students sitting in the stairs of the university centre

Course enrolment for non-degree students

A non-degree student (special student) is someone who can enrol in courses to receive university units, but who is not seeking a degree, certificate or diploma. Non-degree students don’t have to apply for admission.

Eligibility - Undergraduate students

To be a non-degree student, you must meet one of the following requirements

  • Hold an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), with at least six 4U or 4M courses and an overall average of 70%, or the equivalent (this does not apply to the “personal interest” category — see below)
  • Qualify as a mature student by meeting the following conditions:
    • have not been engaged in full-time studies for at least two consecutive years
    • are considered to hold promise of academic success
    • meet the requirements of the faculty you have applied to

Non-degree students fit into one of the following categories

To find out more about these subcategories and to see all definitions, visit Academic Regulation B-1.

  • Personal interest: For students wishing to take courses for personal interest or for students who have not been granted admission. Students can take a maximum of six units (two courses) per term and the total cannot exceed 30 units.
  • Improving academic standing: For students who have been required to withdraw from the faculty. Students can take a maximum of 12 units per term (four courses) and the total cannot exceed 30 units. Check the requirements for re-admission.
  • Professional certification
  • Transfer of units
  • Upgrading
  • Gifted student (see the enrolment process for the Head Start program)
  • Visiting Research Student (for more information, follow the Procedure for Visiting Research Students)

New non-degree students – Eligibility for online enrolment

Improving academic standing category

If you're new and would like to enrol as a non-degree student in the Improving academic standing category, you need to contact InfoService before Friday, April 5, 2024 to create a non-degree student file so you can enrol online as soon as enrolment opens.

All other categories

New non-degree students (those who have never been enrolled at uOttawa or Saint Paul University) must fill out the personal identification form for Non-degree students (undergraduate) before Friday,April 5, 2024 in order to be able to enrol online as soon as enrolment starts. Once you’ve submitted this form, we’ll email you instructions on how to enrol.

Notice – If you are enrolling for the first time at the University of Ottawa, you will need to provide us with a transcript covering your most recent period of full-time studies.

Graduate students

Non-degree students can enrol in graduate courses provided they obtain the prior approval of the academic unit(s) offering the courses.

Eligibility procedures for non-degree students vary by academic unit. For more information, contact the academic unit(s) offering the course(s).

We reserve the right to verify your eligibility, cancel your enrolment or prohibit further enrolment if necessary. In addition, depending on your category, you must provide certain documents and meet certain conditions.

Enrolment steps


An estimate of university fees for non-degree students can be found on the Tuition fees for non-degree students web page.

Check the Financial Resources website for more information about paying university fees, reimbursements and methods of payment.

Please note that non-degree students do not have access to OSAP or other provincial government financial aid programs. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid and Awards office.


  • If you’ve been expelled by the University, you can’t enrol as a non-degree student.
  • If you’ve been asked to withdraw by a faculty, the faculty may or may not allow you to take its courses as a non-degree student during the period you’re withdrawn.
  • If your application for admission has been turned down by a faculty, the faculty may or may not allow you to take its courses as a non-degree student.
  • If you’re a full-time high school student, you can’t enrol as a non-degree student unless you’re participating in the Head Start program.
  • Some faculties, schools or departments may have specific restrictions that apply to non-degree students.