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Bilingualism at the University of Ottawa

As the world’s largest English-French bilingual university, uOttawa offers countless opportunities by which you can perfect your skills in each of Canada’s official languages!

The Freedom to Choose

Every student has the right to use French or English to communicate with the University’s central administration and general services, and with the administration of the academic unit in which the student is registered. Students have a right to receive services in their official language of choice.

Every student has the right to require that a course be given in the language used to describe the course in the course calendar.

Except in programs and courses for which language is a requirement, all students have the right to produce their written work and to answer examination questions in the official language of their choice, regardless of the course’s language of instruction.

French Immersion Stream

French Immersion Studies is a special academic stream offered in 60 programs. Another 26 programs in the Faculty of Science offer the Extended French Stream.

What is it exactly?

What else?

Qualitative Grades

You may choose Qualitative Grades (i.e. "Pass/Fail," or, at uOttawa, "Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory") instead of letter grades for up to 8 classes taken in French in your first two years. Qualitative Grades mean that the mark you receive for a course will not affect your grade point average, which makes it easier to maintain average-based scholarships (or just impress your parents!). You may use these grades for ANY course taught in French; in the case of an Immersion Course, the qualitative grade may be attributed to the content course taught in French, to the accompanying language course, or to both!

To request a Qualitative Grade, you must complete this form and submit it to your Faculty or to the French Immersion Studies office before the deadline in the University's Important Dates and Deadlines calendar.

Once your qualitative-grade request has been approved, you will no longer be able to view your letter grade for the course. However, if you want to know how you did, or if you are enrolling in a master’s or professional program that needs all your grades, you may obtain this information upon request at the French Immersion Studies office.

French Studies Bursary 

Number: unlimited

Value: $4,000 ($1,000 per year) 

Eligibility criteria:

  • Be registered full time for the first time in an undergraduate program;
  • Meet the admission requirements of the faculty concerned (Arts, Engineering, Health Sciences, Science, Social Sciences, Telfer School of management or the Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section) and be registered full-time;
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or have protected person status;
  • Be taking at least:
    • 9 credits+ (e.g. 3 courses) per session taught in French or
    • 6 credits+ (e.g. 2 courses) per session taught in French or in French as a second language (FLS) if you are in French Immersion Studies or in the Extended French Stream.

Renewal criteria: This bursary may be renewed for three years following your first year of studies, provided that you:

  • Maintain full-time registration** in a direct-entry faculty of in the Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section
  • Are registered for at least
    • 9 credits+ (e.g. 3 courses) per session taught in French or
    • 6 credits+ (e.g. 2 courses) per session taught in French or in FLS, if you are in the French Immersion Studies or in the Extended French Stream.
  • Receive government financial aid for each renewal year, if you lived in the Ottawa/Gatineau++ region at the time you were admitted.

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