
- driver's license or international driver's license
- driving insurance records (a letter stating the number of years you have been insured, and your insurance record)
- electrical equipment you may need (note that voltage in Canada is 110 volts, 60Hz; you may require a transformer)
- a good bilingual dictionary
- If a resident on campus, your arrival card
Climate and Clothes
Ottawa's climate is characterized by four distinct seasons, with frequent temperature changes. Make sure you find out how to prepare for Canadian weather!
Make temporary accommodation arrangements
If you need short-term accommodation when you arrive please see our list of hostels and hotels that are located close to campus.
Register for the International Orientation
The International Office organizes orientation sessions for international students in early September, January and April each year. Participation is mandatory (registration tool coming soon).
The orientation is composed of social and cultural activities as well as important and useful information sessions. There are many social activities where you will meet people from your own country as well as other international students, while getting to know the campus and city. We will talk about cultural norms in Canada, in order to ease your transition and manage your expectations about the country. We also offer an introduction to our intercultural communication workshops. There are several presentations given by different services on campus to help you during your first few months of university, including information on administrative tasks, services offered on campus, insurance, medical and emergency information and the Canadian academic culture.
Many staff members participate in the orientation in order to help your transition and answer any questions you may have. The team of international mentors will also welcome you, talk about their experience as upper year international students and answer your questions. Some cultural clubs and student associations will be present to meet you as well.
Newly admitted students for the 2014 Fall session
Part 1: There are three sessions offered during part 1: August 27th, September 1st and September 6th. You must attend ONE of the three sessions. Register online (coming soon); your attendance is mandatory.
*There will be social activities on September 6th for all newly admitted international students, regardless of which orientation you attended.
Part 2: The second half of the orientation will be held on October 25th and is also mandatory. Registration will open later on and you will receive more information by email. Part 2 will focus on your progress throughout the first semester and present different services in greater depth.
For more information or questions concerning orientation, please contact our office. We look forward to meeting you!
Arrival in Ottawa
Getting to campus
Airport Greeting : from August 15th to September 1st
From August 15th to September 1st, the university will have a kiosk at the Ottawa International Airport at which the Welcome Team will provide you with general information, directions to the campus (or elsewhere) and complimentary bus tickets.
This service will be available from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, to make sure that someone will be waiting for you at the kiosk when you arrive, you must fill out the online registration form.
From the airport:
Otherwise, you can take a taxi from the airport to the University’s campus. It will cost you approximately $35.00.
For $3.25, you can take OC Transpo bus, number 97, and get off at CAMPUS station. Buses leave on the half hour and the last bus usually leaves the airport at 1:35 am (subject to change). There are also “Airport Limousine Buses” that go downtown several times an hour and stop at the main hotels. The Novotel Hotel is the closest to the University. The cost for the limousine bus is approximately CAN$10.00.
From the train station:
If you arrive by train at the Ottawa train station, take the OC Transpo bus number 95 Fallowfield (westbound) and get off at CAMPUS station (approximately a 10-minute ride).
From the bus station:
If you arrive by bus at the Central Bus station located at 256 Catherine Street West, take OC Transpo bus number 4 Ottawa-Rockcliffe (ask for a transfer ticket), get off at the corner of Slater and Bank streets. Take OC Transpo bus number 95 Orléans (eastbound) and get off at CAMPUS station (approximately a 15-minute ride).
- Please consult the OC Transpo Web site for more information.
Opening a student bank account in Canada is a free and simple process. There are several banks close to the University. Make sure you find out what type of account is best suited to your needs. To open an account, you will need to have personal identification. Be sure to take your passport, study permit and university-issued student card. To activate the account, you will need to deposit a small amount of money. After opening an account, you will receive a bank debit card that will allow you to withdraw money at most automated bank teller machines, and will be accepted at most stores to pay for your purchases.
Please note that it can be very difficult for an international student to obtain a credit card. We therefore recommend that you obtain a credit card in your home country.
The following is a list of the main Canadian banks:
- TD Bank Financial Group
- RBC Royal Bank
- National Bank of Canada
- BMO Bank of Montreal
Pick up your U-Pass
For this step you will need: Your uOttawa card
Bring your uOttawa card to the couch lounge in the basement of the Jock Turcot University Centre, 85 University Street, in order to pick up your U-Pass (student transit pass). This pass will allow you to take public transportation anywhere in Ottawa or Gatineau.
Finalize your registration
For this step you will need: Access to uoZone
Log on to uoZone and check your timetable to ensure that you have registered for a full-time course load (minimum 4, regular 5, maximum 6 classes per semester). If you need to add/remove/change courses you may do so by using Rabaska through uoZone or by visiting your faculty.
The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is compulsory and a condition of registration in your program. It is the responsibility of all students to ensure that they meet any outstanding conditions in order to maintain their admission to the University, including subscribing to the mandatory UHIP and paying the total amount of the subscription. For more information pleasevisit the UHIP website or contact UHIP by email.
International students may consult any family doctor in Ontario, but are encouraged to make use of the University of Ottawa Health Services Clinic located at 100 Marie Curie, Suite 300, Third Floor, telephone 613-564-3950. The health staff is familiar with the needs of international students and will bill the plan administrator directly for all eligible UHIP expenses. Health Services Clinic staff includes full-time physicians and nurses; laboratory, x-ray, physiotherapy and pharmacy service are offered. Nutrition, stress and dietary counselling are also available. Specialized services include clinics for allergies, sport injuries and gynaecology.
The University also has its own Campus Pharmacy located on the main floor of the same building as the Health Clinic at 100 Marie Curie, telephone 613-563-4000.
Print your UHIP card
Your card will be available two weeks after you have made your UHIP payment. Please note that the processing of your payment is only done a few weeks before the beginning of the academic session. For example, if you make your payment in July and are coming in September, your card should be available at the end of August. At that time please follow the detailed instructions on how to print your UHIP card.
The Free Store is a centralized location that allows you to drop off stuff you don’t want anymore and pick-up things you do want for FREE. Essentially, this is a “store” where everything is free. Some common items are clothing, office supplies, kitchen ware, electronics, textbooks, etc.
For more information about the uOttawa Free Store please visit their website.
Essential tips for success
International Student Success Centre
The International Student Success Centre offers a variety of useful services to all international and exchange students registered at the University of Ottawa. As student mentors we are available to answer your questions regarding:
- Canadian culture
- Academic life
- Learning strategies
- Challenges you could face during your university career
Come visit us at the International Student Success Centre located in the International Office in Tabaret Hall, room M390 . It will be our pleasure to meet you!
Students who have specific problems when registering for their courses or in satisfying academic requirements must contact their faculty as soon as possible to schedule a meeting with an Academic Advisor.
It is strongly recommended that students meet an Academic Advisor regularly at their faculty or department as they advance through their studies. Academic Advisors plays an important part in academic life, in terms of discussing scheduling and curriculum, and also in ensuring that all faculty and program requirements are fulfilled.
Advisors can provide help or information about program requirements, changes in courses, academic regulations, and any other academic success issues.
Academic integrity - avoid academic fraud (plagiarism)
Last year, more than 100 University of Ottawa students who were accused of plagiarism received various sanctions, including expulsion from the University. To plagiarize is to borrow someone else’s words or ideas without mentioning his/her name and/or without using quotation marks (“...”).
Minimum Grade Point Average
Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) to be in good academic standing (a minimum CGPA of at least 3.5 for general bachelor's programs, and at least 4.5 in honour’s bachelor’s programs).
Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below the required minimum for the program may be allowed to reregister by their faculty, but will be on probation if they do so.
The probation is lifted when the student's cumulative grade point average reaches the required minimum for the program.
Students on probation whose cumulative grade point average remains below the minimum required for good standing after two full time probationary semesters or after 24 course credits if part time will be required to withdraw from the program or from the faculty.
Please refer to the official University of Ottawa academic regulations for more details.
Useful on-Campus contacts
Please visit the Students page for more uOttawa services.
|Name of service||Telephone|
|University of Ottawa InfoService||Contact InfoService||Tel: 613-562-5800|
|Admissions Office||Contact Admissions||Tel: 613-562-5315|
|Health Services Clinic||100 Marie Curie||Tel: 613-564-3950|
|Campus Pharmacy||100 Marie Curie||Tel: 613-563-4000|
|Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO)||Contact SFUO||Tel: 613-562-5966|
|Graduate Students’ Association (GSAÉD)||Contact GSAED||Tel: 613-562-5935|
- Join us for the International and National Exchange Fair on Wednesday October 1, 2014, in the University Centre (UCU). This is an opportunity for you to meet with students who have studied abroad and with representatives from universities in Australia, France, China and Italy.
- UHIP cards are no longer available at the International Office. Please download and print your UHIP card two weeks after your payment has been made (only available as of late August).
- Join the Buddy Program, where international/exchange students are matched with Canadian students to help them settle in to their new surroundings. Register now for the Buddy Program!