Categories and Status of Undergraduate Students

B-1.1. Student Categories

(Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017, and effective immediately)

There are two categories of undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa: regular students and non-degree students.

Regular student

A regular student is a person who has been admitted to a program of study leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate at the University of Ottawa, and who is enrolled in one or more courses in that program.

Non-degree student

A non-degree student is a person who is allowed by the University to enrol in undergraduate courses or microprograms in order to obtain university units, but who is not seeking an undergraduate degree or a certificate from the University.

The reasons below may be cited to enrol as a non-degree student:

  1. Personal interest

Individuals who do not provide proof that they meet the normal admission requirements may,  for personal interest, enrol in a maximum of six units per term and a cumulative total of 30 units, provided they have not attended a secondary school as a full-time student for at least two years.

  1. Professional certification

Anyone may take university courses in order to meet the certification requirements of an outside professional association. A justification letter from the association is required.

  1. Transfer of units

A person may take University of Ottawa courses for the purpose of transferring units to another university or postsecondary institution where the person is seeking a degree, diploma or certificate. A letter of permission or a formal written agreement from the student’s home institution is required. The student’s status (full‑time or part‑time) will depend on the number of units taken with the permission of both the home institution and the University of Ottawa.

  1. Upgrading

Individuals holding a recognized college or university degree may take courses at the University of Ottawa to update, improve or extend their training. Proof that the student holds a college or university degree is required.

  1. Gifted student

Any high school student in their last year of secondary school studies may enrol in one course (three units) per term (maximum total of six units) while completing their secondary education (may be part-time status only at the University). To be eligible, students must either have an average of at least 90% or provide proof that they have been identified as gifted by a recognized competent authority (e.g. school board). They must also submit a written recommendation from their high school principal.

  1. Improving academic standing

University of Ottawa students who have been required to withdraw from their faculty may enrol in a maximum of 12 units per term, for a total of thirty cumulative units, in order to improve their academic standing.

B-1.2. Student status

(Approved by the Senate on September 8, 2008)

Full time

Status of a student enrolled in 12 units or more during a term.

Part time

Status of a student enrolled in fewer than 12 units during a term.


Status of a student who has been authorized by one of the faculties to take one or more courses without earning units. Auditors are not entitled to write examinations, nor to hand in assignments and may not change their status after the deadline has passed for course changes for the term in which they are enrolled, as specified in Important Academic Dates and Deadlines.