Step 2: How to apply

Timeline for a successful application

The deadline for submission of complete applications for an exchange program at the University of Ottawa is March 31st. Please note that this is for all applications (Fall, Winter, or full academic year)

The following is a general overview of the exchange application process. Please carefully follow these instructions to ensure you understand and complete each step on time. We strongly recommend that you print this checklist to ensure that do not miss any deadlines.

Overview of the exchange application process


Application process

October / November

Consult our web site for information on our programs and courses.

Consult with your home university in order to determine if you are eligible for an exchange and for information on the application procedure.

February / March

Prepare your application.

March 15

Deadline for your home institution to submit your official nomination form.

March 31

Deadline for your completed nomination file to be entered into our system.

As of May

Notice of acceptance/refusal (including information package)*.

Course registration begins for the Fall and Winter semesters.

Start preparing for your departure (including visa or study permit application).

First week of semester (September or January)

Welcome Day Information Semester (compulsory).

*You can apply for a room in residence as soon as you receive your notice of acceptance.


InformationOnly complete applications submitted online via MoveON by March 31st will be accepted.
Please note that acceptance is not guaranteed.
Ensure language proficiency

Most courses offered at the University of Ottawa are given in English and French. Candidates must submit a language proficiency test at the time of application in the language that they wish to take courses in if that language is not their mother tongue.

Restrictions and exemptions from taking an English language proficiency test

Before consulting the language requirements, please note the list of tests which are not accepted by the University of Ottawa:

  1. Proficiency tests administered by home institutions
  2. TOEFLI (Institutional TOEFL)
  4. TOEIC

Also, please note that students from the following countries are exempted from English proficiency tests:

Students from the following countries:

Students from the following Universities or Exchange Programs:

All countries where English is the official language (Canada, United States, England, Australia, New Zealand, etc...)

  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Puerto Rico
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • University of Cooperative Education - Loerrach
  • Reykjavik University – Law students
  • University Erfut - exemption granted with two years of English or French language instruction
  • National University of Singapore
  • Nanyang Technical University
  • Nagoya University

Translation and Department of English students are exempted from submitting a TOEFL score except if they wish to take courses outside of the departments of English and Translation.

What are the language requirements for undergraduate studies?

For students who wish to study in French:

Scores indicated below are required for all programs offered at the University of Ottawa. Even if you achieve the required score, we reserve the right to ask you to take language courses if we feel that your knowledge of one of the two official languages is not satisfactory. Test scores are valid for two years.


Required score

DALF (external website, in French only)

C1 or C2

DELF (external website, in French only)


TEF (external website, in French only)


TCF (external website, in French only)



For students who wish to study in English:

Scores indicated below are required for all programs offered in a direct-entry faculty. Even if you achieve the required score, we reserve the right to ask you to take language courses if we feel that your knowledge of one of the two official languages is not satisfactory. Test scores are valid for two years.


Overall score

Required score in written section

*TOEFL University of Ottawa Institution Code: 0993

Internet: 86
Computer: 237
Paper-based: 580





Cambridge English Language Assessment



* Faculty of Law, Common Law applicants must have:

  • an overall score of 100 and a written score of 24 on the TOEFL test;
  • an overall score of 7 and a written score of 6.5 on the IELTS test;
  • an overall score of C1 on the Cambridge English Language Assessment test.


What are the language requirements for Graduate studies?

In order to know what are the language requirements for Graduate studies, please refer to our page on  Graduate language requirements by program

Complete the application process

Determine your eligibility

To be Eligible students must:

  • Be nominated by his/her home institution;
  • Be admitted in a program of studies at the undergraduate or graduate level;
  • Have completed a minimum of one academic university year (at the time of application);
  • Ensure that your home institution has approved your course selection;
  • Be able to submit your complete application by March 31;
  • Meet the language proficiency requirements, if necessary:
    • Please check the list of available dates for the TOEFL and the IELTS
    • It is very important to get your results on time in order to attach them to your application.  This will prevent it from been refused due to missing documents;
  • Please note that admission requirements and application procedures to the University of Ottawa exchange program may vary according to the exchange agreement.

Nomination and application process

  1. Your home university must submit your nomination information by March 15;
  2. Complete your file online via MoveOn (link will be sent to students once they are nominated by their home institution). Please take note that the deadline to submit your completed file is March 31, whether you apply for the Fall semester, the Winter semester, or the full academic year.
  3. All applications must have the following documents:
    • All of your official university transcripts in English or French, including grading scales.
    • Official language proficiency test results, if required (check language requirements)
    • A scanned copy of your valid passport
  4. Students in Common Law, Civil Law, Theatre, Visual Arts and Music and Graduate Students must also submit the following additional documents:
    • Letter of Motivation (written in the language of instruction of the exchange, maximum one page). This letter should elaborate on your interests and academic objectives for your exchange program at the University of Ottawa.
    • Résumé (maximum two pages)
    • Academic Reference Form (PDF) or a letter of recommendation 
    • Visual Arts students must submit a portfolio.
    • Music students can participate to the exchange program for the full academic year only and must submit a performance DVD with their application. 
Select desired courses

When applying to our Exchange program, you must submit a preliminary course selection approved by your home institution.  Before completing this step, you will find below, information that will help you in this process.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is used by several European institutions, particularly Western European institutions, with which the University of Ottawa has signed bilateral agreements.

As a general rule:

At the Undergraduate level: one semester at uOttawa = 15 credits or 30 ECTS*

At the Graduate level: one semester = 6 to 9 credits or 12 to 18 ECTS*

*It is important to note that it is up to the home institution to determine the exact equivalencies.

University of Ottawa academic system

Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies

Title: Bachelor 
Length: 3 or 4 years
Course codes: 1000 to 4000

1 course  = 3 credits

Title: Master
Length: 2 years
Course codes: 5000 and 6000

1 course  = 3 credits

Undergraduate (bachelor/licence)

A credit is defined as 12 to 15 hours of formal lectures or the equivalent. Thus, a course comprising of three hours of lectures per week extending over one semester of 13 weeks normally carries three credits.

In the case of laboratory instruction, one credit involves two or three hours of laboratory work per week per semester.

A full-time semester for undergraduate students represents 12 to 15 credits, or 4 to 5 courses.  Please note that a maximum of 5 courses per semester is permitted.

Graduate Studies (Master)

A full-time semester for graduate students represents 6 to 9 credits, or 2 to 3 courses per semester. Please note that a maximum of 3 courses is permitted per semester.   

It is important to note that in addition to the course hours, students are asked to complete additional readings, projects, and written assignments throughout the semester. We therefore recommend that a student registered to 2 to 3 courses at the master’s or doctorate level at the University of Ottawa is recognized as a full time student by their home institution.

It is possible for the graduate students to register to undergraduate courses but not in addition to their 3 master’s or doctorate courses).  Here is the possible combination of graduate and undergraduate courses:

  1. Three master’s courses; or
  2. Two master’s courses + one undergraduate course;

Select your courses

  1. In order to submit your mandatory course selection within your application, please refer to our course catalogue:

Please also refer to the University of Ottawa calendar in order to know the important dates and deadlines.

  1. When completing your application, here are the conditions you must know about:
    • Undergraduate students must submit a list of 8 courses per semester but will be enrolled in a minimum of 4 and maximum 5 courses per semester;
    • Graduate students must submit a list of 4 courses per semester but will be enrolled in a minimum 2 and maximum 3 courses per semester;
    • You cannot register to courses as an auditor. Your courses taken during your exchange must be transferable to your program of study at your home university;
    • Credits earned during your exchange must contribute to your graduation.
    • You must attend all your lectures (LEC), laboratories (LAB) and discussion groups (DGD).

Some of the courses listed in the faculty course calendar above are not offered every year. Please pay particular attention to the course timetable when selecting your courses in order to avoid scheduling conflicts. Please also note that classes end 10 minutes before the time indicated to allow students time to get to the next class.

N.B.: The course selection submitted in your application is not an actual registration to your courses. The step will be completed once you are accepted to the University of Ottawa exchange program.

  1. Your access to courses is limited by:
    • The agreement in place with your home university.
    • Your program of study. You are permitted to register to courses from a maximum of two faculties.
    • Prerequisites. You will not be able to register for courses if you have not already taken the equivalent prerequisites.
    • Restricted faculties. You cannot register to courses from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Education.
    • Restricted courses. You cannot register to courses with course codes ADM or MBA.  Furthermore, mandatory courses in some programs may be reserved for uOttawa students only, and exchange students are not eligible to take certain courses (see restrictions below)
    • Language. Ensure that you satisfy the language requirements for the courses you choose.

Six-credit courses run from September to April; three-credit course are offered from September to December or from January to April. Please take into account the duration, start and end dates for each course if you participate in an international exchange for one semester only.

The International Office at the University of Ottawa cannot guarantee your place in the courses selected, especially courses with limited enrolment and courses requiring specific course prerequisites.  Therefore it is important that you register to your courses as soon as possible.

Specific course guidelines and restrictions

Please find a list of faculty restricted courses below. 

Undergraduate courses

Graduate courses

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