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) and read past testimonials from students who have enjoyed an incoming exchange program with us.

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, 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

NOTE: Fall 2024 and Full Year Nominations are now closed.

Winter 2025 Nominations will open in September.

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 student’s first language is not English)

Nomination Deadlines

  • March 15th for Fall Term (September to December) and 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: Fall 2024 and Full Year Applications are now closed.

Winter 2025 Applications will open in October.

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

  • All course deliverables (e.g. tests, quizzes, assignments, reports, midterm and final exam) must be completed in English.
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


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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.


1) 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, American Express or Visa/Debit).

Please visit residence rates and application deadlines for more information.

2) Off-campus housing -> students are responsible for securing their own off-campus accommodations. Visit the Off-Campus Housing website to access possible listings.

Students seeking off-campus accommodations are advised to independently verify the suitability and safety of any property. For comprehensive information about tenant rights and responsibilities in Ontario, please consult the Landlord and Tenant Board at https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb. We encourage all students to exercise due diligence in their housing search.

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.


If your studies in Canada will be less than 6 months in duration, you may study as a visitor without having a study permit.

 Most international students need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website has a tool to help you determine which you need and lead you to the correct online application. This letter may be used in a TRV application to explain the purpose of your visit to Canada.

If you plan to study in Canada for more than 6 months, you must apply for a study permit. Your application for a study permit is automatically your application for a TRV or eTA as well.

The ISSO’s website tells you how to start the online study permit application process and provides helpful tips. Requirements for the application vary by country, but all students will need a valid passport, a Carleton Letter of Acceptance (this letter), and proof of having sufficient resources to cover expenses in Canada. You will probably have to give biometrics, and may need to get a medical exam and/or police certificate(s). You should gather your documents and submit your application as soon as possible.

Additional Resources:

Questions: please email an ISSO Immigration Advisor at isso@carleton.ca


An orientation session is offered in August/September for students attending in the Fall term and in December/January for students attending in the Winter term. The session provides information and resources to help students transition successfully to student life at Carleton.

All exchange students are required to participate in the session preceding the start of their exchange term.

Students are provided with the session details in advance.