U of T cancels spring convocation, in-person summer courses

Students will receive official degree parchments by mail
Convocation Hall during convocation. NATHAN CHAN/THE VARSITY
Convocation Hall during convocation. NATHAN CHAN/THE VARSITY

In light of concerns surrounding COVID-19, the University of Toronto has cancelled June convocation for students graduating after the spring 2020 semester, and summer courses will be delivered remotely. 

Convocation

June convocation, which was originally scheduled from June 2–19, has been cancelled due to concerns that convocation would violate COVID-19 social distancing directions from government officials. Toronto declared a state of emergency on March 23, and all of Ontario has banned gatherings of over 50 people.

Students who expected to convocate will still be able to graduate after the spring semester, and they will receive their degree parchment by mail.

So far, the university has not mentioned the possibility of postponing convocation. Likewise, students who wish to receive their diploma after the spring semester cannot attend a future convocation.

Deferring graduation is an option only available in certain programs, and it means that a student will not receive an official degree parchment until they graduate. 

U of T noted that it is “exploring possible alternative means of celebrating your graduation.” 

Summer courses

Both semesters of summer courses in the Faculty of Arts & Science will be delivered remotely, as of now. The university may add in-person courses for the second summer semester, from July until August, which will be decided at a later date. 

The university is still exploring options for courses that require hands-on learning, such as those involving labs or experiential requirements. 

In an email to students, Dean of Arts & Science Melanie Woodin wrote that instructors will have ample time to prepare for the transition to online learning, and that they will be given support by the university. “We are confident our instructors will continue to provide you with thoughtful and substantial learning experiences,” wrote Woodin.

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