Holding face-to-face classes in the fall semester of Canadian universities

You can read below a list of Canadian universities and their fall schedule for holding face-to-face classes for students.

With the promise of vaccinating Canadian citizens by the end of September this year, post-secondary institutions are more confident that classes will be able to return to face-to-face for the fall semester.

The return to face-to-face educational activities depends to some extent on public health officials and the management of each educational institution. Currently, the universities that have announced face-to-face classes for the fall semester have also indicated that they will review the risk of the coronavirus and take appropriate measures for the health and safety of their students and employees.

With the current conditions of travel restrictions, international students are allowed to enter Canada provided they attend courses at institutions with a Covid-19 preparedness plan. Travel restrictions for US residents are expected to be updated this month, and in mid-April, we will see changes to these restrictions for the rest of the world.

Statistics Canada’s November 2020 report shows that almost two-thirds of new international student enrollments at Canadian post-secondary institutions in the 2018-2019 academic year were for universities. Here we will take a look at some Canadian universities that have prepared programs for the admission of students to the university environment and some others that will soon announce these programs officially.

British Columbia

On March 8, British Columbia’s health minister advised the province’s post-secondary institutions to prepare for a full return to on-campus activities. After this announcement, many universities in British Columbia announced plans to return to face-to-face classes, but considered the health and safety of students and staff to be at the forefront of their plans.

The University of British Columbia has confirmed that it plans to return to face-to-face classes and more face-to-face research in the fall. The University of British Columbia strives to establish quarantine conditions for international students, if necessary, and options for disease prevention, on campus.

The University of Victoria also plans to return to face-to-face classes in September. The following institutions have also announced plans to hold face-to-face classes: Vancouver Island University, Thompson Rivers University, Simon Fraser University, University of Northern British Columbia, Capilano University and Trinity Western University.


The University of Alberta is planning to accept more students and return employees to the university environment in the fall of this year, relying on the combined model of face-to-face and distance learning.

The spokesperson of the University of Calgary has also announced that this university has not decided on the type of classes (face-to-face or online) in the fall semester of 2021. The decision in this matter has been postponed to April 2021, and after that, it will be communicated to the students and those involved.

The University of Lethbridge is planning for the majority of students to return to campus this fall, but has announced that health measures related to wearing masks and maintaining physical distance are likely to remain in place.


The University of Saskatchewan plans to return some level of face-to-face education this fall. The president of this university said that due to the uncertainty of vaccination, it is still too early to make a definitive announcement about face-to-face training. However, he does not rule out a full return to face-to-face classes for the winter semester of 2022.


Brendan University has not provided any details on the return to face-to-face education. The registrar of this university has said in the media program that their goal is to announce the measures for the fall of 2021, in such a way that they can commit to it without withdrawing or changing the course in the middle of the semester.

Also, there has been no official announcement from the University of Manitoba or the University of Winnipeg.


The University of Toronto operates with the aim of establishing face-to-face education. In fact, staff and librarians are expected to return to the university. Students can do research in the university environment with health measures.

Brock University plans to offer as many face-to-face courses as possible, including labs and other experiential learning, graduate seminars, and pre-degree classes.

The University of Ottawa expects to implement a fully face-to-face program by offering more face-to-face or blended courses. This university equips its classes with technologies that enable simultaneous face-to-face teaching and video conferencing.

Western University is planning for face-to-face education and will offer more activities in the university environment.

The University of Windsor also plans to gradually return to face-to-face education and academic activities in the fall of 2021.


Quebec previously announced that universities and CEGEPs can gradually return to face-to-face education one day a week. Physical distancing measures must be observed inside and outside the classrooms, and students and staff must wear appropriate masks at all times in accordance with government recommendations.

McGill University is expected to return to face-to-face classes in September. Some courses will still have online teaching in the program, but this university states that students and staff should prepare to return to the usual routine and activities of the university environment.

Concordia University to announce fall semester position in May plans, but considers offering combined online and face-to-face classes.

New Brunswick

St. Thomas University is preparing to offer online and face-to-face classes in the fall of 2021. The final announcement of this university will be made from May to June.

Nova Scotia

Acadia University expects a full return to campus for the fall semester. Employees and students are asked to be prepared for face-to-face training. Some courses may be held virtually or in combination at the beginning of the semester, but in the future, they will be held in person.

It is expected that due to the limitation in the size of Dalhousie University’s classes, the highly populated courses of this university will be held online. In its media announcement, this university announced the hope of establishing face-to-face activities for courses of less than 100 people, such as low-population training, laboratories and small to medium classes.

Prince Edward Island

The University of Prince Edward Island is expected to return to a more natural teaching and learning environment this fall.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Memorial University, after changing its decision to hold training courses in a completely face-to-face manner last February, has now resumed face-to-face research work. This university will soon inform about whether or not face-to-face classes will be held in the fall of this year.


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