Updates and FAQ

Find updates and answers to frequently asked questions for the spring/summer and fall 2021 terms.

Fall 2021 term

The university is currently planning for the fall term based on multiple scenarios. Because of the rapidly evolving pandemic situation and frequent changes to provincial health regulations, we have not yet made a decision regarding in-person courses this fall.

We anticipate that, as infection rates decline, we will be able to have predominantly in-person instruction. However, we will not make a final decision until the end of May, when we hope the situation will be more stable. In the meantime, students' course schedules includes tentative course delivery details that may change once this decision is announced.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to keep our UCalgary community as safe as possible. We will continue to post all the latest updates on our COVID-19 response page.

Spring/summer 2021 term

Find answers to some common questions about the current term. 

If all my classes are fully online, do I need to be in Calgary?

No, you are not required to be in Calgary. However, your courses require you to engage with learning materials, activities and assignments, so ensure you have access to reliable internet/Wi-Fi and consider any time differences if the classes you’re enrolled in are held at regularly scheduled times.


Are my online course components scheduled at a specific time, or can I engage with the course material at a time that is convenient for me?

This depends on the course and associated component(s) (lecture, lab, tutorial). Online course components (labelled as "Web-Based" in your Student Centre) are either synchronous (scheduled at specific times), asynchronous (not scheduled at a specific time), or hybrid (some meetings delivered synchronously, and some delivered asynchronously). Learn more, including how to check this information in your Student Centre, here.


Is the CR (completed requirements) grade option available for spring/summer term courses? 
As was the case last year, this option will not be available for the spring/summer term. However, the university is considering a permanent regulation to permit undergraduate students in some faculties to select the CR option in a defined number of courses in their program. We hope to have this approved in the fall 2021 term.


I am concerned that my assignments might not be received by email or D2L.
Our systems are reliable, but we understand your concern. Just to make sure, always use your UCalgary email and take a screenshot of the confirmation of upload to D2L and/or the sent notice in your email box. Please alert your instructor should you notice any discrepancies.


I am concerned about my academic accommodations for online courses.
Once you receive the revised course outlines, please review delivery methods and assessments to determine whether your accommodations need to be updated. If revisions are required, please liaise with your advisor in Student Accessibility Services. New students to UCalgary who have disabilities should connect with Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible to discuss their needs.


What technology do I need to have access to?

To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer that has a microphone and camera. You should also have internet/Wi-Fi access.  If these are not available to you, please speak with your faculty advising office.


What if I’m required to be on campus but live with someone who is immunocompromised?

The health and well-being of our community is important, and we understand your concerns. Where alternatives can be provided by instructors they are; however, these are course specific, so please reach out to your course instructor.


If my class is delivered online, do I still have to come to campus for my final exam?

No; if a class is online (listed in the class schedule as “web based”), the final exam/assessment is online as well.


What will the fall 2021 term look like?
The university has not made a decision on the delivery method (face-to face or online) for classes in fall 2021. This decision will be made by the end of May and will be communicated to students through email and on the web. 

Are services still available on campus like writing support, careers advice, etc.?


How do I purchase my textbooks if I don’t need to come to campus?

Textbooks are available to order online through the UCalgary Bookstore, with free shipping within Canada on orders over $150 before taxes. Digital options may be available for some courses. The rental and book loan programs are also available.


Can I access computer labs or library facilities?

Limited computers and study spaces on the 1st and 2nd floors of the TFDL are available and must be booked in advance. Book here

The TFDL is now offering contactless pickup for current UCalgary students, faculty and staff only. You can place requests for materials that you want online and pick them up when you receive an email.

More information is available on the Libraries and Cultural Resources Covid-19 page.


Is the Fitness Centre open?

The Fitness Centre is currently closed. For more information, visit the Fitness Centre and Active Living FAQ page. 

Students did not have to pay the campus recreation fee for the fall 2020 and winter 2021 terms. 

Is residence open?

Yes. Visit the Residence Services COVID-19 FAQ for more details on services, safety protocols and more. 

If I can’t return due to travel restrictions, can I change my schedule to be fully online?

We recommend you speak with your faculty advising office if your Student Centre shows that you have on-campus course components. If you need to make schedule changes, they will be able to assist you.


Will my study permit allow me to take online courses?

International students who are unable to travel to Canada in the fall are permitted to enrol at the University of Calgary as a full-time student and can take online courses from outside of Canada. Newly admitted international students whose study permit applications were not approved in time to travel to Canada to begin their programs of study for the fall term may also take online courses from outside of Canada without a study permit. Learn more.


Are there any travel updates for students planning to come to Canada?
The Government of Canada provided a number of exemptions to the travel restrictions for international students with valid study permits seeking to enter Canada. Learn more.


How can I make fee payments if banks in my country are closed?

The university has implemented alternative payment options for students living outside of Canada. This includes credit cards options through both WU GlobalPay for Students or CIBC International Student Pay. Details are available at ucalgary.ca/registrar/finances/tuition-and-fees.


For more information specific to international students, see the COVID-19 FAQ for international students.

I am a thesis-based graduate student. Can I continue my research?

Some university research has been designated as critical and has be allowed to continue on campus. In addition to the Critical Research Designation, the university will be adding expanded criteria for research on campus, in the field, or the community. This Expanded Research Designation will enable some time-sensitive research to continue that did not meet the Critical Research criteria. Graduate students who cannot make adequate progress without access to crucial research spaces and facilities may have the opportunity to be approved for an Expanded Research DesignationApproved graduate students would be allowed to resume research activities as soon as further direction comes from the university, and not before. Graduate students interested in ERD status should discuss their research needs with their supervisors. Applications for graduate student ERDs must come from their supervisors. You can find more information about the graduate student ERD process here.


I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GAT). Do I continue my duties as a TA?

GATs play a key role in supporting the delivery of courses in the fall. Due to the modified formats of many courses, GAT duties may be modified accordingly. Students can contact their Graduate Program Directors or Course Coordinators for more information.


For more information specific to graduate students, see the Faculty of Graduate Studies COVID-19 FAQ. 

I’m not used to studying in an online format. Are there tools available to help me?

The Student Success Centre has developed a number of resources and tools to help you adjust to studying and learning in an online environment.  Learn more.


I’m a new international student. Should I still apply for my study permit?

Yes, we recommend international students start the study permit application as soon as an offer of admission is received and continue the application process for their study permit.


Do I need a study permit if all my courses are online and I can stay home?

If you are remaining in your home location, you do not require a study permit to take courses online. However, we strongly recommend students apply for their study permit now to ensure there are no delays when there is an opportunity to return to campus.


For more information specific to newly admitted undergraduate students, visit the admissions FAQ page.

If I am sick, do I need to get a medical note or statutory declaration?

We have suspended requirements for students to provide evidence for reasons for absences. Please do not visit medical clinics for medical notes or Commissioners for Oaths for statutory declarations. Let your instructor know immediately if you are ill and cannot meet a deadline.

How do I access mental health support?

Student Wellness Service (SWS) uses single session counselling to provide faster access to support when you need it most. SWS also provides workshops and group support, supportive check-ins and problem-solving with student support advisors, online resources, brief ongoing counselling, and assistance with navigating campus and community resources. Visit the SWS website to explore self-help resources, and to register for a workshop or group. See all the upcoming events and workshops.


How do I form friendships and study groups when I can’t meet them in person? All my classes are online and I’m worried about feeling disconnected. 

You can still get involved in student life. Make connections through student clubs.

The Q Centre, Women’s Resource Centre, Faith and Spirituality Centre, International Student Centre and McEwan Students Centre are other great UCalgary groups to consider checking out as a way to maintain or create new connections with others.

Forming online study groups are a great way to keep in contact with other students from your course. It’s ok to discuss lecture content but always avoid having discussions about individual assignments that you are completing. If you have additional questions about maintaining academic integrity, speak to your course instructor. 


I’m feeling overwhelmed. I took spring and summer classes and am now looking at a full course load this fall.

Consider what your commitments look like in the fall. Speak to an academic advisor in your faculty on your specific options around course loads. In some cases, taking three or four classes instead of five might be an option. Three courses per semester is technically still considered full-time, but be careful about scholarship requirements, since many require four classes per semester. 

Make the most of your break between summer and fall classes with plenty of activities outdoors and making sure you get enough sleep.


I’m worried about my academic performance. What can I do?

Student Success Centre is here for you with advising, learning and writing support to help you enhance your skills for a post-secondary environment. 

If you’re a first year student, register for a Transitioning to First Year small group session to talk with a Student Success Centre representative about tips on how to study and more. These sessions run weekly and are on-going. Additionally, Student Wellness Services will be offering a Transitioning to University workshop, multiple times from late August through September. 

The SU also has a tutor registry to help students connect with their peers. 


I’m concerned about fatigue and focus during lectures. I’m on my phone and laptop so much already, what can I do?

Be mindful of how much uninterrupted time you’re spending seated. Try to schedule mini-breaks between lectures or study sessions that are away from other devices and incorporate physical activity.

Try not to prolong your time spent on devices if you can help it. Log out of social media accounts on your laptop, leave your phone in another room in the house while you’re in a lecture or studying, etc. 

Work out for yourself how much you need to have your video switched on in lectures or in meetings with other students. Switching your video off can help alleviate the pressure to ‘perform on camera.’


I’ve noticed my motivation drop and I’ve started procrastinating. I’m stressed about my fall semester commitments and not being able to perform. 

Stress around academics can adversely affect feelings of wellbeing. It’s good to be mindful and address this early in your semester. Student Success Centre is here for you with advising, learning and writing support to help you clarify your academic path and improve the skills to get you there. Find specific strategies and resources for staying motivated here.


I’m going to be living in residence and worry that I won’t be able to make the most of my experience. Will I feel disconnected from others? 

Living in residence means getting to live amongst your peers, engage in community, and seek support from other students. 

Physical distancing does not mean you have to isolate alone in your room; it means following Alberta Health Services guidelines while interacting with your peers. Residence might look a little different than before, but you will still be able to support one another personally and academically. 

We have a wide variety of programs in place to support student wellness, academic learning and safe social connections during the pandemic. Community Ambassadors (CAs) are returning to campus in fall 2020 and are excited to continue to support your residence experience. CAs are trained leaders who provide individual support and plan community wide programs. Residence staff are available to support you 24 hours/day. New this year is our Wellness Ambassador program, student leaders who live in each community and work with the CA team to plan wellness specific programming and support services for students. 

Residence Services COVID-19 FAQ

How will I receive notices about campus updates?

Email is the primary form of communication, so monitor your UCalgary email on a regular basis throughout the spring and summer. In addition, we recommend that you update your personal information in your Student Centre. It is important for us to have a current home address, telephone numbers and emergency contacts. We also recommend that you keep up to date with wellness advice from Alberta Health Services and the UCalgary’s COVID-19 response website.