Will the university be open in the Fall term?
Yes, but there are still so many unknowns so we do not know what kind of environment we will be in. We still hope that things are back to “new normal” in September, meaning that some combination of online and in-person activities with social distancing measures are in place for both courses and research.
I am an international student. What if I do not receive the Study Permit (due to the pandemic) in time for the Fall term?
If you have any questions about the application for the Study Permit process please have a look at https://studentlife.utoronto.ca/service/advising-immigration/ and contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are preparing for business as- close- to- usual- as- possible in September. Most courses will have an option to participate remotely so you will be able to register in the program and take courses remotely if necessary, at least at the beginning. (More on registration later.)
I am an international student. When I arrive in August/September, will I need to self-isolate for two weeks? How do I do that?
The current Government of Canada regulation says that anyone arriving from outside Canada should be under mandatory self-quarantine for 2 weeks. Obviously, this will be almost impossible logistically for a new international student without any relatives or friends. The UofT has a large international student population, and the University administration is well aware of this potential issue. They are putting together a plan to address this issue. More information will be provided when it becomes available.
What about research? Can I start research in September remotely?
If you have a supervisor identified already, please talk to your supervisor to see how research could be accommodated in case your arrival is delayed. Some theoretical research can be carried out remotely. Even for experimental research, supervisors can give some reading/study materials in the initial stage of the research.
I received an email about updating the online TA account. What do I do?
Please activate your TA account, and indicate your preferences. If you have any questions, please send them to Brian Wilson (bwilson@physics). We do not have information about what will happen to your TA funding if you cannot be on campus for the Fall. I think this will be more of a problem for international students who do not have a Canadian bank account. This is definitely on the radar for the University administration, and we will be able to provide further information later in the summer.
BTW, funding letters describing all the details of funding will be emailed to you in early September.
I do not have a supervisor yet, will I be able to defer securing supervisor?
We ask students to identify supervisors by October if they are taking 2 courses in the Fall term (for example, M. Sc. option 2 students), and get started on research. Students taking 3 courses in the Fall have until January to decide on supervisors. We have two events to help you with choosing a supervisor. In early September, there is Physics Jamboree, where you can listen to 3-minute research presentations from all potential supervisors. We will move this event to online this year. Details will be provided later. Last year, we held “Tuesday evening pizza” meetings. Each week, a faculty member meets with 1st-year students over pizza and have informal discussions about research, grad life, etc. We will see if we can organize something similar online this year.
When do I have to register for the course? If I miss the deadline, can I still enroll in Fall courses?
We have space for all students in our graduate courses. In late August/early September Krystyna will contact you regarding your appointment with Prof. Young-June Kim, Associate Chair for Graduate Studies to set up a meeting (most like using Zoom). At this meeting, you will be able to get advice on course selection. The course schedule will be posted on our website sometime in July and we will notify you when it is available. The deadline to register for lecture courses is September 21st. So you have plenty of time.
What about the summer courses?
You are already receiving emails about online events during the summer, which is completely optional. I encourage you to participate if possible.
Where can I get more information?
The Graduate Student Handbook contains a lot of useful information about our program. We are in the process of updating the Handbook, but most of the information will not change. For University-wide information about the Fall term, see https://www.utoronto.ca/utogether2020. For graduate student-specific information, see https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/covid19/ and resources on that page.