Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Percent Women: 60% of the undergraduate population
Tuition (one year): $6,500 per year (additional $5,600-7,200 for dorm room)
Most Popular Majors: International Development and Globalization, Political Science, Economics, Management, Engineering (Degrees available in both English and French)
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: 58%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit U Ottawa's website at www.admission.uottawa.ca.
Why Choose U Ottawa?
"U Ottawa is located in the heart of Canadas’ capital, it flourishes with opportunity, encompassing a big city with a small town vibe with a sprinkle of European flare. The location couldn’t be more amazing to take advantage of the downtown amenities, thriving with bars, pubs, boutiques, and museums."
"Regardless if you’re a fortified foodie, a shopaholic, a museum rat or a party goer, there is something for you. If you’re willing to wander around and open up to all the city has to offer you’ll realize how easy it is to be swept away by its uniqueness."
"U Ottawa isn’t for everyone, this isn’t the place with a small segregated campus that embodies the heart of a tight knit school spirited community. This isn’t the place where you’ll get to know everyone on campus, or that you’ll even meet half the population, and yes, your first year lectures are overwhelming and for a little while you might feel “like nothing but a number”. But the eccentric and amazing qualities about U Ottawa will outweigh the cons."
"The winters are bitter and cold but provide a picture perfect evening skating on the Rideau canal, summers are glorious and warm and the combination of the many various parks and water side walks the view will put on a smile on anyone’s face. As if the location could not be any more prime, Ottawa accommodates the diverse individuals that make up the beautiful city."
"Ottawa may be a big school, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel small, there are numerous ways to get involved with an endless supply of clubs, groups, sororities, fraternities etc. all which can meet any interest, sport, or values that you cherish. And as if the idea of being a part of all those things isn’t enough, U Ottawa is extremely accommodating providing one of the only 'wet frosh weeks.' 101 week will make you feel at home, and as a way to celebrate and welcome you to the big city they take you across the border to Quebec to enjoy the festivities and embark on a world where the drinking age is 18."
"Ottawa is a big city that still feels close and connected. You get all the resources of living in a big area while still feeling a personal connection to your surroundings. It's nice to feel like I have a home away from home."
“You can get free beavertails and maple taffy at Snowstock every year!”
“The International Development Program and the Political Science programs are wonderful, especially coupled with the professional opportunities available in Ottawa for those fields.”
“The Coop program is the second biggest in Canada.”
“The new Faculty of Social Sciences houses the largest indoor living wall in Canada and is a great new place for Social Sciences students to study!”
“The French immersion program allows you to study in both French and English while receiving a bilingualism certificate at the end of your degree. You can even write any assignment or exam in either language regardless of the class!”
"Winter Carnival is right at your door step! Lots of fun activities to do with your friends and\or your significant other. Remember to bundle up!"
"There are very few places on campus for student housing. While the university is attempting to fix that and is in negotiations with the community to build another residents; spots are very limited and is fairly expensive to live in Residence."
"The worst part is there is a huge allocation of residence reserved only for first years, so if you want to continue living on campus you have to look very hard and apply the first day applications are out. A big problem is also the survey, the service meant to help and match you to a person you could possibly stand living with comes down to a few questions whereas some universities ask tons and tons of questions."
"If you have made it into the rez, congrats! It is an amazing experience but for a few precise things. If you are on a “party floor” be ready for a very dirty and smelly floor. My floor smelt permanently like beer despite the regular cleaning staff."
"Living on a party floor is EXPENSIVE and any damage that occurs on a floor is charged entirely to the people living on that floor. Throughout the year we were charged all the time for ‘repairs’ and we were never told what those repairs were and even inquiring about them was impossible, as no one could give a straight answer. Plus, if we were partying too much, they would close all the study rooms on our floor as punishment. To avoid most of this, answer “not very sociable” on your survey and you will be placed on a quiet floor. However, things could still happen even in those cases too."
"There are not very many options for food in the cafeteria; this is especially annoying for people who are on the meal plan. And, for the places there are, many of them all share a similar menu. There are food trucks around campus but for the most part they are cash only and are not set up with the UOttawa meal plan or flex dollars."
"The university loses lots of money to the Rideau Center (the mall) because their food court has more variety and is cheaper."
Please note: the university has also recently hosted a variety of food trucks such as taco trucks. And, because you are close to the Byward market and the rest of downtown, various food options are still available there too.
"If anything in this world was created by the devil, it would have to be Rabaska. Rabaska is how you register and drop your classes at UOttawa, and it is annoying beyond anything you could imagine. Constantly crashing and it is really picky to the point where you have to call in or email to get into a class and by the time that happens the only class left is the night classes. My minor is in math and I couldn’t register for a single math class because the system kept saying this has nothing to do with your degree, yet in my title minor in mathematic. There is also no preference to people who need a class to get into that class; for example I have a friend who has to wait a semester to graduate because there was no room for her in a class but because other people were quicker they now have it as an elective."
"Be prepared to have at least a couple classes 7-10PM. Some classes don’t even have a ‘during the day’ option and only have even classes; this is really big in Art History classes."
“Many profs do not speak English well, and in some cases no English at all.”
"Occasionally there are classes that are bigger than the room they are meant to be held in. The limited space problem happen quiet often in first year classes; especially in the ones everyone has to take like the intro classes to Micro and Marco economic."
"Exams often take place on the weekend, I have had to change flight plans because I had a midterm on the Saturday before reading week and the university would not let me defer it."
"The classrooms are not very computer friendly. Most classrooms have either no outlets or outlets that don’t work. This is also an issue around the campus in general, as there seems to be very few outlets."
"There is a huge initiative to be green on campus to the point of there is nowhere on campus to buy bottled water because they want you to bring your own water bottle onto campus."
"I enjoy the idea of our campus being green, but it is sometimes a huge inconvenience. Parking is limited and as a result has become expensive some of the green spaces could be put to better use as parking. Or they could at least build another parkade."
"I am really frustrated by the layout of the campus, rather than a square shape it is very rectangular, and the university does not provide any kind of shuttle from one end to the other. It is an impossible trek to make in the fall let alone in the winter when it is freezing outside and the university has blocked off some areas to reduce the amount of snow removal that is needed. The only full Tim Horton’s is down on the far end of campus where the least amount of people are located."
New Collegiette on Campus
"Semaine 101 Week can be slightly intimidating and get a little wild, especially since the University of Ottawa has a ‘wet’ orientation week. This means that the university holds events in Quebec where the drinking age is 18, which makes a significant number of first years of age."
"A majority of first years live in on campus housing, also referred to as residence, which makes it fairly easy to make new friends your age. However, by getting involved in the hundreds of university clubs and extracurricular activities offered, meeting upperclassmen is a breeze as well. If you are unilingual, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the presence of French or English (whichever is not your mother tongue), but the university flourishes as a bilingual institute which adds to the school’s infinite uniqueness."
"Coming to Ottawa can feel like moving to France if you’re from an English city."
"Many people don't know that you can book an appointment online to get your U-pass- no massive line-up necessary!"
"Going to see the campus before moving in is extremely helpful. Already knowing the lay of the land makes moving in and your first couple weeks much easier, especially in a big city!"
"You come into university not knowing what to expect, I mean, you have a pre-set idea, but it never matches up to what you think it’s going to be. You definitely have to learn how to be independent."
"Finding the balance in between studying and having fun is important to figure out first year."
"The only thing Carleton has on U Ottawa is their tunnel system. Oh wait, Ottawa has tunnels too. The tunnels are a secret that often eludes first year students."
All About Academics
“The largest undergraduate student enrolment would have to be in social sciences followed by arts and then science.”
“Any program with the word “Honours” included in the title will require that you do a research project, where you will essentially have to write a thesis.”
“My favourite study spots actually don’t include the library, rather small little niches where it is typically quiet and people will not bother you. Places like the top floor of the university centre, the fourth floor of macdonald hall and computer labs. The library is just so packed all the time and people are constantly shifting, shuffling and making noise.”
“Rabaska, is the online registration for the university and it has its’ ups and downs. Sometimes it will work and you will be able to register for the proper courses and other times, it keeps you from registering from your courses because of some reason or other. It’s a good thing that issues can be resolved easily by popping into undergraduate offices for your faculty. Thank goodness for those!”
“There are a ton of resources on campus to help you achieve the grades you want. There are help centres left, right and centre. Students need to make more of an effort to visit these places instead of being stuck on a question. It’s easiest in fact to request help from your professors and designated class teaching assistants.”
Learn From The Best
“Laurent Benoit is a fourth year Public Relations seminar prof. His class was informative and useful for real world job application! He’s a straight shooter!” "Guolla is a great Marketing Prof at the Telfer School of Management. He remembers everyone's name, even in large classes, which is pretty impressive"
"Psychology students have very interesting course choices, but one that stood out to students of all fields would have to be Human Sexual Behaviour with professor Lisa Henry. You will never learn more about sex in your life, than in this one course offered at the university."
"The one bird course that all students must take is CLA2323, otherwise known as Greek Mythology taught by Efharis Kostala. It is such a classic that every single year, the wait list to get into this class is endless. I had the pleasure of taking it as an elective in my second year and let me tell you, it was the easiest A+ in my university career!"
“Mike Stasko: even when he has the most dull information to teach be always makes it fun. Audience Research sounds like an awful class but I loved it because of the way he taught it. And if you go to class and put effort into the creative projects it’s an easy A!”
If you aren’t sure what prof to choose, we suggest using RateMyProfessor.com to help you read what other students have had to say in the past!
Interests & Involvement
“If you don’t find something that interests you on campus, well there is a problem, because there are so many things going on at uOttawa”.
“There are so many clubs and associations on campus, that I can’t even list a quarter of them!"
“For all the Harry Potter fans out there, you will be happy to know that we have a Quidditch team”.
“In the sports complex, there are a lot fitness classes and various sporting activities on offer, which is great because most of them are free”.
“I like that there’s a diversity of clubs and associations on campus. From the pole dancing club to clubs representing various ethnic groups”.
“There are many clubs and events related to political science, like the Model Parliament and the Model UN”.
“Some students don’t know that we have a Greek life.”
"The University of Ottawa is home to amazing Greek organizations that contribute to the community in more ways than one."
"In fact, you’ll probably notice them during the first few weeks of every semester holding their recruitment period. Or maybe you’ll hear them loud and clear during annual competitions such as Greek Olympics or Derby Days. These feisty Greeks love to collect money for their various charities by holding events such as pasta nights or camping overnight during winter."
"On campus the uOttawa campus, there are three fraternities and nine sororities, including:
Delta Delta Delta
Nu Sigma Pi
Omega Phi Sigma
Sigma Beta Phi
Sigma Psi Alpha
Theta Sigma Psi
Xi Delta Theta
Zeta Theta Xi
Sigma Alpha Mu
Omega Theta Alpha"
“University of Ottawa has quite a range of school spirit. We are well known for our male football team, and our basketball teams."
"University of Ottawa has quite a range of school spirit. We are well known for our male football team, and our basketball teams."
"There are two major sporting events that happen every year. One of these events is referred to as Capital Hoops which is a basketball game against sporting rival school Carleton University. University of Ottawa is second in the CIS ranking and performs hard every game."
"Our most popular team is the football team. The main event surrounding them is the Panda game in which we once again face Rival school Carleton University and aim to beat them every time, successfully."
"Our university offers a wide range of intramurals that allow anyone to get involved. Students get in free with their student card for all home games. Athletic culture is everyone’s culture when it comes to supporting our teams."
“Keep an eye out for the women’s rugby team this year! They’re headed to finals!!”
“The women’s soccer team has been crushing their competition for the last couple of year. They dominate without fail.”
“If you are looking to find awesome girls to hang out or to partner up with for a class project, well uOttawa is the place to be, because there are so many girls at this school”.
“Coming to campus every day is like looking in a magazine, since each girl has a great personal style and her own flare.”
“You can separate the type of girls you meet in two categories: the fashonistas and the 'I just threw something on to go to class.”
“There is a Women’s Resource Center which is very handy, because it's there to inform you on gender equity issues, but they also organize a lot of social events”.
“Even downtown, you can find special events geared towards women, like Girls Night Out at Milestones.”
“In certain study programs, there are sometimes only five guys in the class, which changes the atmosphere a lot”.
"The gym in Montpetit has women's only fitness hours Tuesdays and Fridays! It's great for girls who are shy when training around men, or for those who simply want to do squats with the girls!"
Food & Drink
“I love the student bar 1848, located right on campus! Their food is simple yet delicious and they have a lot of great deals going on throughout the week. Who doesn’t love a place where you can get a beer and study all while never having to leave campus?”
“The Byward Market is full of so many different places to eat. I swear you could go there every night for a month and never eat the same thing twice. It also helps that it’s only a 5 minute walk from campus.”
“Downtown Ottawa has some awesome diners. My personal favourite? Zack’s right in the Byward Market. There is nothing like some late night milkshakes and pancakes when you need a break.”
“I like how the food services on campus are starting to have more and more options for people with dietary restrictions. Having the option of getting gluten-free while still eating with my friends in the cafeteria is awesome.”
“If you come to the University of Ottawa be ready to hear all about sharwarma. It may look a little strange at first but trust me it’s pure delicious.”
"If you're looking for a fancy restaurant with drinks as amazing as the food, Ace Mercado and Vittoria Trattoria won't disapoint. I'm always impressed when my date brings me to those places!"
"If you love pancakes and true canadian breakfasts, you need to try out Flajack's Pancake Shack located on Bank street! The food is beyond phenomenal"
“Beavertails, need I say more?”
"It’s no secret that Ottawa isn’t known for its nightlife; especially with cities like Montreal and Toronto near by. But let’s be real. There are more than 40,000 students who attend the University of Ottawa. And they all like to have fun, party and get wild."
"There’s something out there for every crowd. Get to know the city inside and out and I guarantee you will fall in love."
"Here's a breakdown of the places to go every single day of the week. The majority is located in the Byward Market or on Elgin Street:
#SundayFunDay at Green Room!
Babylon Nightclub- No cover!
Father and Sons- Wing Night .35 cents per wing!
Hooley’s Pub- .35 cents per wing!
Fat Tuesdays New Orleans Experience
Tuesday (aka Toonie Tuesday)
1848- student bar in UCU
The Junxion- $2 Tequila shots
Father and Sons- Karaoke Night
Pub101 –Karaoke Night
Patty Boland’s- Live Music and $3 Spiced Rum / $4 Bar Rail Drinks
The Crazy Horse – Bull Night (You need a vehicle to get to the venue)
Mercury Lounge- LBGT night
Liquor Store Party Bar
Moscow Tea Room
If you’re 18...
Cross the border to Gatineau, Quebec!
Brasseurs des Temps
Nature Nocturne at the Canadian Museum of Nature one Friday per month!
Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club
The Loft Board Game Lounge
Cue and Cushion (For billiard lovers)"
uOttawa main residential complexes
“Living in 90U is a great experience, since it has the perfect hotel suite layout for a dorm and you also have huge communal spaces.”
“Keep an open mind to the variety of people you will meet in residence. Some will want to party all the times, while others will stay in and study. It’s all about finding what balance is right for you so as to enjoy you res experience.”
“You don’t need to purchase a meal plan, you can use your flex dollars for everything and then cook for yourself!”
“There is increasingly fewer space for students to live on campus. The university is looking into building a new residence, but some first year students are being forced to live off-campus.”
“Every residence is right on campus and you a 5 minute walk from downtown. Everything is at your fingertips!”
Chateau Laurier from the Rideau Canal
"Ottawa is a city filled with history and passion. A big city with the small town feel. It is made up of students, politicians and families."
"In Ottawa we have a market place called the Byward. In it you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, small shops, lots of clubs and bars. Our school has a strong relationship with the city it lies within giving us access to a lot of amenities like discounts and free museum nights."
"The best part of living in Ottawa is that the city, though peaceful, is never fully empty and quiet. An even better part is that if you are up late studying, there are a lot of 24/7 restaurants where you can order shwarma, pizza or Chinese at 2 in the morning. There is so much to be explored in the city and so much to see which makes it the place to be."
"The only thing I don’t like is the amount of snow it accumulates. It would be nice if the city did a better job at shoveling and salting the ground. The Rideau Canal is a prime hotspot in the winter allowing hundreds of skaters to unite on the ice with beavertail (pastry) and hot chocolate."
"A cool thing about our university is that it offers many internships around the world so not only do you get to explore a fantastic homey city but the rest of the world as well. If you are trying to escape the hectic life of the big city this is the place for you. If you are coming from a small town and looking for a big city that still feels like home this is where you would want to be."
"Skating down the rideau canal is the one of the most exhilarating things to do in Ottawa during the winter. While it may be cold, it's really cool to be able to zoom down a never-ending stretch of ice!"
HC's Complete College Guide: University of Ottawa
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