Fall 2020 term – FAQ

Get answers to your questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact your studies this fall.

On May 14, it was announced that instruction for fall term courses will be provided through a combination of face-to-face and online learning. This decision is based on public health guidelines.

To ensure appropriate physical distancing, Faculties are reviewing their courses and have been asked to move courses to online/remote delivery where possible. 

Read the full announcement here.

Which courses or course components (lectures, labs, tutorials etc.) are online and which are on-campus?

Updates will be made to the course schedule. You will be able to see the format of your courses (on-campus vs. online) in your Student Centre by June 26.

Faculties are currently reviewing the fall course schedule and will determine the format (online, on-campus) for each course and course component (lectures, labs, tutorials). Each faculty will determine delivery options based on the requirements of each course.


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

No, you are not required to be in Calgary. However, your courses will 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 to be held at regularly scheduled times.


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 will be; however, these will be course specific, so please reach out to your course instructor.

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 will be available to order online through the UCalgary Bookstore, with free shipping within Canada on orders over $150. Digital options may be available for some courses. The rental and book loan programs will also be available. You can find out more at Bookstore’s COVID-19 Service Update.


Will I be able to access computer labs or library facilities in the fall term?

A decision has not been made at this time. More information will be posted on this site when available; please check back regularly.

We are currently developing our campus re-launching strategy following the guidelines provided by Alberta Health Services (AHS).  Once approved, we will open facilities in accordance with AHS guidelines.


Can I get a UPass for the fall term?

The UPass program will not be available for the fall term. You will not be charged a UPass fee. If you require access to Calgary Transit, you will need to purchase your pass directly from Calgary Transit or a retailer. Information on availability of passes can be found on the Calgary Transit website

Will residence be open for the fall 2020 term?

Yes. Visit the Residence Services Fall 2020 FAQ.


If students study from home in the fall term, can they move into residence in the winter term?

Yes. Residence can work with you to defer your residence offer to the winter term. Please contact residence@ucalgary.ca to advise us of any changes to your travel plans in the fall term.

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 once the details of the fall term schedule have been updated in your Student Centre (these updates will occur by June 26).  If you need to make schedule changes, they will be able to assist you.


Will my study permit allow me to take online courses this fall?

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 have not been 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.


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 for the fall term if banks in my country are closed?

The University is currently working on an alternative payment option for students living outside of Canada. Details will be emailed to students as soon as they are available. They will also be posted at ucalgary.ca/registrar/finances/tuition-and-fees.


If I start the fall term online and then am denied my study permit, what happens?

Please send your study permit refusal letter, along with your study permit application form and all the supporting documents you submitted with it, to the Immigration Advisors in International Student Services (issimmigration@ucalgary.ca). They will review your application and provide suggestions to improve your application for completeness should you wish to reapply for your study permit. A valid study permit will be required to take all in-person courses in Canada.


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 be 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 will 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 Grad Studies COVID-19 page. 

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 for the fall term?

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.


Can I defer my offer of admission?

We understand that this is an uncertain time.  We want to assure you that we will continue to provide high quality learning experiences – no matter how our programs are delivered.  If you are unable to begin your degree studies this fall, deferral requests can be made by submitting this form. Requests will be reviewed in late-June with decisions provided in late July. Deferral of admission is considered on a case by case basis relating to unforeseen, exceptional circumstances. Deferrals are not considered as a result of preference for course delivery mode. This includes deferral requests to start in the Winter 2021 term.

Students are strongly encouraged to request a deferral of admission by July 15th.

Approved admission deferrals include a deferral of university funded entrance scholarships.  Scholarships that are funded through donations and external organizations will depend on the terms of reference for the scholarship.  Please see your scholarship offer notification for additional details.


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

What tuition and fees will I be charged for the fall and winter terms?

Tuition and fees are approved by the Board of Governors and are determined by the number of units enrolled in and/or full-time/part-time status. A detailed list of approved fees is available in the University Calendar.

UPass: Since the UPass program will not be available for the fall 2020 term, students will not be charged the fall term UPass fee.


I have an RESP form that needs to be filled out. How do I get this done?

Check with your RESP provider to find out their process. You'll need to be registered full-time in both the fall and winter terms for the university to confirm your enrolment.

  • If your provider supplies their own form, complete the student information on that form, and then scan and email it to resp@ucalgary.ca. An Advisor will assist with our portion of the form and determine how it needs to be submitted.
  • If your provider does not have their own form, the Enrolment Verification Letter, which you can print directly from your Student Centre, might meet the requirements of what you need. Find out how to print your Enrolment Verification Letter.

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 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.