In order to register in an ESLA course you must receive a placement at the ESLA course level and you must be admitted to the University as a:

  • Undergraduate Degree student (Admission Services, 315 Robertson Hall, (613) 520-3663); or
  • Special student (Registrar’s Office, 300 Tory Building, (613) 520-3500); or
  • Graduate student:  Applicants should contact the department offering the program they are interested in.  Processes and English proficiency requirements vary for each graduate program.

Students with an English as a Second Language Requirement (ESLR), for undergraduate/Special studies or graduate studies, will be placed into an ESLA course level based on the English test results that the student submitted as part of their admission application;  CAELTOEFL, or IELTS.  Test results are valid for 2 years.  The ESLA placement will occur either before admission (Undergraduate applicants) or after admission (Special Students and Graduate Students). Please note: Required CAEL Assessment scores needed to both satisfy the ESLR and for placement into ESLA courses are changing.

Once admitted to the university there is no additional application to an ESL program needed. Students register according to their ESLR in the required course level and maximum credit limit assigned on Carleton Central.  Placements are viewable under ‘ADMINISTRATIVE HOLDS’ on Carleton Central.  Please note course loads for Special students are limited to ESLA plus 0.5 credit in the fall or winter terms and only ESLA during the summer term.  During the summer term course loads for all students are reduced (see Students admitted with an ESLR section).

About the Courses

Each course is 1 term in length (6 class hours/week) and courses are offered during Fall (Sept. – Dec.), Winter (Jan. – Apr.), and Summer (May to Aug.) terms.  Visit the Dates and Deadlines for Fall and Winter and Summer term information and to view schedules and to find out more about availability see  Carleton Central.

Learn how to register in courses for:

  • Fall/Winter
  • Summer  (click on “Students Admitted with an English as a Second Language Requirement”)

For more information about fees for a 1.0 credit course (1 billing hour), visit the Business Office website.


Space in ESLA classes is limited.  Register as soon as possible.

Students planning to study in both the fall and winter terms, please remember to register in the winter term immediately after completing your fall term registration.  You do not have to wait until you have your fall ESLA final grade before you can register.

Students registered in summer ESLA courses are permitted to register in the next level of ESLA course in the fall and winter terms before they receive their summer ESLA final grade.

If ALL SECTIONS of an ESLA course level are full, please contact the program administrator to see about a possible waitlist.

Students admitted with an ESLR are required to study their ESLA course from their very first term of study. Any student admitted with an ESLR (Foundation Program required) who has not registered appropriately will be deregistered from all courses. This includes those students registered in credit courses without the correct ESLA registration, those registered in more credits than their “ESL Hold” type indicates, and those registered with out of date placements. It is the student’s responsibility to register appropriately.

Attendance in credit ESLA courses is mandatory. ESLR students who do not attend their ESLA classes may be denied access to future registration at the University.