Frequently Asked Questions
For Canadian students, the deadline to apply to the program is February 1. For international students, the deadline to apply is December 1.
The Master’s in Environmental Sustainability has a mandatory research component, so students must identify a supervisor and topic, albeit not during the admission process. When undertaking graduate studies, it is important to know who you might want to work with during your studies, since this will have a significant impact on your work and on your overall experience. Ideally, you should try to find a faculty member who shares your enthusiasm for the topic and area of interest, and who is available to take on a student.
While the program does not require the student to have a supervisor’s formal commitment during the admission process, it is important that students start looking for a supervisor during the summer before they start the program in September. Note that the student is responsible for finding a supervisor and topic.
To help you find your thesis supervisor, we suggest that you browse through a list of our faculty members and their areas of expertise. You can also enter keywords (such as environment, climate change, etc.) into uOttawa Experts database to help you find faculty members with research interests in a particular field.
We ask you to contact potential supervisors directly to discuss the possibility of working with them during the course of your studies.
When the University receives an application for admission, the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies sends out an e-mail to the student, explaining how to log into the student’s own uoZone account. To check your admission status, simply log into your uoZone account. You can check your application status by logging onto your uoZone account. Each student who submits an application to uOttawa receives their own account. Login information is sent in an e-mail letter from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies upon receipt of your application.
Please read the Admission Requirements for the Master’s in Environmental Sustainability to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria.
The deadline for Canadian students to apply is February 1. You begin the application process by submitting the electronic registration form, paying the application fee and following up with the required documentation. Check “How to Apply” for more details.
Please note that you will need to submit an official transcript from every institution of higher education you have attended, including those you may have attended on an international exchange for one or two semesters.
Students enrolled in either the Research Paper or the Thesis options are eligible for our CO-OP program. In the past, our CO-OP students have worked in organizations such as:
- Environment and Climate Change Canada (various branches such as: Environmental Stewardship Branch, Legislation and Regulatory Affairs, and Environmental Protection Operations)
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Species at Risk program
- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces
- Natural Resources Canada, Energy Sector
- Sustainable Development Technology Canada
- World Wildlife Fund
To be eligible for CO-OP, a student must be enrolled full time in the interdisciplinary MSc in Environmental Sustainability (which begins in September for all students), must meet the minimum CGPA for graduate and postdoctoral studies (7.0), and must be a Canadian citizen, or a resident or permanent resident of Canada. International students are also eligible to apply; please visit the FAQs for CO-OP students.
An information session is held in September for students who are interested in CO-OP. Applications for this option must submitted by the end of the first month of the student’s enrollment in the program (end of September). The number of CO-OP placements is limited. Admission is competitive and managed by the CO-OP office.
CO-OP students must enrol in CO-OP WORK TERM I and CO-OP WORK TERM II during each respective work term.
For more information, visit the CO-OP website.
Knowing how to speak, write or understand French is not a requirement to apply for this program. The University of Ottawa is a unique environment, where French and English are spoken side-by-side in a multicultural setting. Being a bilingual institution, the University offers several free resources to help students learn French (or English) if they so choose; however, bilingualism is not a requirement for this program.
Please read the Admission Requirements for the Master’s in Environmental Sustainability to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria.
If you did not complete your post-secondary education in Canada, please check the admission equivalencies for international students to see whether your degree and marks meet the admission standards for this program. The grade point average required for this program is a minimum of 7.0. Please note that the program is highly competitive and that applications are carefully reviewed; they are assessed both independently and in relation to other applications.
The deadline for international students to apply is December 1. Applicants begin by submitting the electronic registration form, paying the application fee and sending in the required documentation. Visit “How to Apply” for more details.
All compulsory courses in this program are currently offered in English. Applicants whose mother tongue is not English must submit evidence of proficiency in English to prove that they can communicate with professors, peers and stakeholders; understand and analyse master’s level course material; and express their knowledge and understanding in thoughtful, original research papers or theses. Students should schedule their language proficiency test as soon as possible. Although we accept supporting documents (such as the TOEFL score) after the December 1 deadline, we cannot fully process the application until we have received all documents.
Please note that you will need to submit an official transcript from every institution of higher education you have attended, including transcripts from any international exchanges you may have attended for one or two semesters.
A list of tuition fees, incidental fees and any other associated fees can be found on the Registrar’s website. Please note that tuition is subject to change from year to year, and the current academic year tuition fees should only be used as a guide.
This program is currently only offered on a full-time basis. Students are admitted on the basis of full-time status and must maintain this status for at least three terms.
After three terms, students may request a change to part-time status through their academic unit if they secure the support and signature of their supervisor and the program director. Students must complete the program within four years of the initial date of enrollment (registration).
No, you cannot. There is currently only one in-take period for the program, which is the fall term (September).
The program is interdisciplinary, and the research and coursework will span multiple disciplines. The degree designation reflects the fact that the methodology emphasized in the program is scientific in nature.
Yes, research is a key component of the program, in both the thesis and research paper options. Research takes place in the third phase of the program, during which students apply what they have learned. Students learn to synthesize information about a current topic from multiple disciplines, and using the robust methodologies they have been taught, will develop creative, rigorous and effective solutions for change.
Student applications are carefully reviewed by an admissions committee and are evaluated independently and in relation to other applications. A number of factors, or a combination of factors, can affect whether an admission request is accepted or refused, including:
- The student’s grade point average for their final 20 university courses
- The committee’s evaluation of the potential research project description
- The committee’s evaluation of the student’s understanding of the program
- The student’s level of knowledge of, interest in, or experience in sustainable development, broadly construed
- The strength of the letters of recommendation
- The student’s writing abilities
- The student’s academic experience
- The student’s language test results
- The number of places available in the program
- The overall quality of the cohort of applicants
The availability of faculty members with expertise in the student’s area of interest to supervise the student.
The program is currently offered only on a full-time basis.
However, under exceptional circumstances, students may request a change to part-time status once they’ve completed a minimum of three terms (approval of supervisor and program director required). In either case, the maximum time allowed to complete the program is four years from the date you initially enrolled.
This is an interdisciplinary and applied program. As a result, students are required to build a common foundation of environmental knowledge in the areas of science, economics, law and policy. As a result, there are many required courses, leaving room for only one optional course.
The Institute of the Environment brings together professors and students from different faculties to work collaboratively on environmental sustainability challenges. The University of Ottawa recognizes the value of multidisciplinary research and teaching and hosts the program at the institute in order to reflect the multidisciplinary character of environmental issues.
A deposit is required in order to secure your place in the program. This amount will be credited towards your tuition fees for the Fall term.
Orientation Week provides students with an experiential approach to learning, connects students with over 20 sustainability professionals and is aimed at creating a sense of community among students—the sustainability leaders of tomorrow!
Orientation Week begins with a roundtable and continues with various panels students can participate in (e.g., vocational opportunities, an introduction to sustainable prosperity think tanks), an interdisciplinary sustainability seminar with Institute professors, outings (e.g., hike in Gatineau park, visit to the site of the redevelopment project for former Domtar industrial lands, campus sustainability tour) and an overnight stay with team-building activities at Econiche House.
Enrolment for graduate students usually begins in June and is done through uoZone. Please consult the Enrolment section of the important academic dates and deadlines page for more details. You can also use the course search tool for more information on available courses.
NOTE: Even though enrolment is required, a spot has been reserved for you in all of the required courses for your program.
We invite you to browse through the list of our faculty members to review their areas of expertise. You can also search the list of uOttawa experts using keywords (environment or climate change for example) to find faculty members with your research interests.
You should then contact potential supervisors directly to discuss the possibility of working with them.
All students in the MSc in Environmental Sustainability program, whether doing the research paper or thesis option, are eligible for CO-OP.
To be admissible, you must be enrolled full time, have a minimum CGPA of 7.0 (B+, or 75%) and be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or an international student. For more information, please consult the FAQs for CO-OP students and the CO-OP admission requirements for graduate students.
Yes. If you’re not doing the CO-OP program, you can make this change through your academic unit before the end of your first fall term with the approval of your supervisor and the program director
NOTE: If you’re in the CO-OP option, you must make this change by September 30 of your first fall term.
Be aware that if you switch from a thesis to a research project, any admission scholarship you received may be reduced from two years in length to one.
The student handbook is updated every year and will be given to you prior to Orientation Week.
Students in the MSc in Environmental Sustainability program take part in Faculty of Science convocation ceremonies. Visit the Registrar’s website for more information on convocation and obtaining your degree.