Important! Important

It is recommended that every person must fill out the COVID-19 Daily Health Check-In form online before coming to campus.

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.


FAQ

Academic information

Do I need to be vaccinated to come to campus?

(Updated on March 2, 2022)

Yes.

The University of Ottawa and all other Ontario universities will maintain mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies until the end of current winter term.

Students, faculty, staff and all visitors are still required to certify their vaccination status using the COVID-19 Vaccination Declaration online tool and complete the COVID-19 Daily Health Check-In form online before coming to campus.

The decision was made to minimize disruption and ensure the safety of those who come to campus to study, work or conduct research.

The University will continue to work closely with local public health authorities and will review its policy for the summer and fall terms. Updates will be provided once decisions are made.

Are courses offered on campus?

Public health measures and restrictions will determine the level of in-person activities allowed. We would like to maximize the number of activities while respecting the guidelines in place at the time.

Each faculty will ensure it has an approach that takes into account the unique aspects of its programs.

Consultations with the University community showed that opinions are mixed as far as a return to campus goes. Many appreciate the flexibility that distance teaching and learning offer, while others miss the campus and wish to return as soon as possible for all sorts of reasons related to mental health, academic success, isolation and personal development. This is why we continue offering the two options side by side while following public health guidelines.

As we have done since the start of the pandemic, we will continue to assist professors and research teams in offering a learning environment that meets the standards of excellence one would expect from a world-class university.

What are the plans for the 2022-2023 academic year?

For the winter 2022 term, most courses will be offered online, as was the case for the fall term.

Since public health authorities forecast a very significant increase in the number of COVID-19 infections at the start of winter, we will postpone the return to campus until January 31, 2022. Classes will resume on January 10 as planned and will be delivered virtually for at least the first three weeks of term.

Planning for the return to class in September 2022 is well underway.

Naturally, we are still prioritizing the basic principles that have guided us since the start of the pandemic, namely our commitment to the health and safety of the University community along with the continuity of our activities.

Our mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy remains in effect. We anticipate that it will continue to be in force throughout the 2022-2023 academic year. If mandatory vaccination is no longer required, we will adjust accordingly.

If you are not fully vaccinated, please be aware that you may not be able to attend in-person classes or enjoy on-campus activities.

You will also need to certify your vaccination status before starting your journey with us.

During the upcoming spring-summer term, we will continue our efforts to offer more in-person courses. That said, given that students would normally return home for the summer, we will continue to offer many courses in online, hybrid, or bimodal formats.

By the fall 2022 term, we aim to have students, especially first-year students, take most of their courses on campus. This planning is based on information we have gathered through surveys and the lessons we have learned over the past 18 months. As a result, we anticipate that around 80-to-90% of enrolments will be for in-person courses.

Moreover, we intend to maximize the number of spots in residence, offer a complete program of activities across campus, and provide all academic and administrative services in person.

We have been working tirelessly to allow everyone to return to the dynamic, exciting life at University that we all enjoyed before the pandemic. We will keep you posted as our planning takes shape.

What computer and IT technical requirements do I need to study and take exams online?

During the fall 2021 and winter 2022 terms, many University of Ottawa courses will be available at a distance or online. It is important that you prepare properly by having the necessary IT hardware on hand and downloading all the relevant software before courses begin. Below are listed the minimum requirements and our recommendations for IT hardware and software so you can make the most of your distance learning experience. This list is not entirely complete, but it does include the basic tools that are most often used in online learning.

Recommended hardware

  • Personal computer running Windows 10 or MacOS 10.15
  • 4 Gb RAM

Minimum requirements

  • Personal computer running Windows 7 or MacOS 10.12
  • 2 Gb RAM

Software and services

Security and antivirus services

The University of Ottawa recommends the use of Sophos. You can download Sophos for free.

Online exams and camera use

To ensure the integrity of our exams, other technical requirements may be imposed, i.e., an external camera may be required to allow us to see your workspace during the exam. The professor will notify you in the syllabus if such is the case.

During the exam, you must also be able to answer the exam proctor, who has the right to ask you to tidy or change your workspace or modify the external camera angle. The goal is to ensure that the exam meets the integrity standards of the University of Ottawa and the requirements of your degree.

University of Ottawa guidelines provide further answers to your questions about the use of cameras, course enrolment, and students in virtual and in-person learning spaces.

Here are some useful links:

What services and extracurricular activities will be open on campus?

We will continue to provide in-person campus services (academic support, wellness, administration), in addition to the online services we’re continuing to improve.

Since student experience is about more than just learning, we will also ensure we offer a wide range of activities, including in residence, that reflect the vitality and richness of our community.

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.

Our fitness centres will remain open in keeping with public health directives. Students can register for fitness classes that charge fees, and can also enjoy our free aquatic and sports facilities. Intramural sports, group fitness classes, and individual personal training sessions will be offered in person and online.

What will happen to research activities if the sanitary restrictions continue?

As you may be aware, the remobilization of research lab activities on campus began in April 2020, and as a result, many graduate students have already been back on site to carry out research activities and projects for some time now. We continue to carefully ramp up our research activities, and we expect to be back to full capacity in our research labs by the fall. We will update graduate students as the situation evolves.

Is it easy to find housing off campus in Ottawa?

Right now, students can benefit from the current rental market in the National Capital Region. The occupancy rate for rental properties in Ottawa dropped in 2020, and so there are more apartments available for rent. However, there is less availability in certain types of rental accommodation, such as individual rooms in private dwellings. It is hard to predict the state of the rental market in the coming year. Check the Off-Campus Housing website for more information or to help you search for housing.

Will experiential learning opportunities, such as CO-OP work terms and volunteering, only take place online?

A few employers are already providing safe internships or volunteer opportunities, either in person or in a hybrid format. As the situation improves, the number of employers able to offer learning opportunities in person should increase.

Will I be charged for the U-Pass?

(Updated on April 7, 2022)

During the Spring-Summer 2022 term, all full-time students taking at least one in-person course or lab, completing a CO-OP work term or going on an exchange will be charged automatically for the U-Pass.

You can opt out from the U-Pass if you meet the exemption criteria. Check your statement of account in uoZone to know if you’ve been charged or not.

Learn more about the U-Pass program.

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 term in question
  • 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 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.

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 city of Gatineau have UHIP coverage?

The University of Ottawa’s physical proximity with the province of Quebec (city of Gatineau) 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 city of Gatineau 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 Gatineau.

Please also refer to the FAQ section of the International Office’s UHIP webpage.

Will International students who are still in Canada due to travel restrictions/closures still have UHIP coverage?

(Updated on October 20, 2021)

  • Regular students enrolled in a program who finished their term on April 30, 2021 and
    • are on a scheduled break, or
    • are enrolled in courses, or
    • are on an approved leave of absence**,
    this spring/summer term 2021; they have full UHIP coverage until August 31, 2021.
  • Regular students who have finished all the requirements of their program on April 30, 2021, and have requested an extension of UHIP coverage, have full UHIP coverage until April 30, 2021 and extension* coverage until August 31, 2021.

UHIP coverage for the 2021-2022 academic calendar

  • Full UHIP coverage for students who enroll full time in the fall 2021 term will be renewed automatically, for the three terms (fall 2021, winter 2022, and spring/summer 2022) after they register for fall courses.
  • UHIP coverage for regular students who have finished all the requirements of their program on August 31, 2021; have full UHIP coverage until August 31, 2021, and they can request to have extension* coverage until December 31, 2021.
  • Regular students who register in the fall 2021 term and will finish all the requirements of their program on December 31, 2021, have full UHIP coverage until December 31, 2021, and they can request extension* coverage until June 30, 2022.

*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.

Please also refer to the FAQ section of the International Office’s UHIP webpage.

Residence

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, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 please complete the Ontario self-assessment and where possible, go to an assessment centre to be tested for COVID-19.

If you are directed to self-isolate, you must contact reception at 613-668-9604 immediately in order to begin self-isolation.

Students can view the full Self-Isolation Protocol in Residence in the Important Documents page of the Housing and Residence Life website.

More details concerning the measures put in place in residences can be found on the Housing website.

Travel in Canada and abroad

The University has decided to allow limited in-person international mobility for the winter 2022 term, therefore January 1 to April 30, 2022. This applies to both incoming and outgoing students participating in established programs such as international exchanges, research internships, co-op placements, field research courses, etc.

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation around the world and to ensure the safety of our students, certain conditions will apply to uOttawa students going abroad. The conditions are as follows: 

  • they must be fully vaccinated according the uOttawa’s vaccination policy;
  • they must purchase travel and health insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage;
  • they must complete the risk evaluation process at least 14 days before their departure;
  • they must register their travel plans using the University’s travel registry tool before your departure.

Some individuals wishing to go abroad outside the above-mentioned programs may be allowed to travel on an exceptional basis for research or fieldwork that is considered essential.

uOttawa students whose travel is essential to the continuation or conclusion of their academic career will need to:

If approved, they must then adhere to the conditions mentioned above.

If you have any other questions, please contact the International Office at uointl@uOttawa.ca.


Outgoing international travel

With the Government of Canada’s decision to lift the advisory against international travel for fully vaccinated travellers, students can travel to destinations listed by Global Affairs Canada as “exercise normal security precautions” or “exercise a high degree of caution.”

See the Global Affairs Canada destination advisories.

The evolving nature of COVID-19 means that travel and public health restrictions will continue to pose a challenge. Therefore, trips may be cancelled or delayed. It is important for travellers to identify and mitigate travel-related risks.

As travel resumes, students are required to register all international university trips through the uOttawa student travel registry. Faculty and staff should continue to register their trips. The International Office travel safety website provides access to access the registries and travel advice for uOttawa travellers. Please see the information below on the latest travel procedures.

Students

Students must complete the travel registry before departure. In the form, travellers must acknowledge the ongoing risk of COVID-19 infection, lockdowns, and other travel disruptions.

Students must also agree to:

  • Follow the University vaccination policy.
  • Have an insurance policy that covers COVID-19 and trip interruptions
  • Follow local public health guidelines at their destination and when returning to Canada.
  • Research the COVID-19 and other travel risks at the destination in advance.
    • If the destination is rated by Global Affairs Canada as “avoid non-essential travel” or “avoid all travel,” the International Travel Safety Committee in collaboration with Dean must decide if an exception can be made to approve the travel.
  • Share travel information with the University of Ottawa Global Assistance Program (which partners with International SOS), to receive automated travel advice and security alerts.

 

Professors and staff

There are no restrictions for professors and staff travelling abroad as long as they continue to register their trips with the University. We offer travel support with International SOS through our Global Assistance Program (Membership ID: 27AYCA091396). International SOS can also serve as a direct connection with the University for travellers in need. We encourage travellers to also register their trips with International SOS to receive travel alerts and up to date security information.

 

Incoming international travel

International visitors can visit the campus and participate in in-person activities. However, they must meet the uOttawa vaccination declaration and daily check-in requirements.

They must also meet the Government of Canada vaccination requirements for travel to and within Canada.

Please note: The Government of Canada definition of full vaccination may not be the same as the Government of Ontario definition, which visitors must meet to access the University. Hosts must ensure that guests meet the Ontario vaccination requirements in time for any in-person event.

Remember that incoming travel and quarantine restrictions can change at any time. Fully vaccinated travellers need a back-up quarantine plan but should be exempt from quarantine on arrival in Canada.

We will continue to provide travel support letters and quarantine support for students.


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