International applicants

You would apply as an international applicant if:

  • You’re not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and
  • You live outside Canada and
  • You’re not currently attending an Ontario secondary school (in Ontario or abroad) in a day program

Every year, we welcome international students from more than 150 countries who are attracted by our academic programs and the careers they lead to. Discover for yourself all the good reasons for choosing the University of Ottawa and read on to find out how to get your application started.

1. Choose what you want to do

Please note that depending on what you choose to do, the application process you need to follow will vary. Although most international students come to uOttawa to complete a degree, these are other options if this isn’t your plan.

Information Icon Regardless of your choice, you must hold a Canadian government study permit. Find out about the Government of Canada requirements to study in Canada.

2. Meet one of our international representatives

Our liaison officers serve international students who would like to study at the University of Ottawa. They travel to different areas of the world and are available to meet you at our admission events. We have officers in many regions around the world; however, if there isn’t one for your area, please feel free to get in touch with us at admissions@uOttawa.ca or +1 613 562 5700.

3. Confirm you meet the admission requirements

Explore the University of Ottawa’s programs

The University of Ottawa offers more than 450 undergraduate and graduate programs that lead to degrees recognized and respected worldwide for the quality of education they represent.

  • Some programs offer the co-operative education option, which involves alternating work and study terms. If you have some proficiency in French, but French is not your mother tongue, and you are interested in improving your competencies, you can also apply for French immersion in most faculties or the extended French stream in the faculties of Science and Engineering. If you apply for French immersion, you’ll be required to take a language placement test.

Check out the admission requirements

Depending on the level of education you’ve completed (or are in the process of completing), you’ll be eligible to apply to different programs at the University of Ottawa.

  • Check that the level of studies required for your country is equivalent to uOttawa’s minimum admission requirements.
  • Find out about the prerequisite courses for the program(s) you’re interested in.
  • Confirm whether you meet the language requirements. At the University of Ottawa, you can take your courses all in English, all in French or in both languages. The choice is yours! You will just need to demonstrate that you’re sufficiently fluent in the language you choose to study in. We may ask you to provide the results of a language proficiency test, even if you’ve studied in a country where English or French is an official language.

Take note of the admission deadlines and programs open for admission

Information Icon The University of Ottawa reserves the right to stop accepting applications prior to the posted deadline.

4. Submit your application and pay your fees

Applications for the University of Ottawa are submitted through an online application system, the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC). All international students must submit their application online using the 105F international application form.

Take care when entering your email address on the form and double check to be sure it’s accurate because this is the address the University will use to communicate with you. Also, be sure to check your inbox (and junk mail folder) regularly for messages from uOttawa.

Choice of language

  • To study in French, choose the French-language application form. 
  • To study in English (or in an English-language program with French immersion), choose the English-language application form.

Application fees

  • Fees apply for all applications and are payable to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre. Your application will be forwarded to the University of Ottawa only after your fees are paid in full and the payment has cleared. Fees cover up to three program choices. Extra fees apply if you add additional programs. Find out more about fees payable to OUAC.
Information Icon The University of Ottawa will not pre-assess or review your application prior to you submitting it. Your application will be evaluated only after submitted and all the necessary official documents have been received. Note that admission is not guaranteed even if you meet all the requirements.

5. Track the progress of your application in uoZone

Within two weeks of receiving your application from OUAC, we will send you an acknowledgement email. Be sure to keep this message in a safe place because it will contain your student number as well as your uoAccess ID and password for uoZone, the student portal.

In uoZone, you can:

  • Check the status of your application
  • Check if you need to submit any additional documents and upload them
  • Search for available scholarships and bursaries
Information Icon If you don’t receive an acknowledgement within two weeks of submitting your application, please let us know at admissions@uOttawa.ca. Note that we do not consider not checking on the status of your application or not checking your emails to be a valid reason to re-activate an application or offer of admission that has been closed or cancelled.

To check your admission file in uoZone:

  1. Go to the student section of the uOttawa website.
  2. In the uoZone box, click Login.
  3. Enter your uoAccess user name and password.
  4. Click Login.

6. Submit the required documents by the deadline

Your admission file in uoZone will list all the documents you need to submit in order to complete your application file.

Upload your documents for the Admissions Office through uoDoc, in uoZone. Once you’ve signed into uoDoc, select a request and upload your documents. The list of required documents for your application is updated in uoZone as each document is received and evaluated.

Information Icon You are responsible for ensuring that the University receives all the necessary documents by the deadline indicated for receiving missing documents. In some cases, the University of Ottawa may ask you to send original copies of documents by mail

Documents

  • See the language requirements for a list of accepted language tests and scores.
  • Transcripts for secondary school and all college and university studies (completed or under way)
  • A list of the courses you’re currently taking. Be sure to include course titles, course length and the official course descriptions from your institution’s course calendar (or a document of descriptions bearing your institution’s seal). This information will allow us to determine whether we can grant you advanced standing in a University of Ottawa program and to confirm you have the prerequisite courses required for admission to your program.
  • Results of exams, tests or competitions confirming your level of education.
  • Official French or English translations of any required document issued in another language
  • Proof of all diplomas or certificates
  • Depending on your academic background and intended program, any other documents needed for your application, such as a resumé or covering letter.
Information Icon As part of the admission process, Ontario universities sometimes ask undergraduate applicants who were educated outside Canada to submit their official transcripts directly to World Education Services (WES) Canada in order to determine the Canadian equivalencies of their academic credentials. If this is the case for your application, we will notify you of the steps you need to take.

7. Watch for a response to your application

Once the Admissions Office receives your application and all your documents, it will assess your file based on your academic achievements and the programs you’ve chosen. We will also verify whether you meet the admission requirements and have a high probability of success at the University of Ottawa. Some programs are highly competitive with limited numbers of students accepted, which means only top candidates are selected.

Advanced standing

When evaluating your application, we may decide to offer you advanced standing for equivalencies if:

  • You hold a French baccalauréat from a lycée recognized by the Agence pour l’enseignement français à l’étranger
  • You’ve completed an international baccalaureate program
  • You’ve completed Advanced Placement Program courses
  • You’ve completed prior university or college studies

Admission decision

It can take several weeks to assess an application, and decisions for the different programs are not sent to all applicants at the same time. When a decision will be sent depends on the program and the strength of the candidate’s application. This means you could receive a decision for one program but not receive a decision on another program until later.

Once we’ve made a decision, we will send you an email advising you a decision has been made. Once you receive this email, you can log into uoZone to check your admission file for our response and, if applicable, get the details on how to accept our offer.

Glossary of terms used at the University of Ottawa

Admission vs. registration

Understanding the difference between these two terms will be very useful for you. “Admission” is the formal process through which you apply to the University of Ottawa to accept you in a program of study so that you can receive a degree. “Registration” refers to registering for a course, that is, reserving your place in the course.  You can only register once you’ve received and accepted an offer of admission. The University determines the date your registration period begins.

Undergraduate and graduate studies (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, etc.)

These terms refer to levels of study at the University of Ottawa. Undergraduate studies include bachelor’s degrees and some certificates. Graduate studies include master’s degrees and graduate diplomas, as well as doctorates.

Advanced standing

Courses you don’t have to take as part of your University of Ottawa program because you have already completed courses in your country of origin that are considered equivalent.

Credits

Units measuring your progress in your program of study. At the University of Ottawa, most courses are worth three credits and an honours bachelor’s program is worth 120 credits, usually spread out over four years.

Term

Normally the academic year is divided into two terms, the Fall term (September to December) and the Winter term (January to April). You can also take courses during the Spring-Summer term (May to August), but most undergraduate students take a break from their studies during this time. 

Full time

Most full-time undergraduate students take five courses per term during the fall and winter and take a break during the Spring-Summer term.

Maximum course load

Most courses require three hours’ class time per week. If you’re registered full time (in other words, for five courses), you spend 15 hours a week in class. However, you have to add in at least two hours of independent or team work for each hour in class. Discussion groups and laboratories also add to course hours.

Grades and exams

Most courses include research papers or lab reports and exams. Other assignments depend on the nature of the course. Grades are awarded as percentages and converted into letter grades at the end of the term. For example a grade of 90% or higher is equivalent to an A+.

Admission information specific to you

Select your country of origin to determine whether you're eligible for admission to programs at the University of Ottawa.


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