New student checklist

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You’ll soon be starting the trip of a lifetime. Here are a few tips to help you get used to your new surroundings. You can also save this checklist and refer to it later!

Why do we say we’re all Gee-Gees?

Our school colours are garnet and grey, so the initials in both languages give “GG”. Throughout the years, the nickname just stuck. A gee-gee is also an old British slang term for the first horse out of the gate in a race. That’s why our mascot is a horse! Now that you’re a Gee-Gee, welcome to the Gee-Gee family!

Make sure you get your student card

You’ll need to show this card when taking exams, but you’ll also use it to buy food on campus, borrow material from the library, make photocopies, and go to the gym. Basically, it will serve as a campus debit card! Be sure to submit your student card photo online if you haven’t done so already! This little piece of plastic is your golden ticket around the uOttawa campus.

Visit our web page for new students

We hope you’ve already visited this site, but why not refresh your memory: check out what you need to do by reviewing the details under the Go! – Welcome to campus tab

Get to know the campus

Make sure you’re never late for class and know where to go to work out or grab a bite to eat. If you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to take a tour for incoming students. Act soon though as these wrap up at the end of August. Pro tip: Take a faculty tour to get a good idea of the buildings you’ll be in. You can also book an extra Q&A session with a student mentor or faculty representative and explore the campus even more by booking a sports or services tour.

Put key academic dates in your calendar

When’s reading week? Can you still switch classes? This calendar will help you keep track of important academic dates and deadlines throughout the year. Make sure you check it regularly to stay on track! 

Get familiar with our key IT tools

uoZone: This secure student portal provides access to everything you’ll need while at uOttawa. uoZone will grant you access to your uOttawa email, the Student Centre, as well as to your financial statement, information on scholarships and bursaries, and more. The Student Centre is one of the main hubs you will be using to explore program and degree requirements, enrol in courses, or change your course selection. 

BrightSpace: BrightSpace is your best friend. It’s a learning management system where most of your professors will post course content, including PowerPoint slides, assignments, and reading material. It’s like one of those big binders where you kept all your subjects in high school.

SecurUO: Safety first! Download SecurUO to be quickly alerted to emergency situations on campus, or to reach out to the University’s Protection Services if you need help.

Know the lingo

What is a LEC and what is a DGD? It’s a good idea to get familiar with our course enrolment terminology. (By the way, the first is “lecture”, and the second is “discussion group”).

Syllabus: Want to know what in the world to expect at your first-ever university class? Your professor will probably post a syllabus on BrightSpace and go over it during your first class. In it, you’ll find the course outline, the learning objectives, the required course material, and the exam schedule. In essence, it’s somewhat of a “contract” between you and your professor. (Pro tip: add all those mid-term, essay deadline, and final exam dates to your planner/calendar at the beginning of the term).

Units: Ah yes, our precious units (sometimes referred to as credits). This is what will make all those late-night study sessions worth it (*ahem, besides the joy of learning, of course). A unit is the value assigned to an academic activity. Regular undergraduate courses are usually worth three units and run for one term. Graduate courses are typically worth 1.5 or 3 units and have a slightly different schedule.

Register for academic accommodations if you need them

If you’re living with a temporary or permanent disability, our Academic Accommodations Service offers support. For more information, go to our registering for accommodation web page.

Stay connected

Find and follow us on all social media channels and connect with your faculties as well. It’s a great way to stay informed and part of our amazing community.

Read your Gee

We’ll be popping into your email inboxes regularly with more tips, news and student stories. Be sure to take five minutes to stay up to date and make the most of your student experience.