International applicants

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 or French Immersion 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 First year completed at a recognized university
    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
    Comoro Islands Baccalauréat
    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 Senior High School (K-12 system) Diploma, or two years of university study if you completed your Senior High School Diploma in 2017–2018 or earlier
    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.

Unless otherwise indicated, you must complete all prerequisites in the last year of your secondary studies or at the postsecondary level.

Find your discipline by faculty
Health Sciences
Civil Law
Common Law
Social Sciences
View all disciplines
  • Please note that the requirements listed are minimum requirements only and are subject to change. Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
  • 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 for information tailored to your profile. If your country is not in the list, please consult the information on this page.


If you are currently studying in a French lycée or in the IB curriculum, GCE curriculum or an American High School, please consult the pages specific to your situation.


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.
Information Icon The University of Ottawa will not pre-assess or review your application prior to you submitting it. Your application will be evaluated only after submitted and all the necessary documents have been received. Note that admission is not guaranteed even if you meet all the requirements.

4. Track your admission status

  • You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application within one week 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
  • 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.
Information The University of Ottawa may request any other document necessary to evaluate your file. All documents become property of the University and will not be returned to applicants. You are responsible for ensuring that we receive all the requested documents by the deadline.

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

Advanced Placement

  • 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.

International Baccalaureate

  • 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

For more on admission requirements for students from a lycée français, see International applicants — France.

  • 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. 

GCE British curriculum

  • We do not grant advanced standing if you have followed the GCE British curriculum.


Meet us at the next International Admissions event!

Virtual Information sessions

From November 2020 to February 2021, these sessions tailor-made for international students will give you an overview of all that the University of Ottawa has to offer as well as the targeted and personalized information according to your needs.

See events for students from Africa

See events for students from Asia

See events for students from Europe

See events for students from Latin America

Join us virtually!

Don’t miss an opportunity to get your questions answered! Whether you need help choosing your program, finalizing your admission application, or have already applied and have questions, we’ve got plenty of virtual opportunities for you to get the information you need, including recorded presentations on admissions from our different open house events. Visit our admission events page regularly for the most up-to-date information about our events.

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.

Advanced standing

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. 

Full 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+.

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