Discover what sets us apart

A world of ideas… to change the world

The University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual university in North America. It is also one of Canada’s main research universities, with solid partnerships and a reputation as a centre of innovation.

Its largest Faculty is the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Front view of the Faculty of Social Sciences building, YouTube icon in centre of screen

The Faculty's nine academic units are located in the heart of our downtown campus, in Vanier Hall and the Social Sciences Building. These two buildings rank among the country’s greenest; they are seeking LEED Silver and Gold certification, respectively. Virtual tour of the Faculty of Social Sciences building.

Students, professors and researchers benefit from a truly unique experience all year long. The city of Ottawa is a dynamic centre with no shortage of lectures and symposia. The downtown campus is just a short walk from some of the nation’s capital’s busiest attractions, such as Parliament Hill, the National Gallery of Canada, the National Arts Centre and many other places of interest such as the Byward Market and the Rideau Canal. The campus is also close to embassies and various headquarters.

With more than 260 professors and 10,000 students, the Faculty of Social Sciences offers a wide variety of opportunities to all.

Our undergraduate studies

Choosing to study in the Faculty of Social Sciences means choosing a high-quality education that helps students analyze the social dimension of issues and understand human reality in all its diversity.

Two undergraduate students studying in the cafeteria

We offer a variety of programs that:

  • Value interdisciplinarity
  • Give students many opportunities for experiential learning:
    • international exchanges or placements, the CO-OP program, field research courses, case study competitions, student-focused symposia, model United Nations courses, etc.
  • Make it possible for students to improve their second language skills through English- and French-language courses, as well as French immersion

Our programs at a glance

Undergraduate studies in social sciences make our students into committed citizens with a highly-developed capacity for reasoning and in-depth analysis and a full command of the latest computer and statistical tools. But our programs’ greatest strength lies in how they heighten our students’ critical thinking thirst for knowledge and community engagement, both at the local and international level.

Hear what our students have to say

Our graduate studies

Passion, curiosity and perseverance

These are the character traits that ensure our graduate students’ success. Choosing to undertake graduate studies is a decision that will change your life.  The research you will conduct will make you an expert in one or more areas.

Students from the Institute of Women Studies program talking and laughing

Studying for a master’s or PhD will give you a whole range of skills that are meant for the labour market. You will be the project manager of your thesis or research paper while demonstrating your independence and critical thinking. You will become an expert on your topic and find yourself in the middle of a rewarding community where you will discuss major issues and add new knowledge to existing theories.

From the time you’re admitted to the master’s or PhD program, your thesis or research paper supervisor will become your mentor. We’ve all gone down the graduate studies ro

ad and are ready to support you in this new adventure that is yours.

The faces of graduate studies 

Discover our disciplines

The world at your doorstep!

The Faculty offers the promise of rich intercultural exchanges. On the campus itself, students and professors from different parts of the country and from around the world enjoy a learning environment where Francophone communities and bilingualism are valued.

A student on exchange helps out local woman

At a time when globalization in all of its forms is becoming increasingly widespread, studies abroad are undoubtedly an asset in any job search. We offer four easy ways to experience learning abroad:

  • International exchanges: The University of Ottawa has more than 250 agreements with universities in over 50 countries. A hundred students from our faculty benefit from this program every year. Discover international exchanges
  • Unique field research courses: Our bachelor’s and master’s students can take courses in different countries, accompanied by their professor. They attend lectures by professionals and professors in their host country, visit local organizations and meet various stakeholders. Discover field research courses
  • International internships: Our 12-week international internships give students a chance to familiarize themselves with different social phenomena in the field as part of their program of study. Discover international internships
  • Model United Nations courses: These courses help undergraduate students gain extensive knowledge and experience in the area of international diplomacy and to become familiar with current world issues. The highlight of the course is participation in the prestigious annual National Model United Nations in New York City. Discover the Model United Nations course
Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ottawa means more than 260 researchers whose expertise is recognized both nationally and internationally. It also a number of research chairs, research centres and laboratories.

A Faculty professor works at the INSPIRE laboratory

Our researchers make a rich contribution to society, both through their knowledge, by developing theories and carrying out empirical studies, and through their practice, by the influence of their work on public policy and the resulting direct impact on individuals and communities.

In recent years, our research activities have grown at a phenomenal rate. Among other things, our professors’ external funding has tripled in seven years. Our researchers’ success rate in obtaining funding from agencies such as SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR is among the highest in Canada.

Explore the world of research at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Our links to the community
A FSS COOP student posing in front of her work station/desk

To educate tomorrow’s leaders, the Faculty of Social Sciences offers students a range of services and opportunities to enrich their student experience.

The Faculty relies on innovative initiatives and diverse partnerships (such as with the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement) to support the community while promoting social engagement and volunteerism.

Community Service Learning and the Co-curricular Record are two programs that offer our students a life and work experience that complements their classroom experience. As well, some of our programs offer a co-op option, which makes it possible for students to obtain work experience before they obtain their degree. This rich experience, which shapes character, develops independence and instills respect for intergenerational exchanges, makes our students stand out once they complete their studies.

Our students’ analytical and problem-solving skills, their co-op experience and their command of computer and statistical tools ensure they have a high placement rate in the labour market.

Learn more key facts about Co-op at the Faculty.

Our connection to the environment

Our faculty’s move to a building that is a national leader in energy efficiency has stirred our sense of responsibility for managing our collective environmental footprint.

A student and Gee-gee, holding a composting bin

We have made a commitment to develop projects and activities so students, professors and support staff can examine topics related to the environment together. Symposia, studies and waste sorting campaigns are just some of the initiatives we carry out every year.

In terms of research, many social sciences disciplines lend themselves well to exploring interdisciplinary questions relating to sustainable development. A growing number of our researchers are eager to work on this issue and they examine it both in their research and in their courses.

Given the size of the Faculty of Social Sciences, our central location on campus and our ability to attract students from all faculties, we recognize our responsibility to be a leader in adopting and promoting environmentally-friendly actions. We face major challenges, but we strongly believe in the benefits of interdisciplinary and intergenerational exchanges among our students, professors and support staff.

Learn more about sustainability at uOttawa

Our facilities
Exterior of the Social Sciences Building, picture taken at night

For the very first time, members of the Faculty of Social Sciences are all under the same roof, providing new possibilities for exchanges and collaborations to further research, teaching and learning.

The 15-storey, 25,299-square metre Social Sciences Building is connected by several passageways to Vanier Hall, home of the School of Psychology, bringing together our nine academic units and six research centres.

The Social Sciences Building offers visitors many well-designed spaces for discussion, work and relaxation. 

  • There is a satellite library on the second floor, making research and consultation easier. And since our computer laboratories are accessible outside of class time, students have unlimited access to specialized software.
A fss student mentor assisting another student
  • Our Student Experience Centre also offers considerable support to students, putting them in contact with student-mentors and offering them many workshops designed to support their academic success.
  • Finally, those who want to refresh themselves with a bite to eat and enjoy fresh fair trade products can visit an outlet of Quebec’s Première Moisson bakery located on the ground floor.
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