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, near many international resources, including dozens of NGOs, embassies and consulates.
If you are ready to apply, watch the video and read on to find out how to get started. If you are still deciding on a program, explore our programs. In some programs, you can apply to the Co-operative Education Program, French Immersion Stream or the Extended French Stream.
1. Prepare to apply
- Your eligibility for University of Ottawa programs depends on the level of education you have completed or are completing, as well as the program.
See the table below to find out what level of study you require for admission to a direct-entry faculty (one you can apply to without prior university studies) according to the country where you studied. If you are applying to a professional program, you must contact the faculty responsible for it.
Required level of study by country
Country Level of study required for admission Afghanistan Baccaluria Albania Dëftesë Pjekurie/Maturity Certificate Algeria Baccalauréat de l’enseignement secondaire Andorra Batxillerat Angola Secondary School Leaving Certificate/Habilitaçës Literarias Argentina Bachillerato Armenia Mijnakarg Krtutyan Attestat or Hasunutian Vkaiakan Australia Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12 Certificate) Austria Reifezeugnis Maturity Certificate Azerbaidjan Certificate of Complete Secondary Education Bahamas GCE or freshman year at college of the Bahamas Bahrain Tawjihiyah/General Secondary Education Certificate Bangladesh Higher Secondary Certificate Barbados Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Certificate (EDGE) or Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Certificate (CAPE) Belarus Certificate of (Complete) Secondary Education Belgium Certificat d’enseignement secondaire supérieur/Certificate of Higher Secondary Education or Getuigschrift van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs Belize Secondary Education or General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE “A” levels) or Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Benin Baccalauréat de l’enseignement secondaire Bermuda Bermuda Secondary High School Diploma Bhutan Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate Bolivia Bachillerato Bosnia - Herzegoniva Certificate or Diploma of Completion of Secondary Education Botswana Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education Brazil Diploma/Certificado de Ensino Médio Brunei Darussalam Brunéi/Cambridge Advanced Level Certificate of Education (GCE "A" Level) Bulgaria Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie /Diploma of Completed Secondary Education Burkina Faso Baccalauréat Burundi Diplôme d'État et non le Diplôme d'humanités général Cambodia Certificate of Completion/Baccalaureate Cameroon Baccalaureate or Cameroon General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (G.C.E “A” Level) Cape Verde Certificado da Habilitacöes Lilterarias/Certificate of Literary Qualifications Cayman Islands Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Certificate (CAPE) or General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE “A” level) Central African Republic Baccalaureate Chad Baccalaureate Chile Licencia de Educacion Media (LEM) China Upper Middle School Graduation Certificate or The Senior High School Graduation Diploma Colombia One year of university studies Congo Baccalaureate Costa Rica Bachillerato Cote d'Ivoire Baccalauréat de l’enseignement secondaire général / Diplôme de bachelier de l’enseignement du second degré Croatia Matura/Maturity Certificate and final exam= 4 years of Gimnazija (gymnasium/high school) Cuba Bachillerato Cyprus Apolyterion from a Lykion Czech Republic Vysvědčení o maturitní zkoušce/Secondary School Leaving Certificate Democratic Republic of Congo Diplôme d’État d’études secondaires du cycle long Denmark Studentereksamen (Upper secondary school leaving Examination or Hojere Forberedelseksamen-HF (Higher Preparatory Examination) Djibouti Baccalauréat de l’enseignement secondaire Dominica (Commonwealth) General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE "A" level) Dominican Republic Bachillerato or Bachillerato en Ciencias y Letras Ecuador Bachillerato Egypt Thanaweya a’Amma/General Secondary Education Certificate El Salvador Bachillerato General Eritrea Eritrean Secondary Education Certificate Examination (ESECE) Estonia Gümnaasiuimi löputunnistus/Secondary School Leaving Certificate Ethiopia Ethiopian Higher Education Entrance Examination (EHEEE) Fiji Form 7 Certificate/Higher School Certificate Finland Matriculation Examination Certificate (university entrance exam after Upper Secondary Completion Certificate) France Baccalauréat Gabon Baccalauréat Gambia West African Examinations Council Senior Secondary School Certificate Georgia Sashualo Ganatlebis Atestati (Certificate of Secondary School Education) Germany Abitur ou Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife or (Certificate of General Maturity for Higher Education) Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) Great Britain or United Kingdom General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE “A” Level) Greece Apolytirion of Lykeian or Apolytirio Gymnasiou Guatemala One year of university Haiti Baccalauréat 2e partie or Diplôme d’enseignement secondaire Honduras Bachillerato en Ciencias y Letras Hong Kong Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) or Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Hungary Secondary School Leaving Certificate or Maturity certificate or Erettsegi Bizonyitvany Iceland Studentsprof India Higher Secondary School Certificate Indonesia Sekolah Menengah Unum Tingkat Atas (SMA) Iran Peesh-daneshgahii/Pre-university year (after 11 years of secondary school) Iraq Adadiyah/Sixth Form Baccalaureate Ireland Ardteistiméireacht/Leaving Certificate Israel Teudat Bagrut Italy Diploma di maturità or Diploma di Esame di Stato Jamaica Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) ou Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Japan Kotogakko Sotsugyo Shomeisho/Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate Jordan Tawjihi/General Secondary Education Certificate Kazakhstan Diplom o Srednem Spetsialnom Obrazovanii ou Attestat Kenya Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) Kuwait Shahadat Al-Thanawiya-Al-A'ama or Secondary School Diploma Kyrgyzstan Attestat o Srednem Obrazovani Laos Baccalauréat II (EDGE) or Upper Secondary School Diploma Latvia Atestāts par Vispārējo Vidējo Izglītību/Certificate of General Secondary Education Lebanon Baccalauréat libanais/Lebanese Baccalaureate Lesotho Cambridge Overseas School Certificate Liberia West African Examination Council (WAEC) Certificate Libya Secondary Education Certificate Liechtenstein Matura/Maturazeugnis Lithuania Brandos atestatas/Maturity Certificate Luxembourg Diplôme de fin d’études secondaires Macau Senior Secondary Certificate Macedonia Secondary School Leaving Certificate Madagascar Baccalauréat de l’enseignement secondaire Malawi Malawi School Certificate of Education (MGCE) Malaysia Sijil Tinggi Pelarajan Malaysia (STPM) (Malaysian Higher School Certificate) Maldova Diploma de Bacalaureat Mali Baccalauréat Malien/Secondary School Leaving Certificate Malta Matriculation Certificate Martinique Baccalauréat de l’enseignement du second degré Maurice General Certificate of Education Advanced “A” Level or Higher School Certificate Mauritania Baccalauréat Mexico Bachillerato Mongolia Gerchilgee (School Leaving Certificate) Montenegro Diploma o zavrsenoj srednjoj skoli/Diploma of Acquired Secondary Education Morocco Baccalaureate Mozambique Secondary School Leaving Certificate or Certificado de Habilitacäo es Literarias Myanmar (Burma) Basic Education Standard X Examination Diploma A (Matriculation) Namibia General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or Namibian Secondary School Certificate (NSSC) Nepal Higher Secondary Certificate Netherlands Higher General Secondary Education Diploma/HAVO Netherlands Antilles Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs/VWO/University preparatory Education Diploma New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2 or Level 3 Nicaragua Bachillerato en Humanidades or Ciencias Niger Baccalauréat Nigeria Senior School Certificate (SSSC) North Korea Secondary School Leaving Certificate Norway Vitnemal Fra Videreqaende Skole Oman Thanawiya Amma ou General Secondary School Certificate Pakistan Certificate of Completed Secondary Education or Higher Secondary School Certificate or Intermediate Certificate Examination Palestine Tawjihi (Academic) Panama Diploma de Bachiller Papua New Guinea Higher School Certificate Paraguay Bachillerato Peru Certificado de Educacion Secundaria Comun Completa Philippines Two years of study at the university level Poland Maturity Certificate of the General Lyceum/Swiadectwo dojrzalosci lyceum Portugal Diploma de Ensino Secundario Qatar Al-Thanawiya Aama Qatari/General Secondary School Certificate Romania Diploma de Bacalaureat Russia Attestat O Srednem (Polnom) Obschem Oobrazovanii Rwanda Diplôme de fin d’études Secondaires/Secondary Education Advanced Level Examination Certificate Saint Kitts and Nevis Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Certificate (CAPE) or GCE “A” level Examinations Samoa Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate (PSSC) or South Pacific Form 7 Examination San Marino Diploma di Maturità Saudi Arabia Tawjihiyah/General Secondary Education Certificate Scotland Scottish Qualifications Certificate Advanced Higher Grade or Scottish Certificate of Education Higher Grade Senegal Baccalaureate Serbia Diploma o zavrsenoj srednjoj skoli/Diploma of Acquired Secondary Education Sierra Leone Senior School Certificate Examination or General Certificate of Education Advanced Level “A” levels Singapore Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced "A" Level Examination Slovakia Secondary School Leaving Certificate/Certificate of Maturity Examination from a Gymnazium Slovenia Maturitetno spricevalo/Maturity Examination Certificate Solomon Islands Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate Somalia Somaliland Secondary School Leaving Certificate South Africa Senior Certificate Examination South Korea High School Certificate or Diploma Spain Titulo de Bachiller and PAU (Prueba de Accesso a la Universidad) or before 2002 the Curso de Orientacion Universitaria Sudan Sudan Higher Secondary School Certificate Sri Lanka Sri Lankan GCE A Levels Surinam Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs/VWO Swaziland General Certificate of "O" Level Sweden Avgångsbetyg från Gymnasieskole or Slutbetyg från Gymnasieskole/Leaving Certificate Switzerland Maturitaetszeugnis/Certificat de Maturité/Baccalauréat/Attestato di Maturità/Matura Syria Al-Shahâda Al Thânawiyya-Al’Amma/Secondary School Leaving Certificate/Baccalaureate Taiwan (China) Senior High School Leaving Certificate Tajikistan Diploma of Completed Specialized Secondary Education/Attestat Tanzania Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education/ACSE Thailand Higher Secondary School Certificate (Mathayom Suksa 6) Timor Leste Ensino Secundario Diploma Togo Baccalauréat de l’Enseignement secondaire (2e partie) Tonga South Pacific Board Educational Assessment’s Form 7 Certificate or South Pacific Foundation Certificate Form 7 level Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) or GCE "A" Level Tunisia Baccalauréat Turkey Lise Diplomasi Turkmenistan Minimum of three years of study at the university level Uganda Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (Form 6) Ukraine Atestat/Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education or Matriculation Certificate United Arab Emirates Shahadat Al-Thanawiya Al-Amma/Secondary School Leaving Certificate United States of America High School Diploma Uruguay Bachillerato Diversificado de Ensenanza Secundari Uzbekistan Certificate of Completed Secondary Education or Certificate of Secondary Education or Attestat o Srednem Obrazovanii Venezuela Bachiller Vietnam Band Tôt Nghiêp Trung Hoc Pho Thông Yemen The Al Thanawiya examination/General Secondary Education Certificate Zambia Zambian School Certificate Examination or Certificate of Education “O”Level Zimbabwe Cambridge Higher School Certificate or CGE "A" Level Certificate
If you have completed postsecondary studies, we will consider these studies when we evaluate your eligibility, even if you are applying to an undergraduate program.
- Check whether you meet the language requirements. At the University of Ottawa, you can take your courses in English, French or both. The choice is yours! You will just need to demonstrate that you are sufficiently fluent in the language in which you choose to study. We might ask you to provide the results of a language proficiency test even if you have studied in a country where English or French is an official language.
- Find out about the prerequisite courses for the program(s) you are interested in.
Find your discipline by faculty
View all disciplines
- Be prepared to provide additional supporting documents or pass an admission audition or exam, depending on the program to which you are applying.
- Check the deadlines and available programs before you apply. Most — but not all — programs accept applications until April 1.
2. Get admission information specific to you
Select your country of origin to determine whether you're eligible for admission to programs at the University of Ottawa.
3. Apply Online
- Apply online through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC), by completing form 105.
- Declare all your current and previous postsecondary studies, completed or not, even if they are not related to your application. Failure to do so may lead to the cancellation of your application or the withdrawal of your offer of admission at any time.
- Enter your email address, making sure it is accurate. We will use this address to communicate with you for all matters. Also, check your inbox (and junk mail folder) regularly for messages from the University of Ottawa.
- Pay the application fees for all your admission applications. Applications are forwarded to the University of Ottawa only after fees are paid in full and the payment has cleared. Learn more about application fees.
- Note that OUAC is not part of the University of Ottawa. It handles applications to all Ontario universities and is responsible for transferring your application to our admission office.
4. Track your admission status
- You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application within two weeks of applying through OUAC (see step 3). If you do not receive this email, look in your junk folder. If after two weeks you still have not received it, email us at admissions@uOttawa.ca.
- Save the acknowledgement of receipt email. It contains important information on how to log into the uoZone student portal to track the progress of your application. It also includes your student number, user ID and password.
5. Submit the necessary documents
- Log into uoZone and check your Admission file for the list of supporting documents you need to submit to complete your application. Send your documents to the admissions office by uploading them to uoDoc, via uoZone. We will assess your application when we have received all required documents.
- Submit your documents on time. Learn more about deadlines and available programs.
- Copies of transcripts submitted through uoDoc are not considered official. If you are admitted, you must submit your official transcripts with final grades.
- Official transcripts must be printed and stamped with an official seal and sent by the issuing institution. We also accept copies certified by a notary, lawyer or commissioner of oaths.
- Depending on your academic background and intended program, you might have to submit other documents to complete your application, such as a resumé or cover letter.
- As part of the admission process, Ontario universities sometimes ask undergraduate applicants who were educated outside Canada to submit their official transcripts directly to World Education Services (WES) in order to determine the Canadian equivalencies of their academic credentials. If this is the case for you, we will notify you of the steps you need to take.
6. Understand advanced standing
- If you have completed postsecondary studies, we might grant you advanced standing (transfer of your credits), depending on the program to which you apply. Faculties that grant advanced standing do so based on your discipline, the courses you have completed and the length of your studies.
University or college applicants
We only consider granting advanced standing for courses you have successfully completed at recognized postsecondary institutions, provided that:
- The courses are equivalent to the required courses and the acceptable optional courses in the program to which you have applied.
- You earned a grade acceptable to the faculty to which you have applied.
- You earned your course credits while you were in a comparable program at a recognized university or a college.
Note: We only grant you the number of units (credits) the equivalent course at the University of Ottawa is worth.
- To be eligible for an undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa, you must complete at least 50% of your program (two years of full-time studies) at the University, regardless of the number of credits transferred.
- You must present transcripts and course descriptions in order to receive advanced standing.
- We only assess and grant advanced standing after you accept your offer of admission.
Available advanced standing
|Faculty||Number of units|
|Arts, Sciences and Social Sciences||Up to 60 units (credits)|
|Telfer School of Management||Very limited advanced standing|
|Engineering||Very limited advanced standing|
|Health Sciences||Very limited advanced standing|
- If you have taken Advanced Placement program (AP) courses, we might grant you advanced standing for AP courses in which you have achieved a score of at least 4 in your AP exam. We can grant you up to 30 units (credits), depending on the requirements of the program you have chosen.
- We can grant you advanced standing for higher level courses in which you have achieved a grade of 5. The advanced standing you receive depends on the requirements of the program you have chosen.
Lycée français outside Canada
- You can receive up to 18 units (six courses) of advanced standing for some first-year courses if you have achieved a grade of at least 12/20 (10/20 for French) in your baccalaureate exams. You will receive your advanced standing when we receive your baccalaureate result.
For more on admission requirements for students from a lycée français, see International applicants — France.
GCE British curriculum
- We do not grant advanced standing if you have followed the GCE British curriculum.
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+.