Student information

Whether you are a Graduate Student or an Undergraduate Student, we want to make sure you have the most recent information to continue or begin your studies at uOttawa, given the current pandemic. Make sure to visit this page regularly as useful updates can help you navigate all of the opportunities to participate in learning, receive support and connect with our University community at this challenging time. The University remains committed to continuing to offer you a world-class education. Like you, we believe it is best to keep a positive outlook and to keep moving forward.


Update - October 15, 2020 at 12:02 p.m.

The University has made the difficult decision to cancel in-person international mobility for the winter term 2021. This applies to all outgoing and incoming students, for research internships, coop terms, field research courses, etc. As the pandemic is escalating at different rates and times around the world, we have assessed that the risks remain too high to allow our students to travel during the winter 2021.

The various units responsible for coordinating these mobility opportunities are working closely with their students to find alternatives and/or postpone their international experience.  We encourage students who are affected by this decision to contact their academic or administrative units to coordinate the next steps.

Some people may be authorized to travel on an exceptional basis for research purposes or to conduct field work that is considered essential. We are currently developing a formal travel review process, in consultation with key mobility stakeholders.

Students whose essential travel is urgent should request an exception by contacting the Student Safety Abroad Advisor at uointl@uOttawa.ca.

For any additional questions or concerns, please contact the International Office at uointl@uottawa.ca.


FAQ

Academic information

How will 2021 winter term courses be taught, and when will I know whether my course is being taught in person or online?

(Updated on Octobre 2, 2020)

On September 21, the University took a difficult decision: distance learning methods will be used to teach most 2021 winter term courses. However, the information on our website and in the Student Centre app needs to be updated to reflect this. We are making every effort to update this information as quickly as possible, but this major update will take some time.

However, by November 1 at the latest, you should be able to see exactly which courses will be taught in person and which will be taught through distance learning. Moreover, the teaching method should not affect the course day or time.

Please note that changes in course teaching methods could cause your statement of account for the 2021 winter term to fluctuate temporarily, so we ask that you wait until November 1 before checking your account.

What platforms are used for online learning?

(Updated on October 14, 2020)

The University offers and supports 3 web conferencing technologies, Zoom, Adobe Connect and MS Teams. To learn more about each of these technologies, please visit the TLSS web page on web conferencing tools.

Teachers also have the option of using other platforms that are more suitable for online learning in certain courses. Check with your teacher which platform they prefer. If you want to access tutorials and training material on these platforms, you can access them from the “Technology” section of the Academic GPS.

For any information or support for the use of online learning technologies such as Zoom, Adobe Connect and MS Teams, book an appointment with a tech advisor from the Virtual Help Desk (“Technology” section of the Academic GPS), or contact Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) at: saea-tlss@uOttawa.ca

What is exam monitoring software Respondus?

(Updated on Octobre 2, 2020)

Beginning in the fall term it is up to individual professors to use – or not use – Respondus in their courses. Respondus is available to professors as one evaluation option but its use is not required. Each professor is free to use Respondus or to choose alternate evaluation tools or approaches if they wish.

Professors who choose to use Respondus in their courses are required to inform their students of this choice at the beginning of term, as well as to offer them an alternative and equally valid form of performance evaluation. All students will be free to choose not to use Respondus and to make use of these alternative evaluation methods.

Students requiring accommodation will be able to access additional support upon request to ensure that they can use Respondus if they wish to do so.

Additional funds will be available to students in need who do not have access to the equipment necessary to use Respondus (eg. webcams). In order to uphold uOttawa’s high standards of academic integrity while also ensuring the privacy of our members, Respondus meets the University's computer security and privacy standards. You can learn how to use the software and more by visiting the Respondus resources page and on our website. For more information, please contact us at saea-tlss@uOtttawa.ca.

How are courses delivered in the Fall term?

(Updated on October 1, 2020)

The majority of faculty, students and staff will continue to work and study at home and off campus this fall.

We have adopted a flexible approach towards learning and student life to ensure that you can move forward with your studies no matter what situation we face regarding the pandemic.

Therefore, all our courses, with some exceptions, include an online or distance-learning option this fall. Whether you are an international student or a Canadian who cannot come to Ottawa, you are able to learn from home without having to be physically present on campus.

Some key points:

  • Many of your courses could be offered in person if public health directives on physical distancing allow us to do so. In this situation, students who prefer to learn in person will be able to, provided that the Faculty considers this a possibility;
  • If you sign up for an online course and this course ends up being offered in person, you will not be required to show up in person if physical distancing guidelines are lifted. Once you enrol in an online course, you have the option to complete it via distance learning, if that is your preference;
  • Professors are being strongly encouraged to make as much of their course material and assignments available online so you can catch up if you can’t attend the class in real time. If you’re not in the same time zone as uOttawa or you run into connection problems, you will be able to work on your courses at a time that suits you. We’re doing our very best to make your online experience as pleasant as possible. Whether you’re studying on campus or online, locally or from any distance, there will also be academic support available to accompany you in this new and exciting university experience

One thing is certain: You will be able to study in your chosen field, learn from passionate educators, and earn the units and qualifications you need.

During the Spring/Summer term, we delivered most courses through distance learning and we will continue to innovate.

What are my options if I have an in-person course in Fall 2020?

(Updated on October 1, 2020)

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has been working diligently to ensure that you can pursue your studies.

The situation continues to evolve. Here are some key points to consider if you are enrolled in an in-person course:

  • The University is closely following public health directives and has strengthened its cleaning protocols substantially. Students coming to campus must complete online COVID-19 training and comply with basic safety measures such as wearing a mask in all indoor common areas and maintaining physical distancing.
  • Since the beginning of the term, professors have been sending students additional information about how their specific courses are taught.
  • Whether you’re studying on campus or online, locally or from any distance, there will be academic support available to accompany you in this new and exciting university experience. Here are a few key resources :
  • Academic Writing Help Centre
  • Regional and International mentors
  • Faculty mentoring centres
How do I check if my course is offered in-person or online?

To confirm the method of teaching for your course, please follow these steps:

  • Go to uOzone and check My Class Schedule
  • Select the Fall 2020 Term
  • You will see a list of your courses. Click on the code in the Section column to see further information about each course

In the Class Details box, the Instruction Mode will indicate whether your course is given online or in-person.

What technical requirements do I need to study online?

Here are minimal technical requirements for distance learning at the University of Ottawa:

  • A PC running Windows 7 (or more recent operating system); or
  • An Apple computer running Mac OS 10.12 (or more recent operating system)
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • An Internet connection: 2 MB/s (5 MB/s or more is recommended)
  • Microsoft Office
    • Can be downloaded through your University of Ottawa account (https://portal.office.com)
  • Microphone for teleconferencing
  • Camera for teleconferencing
  • Adobe Connect
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Antivirus software


Be aware of these minimum requirements and prepare by getting your computer hardware, and downloading the software listed above, before classes begin. Although this list is not complete, it does include the basic, more frequently used tools you will need for distance learning. 

If you have any questions, or need technical support, feel free to contact the University’s IT Services for students.

Are there any changes to tuition fees for Fall 2020?

(Updated on October 1, 2020)

No. Fall term will be is offered mainly via distance learning. Tuition fees remain the same.

We will continue to meet the same high academic standards that the University of Ottawa is known for worldwide.

We fully appreciate that you are living through an unprecedented situation. In response, we have made a few important changes to our tuition payment deadlines and to other fees.

Changes to Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 fees

University fees for the 2020-2021 academic year remain in line with the provincial framework. We appreciate that the current exceptional circumstances impose extra financial burdens on our students. This is why the University has examined at all options and made the following changes:

Deadline: We have extended the tuition payment deadline to Friday, October 2, 2020. In fact, from now on, the deadline to pay tuition fees will be the same as the deadline to withdraw from a course or an activity and receive a financial credit. This applies to both the Fall and Winter terms (see important dates and deadlines for details).

U-PASS: Only full-time students who are taking at least one in-person class in the Fall 2020 term will be are charged the fee for the Fall/Winter U-Pass. If you are full-time and not charged this fee but want the U-Pass, you can opt in by using the application in uoZone. All full-time students will be charged the U-Pass fee for the Winter 2021 term; however, you now have the option of paying this fee with your Winter tuition. On your Statement of Account, you can see the deadline for each fee.  You will receive an email with more information about the U-Pass in the next few days.

Sports services: While we are not yet able to offer our full complement of sports services, as of early September, we will open sports facilities (pool, gyms, intramurals, conditioning centre) are open, albeit in compliance with public health guidelines. We will also offer an extensive list of virtual classes. For these reasons, we have reduced the sports services fee by 50% for the Fall term.

Ancillary fees: UOSU and GSAÉD will still be are offering services in the Fall term; therefore, we will continue to collect are collecting appropriate fees. Some exceptions apply, such as certain Graduate Students Association (GSAÉD) fees. For a complete list, see Ancillary fees.

Can I get a bit of leeway on when I pay Fall 2020 tuition fees?

We have extended the tuition payment deadline to Friday, October 2, 2020. In fact, from now on, the deadline to pay tuition fees will be the same as the deadline to withdraw from a course or an activity and receive a financial credit. This applies to both the Fall and Winter terms (see important dates and deadlines for details).

What is Brightspace and how does it work? I’ve never used it.

Brightspace is uOttawa’s virtual campus. It is a web platform that provides access to course websites and online learning resources through a single portal.

Information on how to access and use it can be found on the Teaching and Learning Support Service website.

What should I do if I have a technical problem, if I cannot connect to Brightspace?

You can get help if you have a technical problem by calling 1-866-811-3201 or by using the online form.

What do I do if I am sick and have to miss and exam or an assignment?

If you cannot participate in course learning activities, write an exam or hand in an assignment for medical or other reasons due to COVID-19 or another illness, please follow the procedure identified in the academic regulations (see. 9.5).

What kind of support is available to help with my courses?

To support students with their academic success, the University launched in September the Academic GPS, a single web page that gives direct access to mentors and writing advisors, workshops, study groups, student services, tech support, and more! This also includes a chat service available 7 days a week, from 7am to 9pm.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Please see this helpful list of links to important information that can help you apply for funds:

Events on campus

Will admission events take place? Are they postponed or canceled?

In-person events on and off campus (including international events) have been replaced with an extensive series of virtual events that will take place throughout the Fall.

Our virtual information sessions which run from September 28 to December 3 are a great way to get an early start on plans for your future university studies. These sessions will give you an overview of everything the University of Ottawa has to offer as well as the focused, specific information you need.

We also have four Fall Virtual Open Houses for you to choose from! These are the most popular events in our calendar and participants always find the information they are looking for. We’ll be giving you the full picture about the University of Ottawa as well as an in-depth look at Faculty programs, admissions steps, scholarships, experiential learning and much more, all in the form of live online presentations and virtual kiosks.

Check details and register here!

Sign up for our mailing list to receive information and updates about admission deadlines and invitations to special events.

If you are an international student, please sign up here to receive information and updates!

What type of social activities can I expect to see during the year if social distancing measures are still in place?

All our programming and events will be planned to comply with physical distancing requirements. Virtual and online activities are being planned; these include concerts, virtual pet therapy, game nights, virtual escape rooms, fitness classes, and wellness webinars, to name a few.

Will Fall convocation ceremonies be canceled?

The University of Ottawa proudly announced that the Fall 2020 Convocation will be held on November 1, 2020 virtually due to the current situation generated by COVID-19.

These ceremonies will be webcast live on the Convocation website and the University of Ottawa YouTube channel at the times listed below:

  • Ceremony I – 1 pm: PhD Graduates (All Faculties)
  • Ceremony II – 4 pm: Sciences Cycle 1 & 2 (faculties of Engineering, Health Sciences, Science and Medicine)
  • Ceremony III – 7 pm: Humanities Cycle 1 & 2 (School of Management, faculties of Law, Education, Social Sciences and Arts)

International Students

As an international student, how does the COVID-19 situation impact my immigration status?

Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ section of the International Office’s Immigration webpage.

University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

Do students living in the Outaouais region have UHIP coverage?

The University of Ottawa’s physical proximity with the province of Quebec (Outaouais region) coupled with the significant number of international students electing to reside there highlights the importance of this question. Sun Life has agreed to extend the Ontario provisions of the contract to the Outaouais region as per the request of the University of Ottawa. It is preferable to be treated on the Ontario side; however, the Quebec RAMQ listing will be respected in the Outaouais region.

Will International students who are still in Canada due to travel restrictions/closures still have UHIP coverage?
  • Exchange students who finished their term on April 30th, 2020 and requested an extension* of UHIP have full UHIP coverage until April 30th, and extension* coverage until June 30th, 2020.
  • Regular students enrolled in a program who finished their term on April 30th and
    • are on a scheduled break, or
    • are enrolled in courses, or
    • are on an approved leave of absence**,
    this spring/summer term 2020; they have full UHIP coverage until August 31st, 2020.
  • Regular students who have finished all the requirements of their program on April 30th, and have requested an extension of UHIP coverage, have full UHIP coverage until April 30th, 2020 and extension* coverage until August 31st, 2020.

UHIP coverage for the 2020-2021 academic calendar

  • Full UHIP coverage for students who enroll full time in the fall 2020 term will be renewed automatically, for the three terms (fall 2020, winter 2021, and spring/summer 2021) after they register for fall courses.
  • UHIP coverage for regular students who have finished all the requirements of their program on August 31st, 2020; have full UHIP coverage until August 31st, 2020, and they can request to have extension* coverage until December 31st, 2020.
  • Regular students who register in the fall 2020 term and will finish all the requirements of their program on December 31st, 2020, have full UHIP coverage until December 31st, 2020, and they can request extension* coverage until June 30th, 2021.

*Please note that UHIP coverage during an extension is limited to emergencies only.

**Please consult the International Office (uointl@uottawa.ca) for details on the requirements to maintain UHIP coverage during an approved leave of absence.

Campus

Is the campus closed and if not, is it safe for employees to come on campus?

Based on the most recent changes to COVID-19 related restrictions, only authorized people are permitted on the campus.

I still need to use the transit system, what are my options?

Check the OC Transpo website for information on transportation in Ottawa. Check the STO website for information on transportation in the Outaouais region.

How can I get or replace my uOttawa student card?

You can get a student card at InfoService. If you can’t come to campus now, just pick up your student card when you can. If you need to replace a lost or stolen card, follow the instructions on lost or stolen uOttawa cards. Note that student cards will not be mailed.

Visit the uOttawa Card website for more information.

What can I expect if I come to campus?

(Updated on October 1, 2020)

Students who are on campus and attending classes, must wear a mask or face covering in common spaces on campus. This includes classrooms, hallways, elevators, kitchens, etc. This decision is in accordance with public health measures in Ontario.

Residence

Will residences remain open?

2020-2021 Academic Year: Even though nearly all courses will be delivered with distance-learning options for the fall term, students can still choose to live in residences. Public health authorities have recently approved a plan to reopen residences for the academic 2020-2021 year.

Visit the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Housing Questions for more information.

I live in residence and think I may have flu-like symptoms. What should I do?

Everyone is asked to self-monitor their health. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, please contact a public health official.

Ontario residents may contact Telehealth Ontario toll free: 1-866-797-7000 or TTY: 1-866-797-0007.

You have an obligation to contact Housing Services at (613) 462-7221 if you are self-isolating.

How will I be supported if I am self-isolating?

Someone from Housing Service will be in contact with you at regular intervals during your self-isolation. Please do not leave your room; meals will be provided to you. A detailed information sheet will be provided to all students who are self-isolating. You must follow Ottawa Public Health guidelines on self-isolation.

What number do I have to call if I need help?

Students living in residence can call 613-562-5885 for general questions.

For emergencies, please contact Protection Services at 613-562-5411.

Can I still live in residence if I take all my courses online?

Yes, you can still live in residence and take all your courses online if you wish.

However, given the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be new criteria for staying in residence. These criteria have not yet been finalized and approved.

If you have more questions regarding staying in residence in the fall, take a look at the COVID-19 FAQ for future residents.

Travel in Canada and abroad

The University remains committed to the benefits of internationalization and enhancing its reputation as a world-class teaching and research institution. We appreciate the considerable international expertise of our community and recognize that certain essential travel may be required even in a pandemic.  We continue to work closely with public health authorities to protect both our community and the community at large.

Effective immediately, the University is lifting the international travel restrictions for faculty and staff provided that travellers follow local health guidelines during their trip and when returning to Canada. Travellers must research and accept the inherent risks involved in their trip, plan appropriate time and resources for quarantine and potential trip delays or cancellations.

Faculty and staff are required to register official trips with the University so that we can contact you in an emergency and introduce you to the full range of services available to you through International SOS. Domestic travel and off-campus activities are permitted, if they are carried out in accordance with the advice of the relevant public health agencies and the directives in effect at the location and site-host where the activities occur. See the appropriate question and answer at the bottom of this page for more details.

Does the University allow faculty and staff to travel internationally?

Effective immediately, the University is lifting the international travel restrictions for faculty and staff provided that travellers follow local health guidelines during their trip and when returning to Canada. Travellers must research and accept the inherent risks involved in their trip, plan appropriate time and resources for quarantine and potential trip delays or cancellations.

Faculty and staff are required to register official trips with the University so that we can contact you in an emergency and introduce you to the full range of services available to you through International SOS.  Personal trips may also be registered if travellers would like to access these services. For further information about travel abroad for faculty and staff contact voyages.int@uOttawa.ca.

Are students allowed to travel abroad?

International travel continues to be restricted for the student body, and mobility programs remain on hold until further notice. However, some people may be authorized to travel on an exceptional basis for research or field work considered essential. We are currently developing a formal travel review process, in consultation with key mobility stakeholders.

Students whose essential travel is urgent should:

  • contact the Student Safety Abroad Advisor at uointl@uOttawa.ca;
  • register their travel with uOttawa;
  • submit their quarantine plan to the University upon their return to Canada;
  • get tested for COVID-19 upon their return, as recommended by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
Are travel to Canada permitted?

Travel to Canada as well as trips to participate in off-campus educational activities are permitted if they comply with the directives of the competent health authorities and the rules in force at the site where the activities take place. The Office of Risk Management has also prepared a useful guide to facilitate the planning and preparation of activities in the field.


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