canadian universities fall 2020

This is how Canadian universities plan to open for the fall 2020 semester

Canadian universities are figuring out what the coming fall 2020 semester will look like for students.

Though many aspects of the next school year remain a little blurry, we've been told to expect a lot more virtual learning, with some post-secondary institutions shifting entirely online

Others are exploring a hybrid model of learning, which will blend online and in-person courses. But whichever path is chosen will depend on the institution, the province, and of course, the future of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Here's how universities across Canada are currently planning on returning for the 2020 fall semester.


Carleton University and Huron University College will be entirely online this coming fall. Carleton plans to offer some optional on-campus activities when it is safe to do so. 

Universities mixing online and in-person classes, however, include University of TorontoWestern University, Ryerson University, University of WaterlooYork UniversityUniversity of GuelphUniversity of OttawaWilfrid Laurier University, University of WindsorConestoga College, Fanshawe College, Fleming College, King’s University College, and St Lawrence College


Institutions that have already said they plan to hold the bulk of the fall semester online include Université du Quebec à Chicoutimi and Université du Québec à Montréal

Whereas, Concordia University, Dawson College, McGill University, Université de Montréal, and  Université Laval have mixed delivery plans. There will be some in-person classes at these institutions for courses that cannot be delivered online, which will adhere to strict protocols. 

British Columbia

The hybrid model will be in place at British Columbia Institute of Technology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, North Island College, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University, University of Victoria, and Vancouver Island University

The University of British Columbia plans to offer larger classes online with selected smaller classes conducted in-person while adhering to physical distancing and other public health requirements. 

Others like the University of VictoriaUniversity of Northern British Columbia, Royal Roads University, University of the Fraser Valleyand Camosun College, will offer courses predominantly online. 

Nova Scotia 

Mount Saint Vincent UniversityCape Breton University, St. Mary's University, and University of King’s College will all be shifting fully online for the fall semester. 

While Dalhousie University plans to offer fall courses online and resume in-person classes in January 2021. And Acadia University will be operating by a hybrid model, with flexible in-person and online course delivery.

St Francis Xavier University is monitoring the situation but plans to resume on-campus and in-person classes in the fall. The University is preparing physical distancing measures and other health and safety-related protocols.

New Brunswick

Mount Allison University and University of New Brunswick plan to offer many courses online as well as a selection of courses that will utilize both online delivery combined with some on-campus activities, such as labs or studio work. 

Red River College and Yorkville University are focused on online delivery for the fall. At Red River College, planning is also underway to allow a limited return of some on-campus activities if and when public health directives permit it.

At Université de Moncton, presence on campus and in-person classes will depend on the student's enrolled program and level. 


University of Alberta, Mount Royal University, University of CalgaryConcordia University of EdmontonUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridge College, and Portage College, will have the majority of classes online, with small groups of face-to-face learning, such as labs and clinical instruction, offered where possible. 

Some others seem to be going fully online including NAIT and Red Deer College


The University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan will be primarily offering its courses online in the fall, with both institutions allowing in-person alternatives only for labs that require specialized equipment and where otherwise warranted. 

Parkland College has announced plans for a blend of face-to-face and online learning.


Assiniboine Community College announced a blended delivery model when they resume in September, with classes sorted into four different categories. 

Those that can be completed entirely online, blended learning with on-campus attendance for important shops, skills and labs, blended learning with attendance on campus less than 50 per cent of the time and blended learning with attendance on campus more than 50 per cent of the time.

At University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and Brandon University all possible courses for their Fall terms will be delivered by remote learning, with only a few rare courses and labs delivered in person.

Prince Edward Island

Holland College plans to offer a blend of face-to-face classes for practical components and online courses and aims to return most classes to campus for the winter semester. 

The University of Prince Edward Island will be shifting most classes online, with a few exceptions for programs in health and clinical-based programs, such as Nursing, Veterinary Medicine and Engineering. Some lab-based courses in Science and Performance Arts programs may also be held in-person.

Newfoundland and Labrador 

Memorial University will offer a primarily remote teaching and learning environment for the fall semester. Full on-campus courses will not resume before January 2021.

College of the North Atlantic will combine online and in-person classes for those involving practical elements. 

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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