University of Ottawa

"God is the Lord of Knowledge", Deus Scientiarum Dominus E


The University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world. Located at the heart of Canada’s capital, we have ready access to the great institutions of our country. Our advances in social sciences, health, engineering, science and the humanities make uOttawa a unique place to learn, grow and excel.

The University of Ottawa was first established as the College of Bytown in 1848 by the first bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa, Joseph-Bruno Guigues. Placed under the direction of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, it was renamed the College of Ottawa in 1861 and received university status five years later through royal charter. On 5 February 1889, the university was granted a pontifical charter by Pope Leo XIII, elevating the institution to a pontifical university. The University was reorganized on 1 July 1965 as a corporation, independent from any outside body or religious organization. As a result, the civil and pontifical charters were kept by the newly created Saint Paul University, federated with the university. The remaining civil faculties were retained by the reorganized university.

The university is co-educational and enrolls over 35,000 undergraduate and over 6,000 post-graduate students. The university has more than 195,000 alumni. The university's athletic teams are known as the Gee-Gees and are members of U Sports.


Research excellence

A culture of discovery

The University of Ottawa is a top 10 Canadian research university.

Our people can be found working on the frontiers of virtually every field of human endeavour, making us top of mind for industry and government when they seek special expertise and fresh insight.

Our curiosity keeps the University's brilliant minds engaged, as they grow from students to scholars, citizens and specialists.

We believe that curiosity is at the heart of every academic pursuit. A desire to learn, the courage to question and a passion for discovery are present in everything we do.


Open to the world

The University of Ottawa embodies the Canadian spirit. We believe in measured, intelligent choices, democratically made by people who are thoughtful and well informed.

We debate issues with passion and openness while respecting each other's views.

Our university is the place where students discover how they can make their contribution to these Canadian ideals.

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Key staff:


Calin Rovinescu was appointed chancellor of the University of Ottawa on November 9, 2015.


President and Vice-Chancellor

On July 1st, 2016, Jacques Frémont became the University of Ottawa’s 30th President and Vice-Chancellor since its foundation as Bytown College in 1848.


Kathryn Butler Malette is Chair of the Board of Governors at the University of Ottawa.

Under the University of Ottawa Act (1965), the Board of Governors is responsible for oversight of the University’s governance and administration. This means making budgetary decisions and establishing policies it deems necessary to ensure sound management of the University. As well, the Board appoints the University President and other key senior officers. It also determines the compensation and other benefits of managers, faculty and support staff.


The University of Ottawa ranks 141st in the world, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2020.

uOttawa also retains its status as the 7th best university in Canada for the third year in a row, further cultivating its reputation for providing students with a world-class education.

Key facts:

  • More than 40,000 students, 5,000 employees and more than 210,000 alumni
  • More than 450 programs in 10 faculties
  • Close to $60 million per year in student scholarships and bursaries
  • First and largest French immersion program among Canadian universities
  • A major economic force in the National Capital Region
  • Largest law school in Canada
  • Largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world
  • World’s first French immersion undergraduate program
  • Among Canada’s top 10 research universities
  • Located in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, within walking distance of Parliament Hill
  • Our co-operative education program is amongst the top five in the country