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

September 2021 Welcome

Dear members of the Faculty of Information community, 

It’s always a thrill to be on campus at the start of a new academic year – and this year, more so than ever. At the Faculty of Information we’ll be welcoming double the usual number of students to the Bissell Building for the first time.

Students who embarked on their studies last fall have never had the option to be in-person so they will be joining all those starting their degrees this year as on-site newbies. At the same time, we’re also welcoming several new professors and staffers including our first ever Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Martina Douglas, as well as a brand new Chief Administrative Officer, Krisztina Harmath.

The start of classes means we’ll finally be meeting many of those people we only know from Zoom and Teams in person. While we still won’t be near full capacity, as some classes and seminars remain online and most others are smaller than usual, we’re in a very different place, both physically and spiritually, than we were last fall when no one was vaccinated and we only had one pandemic wave behind us.

Yet, even with all the progress we’ve made, the next few months will definitely be a bit of a trial run. That’s why, I want to encourage everyone to let us know about the challenges you face and how we can make things better. And if you feel inclined, you could also let us know what’s working well for you too so that we can do more of it. You can write to me at dean.ischool@utoronto.ca or to the student services team at inquire.ischool@utoronto.ca.

And when you’re on campus, feel free to introduce yourself. One of the first places I will be is in the line-up for coffee. It was in short supply last time I visited the campus, but I know that it too will be back along with the students.

Sincerely,

Wendy Duff 
Professor and Dean 


FAQs about upcoming Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 terms

(Updated July 14, 2021)

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

  • The Faculty of Information’s goal for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 has been to develop a plan that includes in-person components for as many courses as possible and provides in-person experiences for every learner while protecting the health and safety of everyone in our community.
  • Some courses are being offered completely in person, some have remote and in-person components, and others are being delivered remotely. Details about which classes and components are offered in which format are now available in the timetables posted in July.

Do students need to be in Toronto?

  • Yes, students should plan on being in Toronto.

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. A link to an Academic Exception Request form will be posted on the Faculty of Information website. 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?

  • You can enter the Bissell Building through the Robarts Library main St. George entrance. Please make sure to present your UCheck and scan your TCard at the entrance. Make your way to the 2nd floor portico and enter Bissell through the Bissell hoarding (temporary board fence around a construction site).

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.

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. The Faculty of Information has responded in a number of ways. For example, in response to the pandemic, the co-op placement requirement was reduced to 8 weeks (280 hours) from 12 weeks (360 hours). The Faculty also allowed remote-only co-op placements.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.