Eligible students in the French Immersion Stream can choose qualitative grades (Satisfactory (S) or Not Satisfactory (NS)) instead of letter grades for up to 8 courses (24 units) taken in French in your first 20 courses (60 units) or equivalent. The qualitative grades will not be counted toward your grade point average, which makes it easier to maintain average-based scholarships, obtain co-op placements or apply for an international exchange, for example.
You may use these grades for any course taught in French. In the case of an Immersion Course, the qualitative grade may be attributed to the content course taught in French, to the accompanying language course, or to both.
NOTE: Students in the Faculties of Science and Engineering cannot receive qualitative grades through the French Immersion Stream.
NOTE: B.Com.-JD and B.Soc.Sc.-JD: The Faculty of Law uses true grades, not qualitative grades, to assess admission into the Juris Doctor program. Courses completed prior to joining the French Immersion Stream, including transfer credits, are counted in the first 20 courses (60 units.) Faculties may choose to exclude certain courses from this option. A French course code has a 5, 6, 7 or 8 as the 5th character, for example ADM 1700 or BIO 1530.
To request a qualitative grade: You must complete or fill out (PDF, 502KB) and submit it to the French Immersion Stream office before the deadline in the University's calendar (around the 10th week of class).
Once your request for a qualitative grade has been approved, you will no longer be able to view your letter grade for the course. However, you may ask to remove a qualitative grade if and only if this is beneficial to you in order to renew a scholarship, to maintain your eligibility to the co-operative education program or to the international exchange program.
In the eventuality you would be enrolling in a master’s or professional program that needs all your grades, you may obtain this information upon request at the French Immersion Stream office.
Write in English or French
The University of Ottawa's allows you to write your assignments and exams in French or English in nearly any course. While we encourage you to practice writing in French as much as possible, we recognize that, in some circumstances, having the freedom to choose can make a big difference!
For example, many immersion students choose to write shorter assignments in French, and longer or more difficult assignments in English.
Note that, in language courses, you have to write in the language being studied. For example, you cannot write your French-as-a-second-language assignments in English, just like you cannot write in English if you are learning German!
Something we regularly hear from French Immersion students is that they have no idea how to do readings at the university level nor how to take notes during their lectures. In response to these comments, the French Immersion mentors are proud to offer two different types of “Ateliers” or workshops, which are offered several times throughout the school year.
- Prise de notes
- Lecture efficace
Keep an eye on your uOttawa email account and our Facebook page for dates and times of workshops.
French Immersion (FI) Buddy Program
The transition from high school to university makes you nervous? That's completely normal! The FI Buddy Program helps first-year students to adapt to life on campus.
First-year students, or "junior buddies", are paired with an upper-year student in French Immersion, or "senior buddy". First-year students receive advice about their program of study from a peer who has lived similar experiences not so long ago. Once the students are paired, it is up to them to decide of their means of communication - in person, e-mail or text, etc. Immersion Mentors also organize events for buddies (junior and senior) taking part in the program.
The Centre promotes lifelong community engagement and social responsibility among uOttawa students. Integrating academics with meaningful volunteer service through community and faculty partnerships, the Centre supports students in contributing to stronger communities, positive social change and a more active university locally, nationally and internationally.
Want to travel? Want to use your French abroad? The University's arranges for full-time students to spend a session or full academic year abroad through a student exchange with one of our partner institutions in more than 50 countries. Your tuition fees remain the same, as you pay them to the University of Ottawa. Students going on an international exchange also get a $ 1 000 scholarship for one semester and a $ 2 000 scholarship for two semesters.
French-speaking countries to which you may go on an exchange include: Belgium, France, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Luxembourg, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia.
By spending some time abroad you will gain perspective and add a valuable international component to your degree. What's more, with your French skills you will have better access to living and learning in French-speaking countries. French courses taken abroad can also count toward your program requirement.
Immersion Mentoring Centre
The Immersion mentors are upper-year immersion students. When you have a question or a problem, start with them: they know exactly what you're going through, because they've been there themselves. During your first year at uOttawa, meet with a Mentor to discuss your options and obtain help for making the transition from high school to university.
Contact us by email, phone, visit or through social media.
Having a tough time with your French at the university level? Well, luckily the Bilingualism Centre offers tutoring to help students become more proficient in French!
Students can practice French with the Centre’s volunteers who will answer any questions about components of French (e.g. grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, expressions, and comprehension). Each tutoring session is around an hour and students can attend them several times a week. The tutoring sessions typically begin one month into each term. Interested students should register online or by dropping by the Centre.
In addition to offering tutoring services, the Bilingualism Centre also hosts many events during the year and has its own resource centre for students to use.
You try to speak French, but feel hesitant? Your French is rusty and you feel embarrassed to talk?
- Offered daily, in small groups;
- Offered by Language Mentors who facilitate a guided conversation about general topics;
- In a casual context, among peers;
- Designed for second-language students who wish to work on their skills;
- Conversation groups for all speaking levels: beginner, medium and advanced;
- Last 60 minutes.