The Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) Degree is offered through four distinct programs: Photonics & Laser Technology (PLT), Information Resource Management (IRM), Network Technology (NET), and Interactive Multimedia & Design (IMD). Enrollment in any of the joint programs meaning being a student at both Carleton University and Algonquin College.

The handbook is designed to help successfully manage your interactions with the two institutions. We've tried to keep things as simple as possible for you.


In general terms, BIT students have access to all student services on the Carleton University campus and to selected services on the Algonquin College campus; these include (but are not limited to) the following:


Students in either BIT program are governed by the policies and regulations of Carleton University; these policies and regulations have been set out in the Carleton University Calendar, a copy of which can be obtained from the Information Centre (Galleria, 4th Floor of the University Centre) or from the Student Academic Success Centre (Tory Building 302), or can be found on-line at


The majority of the courses offered in the BIT programs require that students purchase textbooks to further their studies in addition to the lectures. A list of books needed for a term is usually provided by the instructor of a particular course in the course outline. Students are normally given the option of purchasing their textbooks at the Carleton or Algonquin Book Store, at a third party book store, online, or used from upper year students. Bear in mind that instructors routinely upgrade to new editions of existing text books or change to a completely new one from year to year, and thus only the Carleton Book Store is guaranteed to have the correct books in stock at the beginning of every new school term. In the case where only a part of a text is required for the course, instructors will attempt to get permission from the publisher to make photocopied course packs available to students at a considerable discount.

Students should speak with their instructor before making the decision of buying either an older edition of a required text book or a substitute text. If older editions of a text are still permissible, students may also attempt to borrow a copy from the MacOdrum Library (if available) before deciding whether or not to purchase the newer edition.

Some courses, such as Physics also require students to purchase a lab manual and lab supplies such as report booklets. Lab Manuals for Physics courses are sold at the Sciences Store (118 Steacie Building); Lab Report booklets are sold at the Carleton Book Store.

Algonquin College also offers students a book and technology store. For further information go to

Computer Hardware


All schools involved in the IMD and NET programs provide access to a large number of computers both in class and for general access; these computers are normally installed with up-to-date software relevant to the courses students will take. However, some students like to purchase their own machine for a variety of reasons and should consider the following information:


Neither program endorses a specific brand of computer and a student's own preference and available funding will determine their eventual outlay. In general, we recommend something from reputable manufacturers, especially from the aspect of longevity, such as HP, DELL, Apple, and Lenovo.

Regardless of the manufacturer the computer should be a Laptop, Laptop/Tablet Hybrid, or a Desktop, due to the requirements of the courses. Net Books and pure Tablets are not specifically recommended as they lack the power capacity for certain applications.

Laptop vs. Desktop

The choice of purchasing a Laptop or a Desktop will depend on (a) cost, (b) handwriting, (c) weight.

  • Cost - generally laptops cost more and you will obtain less (for the same money as a Desktop), and in addition they can only be upgraded slightly (i.e. you can add memory, but most will not allow the swapping of the graphics card).

  • Handwriting - if you are not very good at handwritten notes, a laptop can be valuable in taking notes in class; they enable you to keep clear, searchable notes for the courses that do not provide them online.

  • Weight - most laptops weigh around 2Kg, if not more. The more powerful ones weigh even more (especially those with bigger screens and better CPU's and graphics cards); if they need to be hauled to/from class every day it can be a considerable burden.

If you have good funds, your handwriting is not as good as it should be, or you just want the convenience of everything being there, then a laptop can be ideal - but make sure the weight is acceptable to you (imagine carrying this everywhere). A powerful laptop is just an expensive desktop if it's always left in your room.

If you are not bothered about using one every day or think you will upgrade over time (4 years is a long time in terms of computer hardware) then a desktop can be more suitable; and just carrying a hard-drive to/from school can be sufficient.


A good CPU and plenty of memory will serve you well for 4 years; at least 4GB is recommended as of writing and more if you wish it to last longer. Consider getting 4GB now with space for another 4GB in a few years is also a good way to spread the cost. For a desktop, the Intel Core i7 is currently a good CPU to have; however you can compare a prospective purchase against other CPU's using the following benchmark ( ); the Core i7 975 is a good CPU to compare against.

Most hard-drives are of a sufficient size nowadays to hold the files that will be used; so speed is more of an issue. The Solid-State Drives (SSD) are very expensive, smaller, but very fast (and theoretically more reliable), the Western Digital VelociRaptor is a less expensive alternative - however the slower the drive the lower the cost. You might also consider two hard drives: one for the OS (which can be smaller and slower) and one for data (which can be faster) which would balance costs a little.

For the NET program a standard graphics card is sufficient. For IMD decent graphics card will help, although most intense applications will occur from the 3rd year - therefore it can be advisable to purchase a standard card now and then invest in a more powerful one after your 2nd year. Currently, a NVidia GeForce 5xx or 6xx series is considered around the level required, but power requirements need to be taken into account (i.e. make sure when purchasing the computer that the power supply meets the requirements of these graphics cards).


Regardless of the program you are in, you need to make sure you have the ability to backup your data - lost files, work, etc can have catastrophic consequences on your academic performance. Therefore it is advisable that you either have an external hard drive which you use for backup, or you backup to another hard-drive on your computer (we recommend daily). Make sure you take this into consideration when purchasing a computer system, regardless of your configuration, brand, or type.

Purchase Date

We often recommend that students wait until after their first year to purchase a computer; or at least until the first term is well underway. This will enable them to get a feel for how the program is set out, how they will use the computers available, and whether they feel the need for the investment. This will enable them to invest in a better computer when they need it most.

Computer Software

While the School of Information Technology has arranged computer labs for students to complete all their work during the school year, purchasing your own copies of the software to learn at your own pace at home or in your dorm room might be a wise decision. Some instructors also expect that most students have a working knowledge of the software before entering first year. Carleton University has agreements set up with software makers to offer students the resources they need at an affordable price. Software can be purchased at student prices at the Carleton Book Store (UC172). Some Microsoft software can also be downloaded through the MSDNAA program. More information can be found at .

The IMD program uses solely Windows 7 x64Bit and therefore it is expected that students should be able to submit assignments for this platform. Therefore the purchase of a personal computer or laptop should take this into account (e.g. it should be a Windows-based machine or a Macintosh capable of running in Windows Mode).

The NET program uses mainly Windows 7 x64Bit, but on occasions Linux, and therefore it is expected that students should be able to submit assignments for these platforms. Therefore the purchase of a personal computer or laptop should take this into account (e.g. it should be a Windows-based machine with the ability to run Linux if additional requirements are expected).

Other recommendations on software will come on a class-by-class basis due to the ever-changing nature of software it may be different year to year (at least in version).

Credit Transfer

There are two types of credit transfers that can be taken into account against either of the two programs; the process is slightly different for each and therefore they are setup accordingly.

Transfer of Credit Prior to Admission

Transfer of credit prior to admission is commonly referred to as "Advanced Standing"; if you have taken college- or university-level courses at Carleton, Algonquin or elsewhere before being admitted to BIT, you may wish to apply for credit against these courses toward your BIT degree. Only courses that are substantially and demonstratively the same as courses required for the BIT degree will be considered for Advanced Standing.

Please note that the transfer of any course that is not in the BIT program but was taken while you were enrolled in BIT is treated differently from advanced standing and is described in the next section (Transfer of Credit Subsequent to Admission).

Applications for Advanced Standing will be evaluated, on an individual basis, upon admission to the program and can be made only once.

Students who would like to apply for Advanced Standing should contact Admissions directly, to fill their application, and submit the related documentation to Admissions (it is no longer handled within the school)

Note # 1: You are strongly advised to register in and attend the course you are applying for advanced standing in. If you are awarded Advanced Standing, you are responsible for making the appropriate changes to your registration (via Carleton Central).

Note #2: Advanced Standing for non-Carleton courses is counted towards your degree requirements but grades for these courses are not counted into your CGPA. If you expect to be awarded Advanced Standing for one or more courses, please think ahead of time about alternate courses for which you may wish to register.

Note #3: Advanced standing is no longer handled directly by the School of Information Technology, please refer all questions to admissions

Transfer of Credit Subsequent to Admission

Transfer of any course that is not in the BIT program (i.e. non-BIT course) but is taken while you are enrolled in either of the BIT programs is treated differently from courses taken before you were admitted to the BIT program (discussed under advanced standing).

Should you wish to apply for a course that will be taken (either a Carleton University/Algonquin College outside of the BIT degree or at another institution) toward your BIT degree requirements, you must obtain a "Letter of Permission" prior to enrolling the course. Requests for a Letter of Permission should be made in writing to the BIT Joint Academic Council (which meets 4 times/year, during the academic year). Once approval has been secured, you must go to the Registrar's Office and complete the appropriate forms.

Note #1: A "Letter of Permission" is not required for courses within Carleton University as any permitted course equivalencies have already been established in the Carleton University Calendar (e.g. BIT2000 and STAT2507); i.e. if it's not written as being equivalent in the Calendar you cannot take the course as an equivalency

Note #2: Grades for courses taken outside of Carleton are not transferred – only credits



A co-op option is available for BIT students in either program. Students interested in co-op must:

  • Apply before the beginning of their second year through the Carleton Co-op website
  • Register and complete COOP1000 prior to their first Work Term
  • Have successfully completed all 1st-year courses
  • Be registered as a full-time student
  • Be eligible to work in Canada (for off-campus placements)
  • Have obtained and maintained a Major CGPA of 8.0 (B) or higher

Co-op Structure

The following is the preferred work term structure, variations can be discussed and need to be approved by the School of Information Technology's COOP Advisor.

  • Complete your first co-op term in the summer after your 2nd year of studies
  • Complete your 2nd, 3rd and 4th co-op terms in the winter, summer and fall after the fall term of your 3rd year
  • Complete your last co-op work term in the summer of before your 4th year
Coop Work Terms

Important Items

  • Students must register and complete COOP 1000 (the co-op preparation class) before they can apply for jobs, and before their first placement
  • Students must apply to be in the co-op program to be able to take COOP1000. Students are charged the first of 4 co-op admin fees while taking the on-line course and are required to have a SAT to participate in the co-op program
  • Students are permitted to apply for jobs in the term following the completion of COOP1000
  • The co-op option will add at least one calendar year to your program of studies
  • Co-op fees are applicable. Contact the Co-op office for details
  • You can take up to 5 work-terms, but only 3 (successfully completed) co-op terms are required for graduation with the co-op designation. Two of the work-terms must be consecutive
  • The Work/Study Term pattern shown above is the recommended pattern; other patterns are available, but require permission from the Coop Advisor
  • Terms are normally 16 weeks in duration
  • Meeting the above requirements only establishes eligibility for co-op; the prevailing job market may limit enrolment in the program
  • Applicants who were admitted to the co-op option upon admission to a BIT program must meet the above requirements by the end of the first term of their 2nd year

Work Term Reports

Students must submit Work Term reports based on the general requirements set out by the coop office and in addition fulfill the requirements set out by the BIT program which can also be found on the co-op website.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information on university regulations, courses, etc, please see the University Calendar

What are the alternatives to my courses?
What is a Course Overload?
What is Good Standing?
What courses do I register in?
Am I allowed to retake a course?
Why am I blocked from registering a course?
Can I do a minor?
What are Core Courses (for IMD)?
What is Directed Study (for IMD)?

What are the alternatives to my courses?

In general you should take standard courses in your program. In case you have taken some Carleton courses before coming to the program, or have failed courses and for some acceptable reason are not able to take them again, there are some alternatives.

What is a Course Overload?

The normal course load at Carleton is the equivalent of 2.5 credits in each of the fall and winter terms and the equivalent of 1.0 credit in each of the early and late periods of the summer term. A student is registered in a course overload if the student is registered in more credit equivalents per term than the normal load. Students with an Overall CGPA of 7.00 who have completed a minimum of 4.0 credits at Carleton may choose to register in a course overload, to a maximum of 0.5 credit above the normal course load for their program in each of the fall and winter terms and in either the early or late period of the summer term. Students requiring permission for course overloads beyond these limits should contact the Registrar's Office.

What is Good Standing?

The Academic Performance Evaluation is the annual assessment of the student's status in his or her degree. The first evaluation is made at the end of the winter term following the completion of a minimum of 4.0 additional credits. A completed course is any course registration, including repeated courses, that results in a grade or notation other than WDN, IP, CTN, AUD or DNC. The basis of the evaluation is the student's Overall CGPA, Major CGPA and, where appropriate, Core CGPA.

The status Good Standing signifies that a Performance Evaluation has found that the student fully meets the academic standards prescribed for the student's program and is eligible to continue in that degree. Minimum Overall CGPA requirements are:
  • 0 to 5 credits: Overall CGPA 3.00
  • 5.5 to 10 credits: Overall CGPA 3.50
  • 10.5 or more: Overall CGPA 4.00
  • Minimum Core CGPA for Good Standing in BIT programs is 4.5
The status Academic Warning signifies that the student's performance with respect to the academic standards of the degree is deficient. The student may continue in the degree but must clear the Academic Warning by achieving a Good Standing assessment at the next Academic Performance Evaluation.

The status Suspension signifies that the student must leave his or her degree for at least one year. Suspension occurs if at least one of the following conditions applies:
a) the student has an Overall CGPA that is less than 1.00;
b) while on Academic Warning , the student has failed to achieve a Good Standing assessment at the next Academic Performance Evaluation;
c) the student has exceeded the maximum allowable number of discredits for the program;
d) the student was Admitted with Additional Requirements and has failed to satisfy those requirements.

What courses do I register in?

Please see the "Course List & Schedule" for each individual program for complete list of the courses you need to register each term, including available electives.

Am I allowed to retake a course?

Yes, but keep in mind that it will replace the old record even if you get a lower grade.

Why am I blocked from registering a course?

The common reasons are year standing, pre-reqs, departmental limit, and course being full. If you have got permission or know you should have access to the course, the online system allows you to request an override.

Can I do a minor?

Yes. Depending on the program, you'll need to take 4 or 5 credits. You can use up to 2 credits from your BIT program courses that are acceptable in that program. You will not graduate until you finish your minor and major. Also remember that in order to take extra courses (more than 2.5 in fall/winter and more than 1 in summer), you need to have passed 4 credits and achieved an overall Commulative GPA of minimum 7 (B-).

What are Core Courses (for IMD)?

  • IMD: IMD-1000, IMD-1001, IMD-1002, IMD-1003, IMD-1004, IMD-1005, IMD-2900, IMD-3900, IMD-3901, IMD-4901, IMD-4902

What is Directed Study (for IMD)?

BIT-4000 is an individual study/project taken as one of your 4th year electives under the supervision of a faculty member. You need to get the approval of your supervisor before being able to register. Supervisor can be any IMD faculty member and the course can be taken at any time, including summer and not necessarily in the 4th year.

Student Cards and Identification

You will need to have both a Carleton Campus Card AND an Algonquin Student Card to move smoothly through the programs. You will have two student identification numbers also - one for Carleton and one for Algonquin. You will receive those numbers in your registration package.

Carleton Student Card

Once you have completed arrangements for fee payment at Carleton, you may obtain a Carleton student identification card (Campus Card) at the Campus Card and Information Desk in the University Centre (by the Galleria on the 4th floor). Carleton University also offers the option to apply on-line or by mail.

Please refer to the Registration Instruction Booklet for more information. This card is used for many of the campus services, so keep it handy throughout your studies.

Algonquin Student Card

Obtain your Algonquin Student Card by going to Room C044 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. You can do this when you are on the Algonquin campus for classes in early September.

Registration & Assistance

If you should have any further questions that the cannot be answered here, the School of Information Technology Administrative Group will be happy to answer your questions

Registration & Tuition Fees

Specific details of how to use Carleton Central are found in the Registration Instructions Booklet and on the Registration website . Visit the Registration Web site often, as information and instructions will be updated regularly. For assistance, contact the Registrar's Office at Carleton University.

Tuition and incidental fees for the BIT programs are approved by the Carleton Board of Governors and are paid to Carleton University.


New Students

Carleton University has a range of support services for new students, including a registration assistance service, and orientation activities, and the first year experience office (FYEO) occurring throughout the summer. For more information on these activities and services please see the Carleton Orientation website.

Program Coordinators

Your first port of call for academic assistance, relating course selection, issues, and choice of electives, should be to the program coordinators (each program has two coordinators, one from Carleton and one from Algonquin). Currently those coordinators are:

  • IMD Coordinator - Audrey Girouard (Carleton); John Willman (Algonquin)
  • NET Coordinator - Marc St-Hilaire (Carleton); David Bray (Algonquin)
  • PLT Coordinator - Christopher Smelser (Carleton); Wahab Almuhtadi (Algonquin)
  • IRM Coordinator - N/A (Carleton); Helena Merriam (Algonquin);

Student Academic Success Centre (SASC)

Academic advisors in SASC are ready to assist you with your academic questions and any problems that may arise later in the year. First-year students who have not yet registered are expected to use the New Student Registration Assistance Service described on this page. However, if you have been granted credits upon admission to the BIT program, you may wish to make an appointment with an academic advisor. To schedule an appointment, please call the Student Academic Success Centre (613) 520-7850 or send an email to

Registration Assistance

If you are having difficulty using the Carleton Central Registration System, you may call the Registrar's Office (613) 520-3500 or send an email to, Monday to Friday (8:30am to 4:30pm EDT)

Work-Study Positions

Work-Study positions in the School of Information Technology are available through the Awards Office. Students who qualify for OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) may also qualify for work-study. Look for a general "Undergraduate Network Support" job description over at the Awards Office that reports to the Office of the Dean of Engineering. The procedure is as follows:

  • Go to the Awards Office and apply for Ontario Work Study Program (OWSP)
  • The Awards Office either accepts or rejects the student based on their qualifications and available of positions. If a student is accepted into OWSP, they receive a signed form from Awards
  • The student brings the form to the representative offering the position in the School of Information Technology, where s/he is interviewed. If accepted, the form is signed and returned to Awards Office
  • Students work out their hours (Sept to March) with the representative
  • Students who do not qualify for OWSP can still join the computer support team, but on a volunteer basis. Since the experience they receive is excellent, many students prefer this option

Residency + Meal Plans

Carleton Residency

Students in any of the BIT programs will be offered residence space at Carleton if they are eligible for a residence offer.

Your meal plan will be effective on Carleton's campus only, so choose one that takes into account the number of meals for that you will be off-campus.

Algonquin Residency

As you will take the majority of your classes at Carleton, it is advisable to obtain a place there; however should you wish to reside on the Algonquin college, the following information is useful:

Algonquin's Woodroffe campus in Ottawa has three residence facilities with a total of 525 two-bedroom suites, accommodating up to 1,050 students. Furnished suites include telephone service, high-speed Internet access, cable TV, utilities and light housekeeping. All residence facilities have 24-hour security services, controlled-access entry and an on-site counsellor. Each residence features laundry facilities, common lounges and a games room with a pool table and big-screen TV.

For more information on residence life and to find out how to apply, contact:

Algonquin College Residence
1385 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON, K2G 1V8
Phone: 613-727-7698
Fax: 613-727-7647

Algonquin Food and Beverage Operations is pleased to offer a variety of meal plans to suit your eating habits and your wallet.

Our Meal Plans work on a declining balance system using your Algonquin Student ID Card. When you purchase your Meal Plan, food dollars are deposited into your account. Once you have chosen your meal plan, you simply present your Algonquin Student ID card to the cashier at any of our seven food locations. The appropriate food dollars from your selected meal plan will be deducted from your account. You may ask the cashier for a receipt after any purchase to view the balance available on your Meal Plan.

Email: or call 613-727-4723 ext. 7615, or 1-800-565-4723 ext. 7615