Advising FAQs


How do I get a bursary? What are the requirements? How do I apply and how often?

Bursaries are funds that you can apply to receive if you can demonstrate financial need. They even nicer than loans, because you don’t have to pay them back. Odds are that if you qualified for OSAP, you’d likely qualify for a bursary. If you didn’t qualify for a student loan, but can demonstrate financial need, it doesn’t hurt to apply. You can apply online through Carleton Central, instructions are here. The deadline to apply is October 30 and the bursary would be awarded in January. You can only apply for a bursary once during the fall/winter session. Our Academic Advantage Coaches can help you fill out an application. Book an appointment.

I haven’t heard anything from OSAP. I don’t know what the status of my application is, how do I find out?

The Awards Office at Carleton processes you student loan applications and communicates with you about the status via your Carleton email account. You need to set up your Carleton email account right away so that you don’t miss out on any instructions from our Awards Office. If you haven’t received any emails from Awards, don’t hesitate to contact them to inquire about the status of your application.

I am so broke, I can’t afford groceries. Is there any help available?

Yes, there is. Carleton’s students association (CUSA) runs a Food Centre that can help. Drop by CUSA’s main office in 401 Unicentre and fill out a form to request food from the Emergency Food Assistance Program, or fill out a Hamper request online.

Can you get any type of financial support as a Carleton student athlete?

Sometimes. Inquire with the Awards office to find out more about the specific criteria.

Are there any forms of funding available specifically to Indigenous students?

Yes, have a look at this website for more information.

Health Plan

Are ESP/IESP students eligible for the student health plan?

Yes as an ESP/IESP student, you are eligible for the plan, but you need to opt-in to the plan if you wish to participate. The deadline to opt-in to the student health and dental plan is October 1.  To opt-in visit the Self-Enrolment plan page. The plan covers a percent of prescription drug costs, as well as offering some dental and vision coverage. You can even choose family coverage to enroll a spouse or dependent. The plan fee for full-year single coverage (Sept. 1 – Aug. 31) is approx. $150.00.

ESP/IESP Program Questions

How do I book an advising appointment?

You can book an appointment with an advisor to discuss your academic goals, explore degree options, and discuss any questions or concerns you have. Just click here (starting in October – for help in September just drop by our office in 1516 DT).

How do I book a coaching appointment? How often can I meet with a coach?

Book an appointment with a coach for academic help, writing papers, tutoring, doing research, dealing with procrastination and more! Just visit this page to book an appointment. You can meet with a coach once per week.

Planning your degree

What is the difference between a major and a minor?

A major is the field in which a student focuses during the course of his/her degree. A student will generally complete half of their credits in their major subject area, the other half are electives. A minor is a secondary concentration of courses—this is one way that you can complete your elective course requirements. A minor is usually 4 required credits in a particular subject area.

 What is an “Honours” degree and how does it differ from the 15-credit degree?

A BA Honours or BSc Hons degree refers to a 20-credit program in which the average student taking a full course load could graduate within four years. The BA or BSc degree refers to a 15-credit program in which the average student taking a full course load may graduate within three years. Both degrees provide Carleton students with the critical skills and training required for a professional career. However, the honours degree offers an opportunity for more in-depth study and may lead to study at the graduate level.

What is a double major? Will it take me longer to complete my degree?

A double major (or Combined Honours) is simply two majors completed in one degree—usually 7 credits are required in each major. Although it doesn’t necessarily take longer to complete a degree, pursuing a double major does reduce the student’s overall number of elective courses.

How do I choose a major?

  • Talk to an Advisor about the possibilities.
  • Explore your options, choose a field that interests you. Visit:
  • Check out the section on careers by major:
  • Have a look at the resources Career Services offers– they have a great website “What can I do with my Degree?”.
  • Career services also has online tools to help you with your decision.
  • Finally, if you login to Carleton Central and follow the link to myCareer, you can click on the “Resources” tab for info about career options, myths and planning information or click on the Career Advising tab to make an appointment with a Career counsellor.

Are there co-op or other work placement opportunities at Carleton?

Yes there are. Some Arts & Social Science programs that have co-op streams include: Anthropology, Cognitive Science, Communication Studies, Economics, English, History, Law, Political Science, and Sociology. In addition to co-ops, Carleton offers internships, placements, practicums, and field courses in many disciplines; check the calendar for details: Visit the co-op website for more information.

I want to be a doctor/lawyer/teacher. What do I need to know?

Login to Carleton Central and follow the link to myCareer.  Once you’re on their website, click on the “Resources” tab for info about how to apply to med school, law school or teacher’s college.

How do I figure out what courses to take next year?

Have a look at the Carleton Undergraduate Calendar: and follow the link to programs. This site is handy too:

Do I have to choose a major after ESP/IESP?

It is a good idea to choose your major as you proceed from ESP/IESP to a degree program. You could apply as a undeclared which will allow you more time to choose. But after another term of study, you’ll have to declare a major. This site has more information about studying as an undeclared student and information about how to choose a major.

How long will it take me to complete a degree after I’m done ESP/IESP?

That depends. If you choose to take 5 courses per year after you’ve finished ESP/IESP, and if you take 2 credits over the summer(s), you can complete an honours degree in 3 more years and a general degree with 2 more years of study. (Note: Engineering degrees will take an additional 4 years minimum due to teh structured nature of their program). Other students (most degree students in fact) choose to take fewer courses and take additional time to finish their degree. The choice is yours.

I did courses at college or university before ESP/IESP. Will these transfer to my degree?

Maybe. Students who studied at college may be eligible for transfer credit as they move from ESP/IESP to a degree. Students with prior university credits may be eligible to transfer credits to a program. Come in and talk to an advisor about your situation.

Can I transfer to other universities after ESP/IESP?

Maybe. Many students have successfully transferred to other universities after completing the program (and transferred their credits as well).  Each university has different requirements, so you should contact the university you are considering to ask what average they would require. Because you have not yet completed 5.0 credits, they would not consider you a traditional “transfer” student. This means that they’ll be looking at both your high school and university grades in considering your application. Talk to an advisor about your goals.

Carleton Resources

Are there computer labs I can use? Where can I print things on campus?

There are computer labs across campus available for student use and you can print in many of the labs, click here to find out where. The library can even loan you a laptop while you’re working there, click here for details. The library also has a range of printing and photocopying services. Click here to find out more about the library’s study space and equipment services.

 I had an IEP at school. Can I receive accommodations at Carleton?

The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities arranges accommodations at the university. Their website outlines the registration process and requirements, as well as outlining the types of accommodations that they may provide. The PMC can offer support throughout your years at Carleton.

I don’t have a family doctor and/or counsellor in Ottawa. Where can I go?

Carleton University has a clinic that offers health and counselling services for its students. Counselling services are free of charge.