Preparing for the spring 2021 term

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

On April 28 the following email was sent to graduate students

To: Graduate students

From: Jeffrey Casello, Associate-Vice President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA)  

Date: April 28, 2021

Subject: Preparing for the spring 2021 term

The spring 2021 term is fast approaching. Whether you are studying remotely or will be on campus for some in-person classes or research, we are here for you. Below you will find some action items and information to get you ready for the term.

Extended stay at home orders for beginning of term

The province of Ontario has extended the current provincial shutdown and stay-at-home orders for 2 weeks – this affects in-person teaching, research and other operations on campus, including the beginning of spring term.  Learn more in the memo sent to graduate students on April 22, 2021.

Revised important dates

With the start of classes delayed to May 10, most important dates for the spring term were revised. A few key dates to know:

  • May 10: Classes begin
  • May 30: Class enrolment period ends
  • May 31: Tuition and fee refund deadline– 100%
  • June 25: Tuition and fee refund deadline – 50%
  • Aug 5: Classes end
  • Aug 7-16: Final exam period

For a complete list, review the spring 2021 academic schedule changes.

Updates to RA/TA rates

  • Effective May 1, the Research Assistantship (RA) & minimum PhD funding rates will increase by 1.86%;
  • Also, the Teaching Assistantship (TA) rates will be combined with compensation with academic award funding to make it easier for grad students to budget. Learn more.

If you are enrolled in classes you should:

For online classes:

  • Reliable internet access will be required.
  • Tools such as a webcam may be used in your course.
  • LEARN (the web-based learning management system):
  •  If instructors are using other platforms you can expect:
    • An email from your instructor, no later than May 12 to your email address.
    • After May 12, if you still haven’t heard from your instructor, reach out to them via email.

If you are returning to campus for classes/research/teaching or are taking part in practica/internships:

If you are completing your thesis proposal, comprehensive exams, or thesis defence:

Discuss your timelines with your supervisor and agree upon the scheduling of these important milestones.  

Staying connected and supported

I encourage you to continue to engage with your fellow graduate students, as well as your research group, supervisors, and course instructors.  Among many possibilities, you may consider some of the following opportunities and resources:

On behalf of all my colleagues at the University of Waterloo and in the Graduate Studies Community, know that you have our support during your upcoming spring 2021 term and always.  If you have any questions as you approach the start of the term, I encourage you to contact your supervisor, graduate officer or graduate co-ordinator, or send me an email. Stay well. 


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