International students from more than 150 countries choose the University of Ottawa every year. They enjoy lower tuition fees and a superior quality of education, while living and studying in downtown Ottawa, the heart of Canada’s capital, just steps away from many international resources, including dozens of NGOs, embassies and consulates.
Read on to find out how to get your application started. You can also watch the video below.
You can apply as an international applicant if you meet these three conditions:
- You’re not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- You live outside Canada
- You’re not currently attending an Ontario secondary school (in Ontario or abroad) in a day program
1. Choose what you want to do
Please note that depending on what you choose to do, the application process you need to follow will vary. Although most international students come to uOttawa to complete a degree, these are other options if this isn’t your plan.
- Come to uOttawa on an exchange
- Come to uOttawa as a visiting student
- Come to uOttawa as a visiting student researcher
- Complete an intensive official language program
- Come to uOttawa as a sponsored student
2. Meet one of our international representatives
Our liaison officers serve international students who would like to study at the University of Ottawa. They travel to different areas of the world and are available to meet you at our admission events. We have officers in many regions around the world; however, if there isn’t one for your area, please feel free to get in touch with us at admissions@uOttawa.ca or +1 613 562 5700.
3. Confirm you meet the admission requirements
Explore the University of Ottawa’s programs
The University of Ottawa offers more than 450 undergraduate and graduate programs that lead to degrees recognized and respected worldwide for the quality of education they represent.
- Some programs offer the co-operative education option, which involves alternating work and study terms. If you have some proficiency in French, but French is not your mother tongue, and you are interested in improving your competencies, you can also apply for French immersion in most faculties or the extended French stream in the faculties of Science and Engineering. If you apply for French immersion, you’ll be required to take a language placement test.
Check out the admission requirements
Depending on the level of education you’ve completed (or are in the process of completing), you’ll be eligible to apply to different programs at the University of Ottawa.
- Check that the level of studies required for your country is equivalent to uOttawa’s minimum admission requirements.
- Find out about the prerequisite courses for the program(s) you’re interested in.
- Confirm whether you meet the language requirements. At the University of Ottawa, you can take your courses all in English, all in French or in both languages. The choice is yours! You will just need to demonstrate that you’re sufficiently fluent in the language you choose to study in. We may ask you to provide the results of a language proficiency test, even if you’ve studied in a country where English or French is an official language.
Take note of the admission deadlines and programs open for admission
4. Submit your application and pay your fees
Applications for the University of Ottawa are submitted through an online application system, the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC). All international students must submit their application online using the 105 international application form. To learn how, see the How-to tutorials on the OUAC website.
Take care when entering your email address on the form and double check to be sure it’s accurate because this is the address the University will use to communicate with you. Also, be sure to check your inbox (and junk mail folder) regularly for messages from uOttawa.
Choice of language
- To study in French, choose the French-language application form.
- To study in English (or in an English-language program with French immersion), choose the English-language application form.
- Fees apply for all applications and are payable to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre. Your application will be forwarded to the University of Ottawa only after your fees are paid in full and the payment has cleared. Fees cover up to three program choices. Extra fees apply if you add additional programs. Find out more about fees payable to OUAC.
5. Track the progress of your application in uoZone
Within two weeks of receiving your application from OUAC, we will send you an acknowledgement email. Be sure to keep this message in a safe place because it will contain your student number as well as your uoAccess ID and password for uoZone, the student portal.
In uoZone, you can:
- Check the status of your application
- Check if you need to submit any additional documents and upload them
- Search for available scholarships and bursaries
To check your admission file in uoZone:
- Go to the student section of the uOttawa website.
- In the uoZone box, click Login.
- Enter your uoAccess user name and password.
- Click Login.
6. Submit the required documents by the deadline
Check uoZone for the list of documents we need to evaluate your admission application. Send all documents to the Admissions Office by uploading them to uoDoc, via uoZone. We will assess your application when we have received all required documents.
- See the language requirements for a list of accepted language tests and scores. The official results must be sent directly to us by electronic means from the test centre.
- Transcripts for secondary school and all college and university studies (completed or under way)
- A list of the courses you’re currently taking. Be sure to include course titles, course length and the official course descriptions from your institution’s course calendar (or a document of descriptions bearing your institution’s seal). This information will allow us to determine whether we can grant you advanced standing in a University of Ottawa program and to confirm you have the prerequisite courses required for admission to your program.
- Results of exams, tests or competitions confirming your level of education.
- Official French or English translations of any required document issued in another language
- Proof of all diplomas or certificates
- Depending on your academic background and intended program, any other documents needed for your application, such as a resumé or covering letter.
Official transcripts once you’ve been admitted
If you are admitted, you must submit an official transcript. An official transcript must be printed and stamped with an official seal and sent by the institution in question, or a copy certified by a notary, lawyer or commissioner of oaths.
Mail your transcript to:
75 Laurier Avenue East, Room 109
Ottawa, ONK1N 6N5
We do not generally consider photocopied, faxed or emailed transcripts, officials, unless the institution sends them to us directly, by fax with letterhead or by email and signed by the institution’s proper authority.
Submit your documents on time. Learn more about deadlines and available programs.
7. Watch for a response to your application
Once the Admissions Office receives your application and all your documents, it will assess your file based on your academic achievements and the programs you’ve chosen. We will also verify whether you meet the admission requirements and have a high probability of success at the University of Ottawa. Some programs are highly competitive with limited numbers of students accepted, which means only top candidates are selected.
When evaluating your application, we may decide to offer you advanced standing for equivalencies if:
- You hold a French baccalauréat from a lycée recognized by the Agence pour l’enseignement français à l’étranger
- You’ve completed an international baccalaureate program
- You’ve completed Advanced Placement Program courses
- You’ve completed prior university or college studies
It can take several weeks to assess an application, and decisions for the different programs are not sent to all applicants at the same time. When a decision will be sent depends on the program and the strength of the candidate’s application. This means you could receive a decision for one program but not receive a decision on another program until later.
Once we’ve made a decision, we will send you an email advising you a decision has been made. Once you receive this email, you can log into uoZone to check your admission file for our response and, if applicable, get the details on how to accept our offer.
Glossary of terms used at the University of Ottawa
Admission vs. registration
Understanding the difference between these two terms will be very useful for you. “Admission” is the formal process through which you apply to the University of Ottawa to accept you in a program of study so that you can receive a degree. “Registration” refers to registering for a course, that is, reserving your place in the course. You can only register once you’ve received and accepted an offer of admission. The University determines the date your registration period begins.
Undergraduate and graduate studies (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, etc.)
These terms refer to levels of study at the University of Ottawa. Undergraduate studies include bachelor’s degrees and some certificates. Graduate studies include master’s degrees and graduate diplomas, as well as doctorates.
Courses you don’t have to take as part of your University of Ottawa program because you have already completed courses in your country of origin that are considered equivalent.
Units measuring your progress in your program of study. At the University of Ottawa, most courses are worth three credits and an honours bachelor’s program is worth 120 credits, usually spread out over four years.
Normally the academic year is divided into two terms, the Fall term (September to December) and the Winter term (January to April). You can also take courses during the Spring-Summer term (May to August), but most undergraduate students take a break from their studies during this time.
Most full-time undergraduate students take five courses per term during the fall and winter and take a break during the Spring-Summer term.
Maximum course load
Most courses require three hours’ class time per week. If you’re registered full time (in other words, for five courses), you spend 15 hours a week in class. However, you have to add in at least two hours of independent or team work for each hour in class. Discussion groups and laboratories also add to course hours.
Grades and exams
Most courses include research papers or lab reports and exams. Other assignments depend on the nature of the course. Grades are awarded as percentages and converted into letter grades at the end of the term. For example a grade of 90% or higher is equivalent to an A+.