Spring And Summer 2020 Moves to Remote Delivery

Posted: April 6, 10:30 a.m.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to persist for a significant period, the University of Alberta has made the decision to offer Spring and Summer 2020 courses through remote delivery. This decision ensures you have certainty about how courses will be delivered and that the term(s) can be offered as outlined, it also allows you to make informed choices when registering for classes. The move to remote delivery for the Spring and Summer 2020 terms balances the health and safety of students; instructors and staff with academic success.

We anticipate that additional courses will be made available in the coming weeks, creating further opportunity for you to progress academically. All course offerings will be finalized for April 18 for the Spring 2020 term and by June 19 for the Summer 2020 term. Please check back in Bear Tracks to see if there are new offerings that interest you.

How will courses be delivered?

Graduate and undergraduate University of Alberta courses offered in the Spring or Summer terms of 2020 will use remote delivery. The move to remote delivery is not possible for all courses. Courses that cannot meet learning outcomes or objectives through remote delivery will be cancelled (e.g. field courses involving international travel).

Will there be any exceptions to remote delivery?

Exceptions to remote delivery can be made by Deans if the learning outcomes of a course necessitate in-person delivery, and if delivery of those courses can be adjusted to comply with all relevant University, provincial and federal public health directives. 

How will I know if a course is being cancelled?

Deadlines for course cancellations and communicating course exceptions are as follows: 

  • Spring 2020 Term: April 17, 2020
  • Summer 2020 Term: June 11, 2020

If a course is cancelled, registered students will be notified through their Bear Tracks account. If an exception has been made to remote delivery of a course, registered students will receive an email directly from their faculty or department. 

How will courses be graded?

Grading for Spring and Summer 2020 will follow a full, traditional University of Alberta grading scheme as outlined in the Academic Calendar. Beginning the Spring and Summer 2020 terms through remote delivery, as opposed to an unplanned shift to remote delivery part way through the term, as was the case in Winter 2020, allows us to adjust our course planning for this mode of instruction from the start and supports a return to traditional grading. As is usual practice, the specifics around how you will be assessed will be available to you in the course outline provided by your instructor.

Will I have final exams?

There will not be in-person final examinations and not all courses include a final exam. As is usual practice, the specifics around how you will be assessed will be available to you in the course outline provided by your instructor.

If your course includes a remotely proctored final examination, you will be given more information about what kind of technology is required to write that exam. Supports will be available for students as final examination requirements are clarified by instructors.

What fees will I pay?

Aside from tuition, (undergraduate and graduate), Mandatory Non-Instructional Fees for students enrolled in Spring and Summer 2020 terms will be assessed only for services that students are able to access, including those services that are currently being provided remotely. 


  1. Students will not be assessed the Athletic and Recreation Fee or the PAW Centre fee, as the university athletics facilities and services will be closed in compliance with Public Health directives. 
  2. Students will not be assessed a U-Pass fee for Spring 2020 as transit is currently being offered for free. The status of the U-Pass fee for Summer 2020 is unknown at this time.

A complete summary of applicable non-instructional fees will be available in the coming weeks.

What kind of technology will I need?

We are developing university-wide recommendations that outline suggested minimum standards for student-owned computing technology and internet access for the Spring and Summer 2020 terms that will help support your success within a remote delivery framework. We will share this information on this website in the coming weeks.

In some cases, there may be course-specific technology requirements. Faculties or departments will communicate requirements with registered students no later than 10 business days prior to the start of each term.

How will I get my textbooks and course materials?

With reduced in-person university services, students will not have access to printed teaching materials and course reserves that would normally be held in the libraries or made available for in-person purchase in the bookstore. Instructors have been provided with several options for providing materials in alternative methods.

Students will be able to purchase their course materials online at the U of A Bookstore. Free shipping will be included on all orders.

What can I expect for Spring convocation?

The university will be holding Spring convocation virtually to celebrate the Class of 2020. More details about the ceremony will be released shortly.