Resources and FAQs for COVID-19


This page contains information specific to the Faculty of Information. For the latest information relevant to all U of T students, staff and faculty members, please visit the University’s UTogether page.

Student Resources FAQs

October 2021 Update from the Dean

Dear Students and Colleagues, 

As we approach reading week (November 8-12), I thought it would be a good time to update you on the coming winter term. I am happy to report that we are moving full speed ahead with our plans for a winter term which will be almost entirely in person.  

This is fully in keeping with the current public health guidelines and Ontario’s reopening plans, which were announced last week. To ensure the health and safety of our community, the University of Toronto will maintain its UCheck self-assessment, mask and vaccine policies.  

This fall has given many of us a taste of what it’s like to be back in the classroom and from what I’ve seen and heard, the reaction is genuinely enthusiastic. Many do, however, wonder if history might repeat itself and we will end up with classes moving online. While none of us can predict the future and precisely when the pandemic will end, I can tell you that the University’s experts do not believe that a return to remote learning is likely given the current vaccination rates. 

If you would like more information on the winter term and our current COVID policies, please refer to UofT and Faculty of Information COVID-19 FAQ pages. You should also have recently received our updated Welcome Back package. If you have further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or the Student Services team. 

Finally, I hope that you are able to make the most of the upcoming reading week and to come back to class refreshed for the final four weeks of the fall term. We are expecting to have the Bissell Building’s student lounges reopened by November 15, just another reminder that we are on the road back to post-pandemic educational life. 

Sincerely,

Wendy Duff 
Professor and Dean 


FAQs about Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 terms

(Updated October, 2021)

How will courses be offered during the 2021/22 academic year?

  • The Faculty of Information’s goal for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 was to develop a plan that included in-person components for as many courses as possible and provided in-person experiences for every learner while protecting the health and safety of everyone in our community.
  • For the Fall term, some courses are being offered completely in person, some have remote and in-person components, and others are being delivered remotely. For the Winter term. almost all courses will be delivered in person. Details about which classes and components are offered in which format are now available in the timetables.

Do students need to be in Toronto?

  • Yes, students should plan on being in Toronto for the entire academic year.

What if I’m unable to come to campus?

  • Students who are enrolled in in-person classes but are prevented from coming to campus by exceptional situations – including health, travel and isolation orders – should let us know as soon as possible by filling out the Academic Exception Request form. Each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and an effort will be made to find an equitable solution. Please continue to check this page for the request form. 

How can I access the Bissell Building?

  • The Bissell Building doors will be open, unlocked and fully accessible during the following hours:
    • Mon – Thu 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
    • Fri 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM
    • Sat 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
    • Sunday: CLOSED (fob access only)

Outside of opening hours, a fob is required to access the building.

Please continue to fill out your UCheck self-assessment whenever you come to campus.

What is U of T’s vaccination policy?

  • This fall, the University of Toronto is requiring all those intending to be present on our three campuses, or on premises owned or operated by the university, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination via UCheck, in full accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Find more information here.
  • For students who are planning to return to campus this winter and have been fully online, or not in classes this fall, you will need to make sure you submit your vaccination receipts via UCheck before coming to campus for the winter term.

Please note: If you have not previously applied for an exemption on medical or religious/creed grounds, and are requesting an exemption for the winter term, please submit your request by November 15, 2021 to the Vaccine Exemption Portal. If you have been vaccinated, you do not need to visit this site, you simply need to upload the receipts documents. If you have any questions do not hesitate to email steff.rose@utoronto.ca.

Can international students who want to study on campus this Fall & Winter enter Canada and come to U of T?

  • The best place to keep up with the latest information on Canada’s entry requirements for international students is the dedicated UofT page here.

Are co-op placements, internships and other work-integrated-learning opportunities affected by the pandemic?

  • Some work-integrated-learning opportunities have been affected while others have not. Many co-op positions have been virtual instead of in-person.
  • The Careers office identified opportunities that allowed employers to host students remotely and many students were able to participate fully while working from home. Unfortunately, however, there were some work integrated learning opportunities that had to be cancelled or postponed as a result of the pandemic. The university also created more opportunities for co-op students, many of whom worked on pandemic-related initiatives.
  • In response to changes in restrictions at provincial, national and municipal levels, the Faculty implemented a process for approving any in-person placement activities. Please contact the Careers Office if you have any questions: careers.ischool@utoronto.ca.

Is there financial aid available to students affected by COVID-19?

To help students access all the various funding resources, the university has put together a comprehensive list.

  • The Faculty of Information also has an emergency bursary fund, for which students must fill out this grant application. If you have any questions about the process or eligibility, feel free to connect with Sherry Dang (sherry.lin@utoronto.ca). Students are encouraged to outline the nature of the emergency, and how their finances have been impacted by the circumstances. Supporting documents may be requested after the application has been submitted.
  • The School of Graduate Studies can also provide emergency loans and emergency grants to graduate students. For undergraduate students, there are emergency assistance grants.

Students may also wish to review the government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

What resources are available for those coping with stress?

Do you have a question we didn’t answer?

If you still have questions, please contact inquire.ischool@utoronto.ca. We would be very happy to hear from you.