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1. General Admission Requirements

Persons wishing to follow programs of study leading to a degree or diploma or certificate must be formally admitted to the University.

Persons wishing to register in credit courses without having been formally admitted to the University may do so as Special students. See 15. Special Studies (Non-Degree) below, for more information.

An overall average of at least 70% is normally required to be considered for admission. Some programs may also require specific course prerequisites and/or supplementary admission portfolios. Higher averages are required for admission to programs for which the demand for places by qualified applicants exceeds the number of places available. The overall average required for admission is determined each year on a program by program basis. Consult admissions.carleton.ca/requirements for further details.

Applicants should note that meeting the minimum requirements of a program does not guarantee admission to the University. Applications from students whose grades do not meet the requirements in a given year or program will be considered individually. Students in this category may be asked to provide additional information to assist the University in determining where there are special circumstances that would permit their admission to Carleton.

This publication contains admission requirements for the 2021-22 academic year only. Students wishing to apply for 2022-23 should contact Admissions Services for information on requirements and procedures.

Individuals who are in any doubt about their eligibility for admission are encouraged to inquire at Admissions Services.

2. Accessibility for Students with Disabilities

Carleton University is committed to making reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities, and actively encourages application from students with disabilities. This commitment includes gaining an understanding of the circumstances of an individual's disabilities and adjusting services to all academically qualified individuals to compete on an equitable basis.

Students are encouraged to contact the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities for further information to enable them to assess the extent to which specialized services will be available.

Academic accessibility is intrinsically linked to physical accessibility. Carleton is committed to continually monitoring and upgrading physical accessibility to whatever extent is possible.

A Senate standing committee monitors the needs and problems of students with disabilities in conjunction with their academic problems and makes recommendation for improvements.

3. Multiple Undergraduate Programs

Students who already possess an undergraduate degree, certificate, or diploma from another university or from Carleton University may apply for admission to a second undergraduate program.  To be eligible for graduation, there are a minimum number of Carleton credits that must be successfully completed.  Please see Section 2.2.2 Minimum Number of Residency Credits and Section 2.2.3 Advanced Credits in the Academic Regulations of the University.

4. English Language Proficiency

The language of instruction at Carleton University is English. For admission, students will need to demonstrate that their knowledge and use of English are strong enough for studies in an English language university. Students can do this by:

Demonstrating that they have studied full-time for the last three years in a high school, college, or university in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, or any other country in which the primary language is English and where the language of instruction in the relevant educational institution was exclusively English.

Students choosing this option should note the following:

  • Time spent in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses will not be counted towards meeting these requirements.
  • Language requirements will not be waived based on letters written by educators, or as a result of completing senior-level high school English courses.

OR by submitting an English as a Second Language (ESL) test result.

Option 1
Admission with no English as a Second Language Requirements (ESLR)

Students who demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting transcripts that meet the requirements above, or who submit any of the scores shown in Table 1 below, may be eligible for an offer of admission with no further ESL requirements, and may begin full-time studies in an undergraduate degree, or as a Special student.

Table 1: minimum test scores required for admission with no ESLR

English Language Test Score Type of Offer
Cambridge English Assessment 176 or above C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency, with minimum 169 in each component Offer to undergraduate degree program or Special studies with no ESLR. May begin full-time studies.
Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) 70 or above overall, with minimum score of 60 in each band Offer to undergraduate degree program or Special studies with no ESLR. May begin full-time studies.
IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each band Offer to undergraduate degree program or Special studies with no ESLR. May begin full-time studies.
Internet-based (iBT) TOEFL 86 or above, with minimum score of 22 in writing and speaking, and minimum 20 in reading and listening Offer to undergraduate degree program or Special studies with no ESLR. May begin full-time studies.
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic 60 or above, with minimum score of 60 in each Communicative Skill Offer to undergraduate degree program or Special studies with no ESLR. May begin full-time studies.

Applicants whose first language is French must present transcripts to indicate that they have taken four years of anglais (English) in a Canadian secondary school in order to be admitted without an English as a Second Language Requirement.

Option 2
Admission with English as a Second Language Requirements (ESLR) — Foundation ESL courses required

Applicants who do not meet the requirements stated in Option 1, and who submit official English language test scores within the ranges listed in Table 2 below, may be offered admission with an English as a Second Language Requirement (ESLR). These applicants may be offered admission to an undergraduate degree program or as a Special student. When they first start their program, these students will be required to take Carleton's ESL Foundation courses along with a limited number of courses from their degree program. This admission with an ESLR allows students to earn academic credits from degree courses taken while completing the English language requirements.

Table 2: minimum test scores required for admission with an ESLR

English Language Test Score Type of Offer
Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) 40-69 overall, with minimum score of 30 in each band, and a minimum average of 40 over writing, reading, and listening Offer to undergraduate degree program or Special studies with ESLR. Must complete Foundation ESL courses.
IELTS (Academic) 5.0-6.4, with a minimum score of 4.5 in each band, and a minimum average of 5.0 in writing, reading, and listening Offer to undergraduate degree program or Special studies with ESLR. Must complete Foundation ESL courses.
Internet-based (iBT) TOEFL 61-85 overall, with a minimum score of 15 in each section Offer to undergraduate degree program or Special studies with ESLR. Must complete Foundation ESL courses.

Please note that students beginning their studies with an English Language Requirement (ESLR) are not eligible for admission to the following programs:

  • Architectural Studies
  • Health Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Industrial Design
  • Information Technology
  • International Business
  • Journalism
  • Journalism and Humanities
  • Media Production and Design
  • Public Affairs and Policy Management

Students admitted with an ESLR are required to:

  1. Complete the ESLR within one calendar year of their first enrolment in credit courses.
    • To satisfy the ESLR, students must earn a minimum grade of B- in either ESLA 1900 Advanced English as a Second Language for Academic Purposes or ESLA 1905 (no longer offered).
    • Students can satisfy the ESLR at any time by submitting an approved English Language assessment result that meets the levels stated in Table 1 above.
    • In exceptional circumstances, permission to continue registration in ESLA courses after the one calendar year deadline has passed (an ESLR extension) will be granted by the University's School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLaLS). Registration will be denied to students who have not satisfied the ESLR if they do not show continuous registration, attendance, and progress in their required ESLA courses (as determined by SLaLS).
  2. Register and attend the required credit ESLA course(s) every term until the ESLR has been satisfied.
    • ESLA registration must start in the student's first term of study.
    • ESLA registration is required in order to register in any other course(s).
    • Students who have not registered appropriately will be deregistered from all credit courses. This includes those students registered in credit courses but not the required ESLA course registration, those registered in more non-ESLA credits than their test results permit, those registered with expired ESLR placements, and those whose ESLA period has not been extended.
    • Students who do not achieve the minimum final grade required to advance to the next level of an ESLA course after three attempts at one level will not be permitted to register in any credit courses for one calendar year. Such students must take a SLaLS-approved English language proficiency test and place into a higher ESLA course level before returning to their studies.

Students considering a break in study or withdrawing from their ESLA course should contact SLaLS to discuss their ESLR standing. After a break in studies or lack of completion of an ESLA course for three terms or longer, students may be required to re-take a SLaLS-approved English language proficiency test, and must receive permission to continue registration in ESLA courses before returning to their studies.

For further information regarding English language proficiency requirements and admission, contact Admissions Services (undergraduate degree applicants) or the Registrar's Office (special student applicants). For information on English as a Second Language (ESLA) credit courses, placement, and ESLR standing, contact the School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLaLS).

5. Dates of Entry

Students may be admitted to register in January, May and July as well as in September. (See the Academic Year section of this Calendar.)

6. Concurrent Studies

The Concurrent Studies program enables secondary school students to begin university-level study while completing any outstanding requirements for their high school diploma. The availability of the Concurrent Studies program will be of particular interest to those students in semestered schools who are not taking a full load of high school credits in their final year of study. Students in non-semestered high schools may also wish to take advantage of this opportunity in their final year if they are not taking a full credit load.

Students who wish to take advantage of the Concurrent Studies program will register as Special students. Special students may normally enrol in a maximum of 1.0 credit in each of the fall term, winter term and summer session. With admission to a degree program, program requirements for a degree will be reduced by the number of credits successfully completed as part of the Concurrent Studies program that are appropriate to the degree. Other universities normally grant credit on admission for courses taken at Carleton as a Special student.

7. High School Applicants

Ontario
The minimum admission requirements to be considered are:

  1. the completion of the OSSD; and
  2. six 4U/M courses, including specific program prerequisites.

The overall admission average and mix of 4U/M courses required is dependent upon the degree or program for which the student is applying. Detailed admission requirements for each undergraduate degree program can be found in the "Summary of Admission Requirements" following this section.

Holding the minimum admission requirements only establishes eligibility for consideration to Carleton University programs. Admission averages and required marks will vary from year to year and will be determined by the availability of places and by the number of applicants. The overall admission average may be higher than the stated minimum requirements.

Students who feel that their high school grade average does not reflect their potential are encouraged to apply to the Enriched Support Program. For more information, see the Enriched Support Program information following the Admissions section of this Calendar.

Quebec
Students from the Province of Québec may apply for admission into first year either upon completion of the Grade 12 program or after completing work towards the Collegial diploma. (See the information on Québec CEGEPs in this section.)

Other Canadian Provinces
Applicants to degree programs at Carleton must normally be admissible to a university in their own province.

The United States

  1. Applicants who have completed Grade 12 in the United States or in a U.S. overseas school will be considered for admission to first year. The Grade 12 program must include at least four academic units, and a minimum of 16 academic units must have been completed in Grades 9 to 12.
  2. An average of B- or higher is required for admission. For Honours programs and some limited enrolment programs, a higher average may be required.
  3. Applicants are encouraged to submit SAT or ACT scores to supplement their application for admission to the University.

Advanced Placement (AP)
Applicants who have completed AP exams with a minimum grade of 4 will be granted appropriate advanced standing credit, subject to the discretion of the appropriate Faculty, to a maximum of 3.0 credits.

International Baccalaureate (IB)
Students applying on the basis of having completed the IB diploma must possess a minimum score of 28 points. Applicants should have completed the diploma with six subjects: three higher level (HL) and three subsidiary level (SL). Students should also include the specific subject requirements for the program for which they are applying among their higher level and subsidiary level subjects. Usually we expect prerequisite courses to be at the higher level. Students with a minimum score of 28 may be given transfer credit for higher level courses with grades of 5 or higher, to a maximum of 3.0 credits.

Other High School Systems
Applicants who have completed high school diploma requirements in other than Canadian or American high school systems will be considered for admission at the appropriate level of entry. Individuals from foreign systems of education will be considered for admission to first year only if they are able to present sufficient evidence that their secondary school background is appropriate to this level of entry with respect to academic content and level of achievement.

Generally speaking, such applicants must meet requirements for admission to a university in their own country.

8. Special Requirements for Overseas Students

Translation of Documents
The University must be in receipt of all official documents by May 1. Applicants from non-English speaking countries must arrange to submit certified English translations of their academic documents.

9. Transfers from Post-Secondary Institutions: General Information

An applicant who is attending or has attended institutions of post-secondary education must present:

  1. Official certified transcripts of academic records mailed directly to this University by the registrars of the institutions attended, and
  2. Applicants who have taken only one year of study past the secondary school level may be required to submit an official transcript of high school marks mailed directly to Carleton University by the high school concerned.

Credit may be received for courses taken at other recognized institutions if:

  1. Courses are relevant to a student's proposed program, and
  2. The appropriate department recommends that such courses be credited to a student's program.  Each application will be evaluated on its own merits.

Please note that performance indicators other than letter or numeric grades are not acceptable for transfer credit (i.e. PSD [passed], CR [credit], EXP [ exempt], EXM [exam], etc.).

To be eligible for graduation, students transferring from other post-secondary institutions must complete a minimum number of Carleton credits. Please see Section 2.2.2 Minimum Number of Residency Credits and Section 2.2.3 Advanced Credits in the Academic Regulations of the University.

10. Transfers from Post-Secondary Institutions: Universities

Students applying from other recognized universities may be admitted if they are eligible to continue at the institution from which they wish to transfer and if they meet the requirements.

Carleton University subscribes to the following General Policy on the Transfer of Course Credits, as adopted by the Council of Ontario Universities:

Acceptance of transfer credits among Ontario universities shall be based on the recognition that, while learning experiences may differ in a variety of ways, their substance may be essentially equivalent in terms of their content and rigour. Insofar as possible, acceptance of transfer should allow for the maximum recognition of previous learning experience in university-level courses.

Subject to degree, grade and program requirements, any course offered for credit by one university shall be accepted for credit by another Ontario university when there is an essential equivalency in course content.

Please contact Carleton's Admissions Services for information about transferring specific courses.

Students who apply for admission to an undergraduate degree program who already possess an undergraduate degree from either Carleton or another university, are required to complete a minimum number of Carleton credits. (See Sections 2.2.2 and 2.2.3 of the Academic Regulations of the University.)

11. Transfers from Post-Secondary Institutions: Ontario Colleges

Students from Ontario Colleges who have successfully completed a minimum of two terms  in a two- or three-year diploma program or a four-year Applied Degree program and who present a minimum 3.0 grade point average (B standing in the Carleton University grading system) will be considered for admission to a degree program.

12. Transfers from Quebec CEGEPs

Admission Requirements

  1. A CEGEP applicant who has completed successfully 12 "General" or pre-university courses will be considered for admission to first year, without advanced standing. The overall average required is dependent upon the degree or program for which the student is applying.
  2. CEGEP applicants who have successfully completed more than 12 "General" or pre-university courses will be considered for admission with advanced standing based on the number of courses in excess of 12 and not to exceed the equivalent in credits of the first year of the program to which they are admitted. The overall average required and the advanced standing credits are dependent upon the degree or program for which the student is applying.

All applicants should note that failures in their CEGEP studies can adversely affect their admissibility.

Information on prerequisite subjects and detailed admission requirements can be found at admissions.carleton.ca.

13. Provisional Admission

Some transfer applicants (those who have attended a Canadian university, an Ontario College, or a Quebec CEGEP, and have demonstrated better than average academic achievement) will automatically be considered for provisional admission. The provisional approval will be given prior to the completion of the student's current year, and will provide a detailed statement of the credits to be granted upon transfer. Admission will be confirmed upon presentation of a final transcript that indicates the successful completion of all courses with suitable standing.

14. Mature Applicants

Mature Applicants are persons who satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and
  2. do not meet the normal admission requirements as published in this Calendar, and
  3. have been away from full-time studies for a minimum of two calendar years, and
  4. have not attended a university or college as full-time students.

Applicants who meet the definition of Mature Applicant will be considered for admission to programs in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or in the Faculty of Public Affairs, or to a degree program in Engineering, Architecture, Computer Science, Humanities, Industrial Design, Mathematics, Science, Information Technology, or Social Work. Mature Applicants are not usually considered for admission to programs in Business, Journalism, Music, or Public Affairs and Policy Management. If, however, at the end of their first year in another degree program, they meet the requirements for one of the above-mentioned programs, they can apply to transfer to that program.

These applicants are required to submit biographical information and a transcript of their most recent studies.

Mature Applicants may be admitted to the first year of an undergraduate degree program if they have:

  1. secondary school graduation in an academic program (the overall average required is dependent upon the degree or program for which the student is applying), or
  2. completed, as a Special student at Carleton University, one appropriate full credit (or two half-credits) with C- or higher standing in the first attempt (or in both of the first two half-credit course attempts), or
  3. other academic or work experience which, in the opinion of the admissions committee, indicates a likelihood of success at university.

Note: Persons applying for admission as Mature Applicants without the prerequisites will not normally be considered until the prerequisite subjects have been successfully completed.  The prerequisite subjects (4U or equivalents) are found under Prerequisite Subjects (Section 18).  All applications are reviewed on an individual basis.

Admission to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, or to the Faculty of Public Affairs
Mature Applicants will normally be admitted to the first year of a B.A. or B.Co.M.S. or B.G.In.S. or B.MPD or B.Econ degree program in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences or Public Affairs, or the first year of the undergraduate degree program in Humanities or Social Work.

Admission to the Schools of Architecture, Computer Science, and Industrial Design
Mature Applicants can be considered for admission to the first year in the Schools of Architecture, Computer Science, or Industrial Design. The required prerequisite subjects (4U or equivalents) for Architectural Studies, Computer Science, and for Industrial Design are found under Prerequisite Subjects at the end of this section.

Persons applying for admission to these undergraduate degree programs without the prerequisites will not normally be considered until the prerequisite subjects have been successfully completed. All applications are reviewed on an individual basis.

Admission to the Faculty of Engineering
Mature Applicants can be considered for admission to first year of a degree program in the Faculty of Engineering. The required prerequisite subjects (4U or equivalent) for Engineering are found under Prerequisite Subjects at the end of this section. A grade of 60 percent or higher is required in each prerequisite subject.

Persons applying for admission to this undergraduate degree program without the necessary prerequisites will not normally be considered until the prerequisite subjects have been successfully completed. All applications are reviewed on an individual basis.

Admission to the Faculty of Science
Mature Applicants can be considered for admission to the first year of a program in the Faculty of Science. The required prerequisite subjects (4U or equivalent) for Science are found under Prerequisite Subjects at the end of this section.

Persons applying for admission to this undergraduate degree program without the necessary prerequisites will not normally be considered until the prerequisite subjects have been successfully completed. All applications are reviewed on an individual basis.

Mature Applicants are not usually considered for admission to Honours programs in Science. If, however, at the end of the first year of a 15.0 credit program, they meet the requirements for one of the Honours programs, they can apply to transfer to that program.

Admission to the Bachelor of Information Technology
Mature Applicants can be considered for admission to first year of the Bachelor of Information Technology. The required prerequisite subjects (4U or equivalent) for BIT are found under Prerequisite Subjects at the end of this section.

Special Students Wishing to Apply as Mature Applicants
Special students who meet all of the criteria for Mature Applicants can be considered for admission as Mature Applicants if:

  1. they have completed, as a Special student, at Carleton University, one appropriate full credit (or two half-credits) with a C- or higher standing in the first attempt (or in both of the first two half-credit attempts), and
  2. they are eligible to continue as Special students at Carleton University, and
  3. they have completed any additional degree program prerequisite subjects that may be required for a particular program.

Mature Applicants who, as Special students at Carleton University, have not obtained a grade of C- or higher in one full credit (or two half-credits), in the first attempt (or in both of the first two half-credit attempts), can attempt to qualify for subsequent admission through additional courses as a Special student at the University.

Individuals seeking admission under the Mature Applicant status who need further information should inquire at Admissions Services.

15. Special Studies (Non-Degree)

Special students may be admitted to a degree program if their academic achievement at Carleton University indicates a reasonable probability of future academic success. Previous post-secondary studies at other institutions will also be taken into consideration at the time the application for admission is evaluated. Students with previous, unsuccessful post-secondary studies should contact Admissions Services before attempting to qualify for admission on the basis of studies as a Special student.

A Special student can normally be considered for admission after completing 4.0 credits (or the equivalent), and if the student would be Eligible to Continue if admitted. Students seeking admission are  not considered for admission until the necessary prerequisites have been successfully completed in addition to the 4.0 approved credits (or the equivalent). The prerequisite subjects (4U/4M courses or equivalents) are found on the Admissions Services website.

If fewer than 4.0 credits have been completed, a Special student will be considered for admission after completion of:

2.0 credits (or the equivalent) with a CGPA of 8.00 or higher, or

2.5 credits (or the equivalent) with a CGPA of 7.00 or higher, or

3.0 credits (or the equivalent) with a CGPA of 6.00 or higher, or

3.5 credits (or the equivalent) with a CGPA of 5.00 or higher

16. Prerequisite Subjects

Certain degree programs require grade 4U courses (prerequisite subjects) or the equivalent as follows:
(See Summary of Admission Requirements following this section for specific minimum averages and required marks.)

B.A., all majors
English
B.A. Biology
Chemistry
B. Architectural Studies
English
Physics
Advanced functions or calculus and vectors
Note: a portfolio is required.
B. Cognitive Science
English
B. Commerce
Advanced functions
Calculus and vectors or mathematics for data management
English
B.Communication and Media Studies
English
B. Computer Science
Advanced functions and calculus and vectors
B. Economics
English, Advanced functions
B. Engineering
Advanced functions
Chemistry
Physics
And one of: calculus and vectors or biology or earth and space science
B. Global and International Studies
English
B. Health Sciences (Honours)
Advanced functions and two of: biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics
B. Humanities (combined Honours with Biology)
Chemistry or biology
B. Industrial Design
Advanced functions
Physics
Note: a portfolio is required and attending an information session at the School is recommended.
B. Information Technology
Interactive Multimedia and Design
Advanced functions
Note: a portfolio is required.
Information Resource Management
English and one of:
Advanced functions or
Calculus and vectors or
Mathematics of data management
Network Technology
Advanced functions or
Calculus and vectors or
Mathematics of data management
Photonics and Laser Technology
Advanced functions
B. International Business
Advanced functions
Calculus and vectors or mathematics for data management
English
B. Journalism
English
B. Journalism and Humanities
English
B. Mathematics
Advanced functions
Calculus and vectors
B. Media Production and Design
English and one of: advanced functions or calculus and vectors or mathematics of data management
B. Science (Honours)
Advanced functions and two of: biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics
B. Science (15.0 credit/Major)
Advanced functions and two of: calculus and vectors, biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics

17. Previous Carleton Degree Students

All former students who have been formally admitted to a degree or diploma or certificate program at the undergraduate level and who are seeking readmission either to that program or to another program are governed by differing regulations, depending upon the faculty or school that offers the program.

Please refer to the relevant program section of this Calendar or, if there is no specific entry dealing with readmission in that section, consult the Registrar's Office to determine whether or not it is necessary to submit a new application for admission. Please note that previous Carleton students applying to limited enrolment programs must apply by the published deadlines.

18. Documents

Documents submitted in support of an application for admission become the property of the University.  Carleton University retains electronic students files for all students admitted for the 2014 summer term and beyond.  Original documents that have been digitized for inclusion in the student’s file are destroyed in compliance with the University’s privacy policies.  In some cases, original documents may be returned to the applicant.  Contact Admissions Services for more information.

The University may nullify an admission and revoke a registration if it finds that an applicant for admission or registration has, in the process, provided false or incomplete information.

Applicants who are unable to submit documents of previous academic studies as a result of natural disaster, armed conflict, or the securing of refugee status are subject to the following policy:

  • Applicants who are unable to submit supporting documents will not be admitted. They will be encouraged to register as Special students and qualify for admission by taking courses at the University.
  • Applicants who can submit official transcripts but cannot submit course descriptions will be admitted to first year if:
    • their academic record meets the standards required by the program for which they are applying, and
    • their high school studies include prerequisite subjects for admission to first year.
  • Applications from candidates who can provide course descriptions based on their recollection of the courses which they have taken will be treated according to the same procedures as those which apply to applicants who cannot submit course descriptions (see 2. above).