CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND UBC’S RESPONSE: For updates, FAQs and resources, visit ubc.ca. For UBC Okanagan-specific updates, visit ok.ubc.ca/covid19.

UBC is planning for a return to on-campus activity for Winter Session, Term 1, in September.

Review UBC President Santa Ono’s global message from March 8, 2021.

The School of Engineering would like to reassure the faculty community that the health and wellbeing of our UBC community is of paramount importance as we chart our plans for a full return to campus.

What does this mean for Applied Science Students?

  • We anticipate that you will be studying on campus (e.g. in-person classes) in September 2021.
  • Applied Science is planning to offer courses primarily in-person and as such courses offered fully online will be limited.
  • If you are unable to come to campus for reasons beyond your control, we’ll do our best to support your degree progress but there is no guarantee that the courses you need will be available online.
  • A set of relevant FAQs that include information about housing, health and wellbeing and other services is available at ubc.ca/information-for-students.

Plans for September are subject to the health and safety protocols as defined by the Provincial Health Officer. If there are substantial changes, UBC will provide students, faculty and staff with an update. For the most up-to-date information from the university about our return to campus, please continue to visit covid19.ubc.ca.

Student and parent inquiries or concerns can be directed to  avps.ok@ubc.ca .

UBC Okanagan has expanded its online resources for students. To review student support services, visit students.ok.ubc.ca/support. For information related to international students including a comprehensive immigration and health insurance FAQ visit students.ok.ubc.ca/international. 

As a community we need to continue to uphold our individual responsibility to work together to navigate our safe return to on-campus activity – from maintaining health and safety practices to exercising kindness and empathy for each other.

Are the School of Engineering offices physically open?

  • Offices are closed, with limited personnel on campus.  However, services are continuing as usual.
  • If you need assistance from the School’s administrative team please email the person directly or use the general email (engineering.administration@ubc.ca).

How can I access an Academic Advisor, Co-op Coordinator, or a member of the Administrative teams?

  • The School of Engineering Academic Advising, Engineering Co-op (Co-op), and Administrative teams are working remotely, following UBC guidelines for physical distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • No in-person appointments or meetings will be available during this time, but all services are continuing as usual.
  • Visit SOE Academic Advising for FAQ or contact information.
  • Email an Advisor at soe.advising@ubc.ca
  • Book an online appointment through the appointment portal
  • Contact your co-op coordinator via email – UBC Co-op Website
  • Co-op coordinators Jennifer Eberle and Sarah Nhan

What are the hours of operations that I can expect to hear from staff?

  • Our regular hours of operations are Monday to Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm.

Where can I find mental health support or resources?

How do I access emergency financial support?

What plans are in place for resuming on-campus research?

  • In collaboration with all UBC Faculties, UBC is progressing through a phased resumption of on-campus research.
  • Conducting on-campus research and scholarship will be limited to those who require on-campus resources and cannot conduct this work remotely.
  • As a reminder, and in keeping with public health guidelines, the majority of our faculty and staff continue to work remotely, wherever possible.
  • Health and safety remains UBC’s priority.
  • For more information, please visit https://research.ubc.ca/COVID-19/phased-resumption.

Are there protocols for being on campus?

  • Faculty, staff and contractors who are on campus are now required to directly confirm to a supervisor (or designate) that they have completed a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival at their workplace.
  • Please use the BC self-assessment tool at https://bc.thrive.health/.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms should follow the guidance provided in the self-assessment tool
  • Students taking part in face-to-face classes, or attending campus for other reasons, now need to directly confirm to their instructor/UBC representative that they have completed a self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving on campus.
  • Effective Wednesday, September 16, 2020, UBC students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear non-medical masks, when indoors on the Okanagan campus.

Are there still special protocols for graduate students and researchers?

  • All Graduate students are strongly encouraged to work from home were practical and feasible.  For critical experiments, ‘weekend protocols’ should be in place to ensure safety.
  • In mid-March, the university announced it was curtailing on-campus research activities at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.
  • To continue research activities on our campuses, researchers must receive an exemption to be classed as critical research or maintaining critical research resources.
  • Procedures and protocols are currently being developed for a research decurtailment across UBC.
  • FAQs related to on-campus research curtailment https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19-curtailing-research-activities-ubc-campuses

As an international student what plans should I make for September?

  • We recommend students verify program adjustments with their academic advisors.
  • If you are a student arriving from outside Canada, and you are not able to self-isolate in your own accommodation, UBC Student Housing is now offering complementary on-campus self-isolation packages (14 days accommodation and meals), subject to availability. UBC Conferences and Accommodation (C&A) is also offering a variety of fee-based self-isolation accommodation packages to those who need to self-isolate upon arrival in Canada. These packages include a number of on-campus accommodation options operated by C&A, plus off-campus accommodation in partnership with local hotels. For more information about self-isolation accommodation packages, including how to apply, please visit: UBC Okanagan self-isolation accommodation packages

What about events or workshops that have been scheduled?

  • All labs, field trips and tutorials have been cancelled or moved online (consult with your instructor for details).
  • In general, larger events have been cancelled, and some smaller events like workshops are moving online. If you have registered for an event, you will be sent confirmation of your event either being cancelled or moved online.
  • Spring convocation has been postponed

Can student teams continue to work in small groups at UBC campus?

  • Teams should not work together in person at this time. Planned face-to-face team activities should be cancelled until further notice.
  • UBC has implemented a number of steps designed to reduce the spread of infection.
  • Students are encouraged to work, collaborate and meet to discuss team projects using online, video conferencing and other electronic tools where possible.
  • Student can do their part  in preventing the spread of infections by: frequent handwashing, wiping down common surfaces, and avoiding coming to shared spaces if unwell.
  • Teams are encouraged to create an online scheduling system to ensure that only a few students at a time are in the design team space.
  • Students are reminded of safe working practices, and should not engage in work alone.
  • Teams should identify 2 – 4 key members who will be responsible for assisting in a planned secure-shut down of the team or lab space for the time being.
  • The 2 – 4 member team should make a checklist list of all items they need to secure and make a note of where they are secured (i.e. all tools put in locked cabinets).
  • Given that many teams may be trying to accomplish this activity at the same time, try to reduce contact with other teams, and try to remain at least 2 meters or 6 feet away from others at all times.

What can student teams expect for scheduled and planned competitions?

  • Currently the government has issued a travel advisory recommending all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
  • In addition the government is recommending that all Canadians should stay home where possible and specifically avoid large gatherings of over 250 individuals.
  • UBC has recommended all students abroad return to Vancouver as soon as possible.
  • We understand how important student competitions are to our design teams, and we understand that teams have been working all year towards these competitions.
  • At this time student teams should avoid making any further plans for participating in student competitions until further notice.
  • If there are questions around planned competitions we are happy to examine on a case by case basis.

What’s happening with classes & exams during second term (January – May 2021)?

  • Undergraduate engineering programs will be delivered 100% online for the second term (January – May), with a full suite of course offerings
  • For Winter Session, Term 2, UBC programming will be delivered online with limited exceptions (for example Medical Education, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Theatre and Music).
  • Last day to drop (in Term 2) without a W standing is January 15, 2021.
  • UBC Announcement regarding term 2 program delivery
  • Additionally, courses offered by most other faculties will also be online. This means students can choose to be anywhere in the world to pursue their engineering studies at UBC.
  • All lectures and tutorials will be online, and work is underway to determine what that will look like, considering that many students will be in different time zones.
  • Many labs will be online. However, for the very few labs that are not able to be delivered in an online format, they will be deferred until a time when you can safely be on campus, and make up the lab at a later date.
  • Small group activities and project work, already built into courses will be delivered online. Students will still be able to work in teams and on projects that are integral to the work that engineers do.
  • While we are keen to facilitate more people on campus, it is important to stress that health and safety remains UBC’s first priority as we continue to ensure that UBC plans are consistent with provincial public health requirements.
  • Online final examinations will follow the same schedule as posted in-class examinations
  • All courses that have scheduled final exams will have them delivered in one of two ways: Canvas Quiz and Take Home Exam (delivered through Canvas or sent directly to students).
  • Students will be provided with additional time for all Canvas Quiz exams, but must complete their exam within the allocated exam duration once they begin.
  • If you have any issues related to scheduling please reach out to your instructor directly and/or School of Engineering Academic Advising.
  • Student who access the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) are encouraged to speak directly with the DRC and your instructor for accommodations.
  • If you are registered with the Disability Resource Centre and need accommodations (or even if you aren’t sure you’re going to need accommodations yet) you need to book your exam in the accommodation portal as normal by the deadline specified for the term in question.
  • Instructors will communicate to students any changes to the grading scheme, any modified expectations, and final exam format.
  • If you are unable to write your exam at the scheduled date and time for any reason, or have problems with internet access, or any technological issues, you can obtain a Deferred Standing for the course.
  • Instructors will not add additional assessments during the term to replace the final exam, but may add low stakes assessments for the benefit of students.
  • If you are experiencing issues during the term and/or exam, please contact your instructor via email.  Alternative, you may wish to consider requesting a Standing Deferred if you feel that you will have technical issues during the exam period.
  • UBC will ensure adherence to all public health requirements, as all Faculties assess ways to expand in-person pedagogical activities.
  • UBC will continue to monitor public health guidance, consult with local public health authorities, and provide further updates as the situation evolves.
  • As UBC looks to increase opportunities to provide more on-campus programming, it is vital that all students, faculty and staff maintain the commitments UBC has developed over the last few months, prioritizing the health and wellbeing of all students, faculty and staff.

Where can I get additional information about UBC’s response to COVID-19? 


The School of Engineering held a special Undergraduate Town Hall on April 9, 2020.

Click here to watch the recording

The School of Engineering held a special Graduate Studies Town Hall on May 28, 2020.

Click here to watch the recording