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University of Ottawa



The University of Ottawa (uOttawa) is a bilingual public research institution located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, Canada's capital and political centre. The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs, with a diverse and inclusive student body which welcomes over 8,000 international students each year.

The university is organized into ten academic faculties, offering over 350 undergraduate courses spanning a wide range of subject areas. It is a member university of the Canadian U15 group of research-intensive institutions and is ranked with the top one per cent of universities worldwide.

uOttawa is the largest English French bilingual university in the world and offers a lot of advantages to international applicants. Not only does Canada rank within the top ten countries in the world for quality of life but uOttawa overseas students benefit from reduced tuition fees. Ottawa itself supports a dynamic ecosystem of embassies, consulates, NGOs and international organizations, and is a major employment hub for graduates.

The university is home to over 40,000 students representing over 150 countries globally. There are excellent student support services available including a dedicated International Office to help new students acclimatize to their new learning environment.

uOttawa qualifications are internationally recognized, and the university's study abroad placements encourage its graduates to be globally minded, with opportunities to study at over 280 partner universities in 50 countries. Programs are reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that course content is industry relevant and of the highest standard.

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What's new

What's new

In the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the University of Ottawa ranks at 162nd place, and remains the seventh best university in Canada for research intensity for the fifth consecutive year. uOttawa will continue to invest in the quality of its research output, while seeking new partnerships and cultivating innovation and talent in the years to come. The university has more than 1,000 teaching and research laboratories and has opened several new cutting-edge facilities in recent years.

The pressures of the past academic year have highlighted the growing need for effective mental health awareness in universities across the world, and uOttawa has developed a strategy to expand and evolve its services with a holistic 10-year plan. Funding was secured in April 2021, with CAD 500,000 committed to improving counselling options with afternoon and evening sessions being made available. The development of an online Virtual Wellness Hub with peer-to-peer chat functions and centralised information portal is another key element of this strategy, and the university aims to continue improving the service for the benefit of the wider uOttawa community.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

The University of Ottawa is highly regarded for the quality of its taught curriculum, and the team of award-winning teaching faculty members who deliver it to the 42,000 students enrolled at the university. Professors are known for their approachability and their enthusiasm and are frequently willing to grant students extra attention outside of class hours.

uOttawa has a student to staff ratio of 25:1 which improves on the national average with smaller class sizes offering a more personalized learning experience and more individual contact time with tutors. Discussions and collaborations are encouraged, and assessment can include coursework, presentations, essays, lab work, field work and group projects.

uOttawa is a research-driven institution, internationally regarded for its innovative and creative research, spanning a wide range of subject areas and frequently collaborating between faculties. It is among Canada's top ten research-intensive universities, and hosts dozens of research centres, including:

  • Centre for Advanced Materials Research
  • Research Centre on the Future of Cities
  • Centre for Neural Dynamics
  • Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies
  • Centre for Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

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Department structure

Department structure

uOttawa's international students have the option to choose between more than 350 undergraduate programs and a further 200 postgraduate programs including master's and doctorate degrees, as well as diplomas and short course options for continued professional development. The university is organized into ten academic faculties.

Six direct-entry faculties for undergraduate entry:

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Telfer School of Management
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Social Sciences

Four professional faculties:

  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Law – Civil Law Section
  • Faculty of Law – Common Law Section
  • Faculty of Medicine (graduate studies only)

The university also offers a selection of intensive English and French language programs which can be completed in eight weeks and are designed for international students arriving in Canada to develop listening, reading, speaking and writing skills for academic purposes.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

As a bilingual university, uOttawa offers all courses in English, French or a combination of both languages. Minimum proficiency standards must be met by international students to gain acceptance into a course of study.

Students applying for a program taught in English or in French and who have not completed at least three years of study in an institution where English or French is the language of instruction will have to submit language test scores. Students will need the following minimum scores or equivalent for admission to uOttawa:

  • IELTS overall score of 6.5 with 6.5 in writing
  • TOEFL iBT overall score of 86 with 22 in writing
  • TOEFL PBT score of 22 in writing and 20 in listening and reading

Applicants who do not satisfy the minimum language requirements may be able to take an intensive language course to improve their level to the university standard before gaining admission.

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uOttawa offers many services and facilities at its downtown campus, to make sure that students have all the resources needed for academic and personal success. There are spaces for study and spaces for recreation, as well as cafes and coffee shops to ensure students stay refreshed and refuelled. The university has modernised teaching equipment and computer labs, with free and fast Wi-Fi throughout campus.

Downtown Ottawa offers a fantastic Canadian experience, with parks, gardens, markets, hiking trials and the UNESCO Rideau Canal all within a short distance of campus.


New first-year students are guaranteed a place in campus housing if they meet the eligibility criteria. There are traditional residences, suites, studios and apartment-style residences available.


Students can enjoy a wide variety of dining options that are inspired from many different world cuisines. Meal plans are available on the uOttawa card and are mandatory in some residences.


During the academic year, full-time students have unlimited access to public transit with their U-Pass.

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Student support

Student support

Studying a degree can be a daunting and sometimes challenging experience, especially when moving home and starting a life in a new city or even country. uOttawa understands the need for free and effective student support, particularly in the current educational landscape, and runs a dedicated service which ensures that all students have support and guidance readily available should it be required during their time at university.

The Student Academic Success Service (SASS) is a free support network which provides a wide range of services including:

  • Integration Services
  • Academic Support Services
  • Student Mentors
  • Accommodation Support
  • Academic Writing Help Centre
  • Free Counselling
  • Financial Advice Service
  • Disability Support
  • Career and Employment Mentorship

Dedicated support tailored to international students is also available at the International Office, which provides an inclusive and enriching experience for new overseas students, enabling them to transition into university life with confidence and comfort. Services include:

  • Mandatory orientation, integration events and support
  • Airport meet-and-greet
  • Immigration and visa support
  • Mandatory University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
  • Buddy program
  • International Student Success Centre
  • 14 international mentors at the International Mentoring Centre

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International students

Average cost of living in Canada

View full cost of living
162nd  / 1250

THE World ranking


Total average cost: $2001

  • $812
  • $815
  • $117
    Daily life
  • $257
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What our students think about us

Course Quality
Campus Safety
Student Support
Teaching Quality
Campus Environment
World ranking
University of Ottawa University of Ottawa
Rated3/5based on2 student reviews
Customer reviews:
University of Ottawa - by, 2020-01-29
2.0/ 5 stars
University of Ottawa University of Ottawa
Rated3/5based on2 student reviews
Customer reviews:
University of Ottawa - by, 2020-01-29
5.0/ 5 stars

To find out more about the information shown here – read about How we collect and display course information. IDP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. We always recommend that you speak to an IDP counsellor to get the latest and most accurate advice.

University of Ottawa University of Ottawa
Rated3/5based on2 student reviews
Customer reviews:
University of Ottawa - by, 2020-01-29
2.0/ 5 stars
University of Ottawa University of Ottawa
Rated3/5based on2 student reviews
Customer reviews:
University of Ottawa - by, 2020-01-29
5.0/ 5 stars

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