Fall 2020 FAQ for students

Updated: July 6, 6:28 p.m.

General Questions

What grading scheme will be used in the Fall?
Courses will be graded using the letter grades going forward, not NC/CR. If a course was previously CR/NC (ie WKEXP), it will remain that way.
I am in another time zone, and taking the courses at the time listed will mean I will be going to school in the middle of the night.
Courses offered synchronously may have lectures recorded to review later. Some courses will be taught asynchronously to allow for various time zones, which means although you have a "time" for class, you can access it at a time best suited to your schedule and time zone. Instructors will have specific details as to how their course will be taught, and will share with students as they become available. If synchronous tests are on the syllabus, please contact your instructor.
Can I take the fall term off and come back in Winter?
There are many things to consider if you are wanting to take the fall term off. This includes impact on awards or scholarships, study permits, student loans, course load requirements, course sequencing and availability. In addition, think about what you would do if the Winter term moved online as well.
Do I need to maintain my course load?
Yes. If you are in an Honors or Specialization program, you need to maintain your course load to be in good standing. If you are not sure what that is, please email your program advisor or email advisor.science@ualberta.ca. Please note, there are award and scholarship implications if you drop below the required course load.
What technology do I need to be successful at remote learning?
Computing recommendations can be found here.

Courses and Labs

Courses that will have a face to face component.

BIOL 207

BIOL 208

*BIOL 391 (no alternative delivery) 

BIOL 398/399/498

BIOL 499


BIOCH 498/499

BOT 205

BOT 306

BOT 314

*CELL 398/498

*CELL 499

CHEM 211

CHEM 241

CHEM 361

CHEM 371

CHEM 399

CHEM 401/403

EAS 224

EAS 225

EAS 331

EAS 421

EAS 426

EAS 427/428



MMI 391

MMI 499

NEURO 451/498/500/501



PHYSL 467/468

PHYS 499 (in-person optional)

PMCOL 301/401






*ZOOL 344 (no alternative delivery)

ZOOL 351

*Indicates there will be no remote delivery option. Students who cannot attend face to face will need to take another course. If there are program implications, we will work with you to find an alternative. Please contact advisor.science@ualberta.ca.

Will there be labs, and for which courses? In person or remote?
Yes. Courses that have a lab component will continue to have a lab, either in person or remote. There may be some face-to-face labs offered on campus, and we will know this in early July. For example, BIOL 107 will still have a lab, but it will be delivered remotely.
Courses that have a face-to-face lab component. What does this mean?
Face-to-face labs will be delivered on campus in smaller cohorts that adhere to all public health protocol and safety measures.
If my lab is in person, will my lecture/seminar be in person?
Not necessarily. It will depend on the course.
How will I know the location of the labs?
Over the month of July, the Registrar’s Office will be adjusting the room location to accurately reflect where the lab will be located.
What if my course has an on-campus face-to-face lab component, but I cannot access the course in person?
For most courses, alternative delivery models will be made available to those who cannot attend the lab in person. The department / instructor will follow up with specific instructions later in the summer.
Will I have to do anything different when I come on to campus in the Fall to access the lab?
Yes, there will be protocol in place to ensure we are following the guidelines outlined by the Chief Medical Officer. These instructions will be communicated to you closer to the start of class.


I have heard that other faculties are accepting letters from professors as supplemental documentation for admission? Can I submit a letter from a professor for a class I was excelling in?
Grades and relative performance for the Winter 2020 term will not be used by the University of Alberta for any admissions decisions. As such, please note that no supplementary documentation will be accepted or used for admission evaluation purposes.
How will my admission into the Faculty of Science be evaluated?

Currently we are working through over 1,100 applications to the Faculty of Science. Our process is to review fall term grades (and any prior F/W) and determine if you are admissible based on the program requirements outlined in the calendar. If you are admissible at that time, we offer you early admission. The CR/NC policy does not change this. If you are not admissible based on your fall term grades, we will hold your record for further evaluation.

I am taking prerequisite courses to get into Nursing/graduate school/etc. and the grades I get are used for admission. Will I be okay if I get CR? What if I withdraw?

Only the Faculty responsible for administering the program can answer your questions. In the case of this example, you need to contact the Faculty of Nursing or the appropriate graduate program, etc.

I have an application into another faculty, how will that be impacted?

The receiving faculty (or other institution) retains the authority to decide how they are going to admit. You should contact them directly to understand how they are managing admissions.