This page contains important information to help incoming exchange students select courses and understand the course registration process at Carleton. The following topics are covered:

Course Selection – Key Considerations

Please take the following notes into consideration when preparing the study plan for your exchange term:

  1. Course availability is subject to change and for this reason, we cannot guarantee registration in specific courses. For exchange term(s) at Carleton, students should create a study plan that includes a mixture of courses from their major, minor, concentration and most especially free electives. Our academic departments will determine which courses an exchange student is approved to take. Each department has their own criteria when assessing course requests, the most important of which is whether a student has the required academic background to meet the course prerequisites. Other factors include, but are not limited to, if the course is restricted, if there are still seats available in the class, which term the course is offered, and so on.
  2. A placement test is required for all students who wish to take a language course at Carleton:
  3. ENGLISH as a SECOND LANGUAGE COURSE (ESLA Course): To be eligible to take an ESLA course, an official Proficiency Test report (TOEFL, IELTS, CAEL) is required (no exceptions or substitutes). The test report must be in English and the test date cannot be more than 24 months prior to application.
  4. Students must not request any courses found on the Courses Not Available list. These are restricted courses and are not available to exchange students. Please note as well that Departments reserve the right to restrict courses not found on this list if deemed necessary.
  5. Portfolios must be included for students applying for courses in Architecture, Industrial Design and Interactive Multimedia Design (IMD).
    An audition is required for performance courses in Music. Information can be found on the Music Department website.
  6. In June, students can access the Public Class Schedule in Carleton Central to search for courses in that will be available in their exchange term (Fall, Winter or full year).

Courses that are listed as ‘Open’ in the schedule should be selected.

Courses that have notations such as, ‘Full, no waitlist’ or ‘Waitlist Full’ should not be selected.

Courses labelled as ‘Waitlist Open’ are not recommended because there is no guarantee that a spot will open up in the class and the ‘wait’ time to find out if a spot is available can be quite long.

How Courses Are Labelled

Every course at Carleton is identified by four letters and a number (for example, ARCH 1111). The four letters indicate the department name, in this example it is Architecture. The numbers indicate the course level: 1000 level courses are first-year, 2000 are second-year, 3000 are third-year and 4000 are fourth-year undergraduate courses; 5000 level courses are graduate courses.

Students must not select a course if they do not meet the course prerequisites. Exceptions cannot be made to accommodate exchange students without the required background knowledge.

Definition of Prerequisite: Most courses require a student to have a certain level of knowledge before they are approved to take the course. For example, a student must have completed an introductory course in Psychology before they can be considered for an intermediate level Psychology course. Thus, the introductory course is said to be the prerequisite for the intermediate course.

More information can be found in the Undergraduate Course Calendar and Graduate Course Calendar.

Course Load – Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate exchange students are required to be enrolled in full-time studies, which is equivalent to 1.5 Carleton credits or 3 undergraduate courses per term. Students are permitted a maximum of 2.5 credits or 5 undergraduate courses per term. Students must also follow the requirements set by their home institution with regards to their course load.

Course Load – Graduate Students

Graduate exchange students are required to be enrolled in full-time studies, which is equivalent to 0.5 Carleton credits or 1 graduate course per term. Students are permitted a maximum of 1.5 credits or 3 graduate courses per term. Students must also follow the requirements set by their home institution with regards to their course load.

Graduate exchange students should be aware that the availability of graduate courses (5000 level) changes on an annual basis and registration in specific courses cannot be guaranteed.

Note too that graduate exchange students are permitted to take undergraduate courses.

Course Registration

Initially, exchange students have registration holds which prevent them from registering in courses. Once a student has been approved and registered by Carleton in the minimum number of courses required per term, they will have achieved full-time status. Students will then receive an individualized email confirming their registration details. Upon receipt of this personalized email, a student will be issued a time-ticket and given access to the course registration system which will then allow them to make changes to their schedule if needed on their own.

Registration Resources

The Registrars’ Office has developed the following resources:

  •  Registration Terminology: definitions for the terms you will encounter when registering
  •  Registration Process: registration at Carleton is done through Carleton Central. Carleton Central is Carleton’s secure online centre for student registration and administrative activities.
  • Registration Support: contact the Registrar’s Office for support