Student updates

UNB’s approach to Fall Term 2020

The 2020 academic fall term at UNB will be delivered through a blended model that includes alternative delivery methods and in-person classes and labs. The delivery method for each course is identified in the course registration system. The UNB course timetable indicates if courses are offered through in-person instruction, alternative delivery method or a combination of the two. More information can be found on the fall term update.

Spring and summer sessions

Spring and summer sessions at UNB will be offered using alternative delivery methods to ensure social distancing and following the advice of New Brunswick Public Health and the Government of New Brunswick. 

Updates will be communicated as they become available. Review the spring and summer sessions frequently asked questions (FAQ) for more information.

Open-entry guidelines & updates

Open-entry courses follow unique course start and end dates. The academic date provisions will apply for open-entry online courses that have a start date prior to May 1, 2020.

Strategies for learning remotely

Study strategies, time management skills and self-discipline will help you succeed in a self-directed environment while learning remotely. Follow these remote learning strategies to efficiently manage your course work, review course material more often and perform well on exams and assignments.

Remote learning strategies

Graduate studies

In alignment with the most recent notice concerning UNB operations going forward, the guidelines concerning graduate student activities are updated effective immediately.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has advised that courses of study being delivered by alternative methods on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect eligibility for a post-graduation work permit.

International visiting graduate students: Please be advised all travelers arriving in Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Learn more about travel, immigration and other resources available at UNB.

Guidance for students who are moving

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the Chief Medical Officer of New Brunswick, has shared guidelines for students who are returning to New Brunswick or who are moving out of the province.

COVID-19 Student Relief Fund

The UNB Student Relief Fund application process is now closed. Although no new applications will be accepted, we will continue to accept donations to help support students who have been financially impacted as a result of COVID-19. 

UNB has begun to disperse the bursaries based on students' urgent and significant immediate financial needs to help with basic fundamentals such as food, shelter and childcare expenses.  We will continue to award bursaries to students who submitted applications on or before 5 p.m. AST on April 30 as more funds become available through donations and fundraising efforts. Students will be notified of eligibility by email.

Spring graduation ceremonies postponed

Spring graduation ceremonies for Fredericton and Saint John will be combined with this year’s fall ceremonies, scheduled for for Oct. 2020. 

May 2020 graduands will receive their degree parchments by mail in the coming weeks. Fall graduands will receive their degree parchments in October. All graduating students attending the combined ceremonies in Oct. 2020 will cross the platform to be welcomed into the UNB alumni family: 

Graduation dates are as follows:

  • Fredericton, Ceremony A: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2 p.m., Richard J. CURRIE CENTER
  • Fredericton, Ceremony B: Friday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m., Richard J. CURRIE CENTER
  • Saint John Ceremony: Friday, Oct. 16, 3:30 p.m., G. Forbes Elliott Athletics Centre

Faculties will be assigned to each ceremony in the coming weeks, and if required, a third ceremony will take place on UNB’s Fredericton campus on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 17.  Review the graduation frequently asked questions for more information.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Some transmit easily from person to person while others do not. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Those with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. If you or a member of your family are showing two of the following symptoms, contact Tele-Care 811 or your primary health-care provider for further direction:

  • fever above 38°C or signs of fever (such as chills);
  • a new cough or worsening chronic cough;
  • sore throat;
  • runny nose;
  • headache;
  • a new onset of fatigue;
  • a new onset of muscle pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell; and
  • in children, purple markings on the fingers or toes. In this instance, testing will be done even if none of the other symptoms are present.

What are the risks of getting COVID-19?

Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. Please refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada for the most up-to-date risk assessment.

Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets that are spread when you cough or sneeze
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

The best defence against any type of communicable disease is following routine prevention measures to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections by:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
  • coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and not your hands; and
  • staying home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.

Should I wear a mask if I am healthy?

The use of non-medical community face masks is recommended for periods of time when it is not possible to consistently maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others.

It is important to know how to safely use a community face mask and how to wear a community face mask properly. Wash your hands before applying the mask and again immediately after removing the mask. A mask should fit closely on the face, and should never be shared with other people. Avoid touching a face mask while wearing it. A cloth mask should go directly into the washing machine after removing it. Masks can be laundered with other items using hot soapy water.

Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections by:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and not your hands
  • staying home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others
  • always maintain 2-metre distance

Is there a risk of contracting COVID-19 if I touch a surface that was potentially contaminated?

In general, coronaviruses have poor survivability on surfaces, and are generally thought to be spread by respiratory droplets left behind after someone coughs or sneezes.

For COVID-19, researchers are actively investigating to learn more about the ways that COVID-19 is transmitted.

The best way to prevent respiratory and other illnesses is to:

  • avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth
  • consistently use good hand hygiene measures, which include frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • maintain good respiratory etiquette, such as covering your mouth and nose with your arm or sleeve when coughing and sneezing, disposing of any used tissues as soon as possible, and following with handwashing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers where soap and water are not available
  • regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch frequently such as toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water).

What action is UNB taking to address COVID-19?

Our top priority is the safety and well-being of the UNB community. With the outbreak of COVID-19 evolving rapidly, UNB has formed a COVID-19 Response Team to prepare for all scenarios. The COVID-19 Response Team includes bi-campus representation and representation from groups that share our campuses. The group meets regularly to ensure an integrated and comprehensive response to the impact of COVID-19 on the UNB community.

The UNB COVID-19 Response Team will coordinate efforts with New Brunswick Public Health and will act on the direction and advice of our public health officials when potential risks occur to ensure we are protecting the health and safety of the UNB community.

Does UNB have a pandemic response plan?

Yes, UNB has Health Emergency Response Plan in place. The COVID-19 Response Team is currently reviewing and amending our active policies and procedures to reflect the potential requirements needed should the COVID-19 threat level escalates.

My question is not listed here. Where can I find additional information on COVID-19?

Please refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada for a complete list of COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

For the latest and most up-to-date information, see the Public Health Agency of Canada. You can also follow Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, on Twitter at @CPHO_Canada.

Canadians travelling abroad are encouraged to consult the travel health notices on travel.gc.ca.

We encourage you to obtain COVID-19 information from trusted sources such as the UNB Coronavirus website or public health authorities:

Where do I find questions and answers specific to UNB?

UNB is continuing to draft responses to university-specific questions. Please direct any questions or concerns to talktous@unb.ca.


I am a future student, how will COVID-19 impact my enrolment?

The University of New Brunswick recognizes that we are all navigating uncertain times during the COVID-19 global pandemic. As a prospective student, we are sure you have some questions. We understand the current situation is causing stress, disruption and uncertainty regarding the next steps, so we wanted to provide you with all the possible support. We are here to answer your questions!

Covid-19 Admissions FAQ

Are students allowed to return to campus?

On March 19, the Government of New Brunswick declared a state of emergency to enhance measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Beginning on April 24, the province began to transition to recovery phases for reopening the economy.

Transition to the next recovery phase for post-secondary institutions will be gradual and under strict public health guidelines. It does not yet include regular in-person classes. UNB campuses remain closed to the public.

We look forward to welcoming the UNB community back to our campuses when it is deemed safe by New Brunswick Public Health.

How will I know if there are changes to university operations?

We will provide the latest information on COVID-19 developments at unb.ca/coronavirus. We will reassess and evaluate the situation continuously and issue regular communication updates as they become available.

Changes to university operations will be communicated in several ways, including email and UNB’s social media accounts. As the situation is changing rapidly, we ask that you check your UNB email regularly and enable pop-up notifications on your mobile device. Please keep a close eye on your UNB email for updates.

I am experiencing anxiety or have other concerns related to COVID-19. What should I do?

We understand that evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 can create anxiety or concern. We encourage you to direct any COVID-19 related questions or concerns to support and resources available at UNB. Contact us at talktous@unb.ca and we will work with others across UNB to help find the answers and ease your concerns.

The New Brunswick Public Health provides advice for coping with the stress during COVID-19:

  • Connect with others while maintaining safe social distancing. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Check-in regularly with loved ones, especially those affected by the virus.
  • Take breaks. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Maintain a sense of hope and think positively.
  • Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.

I live in residence and think I may have flu-like symptoms, what should I do?

Stay in your room as much as possible and notify the residence staff. Please use the self-assessment tool. If you have symptoms, call 811 and follow their directions. If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and travel history.

All travellers returning to Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. Notify residence staff prior or immediately upon your return for further directions and support.


Are the Encaenia/Spring Convocation ceremonies taking place as scheduled?

No. UNB graduation ceremonies will no longer be held on May 27-29, 2020. Spring graduation ceremonies will be combined with this year’s Fall Ceremonies scheduled for October 2020. Graduation dates are as follows:

  • Fredericton, Ceremony A: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2 p.m., Richard J. CURRIE CENTER
  • Fredericton, Ceremony B: Friday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m., Richard J. CURRIE CENTER
  • Saint John Ceremony: Friday, Oct. 16, 3:30 p.m., G. Forbes Elliott Athletics Centre

If required, a third ceremony will take place on UNB’s Fredericton campus on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 17. 

When will I be assigned a ceremony?

In the coming weeks, ceremonies in Fredericton will be organized by faculty and all students will graduate at the ceremony to which their faculty has been assigned. Please stay tuned for updates in this regard. 

Will I still get to walk across the platform if I receive my degree by mail in May?

Yes. All graduates who attend the rescheduled ceremonies will cross the podium in the Fall to be officially welcomed into the UNB alumni family.

Who made this decision?

The President’s Executive Team, Bi-Campus COVID-19 Response Steering Committee and the Graduation Working Group put a great deal of thought into the decision to reschedule UNB’s graduation ceremonies. UNB continues to follow the advice and recommendations made by New Brunswick Public Health and the Government of New Brunswick.

Now that graduation has been rescheduled to the Fall, will I still graduate in May?

Yes. Your graduation date is still May 2020. This will be noted on your transcript and diploma.

Will I receive a copy of my diploma before the rescheduled graduation ceremonies?

Yes, each graduate will receive a diploma. The Registrar's Offices are finalizing preparations for mailing diplomas to May 2020 graduates. Diplomas will be issued following final degree audits and upon approval of Senate and the Board of Governors whose meetings are scheduled in late May.

For a limited time, you may purchase your diploma frame online. The Associated Alumni is pleased to support you during this time by paying the cost of shipping for your online frame orders. This special offer is valid for all Class of 2020 orders placed by August 31, 2020. *Note: Online orders accepted for Canadian and mainland USA locations. For all other locations, contact the Alumni Office at alumni@unb.ca.

Can I receive confirmation of program completion as I need it for employment or continuing studies?

Yes. Letters can be requested through the academic tab in your personal eServices.

Confirmation of program completion letters can only be issued by the Registrar's Office once your final grades are released and your completion status has been confirmed by your Faculty.

I already paid the $50 fee for my academic regalia. Will I be refunded this cost?

Yes. To receive a refund of your cap and gown, please contact Gaspard at alphaomega@gaspard.ca and provide your order number. If you do not contact Gaspard for a refund, your $50 deposit will be applied to the rescheduled ceremony.

When can I get tickets for the rescheduled ceremonies?

UNB Fredericton: Students will soon have the option to select tickets as they would have before, by logging onto UNB’s online graduation portal. If you have already ordered tickets for the original dates, you will need to reserve new tickets for the rescheduled dates. Continue to check unb.ca/graduation and your email for updates.

UNB Saint John: Students will automatically receive tickets to the rescheduled event. At that time, if additional tickets are required, requests can be made to the Registrar’s Office. Continue to check unb.ca/graduation and your email for updates.

How is the postponement of UNB’s spring graduation ceremonies affecting the Valedictorian selection?

The Valedictorian selection process has been paused until further notice. Current Valedictorian candidates can expect to receive an email update when more information is available. Any new information will also be posted to unb.ca/graduation.

My address has changed from the one provided on my application to graduate. How do I update it to ensure my diploma is mailed to the correct address?

Your application to graduate included a mailing address which you identified would be accurate three weeks following the originally scheduled graduation ceremony. We understand that living arrangements have changed for many students and that address may no longer be accurate. If the address you originally provided is not the address where your diploma should be mailed, email your campus Registrar with the correct address no later than Friday, May 15:

How will I receive updates?

UNB continues to closely follow the advice of New Brunswick Public Health and will determine next steps relating to graduation in accordance with its recommendations. Continue to check unb.ca/graduation and your email for updates.

Who can I contact if I have a question not on this list?

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, comments or concerns not listed here. For inquiries, contact talktous@unb.ca.

Will spring and summer courses be offered through in-person classes?

The health and safety of our community is our top priority.  To ensure social distancing and following the advice of New Brunswick Public Health and the Government of New Brunswick, it has been decided that UNB’s spring and summer sessions will be offered using alternative delivery methods.

Spring and summer sessions will be delivered by alternative methods only.  Students are required to have internet access to complete the courses.  Students will not be expected to return to campus to complete any aspect of spring and summer course requirements.

What are the academic guidelines for spring and summer sessions?

The following are important academic considerations for spring and summer sessions:

  • Start, end and withdrawal dates for spring and summer courses will continue as scheduled.
  • Student accommodations will continue through the Student Accessibility Centre for spring and summer sessions. Internet accessibility accommodations will not be considered at this time.
  • The special academic guidelines used to complete the winter term will not apply to spring and summer sessions that have a start date on or after May 1, 2020.
  • CR/NCR options will not apply and letter grades will be assigned to spring and summer courses.
  • The complete list of spring and summer courses offered at UNB will be updated regularly. Please contact the course instructor if you have any further questions.

What are my options for spring and summer courses at UNB?

If you are taking courses through UNB, you will have the choice of online courses offered through College of Extended Learning as well as courses originally offered as in-person classes that will be transitioned to delivery by alternative methods.  The complete list of spring and summer courses offered at UNB will be updated regularly.  

What is the difference between online open-entry, online term-based, or courses offered through alternative delivery methods?

There are two different online course formats, open-entry and term-based.  Both use the Learning Management System, D2L Brightspace as the course home and are developed by a team of instructional designers, web developers and graphic designers.

  • Open-entry online format consists of self-directed learning. Students work through the course individually, at their own pace, with interaction directly between the student and instructor as necessary.  Students can register anytime and can take up to 6 months to complete a 3-credit hour course.  View the complete list of open-entry online courses available.

  • Term-based online format provides interactive content, weekly readings and assignments, possibly interactive group work with other students, and various forms of assessment. Teams or Zoom may be used to supplement the delivery of online term-based courses; however, the course home is still D2L. Students register at the start of session, the same as regular on-campus classes, and complete within the term.  View the complete list of term-based online courses available.

  • Alternative delivery methods (ADM) are used for courses that are usually offered through in-person classes on campus but due to the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be held in-person at this time. Course delivery is through a communication tool such as Teams or Zoom, similar to a live in-person lecture, with interactive activities limited to question and answer periods.  Sessions may be recorded for those who may miss the original version.  Instructors may choose to use D2L Brightspace platform to post the course syllabus or instructions for assignments, etc.  Students register at the start of the session, the same as regular on-campus classes, and complete within the term.  View the UNB course timetable for a complete listing of all courses available during Summer Term.

How do I register for spring and summer sessions?

The process of registering for summer term courses has not changed for current UNB students.  Please register for courses using the UNB Portal.  The complete list of spring and summer courses offered at UNB will be updated regularly.  

There are no changes to registering for an open-entry online course.  Open-entry courses are subject to an additional $100 non-refundable/non-transferable online fee per course, questions can be directed to the College of Extended Learning.

Are there changes to fees for spring and summer sessions?

There are no changes to tuition and fees.  Summer term courses will continue to be charged by course.  Tuition for fall and winter term will be charged as per the tuition tables noted on the Financial Services website

Who do I contact if my question of concern is not listed here?

UNB Online has a long history of delivering credit courses through online and distance delivery to students throughout the globe. We are confident in our ability to provide you with a rewarding and beneficial learning experience that you can access from the comfort and safety of your home.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this unprecedented situation. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, comments or concerns. For inquiries, contact talktous@unb.ca.