This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

Confirming dates and approach for spring 2021 term

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

This message was orignally sent to graduate students by president and vice-chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur.

  • Spring term will start on May 10 (instead of May 3) 

  • We will continue with primarily online learning and instruction, with some courses, activities and supports available in person 

  • We are sharing plans on the  COVID-19 Information website

With the winter term underway, University leaders have been working on our approach to learning and instruction for the spring term. We are also making some changes to the academic dates for the spring 2021 term. 

I am sharing these details with you today so you can plan for the spring term with a greater sense of confidence.

Spring term will start one week later than planned

We recognize that additional time between terms will provide you an opportunity to focus on your wellbeing. The University’s Senate has approved that the spring term will begin a week later than planned, on Monday, May 10, 2021, instead of the original May 3, 2021 start date. Classes will end on Thursday, August 5 with exams starting Saturday, August 7.

More details on the revised academic dates for the spring term are available online: 

Online learning will continue to be our primary mode of instruction

Our plans for the spring term will be in keeping with our current approach. This means that we must prepare for instruction to continue primarily online, with in-person activities available in limited situations as the regulations allow.

If you have questions about plans for instruction or research in your faculty or program, please discuss them with your academic advisor or supervisor.

I know that many of us would prefer to be making plans for a return to in-person activities. Given what we know about the pandemic today, unfortunately, we cannot safely plan for that at this point in time. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Ontario makes it clear that the virus and our collective efforts to stop the spread need our continued attention, posing ongoing difficulties in planning for in-person learning. Please be assured that we continue to revise our plans for a safe and staged return to in-person activities as soon as the conditions allow.

Remember to take care of yourself and each other as we continue into the term, and that  help is available  if you need it.