Answers to Common Questions

First-Year Student Registration

Registration for incoming first-year students takes place in early June and they can register when their time ticket opens. The timetable planning tool opens in Carleton Central in late May and students can put together mock class schedules at this time. This will help the students to be prepared when their time ticket opens.

Where do I go for registration help?

To see the courses needed for a major, check the First-Year Course Selection Guide. To view all of the courses needed for a major throughout university, go to the Undergraduate Calendar.

Where do I go if I want to change my major?

If you are not registered for classes yet, talk to Undergraduate Admissions. If you have already registered for classes, talk to the Registrar’s Office.

You may also wish to speak to your current Undergraduate Advisor and the Advisor of the major you would like to switch into in order to discuss your options and to see which courses will transfer over. If you are switching between majors within the Faculty of Science, you can do so online on Carleton Central. If you would like to switch to a different Faculty (for example, to an Engineering degree) you will need to apply to Undergraduate Admissions to be accepted into the new program.

First Year Seminar in Science

The First Year Seminar in Science is an innovative course given in the Faculty of Science that is designed to jump-start you in your academic career in science by exposing you to teaching styles, concepts and research opportunities that are normally reserved for upper-year students. We hope that you will find NSCI 1000 both interesting and challenging, and we will work with you to make your experience of NSCI 1000 as rewarding as possible. Visit First Year Seminar in Science for more information.

Math Matters

This year, Math Matters is running from August 24-31. All students entering a degree in Architectural Studies, Commerce, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Health Sciences, Industrial Design, International Business, Mathematics, and Science are eligible to attend. We suggest that students register for Math Matters if their high school calculus grade is below 80 per cent or if high school calculus was recommended for admission into their program but they did not take that course. Math Matters is a review of high school math – the building blocks to doing well in university math. Students can stay on campus during Math Matters for an extra charge. Visit the Math Matters website for more information.

Kick-Start into Science

Don't just survive your first semester of university. Crush your first semester! Kick-Start into Science maximizes opportunities for first-year students in the Faculty of Science to adapt to change, conquer challenges and prove victorious at the end of the semester and beyond.

Kick-Start is a series of bi-weekly workshops that take place throughout the fall semester. You can choose from four different themes:

Each theme is led by two successful upper year mentors who are involved in the Faculty of Science, on campus and off campus through a variety of research, volunteering and work positions. Registration opens on June 27th and there are 20 spots for each stream which will be filled on a first-come first serve basis.


When Does Move-in Start?

Residence move-in this year starts on Saturday, September 3rd. Students are assigned a time and date to move in (usually in July) and must adhere to this schedule unless they make other arrangements with Housing and Conference Services.

For more information on housing, contact Housing and Conference Services.

Residence and Moving Away from Home

Moving into Residence can mean experiencing a lot of new firsts such as moving away from home, a new city, having roommates. It can be scary and it helps to be prepared. For a list of what you can and cannot bring when you move in, check out this Packing List. Take some time once you arrive to explore campus and find out where to get food, where your classes are, where you can find resources on campus, visit the library, find Health and Counselling. Take a map with you or ask around, people are friendly at Carleton and are more than happy to point you in the right direction. Also, take a day or two to explore downtown Ottawa and learn about your new city. 

Moving into residence also means meeting and getting to know your roomates. Be patient and open minded when you first meet them and remember that they're in the same boat as you, they're in a new environment and are nervous and excited too. Get out of your dorm room and get to know them over a cup of coffee or a walk by the River. Play 20 questions, ask them why they chose Carleton and their program and learn what their schedule and study habits are to know what to expect once classes get underway.

If you're an international student, or even from a different province, Ottawa's climate can be quite a change. The temperature can get to -40°C in the winter months, and +40°C (with humidity) in the summer months. It's a wide range and pack accordingly. If you're not used to the cold, make sure to invest in a good quality winter jacket and winter boots as well as a hat, scarf, mitts and warm socks. A pair of skates can be bought or rented to go skating on the Rideau Canal, the world's largest skating rink.

Meal Plans

Meal plans are available but not necessary in order to eat anywhere on campus. All locations wil also accept cash, credit or debit transactions. If you are living on residence, a meal plan may be included in your residence cost. Check here to find out more. If you are off campus, there are also meal plan options for you found here.

Orientation Days

Summer Orientation is a great information source over the summer! Especially consider attending the Science Spotlight date or an early date so that someone can look over your class schedule and assist you with making changes if necessary. You can also get your Campus Card and bus pass on orientation day.

Summer Orientation costs $30 per student, which covers a parking pass and all you can eat buffet in the residence dining hall for the student and the student’s guests.

Summer Orientation Dates

  • Saturday, July 9th - Open Session
  • Friday, July 15 - Residence Overnight Session
  • Saturday, July 16 - Faculty of Science Spotlight and Residence Overnight Session
  • Saturday, July 23rd - Open Session
  • Saturday, August 6th - Open Session
  • Saturday, August 20th - Open Session

Visit for more information.

Fall Orientation

Fall Orientation usually happens during the end of August and into the beginning of September and includes tons of fun activities for which students can choose to participate. The schedule for 2016 isn’t posted yet, so tell them to check for more information later at

Academic Orientation Day

All first-year students are required to attend Academic Orientation Day (AOD). This year it takes place on Tuesday, September 6th. It starts around 8:30 am and lasts until 4:00 pm.

Awards and Financial Aid

Students can estimate their tuition and miscellaneous fees for the upcoming year, find out how to pay and see payment dates and deadlines at

Entrance Scholarships

Entrance Scholarships are awarded automatically based on the student’s high school courses. They are renewable with an A- standing (annual GPA of 10.0). Detailed information about keeping the scholarships is available at

The deadline for applying for Prestige Scholarships is early spring and is closed for the 2016-2017 school year.

Entrance Bursaries

Entrance Bursaries are available to incoming students. The deadline to apply for incoming students is June 30th. Students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must demonstrate financial need on OSAP to be eligible.

Work Study

Work Study is available to incoming students. Students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must demonstrate financial need to be eligible. The application through Carleton Central will open up on August 29th, 2016.

International students who are not in first year are eligible for Work Study.


Incoming students can apply for OSAP here – the earlier the better. More information is available for OSAP through Awards and Financial Aid.

International students are not eligible for OSAP.

How will I receive the scholarships and bursaries I have been awarded?

Scholarships and bursaries awarded by Carleton University are applied directly to your tuition fees and paid directly to your student account. Entrance and Prestige scholarships are paid in two equal installments; one in August, one in December. Carleton Entrance bursaries are paid in a single installment in August.

How will I receive my OSAP funding?

OSAP funding is issued twice per year, once each term. If you have been approved for OSAP funding you must wait until school begins before you can pick-up your first funding certificate. The Getting your OSAP funding section of the Awards website ( details the steps involved in getting your funding. Students must present valid government photo-ID and their SIN card to receive their funding documents.

On-Campus Services

Visiting Campus

Guided campus tours are available Monday through Saturday. They can either be booked online at Book a Tour or through Undergraduate Recruitment at (613) 520-3663.

Accommodation is available on campus for anyone from May to August. There are also a variety of hotels in Ottawa. Go to Visiting Ottawa for more information on planning an overnight stay in Ottawa.

Campus Card and UPASS

You can pick up your Campus Card and UPASS at the Campus Card office.

While you are a student here, your Carleton Campus Card will be the single most important piece of student identification you possess. With your campus card you can pay for dinner, photocopy notes, print documents, buy snack food and borrow books from the library, with just a simple swipe of the card! Campus Cards are available from the Campus Card Office. You can apply online for your card or pick it up in person when you arrive. If you attend Summer Orientation, you can get your Campus Card during your session!

Your U-PASS allows you to use all forms of public transit provided by Ottawa’s public transit provider, OC Transpo, and on the Gatineau's public transit provider, STO. Your U-PASS is covered by your student fees and can be picked up upon your arrival. The U-PASS is effective from September 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016. For more info about the U-PASS including the opt-out process, please visit the U-PASS website.

Beginning in the summer of 2016, there is also a Summer U-Pass available for undergraduate or special students who are registered in 1.0+ credits at any point in the summer term or designated full-tome graduate students. The Summer U-PASS is effective from May 1st to August 31st, 2016.

Carleton Email

You can sign up for your Carleton email account and MyCarletonOne Account on Carleton Central. Your Carleton Email will be the university’s official means of communicating with you. Your MyCarletonOne Account will be the username and password that you use to access Carleton’s IT resources such as wifi on campus, CuLearn, computers in the computer labs and much more.

Health and Counselling Services

Carleton does have health, counselling and prescription pick-up available on campus for students to use. Find out more information about it at Health and Counselling.

Students are automatically opted in to and pay for the CUSA health plan that provides extended health, dental and vision benefits. You can read more here.

International students are automatically opted in to and pay for UHIP, which is similar to OHIP, as well as the CUSA health plan. You can read more here.

For International Students

There are two important points of contact for international students – International Admissions and Recruitment and the International Student Services Office. International Admissions and Recruitment works with international students on getting admitted to Carleton and receiving transfer or other credits for classes they have already taken. The ISSO handles pretty much everything else and has guides for new international students at


You can order a parking permit and reserve a locker online through Parking Services. Then you can pick up the permit when you arrive on campus. The parking permit rates are posted here.

Students with Visible and Non-Visible Disabilities

Students that require academic accommodations for disabilities must register with Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities in order to receive accommodations.


You can order your textbooks online through The Bookstore and avoid the lines when classes begin. Carleton also offers a textbook rental program through the bookstore.

Banking on Campus

Scotiabank has a fully operational branch and five ABM locations across campus. For more information, visit banking on campus.

Top 8 Tips for Transitioning to University

  1. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Your professors may seem intimidating to approach after a lecture, but they are regular people who want you to succeed. Check the course outline on CuLearn to find out what their office hours are and ask questions. It also lets you get to know them better. TAs are also there to help and answer questions concerning lecture and lab materials.
  2. Get help early! The day before the midterm or exam or the night before a lab is due is often too late. Start studying for exams and working on assignments and labs early so that you can have time to make appointments and receive replies from professors and TA's who are also very busy. They are not going to come after you if you are struggling or behind - you need to take the initiative yourself.
  3. Make a schedule, early! And stick with it! Time management is one of the biggest struggles for incoming first year students. University can be a shock with the amount and intensity of school work that is expected from you. Check out this resource for step-by-step instructions on how to make and keep a schedule. SSSC mentors can also help you build your schedule around your classes and other commitments to help you maximize your study time.
  4. Do your pre-labs. Just do it. Read over the lab manual beforehand and make sure you have a solid grasp of the material before completing the entire pre-lab. It's worth marks! For physics this might include theory and for chemistry it might include writing out the MSDS. Just make sure you know what is expected of you and get it done beforehand.
  5. Lecture halls are big and can be loud and distracting. Do your best to get to class early, especially the first couple weeks to guarantee yourself a seat. Find what spot in the lecture hall works well for you. Do you need to be in the front to make yourself pay attention? Further back to see the screens?
  6. Spend time figuring out how YOU take notes and study best. In high school, you may have been able to get away with just a bit of studying the night before. But in university there is too much material to get by that way. Think about how you learn and tailor your studying to fit your learning style. For note taking, try using a notebook, laptop, printing the pdf's, or recording the lecture (with permission). For studying, try flashcards, re-writing notes, making quizzes and tests for yourself, or reading the textbook.
  7. Go to PASS. You'll get a second glance at the material from the week before, you'll have fun and you'll meet new. The facilitator is someone who did well in the class, and they will also hold office hours. It doesn't get much better than that.
  8. If this is sounding like a lot of changes, seriously consider signing up for Kick-Start into Science. The workshops are designed to help new students tackle first-year classes and all the trials and tribulations that come with them. You can also drop by the SSSC to talk to a mentor who can offer some advice on how to get through first year as smoothly as possible.

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