The transition to university can be challenging for some students. At the University of Ottawa, we understand that factors such as a change of program or difficult personal circumstances can affect academic results at the start of university studies. The academic reset program provides students who may be experiencing academic difficulties with a second chance to succeed in their studies.

What is it exactly?

An academic reset, as described in Policy I-5.7, gives students the opportunity to exclude marks from 9 to 30 units (3 to 10 courses), among the first 30 units they have completed at uOttawa, from the calculation of their grade point average. The courses selected for academic reset will still appear on the student’s transcript, but a note indicating academic reset will be added.

The student may have failed or passed the courses chosen for academic reset. If the courses excluded from the calculation of the grade point average are mandatory for the student’s program, they must be retaken. However, students can choose to retake or replace elective or optional courses. Moreover, any course excluded from the academic average because of an academic reset cannot be used to meet program requirements, even if the student has passed the course.

Hence, students who opt for academic reset can increase their average and pursue their studies free from the burden of a difficult start to their university studies.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for academic reset, a student must:

  • Have been admitted to the University of Ottawa from a high school, college or CEGEP, or as a mature student, and have not taken any university courses prior to enrolment at the University of Ottawa
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate program offered by one of the direct entry faculties (Arts, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering, Health Sciences, Telfer School of Management)
  • Have not previously benefited from the academic reset
  • Have not been awarded a university degree

Not sure whether academic reset is right for you? Contact your faculty to schedule an appointment with an advisor or check out our FAQs to find out more.

 

How does it work?

To apply for an academic reset, you must fill out an application form and attach:

  • A list of courses to which the academic reset will apply, namely at least 9 units and at most 30 units of the first 30 units you attempted.

Note that courses taken at the University of Ottawa to replace prerequisites you needed to meet admission requirements, or units granted for equivalent courses you completed in a college or CEGEP, are not eligible for academic reset.

  • A letter that describes:
    1. Your thoughts on the problems you encountered at the beginning of your time at university and the factors that made academic success difficult
    2. A realistic and relevant action plan that demonstrates your serious commitment to university studies and explains what you intend to change in order to improve your chances of academic success
    3. How your application for an academic reset is part of a genuinely fresh approach to your studies. This could include factors such as a change in your program of study (either in same faculty or in a different one), course failures and/or poor grades, unsatisfactory academic standing, or difficult life circumstances that may have affected you at the beginning of your time at university.

Apply

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