COVID-19 Information for graduate students
Updated July 2020
We recognize that the province of Alberta has been moving toward a staged reduction to quarantine restrictions. However, all faculty, staff and graduate students should continue to work from home until further notice. Only those that are performing functions that require them to be on site should work on campus. Please refer to the section below on research activities for more information.
Faculty of Graduate Studies support
The Faculty of Graduate Studies remains operational to ensure students are supported and scholarship funds are paid. Remote advising is available. Contact FGS by:
What can I find on this page?
This page contains information on graduate studies and the COVID-19 situation. Information below is organized into the following sections:
- Campus Community Needs Assessment and financial support
- Research activities and working from home (including information on Expanded Research Designations)
- Future graduate students
- Current graduate students
- International students
- Graduate Assistant Teachers (GATs)
- Important links
Campus Community Needs Assessment Survey
If you require financial, mental health, physical, social or any other support, access the survey below.
Federal aid for graduate students
Learn about the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit and other federal aid programs.
Additional financial resource information
Learn about additional loans, grants, food security supports and more.
Refer to the following directive from the office of the VPR to understand how your research is affected by the COVID situation: Identifying critical on-campus research, research infrastructure, and services.
Discuss a research plan with your supervisor who will be operating under guidelines available on the COVID-19 VPR information page. These guidelines provide information on adapting research operations to COVID:
- Guidance for all researchers
- Guidance for specific types of research (wet/dry lab, clinical, community-based)
- Information on human ethics
- Information on contracts and grants
Working from home
Keep these practices in mind:
- Designate a work space and establish a daily schedule
- Take clearly defined breaks
- Communicate your work schedule to people at home
- Be accessible via Skype, Zoom or phone
- Ensure your connection is safe and secure
- Ensure you have remote access to appropriate resources on campus
- Contact IT for support accessing resources
- Ensure research information is safe and not easily accessed by others
- Avoid isolating yourself; maintain personal interactions with colleagues, friends & family
- Keep current contact information for your research group and supervisor
Expanded Research Designation (ERD)
The Expanded Research Designation (ERD) enables some time-sensitive research to continue that did not meet the Critical Research criteria. Graduate students who cannot make adequate progress without access to crucial research and creative spaces on campus or in the field or community may be approved for an ERD.
Graduate students interested in having ERD status should communicate with their supervisors, and must be approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Learn about the university's re-entry protocols here.
Future graduate students
Transcripts with CR/F courses
Many universities are offering students the option of accepting a letter grade or a Completed Requirements/Fail (CR/F) grade for courses in terms affected by coronavirus. In response, FGS has developed assessment criteria for transcripts that include non-letter grade (i.e., CR/F) courses.
All domestic institutions should submit official electronic transcripts to email@example.com. Please ensure that this is the email address you provide to your institution. Once received, your transcripts will be directed appropriately.
English Language Proficiency requirements
On a temporary basis, FGS will accept online English Language Proficiency test results, including the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition (preferred) and the Duolingo English Test.
Fall 2020 courses
The Faculty of Graduate Studies has developed a funding strategy to support new incoming students who have been offered funding, are not in Canada, and may be starting the Fall term remotely. Please contact your program for more information, and visit our FAQ on the Fall 2020 term.
Current graduate students
Health and wellness
Practice self-care and community care in accordance with guidelines from the World Health Organization and Alberta Health Services. Monitor the university’s COVID-19 page.
University supports are available to you via remote service delivery.
- Wellness Centre – self help information
- Woman’s Resource Centre – peer support
- Faith and Spirituality Centre – multifaith chaplain support
- Sexual Violence Support – firstname.lastname@example.org
Fee payment plans are now available to all current graduate students for the Fall 2020 term, regardless of whether students receive program funding. Payment plans must be submitted by 4:30 PM (MST) on:
- Wednesday, September 30, 2020 (Fall payment plan)
Maintain communication with your supervisor so that you share a clear understanding of expectations for how your academic and research plans will proceed.
Please review FGS Guidelines for Effective Remote Supervision.
- Establish a communications plan with your supervisor clarifying how and when you will connect.
- Do not plan or initiate new experiments unless they are designated as Critical Research. Refer to the office of the VPR for more information. Discuss research plans with your supervisor.
- Discuss how you can make academic progress and set reasonable goals and expectations.
Spring/Summer 2020 courses
Graduate courses will be delivered remotely for the Spring/Summer term. Contact your program or course coordinator for additional information on course format and access.
Spring/Summer 2020 courses will follow the standard letter grade system (with the exception of courses that are normally designated CR/F).
Timelines, expectations and funding
It is understood that this global crisis is likely to delay or significantly change your academic and research plans.
- Please be assured that these unprecedented interruptions will be considered by your program and FGS in the evaluation of academic progress and milestone expectations.
- As long as you remain registered as a graduate student, you can expect continued mentorship from your supervisor and uninterrupted funding and scholarship payments (as outlined in your letter of offer/scholarship terms if applicable).
Access to Libraries and Cultural Resources
The university's libraries are currently closed to in-person visitors. Students preparing for candidacy may acquire key library resources.
Candidacy and thesis oral exams
Candidacy and thesis exams are following new, temporary guidelines for remote oral exams. FGS Guidelines for Remote Oral Exams. Work with your supervisor and program to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for any upcoming oral exams.
- Please read the FGS Guidelines for Remote Oral Exams.
- To request a remote oral exam, please complete and submit the FGS Request for Oral Examination of Altered Format - Remote Examinations form.
- FGS also has a set of Tips for Remote Oral Exams Using Zoom.
Please submit your final thesis forms by email to email@example.com. Please log in at www.prism.ucalgary.ca/login with your UCalgary login prior to submitting your forms so that you can be set up with access to the Vault.
If you are facing a COVID-19 related delay in submitting your thesis, please contact your Graduate Program Officer.
International graduate students
International Student Services (ISS) has a page with information specific to international students, including details on travel restrictions, advising, updates from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and more.
Global Affairs Canada has prepared an information sheet for international students with information on immigration-related travel, government benefits and more.
Graduate Assistant Teachers (GATs)
If you are a GAT, please communicate with your students about accommodating office hours or appointments remotely. Do not continue to offer in-person meetings or office hours.
Faculty of Graduate Studies information and resources:
- FGS Temporary Admission Regulations (ELP testing and GPA assessments for CR/F graded courses)
- FGS Guidelines for Effective Remote Supervision
Oral candidacy and thesis exams:
- FGS Guidelines for Remote Oral Exams
- Form: FGS Request for Oral Examination of Altered Format - Remote Examinations (updated May 8, 2020)
- Library and Cultural Resources - Student Access to LCR Materials for Candidacy Exams
- TFDL Exam Rooms - Booking Information for Remote Oral Exams
- Tips for Remote Oral Exams Using Zoom (including information on booking GAT helpers through FGS)
Fall payment plans:
Information and resources for international students:
- International Student Services COVID-19 FAQ
- Global Affairs Canada information for international students
University of Calgary general information on COVID-19:
- University of Calgary information on COVID-19
- Information on preparing to work remotely
- Identifying critical on-campus research, research infrastructure, and services
- Financial resources for students
- UCalgary Zoom remote meeting resources
- UCalgary re-entry protocols