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The 7 Best Colleges in Ottawa

Entering college is a huge step in one’s life and a very exciting one at that. If you’re having a hard time picking out which college to apply for, don’t worry! We picked out the top colleges in Ottawa here for you.

Also, we’ll give you a few tips on how to choose a college, the average tuition fee costs in Ottawa, and answers to some FAQs by the end. Stick around till then to stay informed!

How to Choose a College in Ottawa

Here are some of the things that you need to consider when choosing a college in Ottawa.

1. Academic excellence

Check if the courses that the college provides are high quality and have excellent teaching standards. You can always check official rankings and compare lists online and also their official school websites to gain more insight.

Colleges will have their strengths and weaknesses, some will excel with their accountancy programs while others will excel in a biology program. If you know exactly what program you want to pursue, then it’ll be easier to pick out a college that specializes in it!

2. International student support

If you or someone you know is an international student, this will be important. If the college has an international student program director, you’ll know they take it seriously. 

They should be able to assist with application, housing, orientation of the university and Canadian school system, and student activities, ensuring that international students get the support they need, especially if it’s their first time abroad.

3. Location

While living close to your college of choice is important, this especially applies to those coming from other areas in Canada or even overseas.

Take into account the distance from your housing to the campus, as well as the climate.

4. Tuition and Living Costs

Costs vary greatly from institution to institution, so you’ll need to take finances into consideration. Living and tuition costs tend to be more expensive in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, but luckily they’re not as high in Ottawa.

To save money, you can live a bit farther from the heart of the city (this works so long as the public transit isn’t too complex to get to where you’re considering living). Take your time to do the research so you can find a balance between a reasonable cost and accessibility.

5. Scholarships and Funding

For students with great academic standing and who need special assistance, scholarships and awards are available. The amount and inclusions of the award will vary based on the institution and provider.

Look into those offered by both institutions and private institutions, as slots for either will be highly competitive. While private institutions can reduce the tuition costs based on the student, public institutions will very rarely be able to.

6. Testimonials

If you know someone personally who has or is currently attending a college you’re interested in, ask them about it! Nothing is better than a first-hand account on what it’s like to be a student at the college since ads and websites rarely tell the whole story.

Bonus points if they’re from the same program you’re gunning for!

How Much Does College Tuition Cost in Ottawa

Here are the average tuition costs in Ottawa. Bear in mind that the actual costs will vary!

ServiceAverage cost
Local Tuition$6,500
Domestic Tuition$3,500
International Tuition$26,000

Top Colleges in Ottawa

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to what you came here for:

1. University of Ottawa

University of Ottawa
BEST FOR   Medical programs
ADDRESS75 Laurier Ave. E, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
CONTACT DETAILSUndergraduate admission: (613) 562-5700

Founded in 1848, it’s one of the oldest universities in Canada as well as the largest university with bilingual education in North America. Graduates from this university have a reputation of being excellent speakers and well-trained and educated in their fields.

The institution offers bachelor degrees, master degrees, and doctorate degrees in several areas of study. They have a comprehensive international students program and a selective admission policy based on a student’s past academic record and grades.

They also provide several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students such as a library, housing, sports facilities, financial aid, scholarships, exchange programs, online courses, and distance learning opportunities.


  • Wide variety of facilities
  • Nationally-renowned medical program
  • Member of U15
  • Has financial aid programs


  • Highly selective admission process


University of Ottawa has a solid reputation for its medical programs and for being one of the oldest universities in North America. Here are some reviews from students:

“We take all of our classes online in our department and the professors are super nice. They expect you to work hard, but they’re really helpful and chill.”

“Studying at Ottawa University has been a great experience so far. Having moved from my hometown, it required that I learn to be independent as well as study in a difficult field; i.e. civil law. My first year was very difficult but friends, hard work and perseverance made it work. Housing has greatly improved since the University added the Annex. The University’s overall student living atmosphere is good. Classes and teachers are interesting. The one thing we students complain about the most is the cafeteria food. It is not always the most appealing and the diversity is not the greatest. My return on investment I consider average.”

2. Carleton University

Carleton University
BEST FOR   Communication programs
ADDRESS1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS(613) 520-2600

Carleton University was founded in 1942 in Ottawa and has since provided resources to help with experiential learning with its interdisciplinary and hands-on approach to teaching and research. The University has 31,522 full-time and part-time students pursuing over 50 disciplines.

The institution also offers certificate and diploma programs to students in fields such as English studies, Economics, Accounting, Professional Writing, and more. The tuition fees are average and comparatively affordable for international students as well.

They have on-campus accommodation with annual residence fees covering the room, meals, technology fees, and other utilities. Facilities are said to be very comfortable and well-furnished.


  • Great extracurricular programs
  • Higher acceptance rate
  • Good on-campus accommodation


  • Complaints about lack of comprehensiveness and instruction in Psychology program


With great extracurricular programs and a higher acceptance rate, Carleton University is the choice to make for many local and international students. Here are a couple of reviews:

“Carleton has provided a safe space for my studies. It has provided resources for social and educational support. The professors in communication are open to provide support, and give opportunities for students to be their most successful.”

“I was welcomed and happy. I was well supported throughout my studies and the professors were great. Could do with more program choices though.”

3. Dominican University College

Dominican University College
BEST FOR   Philosophy and Theology
ADDRESS96 Empress Ave, Ottawa, ON K1R 7G3, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS(613) 233-5696

Dominican University College was established in 1900, making it one of the oldest in the country that offers programs in both French and English. They offer undergraduate and graduate programs in philosophy and theology, and many scholarships.

It has adopted one of the oldest models for theology and philosophy courses, that of the studium generale of the Order of Dominican Preachers of the 13th century.

The campus is diverse, multilingual, and is well suited for international students.

The admission process is entirely online with an acceptance rate of 60-70%. They accept students from all around the globe and allow students to work while studying if needed.


  • High acceptance rate
  • Online admission process


  • Very limited programs offered


If you’re looking for theology and philosophy programs, look no further than the Dominican University College! Here are reviews from a couple of students:

“As a transfer student in this university, I found that many of the teachers were very accomodating and willing to go the extra mile in enssuring I complete my education with flying colors! I could not have asked for a more helpful and supportive community as that of Dominican University.”

“Dominican is a very small school that provides the students with one on one interactions with their professors. The professors are extremely helpful and willing to go out of their way to make sure you get the education you paid for. The transition to completely online classes during the COVID pandemic was difficult for many students and teachers. However, it made the professors more creative with their lesson plans and the students had to develop better communication skills as in person visitation was not allowed.”

4. Telfer School of Management

Telfer School of Management
BEST FOR   Business, Management, Marketing
ADDRESS55 Laurier Ave. E, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS[email protected]

The Telfer School of Management was established in 1969. It is one of the only 2 business schools in Canada with the triple crown of accreditations (AACSB, Association of MBAs, and EQUIS), offering lots of research opportunities that allow for global recognition.

While they specialize in business and technology, they still offer many other programs such as Accounting, Business, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management and Marketing, Engineering Management, Human Resource Management, International Business, E-Business/ E-Commerce and Systems Science.

The institution currently has 4,300 students and over 25,000 alumni, many of whom have made waves in the world of technology and marketing. They have on-campus accommodations and great extracurricular programs.


  • Has on-campus accommodations
  • Affordable tuition and accommodations


  • Limited to business-centric programs
  • No financial aid programs (except scholarships)


With a great track record in producing movers and shakers in the world of business and tech, Telfer School of Management has a solid reputation as one of the top schools in Ottawa. Here are a few reviews from students:

“I am completely amazed by the MBA course curriculum. Various course-related activities are commenced on weekends which helped me to learn how to work in an industrial environment. Guest lectures are also scheduled. Not only theoretical but I am also gaining practical experience with practitioner-oriented teaching methods.”

“All that I can say is Telfer is a quality institute, being one of the very few triple accredited b-schools in North America. My GMAT score is 660 and I’m also very eager to apply to Telfer’s M.Sc. in Management. While placement is of course a vital issue, it is global recognition of the degree that matters most to me, as I want to return to India after completing the program.”

5. Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology

Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology
BEST FOR   Flexible learning programs
ADDRESS1385 Woodroffe Ave, Nepean, ON K2G 1V8, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS(613) 727-4723

The Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology was founded in 1967, it has 3 campuses within the city and has been among the top ranking colleges in the area throughout the years.

While they offer a multitude of courses, the institution specializes in marketing and development, and excels in terms of program quality for both its undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Thanks to their program quality and reputation, 90% of students find jobs shortly after graduation.

They offer multiple options for studying, namely: full-time online, part-time online, part-time on campus, and full-time on campus, and have a lot of different options for financial aid.


  • Option for online or on-campus learning
  • Affordable tuition
  • Flexible learning schedules


  • Small campus
  • Mandatory meal-plans for first year students (on-campus residence)


With their reputation as a trusted college, Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology has produced big names in different industries throughout North America. Here are what some students have to say:

“Throughout my course, I was able to gain experience working with the collection of artifacts, and a variety of materials, from wood, metal, plastic, and graphics, to paper, textiles, ceramics. All sections of the program worked closely with cultural institutions in the local area, where I had the opportunity to gain experience working with real collections in real settings. Apart from the practical experience I also had the theoretical classes as well.”

“This three-year diploma program is easy to cope up with if the student is regular with whatever is being taught in the class. The curriculum provides us with technical knowledge and skills to support curatorial and conservation activities in the museum, heritage, and cultural sectors. The diverse scope of the program also helps us to grab an opportunity to integrate learning in a variety of educational and real-world settings.”

6. Ottawa College of Homeopathy

Ottawa College of Homeopathy
BEST FORHomeopathy studies
ADDRESS210 McGillivray, Ottawa, Ontario
CONTACT DETAILS(+1) 613-241-0005
[email protected]

Founded in 1999 by one Dr. Shahram Ayoubzadeh, MD, ND, Ottawa College of Homeopathy first began its story under the name Canadian Homeopathic Institute. Since the time it first opened its doors to the public until now, the college has consistently inspired and educated aspiring homeopaths, offering quality education for a better future.

Despite the name change, Ottawa College of Homeopathy hasn’t changed much in terms of vision and mission, as well as quality in teaching. Education at Ottawa College of Homeopathy isn’t just enlightening, it is also a communal, friendly environment which supports and encourage each and every student.

Professors at Ottawa College of Homeopathy are all credited and licensed, each with a proven track record in their selected field. Aside from that, what drew us to Ottawa College of Homeopathy is their overall approach in teaching.

Ottawa College of Homeopathy endeavours to provide education that is comprehensive, clinically-focused, and personal. Lessons are carefully tweaked to match the students’ learning pace, enabling the students to thrive in their learning environments.

So, if you’re looking for a wholesome community of homeopaths that will encourage and educate at the same time, you may want to check out Ottawa College of Homeopathy.


  • Amicable and supportive environment
  • Clinically-focused learning
  • Licensed teaching staff


  • No other programs offered other than Homeopathy

7. International Academy of Applied Sciences

International Academy of Applied Sciences
BEST FORNatural Health Practitioners and Chinese Traditional Acupuncture
ADDRESS161 Greenbank Rd. Suite 201 Nepean, ON K2H 5V6 Canada
CONTACT DETAILSEmail: [email protected]
Telephone: 613-820-4046
Toll-Free: 1-800-267-8732

For complete contact info, go here

The International Academy of Applied Health is 100% Canadian owned and has founding roots in 1980. Since then, it has evolved into being one of the foremost academies in its field.

The Academy is unique in North America because of the wide range of teachings from the old and the new Natural Health Disciplines and its strict adherence to standards in the training of future practitioners in their chosen career in healthcare.

Through their curriculum, they aim to produce practitioners who can competently assess, devise treatment plans, and treat the clients with confidence. This is supported by the Key Performance Indicators, as shown on the website.

While the Academy attracts International Students, the majority of students are from the Ottawa area and are generally ones who have a goal for a ‘career change’ into providing healthcare for others, in regulated health disciplines such as massage therapy and acupuncture, or unregulated professions such as Personal Support Workers, Reflexologists, Iridologists, Aromatherapists, Herbologists and Natural Health Practitioners.

The Academy facilities house the International Academy of Massage, the International Academy of Natural Health Practitioners, the International Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the Meridian Educational Network (virtual home study learning).

Its new Academy premises have created a state of the art educational facility for both academic and skill development. Low cost, public student clinics are available throughout the year and can be booked online through the website.

While the website has a lot of information, you can receive detailed information for your program of interest, simply by clicking on the information request form.

Programs generally start in the Spring and the Fall.


  • Teaches both old and new practices
  • Offers distance learning options


  • Focused on natural medicine

FAQs About The Best Colleges in Ottawa

That concludes our list of the best colleges in Ottawa! We hope you found this helpful.

Did we forget to include something in our list? Tell us all about it, we’d love to hear from you!

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