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Saint Paul University

Saint Paul University

Saint Paul University


Human. Open. Engaged. Spiritual.

Saint Paul University was the first post-secondary institution in Ottawa. More than a university specializing in the human and social sciences, SPU is a community.

Our goal: guiding transformation together to build a more humane and more just society on a global scale.

Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, Saint Paul University (est. 1848) is the founding college of the University of Ottawa, with which it has been federated since 1965. A bilingual institution, it offers undergraduate and graduate study programs.

Proud of its rich heritage, over the years Saint Paul University (SPU) has evolved into an institution whose primary focus is on the multiple facets of the human experience. Not surprisingly, that priority is reflected in our current study programs: in addition to our founding disciplines—canon law, philosophy, and theology—we offer courses in social communication, social innovation, transformative leadership, counseling and psychotherapy, public ethics, conflict studies, and human relations and spirituality.

Besides its academic programs, SPU offers a number of complementary services, including support and guidance to help students succeed academically and personally; access to symposiums, conferences, and workshops with distinguished specialists in the areas of issues facing today’s society; a student residence; and a library with an outstanding collection of documents and books on a range of specialized subjects.

SPU is known for its small class sizes, personalized service, diverse student population and international vision, solid reputation, rich history, and Catholic intellectual tradition.

The Saint Paul Experience

Different. And proud of it.

Academic Excellence

Through teaching as well as research, our commitment to excellence is embodied in our relevant programs that are focused on today’s social issues. Our graduates are equipped to meet challenges and find innovative and humane solutions in all sectors.

A smart investment = 2 diplomas in less time!

SPU’s tuition fees are among the most competitive in Ontario. Also, we offer an attractive college credits recognition program. This program allows you to enter the job market more quickly and better equipped!

Green space

Located in the heart of Ottawa, a stone’s throw from the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal, SPU is surrounded by greenery and small eco-friendly businesses. Our smoke-free campus is also home to a community garden and an organic café.

Human scale

Our approach is human-centered. We offer interactive teaching as well as access to professors and support staff that is second to none. The idea is to create a personalized university experience that fosters success.

Bilingualism and diversity

SPU offers programs and services in English and French, and approximately 25% of students are from abroad. Everyone can therefore study in the official language of their choice and broaden their cultural horizons.

Added value

Our concern for social justice, combined with our intellectual tradition, guides our thinking about the human condition and our plan for social transformation.


  • International students:


  • 0
  • Student to faculty ratio:

    10 to 1

Campus Features

Jean-Léon Allie Library and Archives

SPU’s research and workspace par excellence, the Jean-Léon Allie Library and Archives, is a newly renovated learning commons.

The learning commons brings together a number of services, including:

  • Writing help;
  • Counseling;
  • Orientation;
  • Time management workshop.

Indigenous Initiatives Service

The Service works to create a safe and appropriate space to support Indigenous students (First Nations [status and non-status], Métis and Inuit) throughout their academic journey.

Café Urban

It’s all fresh! SPU is the only university in the region that exclusively offers healthy fare prepared on-site using unprocessed ingredients. Our chef even stocks up in our community garden. Locavores, grab your forks!

The Oasis

Welcome, serve and celebrate: these are the fundamental values of Pastoral Services. The Oasis offers a range of activities: yoga, music, collective kitchen, spiritual support, volunteer activities, liturgical celebrations, and more. There is even a quiet room for silent reflection.


The campus residence includes 77 bright and fully furnished suites.

The best of both worlds

As an SPU student, you also have access to University of Ottawa services:

  • Health services (walk-in clinic, physiotherapy and massage therapy, immunizations, mental health services, and more);
  • Student Academic Success Service;
  • Courses;
  • Intercampus shuttle;
  • Sports facilities;
  • Library;
  • Sports teams (Go Gee-Gees Go!).


    Admission Criteria

    High School Students


    • Have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with at least six 4U- or 4M-level courses, including one course in English or français at the 4U-level;
    • Have an average of at least 70%.


    • Have a Secondary School Diploma that includes a Secondary V course in English or français;
    • Have an average of at least 84% in five courses, including the language course.

    Other provinces

    • Have a Secondary School Diploma, including one course in English or français at the Grade 12 level;
    • Have an average of at least 70%.

    International student

    • Have a diploma attesting to 12 years of education equivalent to the OSSD;
    • Pass a language proficiency test, if required.

    College Students

    Student from an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT)

    • Conditions:
      • Have done one year of studies at a CAAT;
      • Have an OSSD with one language course (English or français) at the college or 4U level.
    • Equivalencies:
      • Thanks to our transfer agreements, if you have studied for two or three years at a CAAT, you can obtain 30 credits, perhaps up to 60 credits, and complete your B.A. in two years.

    CEGEP Student

    • Condition:
      • Have completed 12 courses of general studies (excluding physical education and refresher courses), including one course in English (603) or français (601).
    • Equivalencies:
      • Thanks to our transfer agreements, you can obtain up to 30 credits, and even up to 60 credits, and therefore finish your B.A. in two years.

    Students from another Canadian province or territory or from abroad

    We will review your application based on your previous secondary and post-secondary studies.

    • Equivalencies:
      • Depending on your previous studies and the program selected, you could receive some credits.

    Mature applicants

    If your application does not meet the admission criteria, you can apply as a mature applicant.

    • Conditions:
      • Have not been enrolled in full-time studies for at least two consecutive years;
      • Have an experience that is considered sufficient preparation for pursuing undergraduate studies.

    College transfer agreements

    Apply your credits to your Undergraduate Program and earn your B.A. in less time!

    SPU currently has transfer agreements with the following institutions:

    • Algonquin College
    • Augustine College
    • Cégep de l’Outaouais
    • Cégep du Vieux Montréal
    • Collège Boréal
    • Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick
    • Collège Universel – Campus Gatineau
    • Heritage College
    • La Cité
    • St. Lawrence College
    • And more to come!

    Visa Requirements

    Get a study permit

    You can get a study permit issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to study in Canada, in most cases.

    Before applying for a study permit, you must be accepted by Saint Paul University.

    • Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements to obtain a study permit.
    • Collect the required documents to apply for your study permit.
    • Apply for your permit online or on paper. A fee of $150 CDN is required to assess your application. Note that the amount of this fee may change.
    • Consult the application processing time tool from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada for more information.

    Eligibility requirements

    You can study in Canada if you:

    • Are enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI);
    • Prove you have enough money to pay for your:
      • Tuition fees;
      • Living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada; and
      • Return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada;
      • Obey the law, have no criminal record, and get a police certificate (if required);
      • Are in good health and get a medical exam (if required);
      • Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires.

    Distance learning student

    Some distance learning courses include an in-Canada portion of the program.

    If the overall course of study is greater than six months, then the student requires a study permit for the in-Canada portion of the program, even if the in-Canada portion is less than six months.

    Scholarships and Funding

    Admission Scholarships

    Q. Who can get a scholarship?

    A. Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and international students coming from a recognized high school or college.

    Q. What kinds of scholarships are offered?

    A. Students can benefit from admission scholarships, excellence scholarships, external scholarships, travel grants, and much more!

    Pay for your studies

    Did you know that by registering at SPU, you can receive loans and scholarships? Check it out: you have nothing to lose!

    • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
    • Quebec Loans and Bursaries Program (AFE)
    • Student Financial Assistance – Government of Canada


    • Ottawa

      Saint Paul University 223 Main Street Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1S 1C4, Ottawa