In light of the challenges and uncertainties posed by COVID-19, Carleton has made the difficult decision to cancel in-person student mobility with the Incoming Exchange Program for the Fall 2021 term (September to December 2021). This decision to not proceed with in-person student exchange for the Fall is independent of any future decision regarding the delivery of courses at Carleton University for the Fall 2021 term. 

Carleton is prepared to offer students the opportunity to participate in our exchange program virtually (i.e. taking courses remotely online) for the Fall 2021 term where possible. Per our usual process, students must be nominated for exchange by their home institution and complete an application. We will provide students with further instructions following the successful review of their nomination. 

With regards to the status of the Winter 2022 term (January to April 2022), a decision will be made early in the fall and communicated to our exchange partners.

 For more information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the International Student Services Office (ISSO)’s COVID-19 FAQ webpage.

Why choose Carleton for your exchange?

Carleton’s reputation is built on its strengths in the fields of Journalism, Public Affairs, International Affairs, Architecture and High Technology. Students benefit from the interdisciplinary, active, hands-on approach to teaching. Our beautiful campus spans more than 100 acres, between the Rideau River and the historic Rideau Canal, just a short distance from downtown Ottawa.

We invite to review our Incoming Student Exchange Program brochure (PDF).

If you have questions about the program, please contact us at exchange@carleton.ca.

This page includes:

Exchange Process

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Exchange students study at Carleton for a single semester or a full academic year. To attend Carleton as an exchange student, your home institution must have an exchange agreement with Carleton. Check to see if your university is on our partner institutions list.

For students whose first language is not English and the primary language of instruction at their home institution is not English, they are required to meet the English language proficiency requirements referenced below:

Minimum English Language Requirements for Undergraduate Students:

Test date should be no more than 24 months prior to application:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) 86 (minimum of 22 in writing and speaking and 20 in reading and listening)
      • Note: we cannot consider a student for exchange to Carleton based on their TOEFL MyBEST Scores. Eligibility will be assessed using the Test Date Scores.
  • IELTS  6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each band)
  • CAEL  70 (minimum of 60 in each band)

Minimum English Language Requirements for Graduate Students:

Test date should be no more than 24 months prior to application:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (iBT/Next Generation) 100 (minimum of 25 in writing, speaking, reading and listening)
      • Note: we cannot consider a student for exchange to Carleton based on their TOEFL MyBEST Scores. Eligibility will be assessed using the Test Date Scores.
  • IELTS  8.0 (minimum 7.5 in each band)
  • CAEL 70 (minimum of 60 in each band)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)(Academic): 60 overall (minimum 60 in each Communicative Skill)


Students must achieve the TOTAL minimum score indicated. They must also achieve the minimum score indicated for each BAND in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

If you wish to study at Carleton but your university is not on our partner institutions list, you may be eligible as a Study Abroad student. It is important to note that Study Abroad students are required to pay international student fees to Carleton University.

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Nomination by your Home University

Students must be nominated for exchange by their home institution. Partners nominate their students using the Carleton University Exchange Nomination form.

Nomination forms are completed online and a form must be submitted for each student to be nominated.

The following information is required. Nominations submitted without this information will not be accepted:

  • Student Last Name
  • Student Middle Name(s) (if applicable)
  • Student First Name(s)
  • Term(s) of Exchange (Fall Term, Winter Term, or Full Year)
  • Level of Study (Undergraduate or Graduate)
  • Degree/Study Program at Home Institution
  • Date of Birth (DD/MM/YYYY format)
  • Student Home Address
  • Student Email Address
  • English Language Test Score, Type & Date Completed (if applicable)

Nomination Deadlines

  • March 15th for Fall Term (September to December) or Full Year (September to April)
  • September 15th for Winter Term (January to April)

Nominations are reviewed to ensure that students meet the requirements for exchange and can move forward to completing the exchange application.

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Carleton Exchange Application

NOTE: Applications for the Fall 2021 term and Full Year are now closed. Applications for the Winter 2022 term will open in September.

Following the submission and acceptance of their nomination, a student will receive detailed instructions on how to complete the exchange application.

Applications are submitted online using the Incoming Exchange Application form.

Within the application, students are required to upload the following documents:

  • Official proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, CAEL, or Pearson Test of English [Academic] ) – the test report must be in English and the test date cannot be more than 24 months prior to application
  • Most recent official home institution transcript in English
  • Home institution’s Grading System
  • Portfolios must be included when students are applying for courses in Architecture, Industrial Design and Interactive Multimedia Design (IMD)
  • An audition is required for students requesting performance courses in Music


  • April 15th for Fall Term or Full Year
  • October 15th for Winter Term

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Academic Information

Academic Levels Offered: Undergraduate and Graduate

Note: Carleton has an agreement with each of its exchange partners. This agreement specifies the academic level of the students accepted for exchange.

Duration of Exchange (3 options)
  • Full Academic Year (September to April)
  • Fall Term (September to December)
  • Winter Term (January to April)
Language of Instruction English
Class Hours per Week – Full Arts Course Load  15 – 18 hours
Class Hours per Week – Full Science Course Load 25 – 30 hours
Course Load Requirements per Term

1 semester course = 0.5 Carleton credits

0.5 Carleton Credits (1 Course) = 6 ECTS

2.5 Carleton Credits (5 Courses) = 30 ECTS

Undergraduate Students: (1000 to 4000 Course Level)

Minimum: 1.5 credits per term (3 courses)

Maximum: 2.5 credits per term (5 courses)

Recommended: 2.0 credits per term (4 courses)


Graduate Students: (5000 Course Level)

Minimum: 0.5 credits per term (1 course)

Maximum: 1.5 credits per term (3 courses)

Recommended: 1.0 credits per term (2 courses)

All exchange students are required to follow the requirements set by their home institution with regards to their course load.

Grading System 12 Point Scale – Found in Section 5.4 of Undergraduate Calendar 
Transcripts Upon completion of an exchange term, Carleton will provide a student’s home institution with an official copy of their transcript. This is a requirement of the bi-lateral exchange agreement and is done automatically.

The transcript provides details of the courses completed by the student and the results achieved.

Transcripts are sent electronically via email to the home institution as a PDF document and the information contained therein is equivalent to that of a paper version.

Transcripts are not provided to students. If a hardcopy original of the transcript is needed, the student must submit an email request to the Registrars’ Office at registrar@carleton.ca.

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Exchange Application Course List

On the exchange application, in order of priority, students must list ten (10) Carleton courses they would like to take, including the course title and course code.

Course information is available in the academic calendars provided below:

Please refer to the Selecting Courses page for important information on how to select courses.

In addition, please refer to the Courses Not Available page for a list of courses that are restricted and not open to exchange students.

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Acceptance for Exchange

Following the review of their exchange application, a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) is emailed to the student.

For students studying in the Fall term or a full year, letters are sent in June and for students studying in the Winter, term letters are sent in November.

Letters of Acceptance are quite detailed and include information such as:

  • Carleton University Identification Number (CUID)
  • MyCarletonOne (MC1) username for email set-up and records system access
  • Important dates and deadlines
  • Visa requirements
  • Housing
  • Fees
  • Orientation

Students who require a visa should submit a copy of their Letter of Acceptance with their visa application to the nearest Canadian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.

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Guidebook and Resources

Before You Arrive

The Guide for New Students (PDF) is a comprehensive handbook on how to prepare for your exchange to Carleton.

A convenient BEFORE YOU ARRIVE checklist (PDF) is also available.

After You Arrive

Students are encouraged to visit the Services for Current Students page for a description of all of the services and programs available to exchange and international students at the International Student Services Office (ISSO).

An AFTER YOU ARRIVE checklist (PDF) is also available to help you settle in quickly and easily.


On-campus housing is assigned by lottery and is not guaranteed. Students apply online using their Carleton University Identification Number (CUID) which is provided in their Letter of Acceptance (LOA).

A $35 non-refundable application fee is required and can be paid by credit card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express).

Please visit residence rates and application deadlines for more information.

Students are responsible for securing their own off-campus accommodations. If possible, students should arrive 2 weeks prior to the start of the term so that they can check off-campus listings or view the property they have already rented. Students should book temporary accommodations to allow them to perform these searches in person.

Visit the Off-Campus Housing website to access possible listings. For additional information about living off-campus, please review ‘Starting Your Search: Advice and Cautions’.

Costs & Fees

Exchange students study at Carleton for a single semester or a full academic year and do not pay tuition to Carleton. Students pay tuition to their home institution.

However, there are two fees that all exchange students are required to pay. These mandatory fees include the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) and the Transit pass (U-Pass).

Visit Planning Your Finances for estimated costs for on-campus and off-campus living, books, supplies and personal expenses.

To see what scholarships may be available to incoming exchange students, please refer to the ISSO’s scholarship page.


You do not need a study permit if your studies in Canada will be less than 6 months.

If your studies are more than 6 months or if you would like to have the option to work on campus, you need a study permit. Application instructions for a study permit are available at the website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

Your acceptance letter from Carleton will be part of the documentation you must include with your study permit application.

Most international students need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada.

  • If you apply for a study permit, your TRV or eTA will be issued to you automatically
  • If you don’t need a study permit, check to see if you need a TRV or an eTA. You should indicate that you plan to “visit Canada” or “visit as a tourist”. This letter may be used in a TRV application to explain the purpose of your visit to Canada.

NOTE: You may be required to provide Biometrics (fingerprints and photos) with your application. Please refer to the instruction guide in your application package, and/or visit this website for more details.

Students with immigration questions while planning their exchange are welcome to connect with an Immigration Advisor by emailing the ISSO at immigration.advising@carleton.ca.


I-Start is the international orientation program designed to meet the needs of all international students, including Exchange students. With I-Start you will receive resources and information that will help you transition successfully to student life at Carleton and take full advantage of your exchange experience.

All exchange students are required to participate in an I-Start orientation session.

For program details and registration, please visit the ISSO website.