FAQs

Updated July 30, 2020

Fall & summer semesters

How will the summer semester proceed?

All courses that can be taught remotely in the Summer 2020 semester will proceed remotely. There will be no in-person sit-down final examinations on McGill campuses.

How will classes be held in the fall semester?

Courses will be offered primarily through remote delivery. The Fall 2020 term will begin as scheduled.

Could classes resume on campus in the fall semester?

No – classes that begin remotely will finish remotely, including exams.

Some student learning activities may be held on campus in the fall if public health directives allow. For students who are not in Montreal, on-campus learning activities will be complemented virtually.

Can we travel to Canada for the fall semester?

The International Student Services team is working diligently to support our students abroad. Please consult the International Student Services website to learn more about cross-border travel restrictions.

How does this work for students in different time zones?

This is an important consideration as we continue academic planning. Instructors are aware of the challenges students face when learning remotely and will be supported in adapting their courses in light of this; instructors will be encouraged to consider teaching approaches that take into consideration students who are studying in different time zones.

Will tuition be reduced now that classes are held remotely?

Will non-tuition charges be reduced now that classes are held remotely?

How will hands-on learning like labs and fieldwork be taught remotely?

We are exploring options such as virtual labs, simulations, and multimedia resources. Not all courses are suited to the same tools and solutions, but professors are collaborating to identify creative, engaging approaches for remote delivery.

Many laboratories will be redesigned to ensure they can be offered remotely.

What about clinical activities that don’t have remote alternatives?

Some clinical activities that do not have a remote alternative may happen on campus, if they can be held safely. Deans will work with the Administration in the coming weeks to determine which activities might continue in-person. We recognize that in some disciplines, like health professions, clinical work is necessary for academic continuity.

Will internships continue in the fall?

If organizations offering internships are able to adopt proper safety protocols, internships could continue in the fall.

Will residences be open in the fall?

Yes, some residences will be open, and you can still apply to live in residence. The residence application deadline for undergraduate students is July 7, 2020. Application for residences are accepted and accommodation is assigned based on the understanding that students are making a commitment for the full academic year. Cancellation policies still apply.

Consult the latest FAQs on residence services.

How will students lacking the right technology for remote learning be supported?

McGill is exploring new methods and platforms, and working to adapt course material and programming to be as accessible as possible — including for students who may not have high-speed devices or internet access. Courses will be formatted in ways that take into account these potential challenges.

McGill is a member of Eduroam, a secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. Students who have access to a local research university campus who is also an Eduroam member can use their McGill credentials to access McGill’s IT infrastructure using the local campus Wi-Fi infrastructure (at no cost). Most research universities around the world have access to Eduroam. For more information, please visit McGill’s Knowledge Base.

Academics and Research

When will research resume on campus?

Research is gradually ramping up on campus. Consult announcements on research activities for the latest information on research phase-in. Review the principles and procedures for research on campus.

What options are available if I am having difficulty completing the Winter 2020 term?

Please consult the adjusted academic measures available for the Winter 2020 term.

What resources are available for remote instruction and learning?

Where can I find information on graduate activities and research?

The office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is providing important information on graduate studies during the closure.

McGill Operations

What facilities and services are open?

What facilities or services are closed?

  • McGill campuses are closed. This includes library branches, athletics facilities and food service locations.
  • Shuttle bus service is suspended between the downtown and Macdonald campuses until further notice.
  • All McGill in-person events, on or off campus, are cancelled until June 5

Can I access buildings on campus during the closure?

Building access is restricted to members of the community who need to carry out necessary functions or pick up equipment to work from home. Learn how to access buildings during the closure.

When will the University resume regular on-campus operations?

The Government of Quebec ordered all university campuses in the province to close until further notice. The summer semester will go ahead through remote instruction. The fall semester will begin as scheduled, primarily through remote instruction.

What is the status of parking, mail services and delivery on-campus?

Working during the closure

Will all staff be paid during the suspension period?

All regular and contractual University employees who have a valid contract after May 1, including casual and work study employees who were scheduled to work, will continue to be paid.

What tools and resources are available to work remotely?

Please see IT’s website, Working Remotely, which provides extensive information.

  • Zoom is available to instructors, and reserved for teaching and learning activities
  • MS Teams is available to all employees for collaborative work (web conferencing, chat, etc.)
  • WebEx is available to employees for all Web conferencing needs

What policies are in place for people who are authorized to work on campus?

People authorized to be on campus should consult the mandatory directives and watch training videos for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

What health and wellness services are available to staff?

The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP) offers resources to support staff members’ mental and emotional well-being.

Where can employees find more information on working during the closure?

HR is providing important updates for staff on their COVID-19 Resources page.

Coronavirus and your health

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms are similar to the flu: fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

  • Stay home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. Every day before coming to campus, all students and employees must answer the following three questions about symptoms through the appropriate Minerva form.

    1. Do you have any of these symptoms: cough, fever, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of smell?
    2. Have you been out of the country in the last two weeks?
    3. Are you in contact with someone who has COVID-19*?
      *This question does not apply if you have been in contact with a COVID positive patient in your capacity as a healthcare worker wearing appropriate PPE

    Do not come to campus if you answered “yes” to any of the questions.

  • Isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible
  • Immediately call Montreal’s coronavirus hotline at 514-644-4545, or 1-877-644-4545 if you are elsewhere in Quebec
    • Describe your symptoms and travel history  to the health professionals on the hotline
    • Follow their instructions carefully
  • Stay at home until the Public Health Authority advises you that you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others
  • If you develop COVID-related symptoms while on campus, you should:
    • Isolate in a room
    • Wear a face covering
    • Inform your supervisor. Supervisors have received detailed instructions about how to handle such situations.
    • Call Santé Québec at 514-644-4545 for information on next steps.

Should I report if I am self-isolating, or have tested positive for COVID-19?

  • All students and staff who have received a positive test result for COVID-19 must follow guidelines for reporting illness.
  • Employees who are required to be on campus to provide necessary activities, but are unable to do so because they must self-isolate, must use the self-declaration form.
  • Students in residence should report their status by contacting Student Housing and Hospitality Services at housing.residences [at] mcgill.ca ( ).

Rest assured that this information will be treated confidentially. The University will only share personal information with the Direction de la santé publique (DSP) as required. Personal information will not be shared with the community.

People who are ill, have been exposed to COVID-19, or are awaiting test results must isolate immediately as per the government of Quebec’s guidelines for home isolation. 

What protocol is the University following should there be a positive case on campus?

  • The University has developed a protocol for suspected on-campus cases that include the following actions:
    • Closure of affected work area(s), which may include common rooms.
    • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of closed areas before reopening.
    • Coordination with Direction de la Santé Publique
    • Communication to affected individual regarding steps to take
    • Decontamination of affected areas
    • Investigation by EHS or local safety committee chair to review of established safety protocol and assess whether there is any evidence pointing to a deficiency in the safety protocol or its application.
    • Implementation of corrective measures if needed
    • Communication of outcomes

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

  • Practice proper health precautions, including washing your hands often and covering your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.
  • Practice social distancing: This means limiting close contact with people and especially avoiding crowds.

For more information, view the Government of Canada’s guidelines on COVID-19 prevention.

Should I wear a mask?

As per Quebec government directives, it is mandatory to wear a mask or face covering in indoor public places, including universities. It is especially important to wear a covering when there is interaction with other people and physical distancing (2 metres) is not possible. Conditions and/or exceptions to the mandatory mask rule may apply in areas such as in office spaces, labs, classrooms, etc.

The University encourages people to bring their own reusable masks to campus. In the event you do not have your own masks, disposable masks will be made available upon request.

More details will come as implementation is further clarified by Government and public health authorities.

What health services are available for staff and students?

Students: The Student Wellness Hub offers a variety of services related to health and wellness.

Staff: The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP) offers resources to support staff members’ mental and emotional well-being.

For information on specific topics like admissions, student services, and more, consult related FAQs and our archive of announcements. If you have trouble finding answers to your questions, contact COVID-19.info [at] mcgill.ca.

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