COVID-19 – Information for Students


To all of our graduate and undergraduate students, in response to the current set of circumstances we find ourselves in, the Faculty has made some important updates and changes in order to ensure that everyone can get through with the best possible academic outcomes based on your own unique situation.

The government of Canada has provided their plan to support Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by COVID-19 To help students access all the various funding resources, the University has put together a comprehensive list: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/funding-opportunity-directory/.

You may also wish to review all other funding resources put together by the Canadian government here: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Please review the Faculty’s FAQ on the 2020-21 academic year here: https://ischool.utoronto.ca/are-you-looking-for-coronavirus-covid-19-information/

2021 Spring/Summer Term: (May-June, July-August, May-August)

Given the current state of the pandemic in Toronto and Ontario, the Faculty of Information has decided that all summer term courses will be delivered remotely only.

2020-21 academic year (Fall 2020 to April 2021)

All classes will be delivered remotely.

Connecting for remote learning

The University of Toronto, has outlined the minimum technical requirements (computer specifications), recommended accessories, internet connection and frequently asked questions about learning remotely.

International students in areas with internet content restrictions, or who are working remotely on sensitive research, may require access to the University’s general purpose virtual private network (VPN). If you do require the VPN to connect to university resources, please see this page for more information and instructions.

Please note that the VPN does not provide or enhance connectivity to the internet, and will not assist with connectivity issues caused by the recent general increase in web traffic.

Cybersecurity considerations at home: Access the University’s Remote Security Matters page to learn more about creating a cyber secure home.

Reserving social-distant study spaces on Campus

The Gerstein Science Information Centre has been configured as a space for students needing access to wifi and/or study space. Please review https://gerstein.library.utoronto.ca/covid-19-updates-services-and-spaces/study-spaces-2020-21 for the most up to date information.

Absence Declaration tool 

  • Students should record all cold or flu-related absences, as well as self-isolation absences, through the ACORN Absence Declaration tool and contact Sherry Dang.
  • A verification of illness form is not required.

Co-ops, Practicums and Internships

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

Work-integrated-learning opportunities have indeed been and will likely continue to be affected. Please see below for more information specific to Co-op,  Practicums, and Internships.

In response to changes in restrictions at provincial, national, and municipal levels, the Faculty has implemented a process for approving in-person placement activities. Please contact the Careers Office if you have any questions: careers.ischool@utoronto.ca

The Careers office is also working hard to identify opportunities that allow employers to host students remotely and many students are already participating fully while working from home. Unfortunately, however, there are some work integrated learning opportunities have been cancelled or postponed as a result of the pandemic. In response, the university has created more opportunities for co-op students, many of whom are working on pandemic-related initiatives.

INF3902/3H Cooperative Education Placement II/I

In light of the pandemic, the co-op criteria has been altered to allow for greater flexibility for students and employers alike.  There are 2 significant changes:

  1. The Faculty is allowing remote-only placements to count towards a co-op placement.  Some employers have onboarded students remotely and may continue in that format, if needed. 
  2. The minimum placement duration has been reduced from 12 weeks (360 hours) to 8 weeks (280 hours).  

INF2173 Information Professional Practicum

The Practicum course will move forward accepting virtual placement opportunities only.

Students will complete 105 hours towards their chosen project virtually.

Though there are multiple and continuous recruitment efforts underway, placements are not guaranteed in light of the pandemic.

MSL3000H MMSt Internships

After much consultation with both external and internal stakeholders, the Program has developed two contingency plans to support the Internships:

  • Fall 2020/Winter 2021
    • Students who may be unable to continue with a Summer Internship are encouraged to contact the Careers Officer as the Museum Studies program will offer a modified internship option during the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms, where students will be eligible to complete paid or unpaid positions for a minimum of 280 hours, over the course of two terms.

International Activities

Updated Jan 31, 2021: The University of Toronto has extended the cancellation of future University activity to international locations for all students until August 31, 2021. If you’re able to postpone or shift your travel to a later date or undertake your activity remotely and without travelling internationally, please arrange to do so. If you’re unable to change your plans, please note that, regrettably, your activity is cancelled.  We know that your academic pursuits are important to you and the University is committed to maintaining academic continuity. Your academic unit will work with you to help you build an alternate plan for Summer 2021.

Please follow this link for more information: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/

Virtual Inforum:

A Virtual Inforum space has been created in Quercus. All iSchool students have been enrolled in the course. We know the Inforum was an important hub for the iSchool community and so we have created a space in Quercus to run programming and share resources in an effort to keep our community connected and well supported.

Take a look at our Play Well resources, participate in a student-led online writing group, access library services and supports, explore a collection of libraries and museums from around the world and much more.

If you have not received a notification of enrollment please email inquire.ischool@utoronto.ca and we will help get you on.

Emergency Grants:

If you find yourself in financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (or any other emergencies), please know that the Faculty and University is here to help.

For graduate students:

For undergraduate students: You can apply for an Emergency Assistance Grant.

Accessibility Services

We received an update for our students from our embedded accessibility advisor, Alexa Quach.

Library Services

Updated Jan 14, 2021: https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/covid-19/updates-library-services-and-operations  Please refer to the Library website for online resource support and loan information.

Student Services Advising Appointments:

Even though campus is closed, Student Services is fully operational online and here to support you. If you would like to book an advising appointment please make your request through inquire.ischool@utoronto.ca.

The University would like to hear from you if you have any questions or experiencing any issues.

Returning Fobs

Graduating students who wish to return their fobs while offices remain closed without access, may return by mail to:

Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
Claude Bissell Building
140 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 3G6

Residences 

Residence is an important part of the university experience and we’re excited to be welcoming students to campus this fall. If you applied to live in residence, your experience will be a little different than what you imagined, but our goal is to make your residence life as fulfilling as possible and to support you every step of the way.

Individuals seeking graduate housing or student family housing are invited to refer to the following websites for more information: St. George CampusGraduate House and Student Family HousingUTMGraduate and Medical Housing and Family Housing. 

The Vice-Provost office has also created an FAQ: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/#ResidenceFall2020. 

  • Archived Summer 2020 information

  • Archived Winter 2020 information