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International University Foundation Program (IUFP)

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Please note, the International University Foundation Program (IUFP) is currently on pause and is not accepting new registrants at this time.

For more information, please contact

The International University Foundation Program (IUFP) is a foundation-year program designed for international students who have met Ryerson’s English language proficiency requirements but do not yet meet the overall competitive and/or subject prerequisite requirements for their chosen undergraduate programs of study.

The IUFP offers a combination of university degree credit and non-credit courses designed to help increase your academic readiness and to assist in your transition into the Canadian university landscape. You will have the opportunity to earn between four and six university degree credits, as well as to participate in a wide variety of extracurricular programming that strengthens your academic and personal foundations.

All applicants must meet Ryerson’s English language proficiency requirements. For students who possess the academic requirements required for their program but lack English language proficiency, please take a look at our ESL Foundation Program.

About the Program

The IUFP is eight months (two semesters) long, with an optional summer semester. It includes a combination of university credit and non-credit courses. Students in the program have the opportunity to earn between four and six university undergraduate degree-credits, which can be transferred across universities. In addition, students will benefit from learning essential university success strategies through non-credit foundational university academic preparation courses. The curriculum is complemented by an array of extracurricular opportunities, including mentorship, networking, career planning, social events, and cultural integration. The undergraduate degree program of choice begins the following September.

View Student Handbook (PDF)

Who is the Program for?

The IUFP is specially designed for applicants who demonstrate aptitude for success at the university level but whose applications would not be selected for undergraduate study at Ryerson due to competition. The IUFP provides qualified students with the opportunity to join the Ryerson community and enjoy success in their studies with continued support.

The IUFP is for students who want to:

  • strengthen their academic foundations and skills
  • get connected to social support networks and communities
  • learn to navigate university life at Ryerson and in Canada

Course Sequence

Courses listed below are for reference only. IUFP students will automatically be enrolled in all program courses.

Classes by Semester

Semester One

CLNG 121 Language and Society
CYSG 110 Academic Preparation


CPHL 214 Critical Thinking 1
CYSG 350 University Academic Foundations 3

* If upgrading in mathematics and/or science is required to meet entry qualifications to the undergraduate degree program of choice, the applicable courses will begin in this semester and continue in the next semester.

Semester Two

CSOC 203 Social Class and Inequality
CYSG 180 Academic Success Foundations 6


ONE elective from:

CENG 112 Zap, Pow, Bang: Pop Lit
CYSG 170 Academic Success Foundations 5


CGMS 200 Introduction to Global Management
CYSG 160 University Academic Foundations 4

Semester Three (optional) During the Spring/Summer semester(s), students will have the option of taking up to two additional degree credit elective courses through The Chang School’s offerings. Additional costs will apply.

Online Learning

How Does Online Learning Work?

Like classroom-based courses, online courses are led by expert instructors. You will have access to the latest digital tools and opportunities to interact with your instructor and fellow learners.

For more information about accessing your online course, visit Resources for Learning Online.

Online Learning Support

If you’re new to online learning or are taking online courses, there are tools and resources available to help you succeed.

The support team is here to help you with any questions, direct you to helpful resources, and give you insight into the online experience.

This short video features The Chang School’s Online Course Support Team, who are students themselves, giving tips for successful online learning.


Below are some links and FAQs that will help you as you transition to Ryerson.

The IUFP team is here for you every step of the way. We will act as your primary resource for navigating the online platform and are available at any point to support you should you have any questions or concerns. Everything will be delivered online - connect with your peers and a learning facilitator on Google Meet or Zoom. When you register, you will receive a link to join us virtually.

IUFP Resources

How can I connect with program staff and course instructors?

The quickest and most effective way to connect is by sending an email. Once you have done so, other forms of follow-up communication can be arranged (audio or video call).

Support Courses:

Each IUFP undergraduate course is paired with a support course (beginning with code ‘CYSG’) to offer students space to not only build on their knowledge, but apply it in practical ways. These courses provide an opportunity for you to re-focus on the core course material a second time each week as well as have the opportunity to reinforce the concepts learned in the degree-credit course. They will serve as a space to ask questions, engage in further group discussion, and exercise the knowledge you have gained outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Weekly Learning Labs:

In addition to your core courses, you will be expected to attend a two-hour virtual Learning Lab session every week. These sessions are facilitated by the IUFP Academic Support Facilitator and are supported by the Peer Mentors. They are designed to prepare you for success in your undergraduate program and courses and will ensure that you have plenty of opportunities to ask questions about the program and course content and assignments. These sessions will also serve as a facilitated “study hall,” where you are encouraged to work individually or with your peers on group assignments.

Appointments with the Program Coordinator:

The Program Coordinator will schedule introductory appointments with each student at the beginning of the semester to make sure you have all of the information and tools you need to begin the program on the right note. As an IUFP student, you are encouraged to reach out to the Program Coordinator with any questions or concerns you may have and a virtual meeting (via Google Meet or Zoom) will be scheduled with you as needed.

Appointments with the Academic Support Facilitator:

The Academic Support Facilitator’s main priority is to support IUFP students with their academic needs and will work with each of you to develop learning strategies and plans that will help you reach your academic goals and objectives. Introductory appointments will be scheduled in the beginning of the semester followed by regularly scheduled appointments thereafter, which are based on individual student needs.

Individual Appointments / Study Groups with Peer Mentors:

IUFP Peer Mentors are former IUFP students who have demonstrated exceptional academic performance and social capacity. Peer mentors are current full-time undergraduate students at Ryerson who have successfully completed the IUFP and are enthusiastic about contributing to the success of other international students like yourselves. In addition to supporting weekly Learning Labs, peer mentors provide academic tutoring to students, help to plan and organize social events, and facilitate one-on-one appointments and study groups, in which they work with students to identify and navigate academic and personal challenges and enhance integration.

Online Courses

Is there a possibility that the Fall 2020 semester will take place in-person should the COVID-19 situation improve?

No. The Fall 2020 semester for the IUFP is confirmed to take place online. We understand that travel restrictions and accommodations take time and advanced planning; as such, this will not change regardless of improvements in the COVID-19 situation.

What can I expect when I take an online course?

For information on how online courses work, visit our Online Learning Help Portal.

How do I get started in my course?

Once you are enrolled in an online course (this will be done for you during orientation), you will receive an email with instructions (provided a valid email address is on file, otherwise a physical letter will be generated and mailed out if a valid mailing address is on file). This provides information on getting started in your online course, how to activate your my.ryerson username, and how to obtain your required course materials.

Ryerson uses G Suite for Education as their online collaborative platform and D2L for courses. Will I be able to access these applications from my home country?

Ryerson will do whatever we can to support your access to our educational platforms. More information regarding global access to Ryerson systems can be found here. Please keep in mind that you may need to use a Google authenticator to log into D2L.

Can I complete the course work at my own convenience and pace?

Students enroled in online courses must follow the course outline, course schedule (including start and end dates), and learning modules as developed by the instructor and detailed in the course syllabus. Students must complete and submit assignments and write tests and exams when scheduled. If you are unable to meet the deadline, please communicate clearly to your professor directly to make alternative arrangements.

Who will be able to support me with online courses?

Our staff listed above will be available to support you through one-on-one meetings and learning labs that support your academic success. Students are also encouraged to engage their professors, teaching assistants, counselling services, mentoring, tutoring, and academic accommodation. Communication in an online learning environment is crucial – please do not hesitate to ask any questions big or small!

In addition to the IUFP team, you may also seek support from the Student Learning Support department at Ryerson. Learning Support continues to offer one-on-one appointments and workshops to support your academic learning over the phone and online. Book a 1:1 appointment for support with writing, math, English language, and study skills.

I am a student living with a disability. How do I acquire academic accommodations?

Ryerson’s disability services office, Academic Accommodation Support (AAS), works confidentially and directly with incoming and returning students who live with both temporary and permanent disabilities that impact their academic functioning.

Students eligible for academic accommodation support have singular or multiple disabilities such as learning disabilities, sensory impairments, acquired brain injuries, ADHD, and mental health, medical, and mobility issues.

AAS works with students to create and implement individualized academic accommodation plans so students can more fully participate in their studies whether at the certificate, undergraduate or graduate level. They work with any student who requires academic accommodation regardless of program or course load.

For more information on registering with AAS, click here.

Study Visas and Immigration Support

Who should I reach out to for support with immigration and study permit questions?

International Student Support (ISS) at Ryerson. We understand our international community is particularly impacted at this time – and we are here for you. In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health of both students and staff, we have implemented the following measures:

  • ISS remains open, in online formats, like many other campus support services. As things continue to unfold we will keep you all updated. Advising appointments with an international student advisor will be conducted via phone or Google Hangouts. You may submit status letter requests online by emailing the request form to Please note that our rush service will not be available at this time. If you are in need of a UHIP card, please complete this form your card will be emailed to you.

I have received a letter of acceptance, should I apply for my study permit?

Absolutely! Upon confirming your offer of admission to Ryerson, we recommend that you apply for your study permit as soon as possible. Due to COVID-19, many of the Visa Application Centres are temporarily closed, so at this time, you will need to apply online. To start the study permit application process, please create an online secure IRCC account, free of charge.

IRCC stands for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which is the government entity that processes applications to work, study, visit and/or move to Canada. You will proceed to answer a questionnaire that determines which application forms and documents are required based on your unique situation. Please complete the application forms, upload the required documents and finalize your application by making the study permit fee payment by credit or debit card within your online secure IRCC account. Upon paying the application fee, the application is complete and submitted for processing. Visit the International Student Support webpage for more information.

Can I start my program online outside of Canada if my study permit has not yet been approved?

While this fall will be different from other years, Ryerson has a comprehensive series of programs and supports available to help you transition to the university or welcome you back, wherever you are. In order to get your application in the queue, you should apply for your study permit as soon as you receive your offer of admission. With the majority of course offerings in Fall 2020 shifted to an online format due to COVID-19, students can choose to begin studying from outside of Canada if their study permit has not yet been approved. If you decide to begin your academic program prior to receiving your study permit approval, there are a few important considerations to take into account:

If your study permit application is denied, you may not be able to proceed with or complete your academic program when in-person classes resume. In this case, any request for tuition refunds, whether partially or in full, will be subject to university policy.

If you intend to remain in Canada upon completing your studies via the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program, you must have received your study permit approval before starting your online studies if you want them to count towards the length of your PGWP. If you begin your program before receiving a study permit approval letter, the time that you are studying online without this document will not count toward the length of your PGWP. For more information on PGWP considerations and distance learning, please see the section below on ‘Will taking courses online impact my post-graduation work permit (PGWP)?’

I’m an international student with a valid study permit. Can I travel to Canada right now?

The Government of Canada has indicated that international students who hold a valid study permit or have been approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020 when the travel restrictions took effect will be able to travel to Canada by air or land. Anyone entering Canada by air will be required to pass a health screening prior to boarding their flight and upon arrival in Canada. You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada, even if you have no symptoms. For more information on travel restrictions and exemptions, please consult the Implications of Travel Restrictions on IRCC Clients website.

Will taking courses online impact my post-graduation work permit (PGWP)?

If your courses have been moved online due to COVID-19, you are still eligible to apply for a PGWP. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated the eligibility requirements to reflect this change. If you have a valid study permit or have been approved for a study permit and are unable to travel to Canada to begin your studies, you are still eligible for a PGWP. You are eligible even if you begin your studies outside of Canada and complete up to 50 percent of your studies via distance education. If your program begins in Fall 2020 and you are completing your courses via distance education while outside of Canada, the time between the beginning of the semester and December 31, 2020 will not be deducted from the length of your PGWP.

Housing and Residence Life

Are Residences open for Fall/Winter 20/21?

Housing and Residence Life will be open for Fall 2020 at a reduced capacity and is currently sending offers for Fall/Winter 20/21. We continue to follow public health and governmental directives in providing residence spaces that follow the required social distancing and health and safety guidelines.

Can I defer moving into residence later, if emergency COVID-19 restrictions are lifted?

Housing and Residence Life will continue to offer spaces throughout the Fall and Winter provided spaces are still available. Please know that you are not alone during this time and we are here to support you. In your application, please be prompt to indicate if you would like to defer to Winter 2021 term.

International Students and Residence:

Housing and Residence Life is currently accepting applications for Fall/Winter 20/21. They continue to follow public health and governmental directives in providing residence spaces that follow the required social distancing and health and safety guidelines. Housing and Residence Life’s priority is to continue to provide residence. Our housing team will be in touch with all applicants as the COVID-19 situation in Toronto develops. For any questions or concerns about your housing application, please contact

Social Activities and Ryerson Community

I was looking forward to attending Orientation Week activities. Will I still be able to participate in some way?

Yes! The IUFP, along with the Central Orientation team at Ryerson, is committed to providing our students with the full undergraduate experience. We will be communicating updates regarding orientation week (including a full schedule) and other programming as and when they become available, so please ensure that you are checking your email regularly. For now, check the Ryerson Orientation webpage for updates on orientation week.

Also, we invite you to sign up for The Get Ryerson Ready Program to learn about your first year at Ryerson. The program offers events, workshops, and other experiences to help prepare students, their parents, and supporters for their first semester at Ryerson.

Will I still be able to participate in Ryerson Student Events?

Yes! Everyone and everything has gone online and there are plenty of social and academic events that you will be able to participate in. Please check ConnectRU which is updated regularly with upcoming events.


student testimonials

“Joining the IUFP was one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve ever had. It not only helped me adapt to a new education system, but it also allowed me to thrive academically and socially. I have met so many wonderful people through this program that have supported me and helped me become more confident in my abilities. The IUFP really helped me feel more prepared to pursue my post-secondary education. It allowed me to take courses that would be credited toward my undergraduate program and it gave me an idea of what to expect as a university student. The program provided me with all of the tools I needed as an international student in a completely new city and education system. The IUFP team and my peers helped me grow accustomed to the Toronto lifestyle, integrate within the Ryerson community, and become aware of the resources available to me. I definitely recommend this program to any and all international students. The IUFP is a welcoming, supportive, and amazing experience that helps you succeed in your endeavours, and makes the transition from high school to university much easier.”

-Dezerine Fernando (Sri Lanka)

student testimonials

“Beginning university after a gap year is nothing short of intimidating. I graduated from high school in 2017 and took a year off from school in order to travel, work, and relax. When it was time to begin my university career, the IUFP was definitely the best path for me. I knew I would be moving to a whole new country, where I had no family and really didn’t know anyone. I also had not been in a formal classroom setting for a year. The guidance that the IUFP provided, both socially and academically, was very reassuring. The IUFP truly provides a sense of community for international students. I was given several opportunities to enhance my academic skills under the guidance of engaged professors and committed IUFP staff, including instructors, an academic success facilitator, coordinator, and peer mentors. The IUFP also provided me with the opportunity to meet other international students, some of whom now are a second family to me in Canada. In addition to these aids, the IUFP has also helped me to learn about many of the academic and non-academic opportunities at Ryerson – all while getting to explore the vibrant and diverse city of Toronto. The IUFP is a great program for international students looking for extra academic and social guidance in order to ensure a smooth transition into university life in Toronto.”

-Tessa Seferina (Curaçao)

Program Contacts