COVID-19 Update: April 17, 2020 | 1:00 pm

To our U of T Engineering community

I hope everyone is well — it has been just over a month since we all left campus, and so I thought I would do a quick update and also provide some info on upcoming plans.

It’s been quite a busy few weeks and I again want to give a shout-out and thanks to everyone — students, staff, faculty — for all your work, effort, and most importantly, patience. Hearing from folks has been great, to get input, feedback and ideas on ways that Engineering can work together right now as we start into finals, and as we move to planning for the summer and into the fall.

It’s important to know that all the decisions that we’ve made, and all the plans we’re developing, are being made in an environment that is constantly evolving. U of T Engineering, and the whole University, have to take direction from the public health authorities and governments — they are going to be the ones to decide when groups can gather again, and how big those groups can be. Right now, we just don’t know when and what that’s going to look like. As we can see in the news, the situation is quite different province-to-province, and country-to-country, so there are many unknowns in this complex equation that we’re trying to solve.

Right now we’re looking at lots of different scenarios and strategies.

Here’s where we are today:


  • All U of T Engineering summer-term courses will be offered with remote delivery. Visit the 2020 Summer Registration and Enrolment Guide for information on what courses are available and important dates. Undergraduate FAQ.
  • Summer research opportunities will continue but we’ll have to be quite flexible on the nature of the research projects because of restrictions on on-campus activities.
  • Stay tuned for an announcement about a new Faculty-wide program set to pilot this summer that will augment our existing summer research opportunities.

Professional Experience Year (PEY) Co-op

  • All the ECC and PEY Co-op programs are up and running with all services running remotely and online.
  • While these are challenging times, ECC and PEY Co-op are working with all employer partners to consider things like virtual onboarding and remote work arrangements as employers are making adjustments to their business continuity plans.
  • Please refer to the ECC website for detailed information and updates.


  • The University will host a Convocation ceremony via webcast on or before June 2. The Chancellor, who is the Chair of Convocation, will confer all degrees in absentia, and diploma parchments will be couriered to graduates on a rolling basis following the virtual ceremony. Convocation FAQ.
  • U of T Engineering will host an in-person celebration as soon as we’re able to gather together again in 2020 or 2021. We won’t know when or where until the restrictions around COVID-19 are lifted, but stay tuned…details around venue and format to follow!
  • Diplomas will be couriered to all graduates on a rolling basis starting June 2 through June 19.

Recruitment & Admissions

  • We’re excited to welcome our incoming undergraduate and grad students this September — our recruitment and admissions cycles are on track and on schedule, with online and virtual recruitment events reaching prospective students all around the world.


  • As we look to the Fall term and beyond, several groups led by the Vice Deans will lead the scenario planning for our various programs:
    • Undergraduate programs: Tom Coyle, Vice-Dean, Undergrad and Micah Stickel, Vice-Dean, First-Year
    • Graduate programs: Julie Audet, Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies
    • Research: Ramin Farnood, Vice-Dean, Research
  • These team leads will work with the relevant Associate Chairs in our Departments and Institutes, as well as our partners in other Faculties (Arts & Science, Medicine, etc.) to lay out plans for all our initiatives.

I certainly know that the adjustment to physical distancing has been a tough one — the demands of school, work, and for many of us, child, family, and elder care, and now homeschooling can be overwhelming.

I’m attaching our U of T Engineering Identify-Assist-Refer resource (PDF) on how we can support each other’s’ mental health during COVID-19, that includes guidelines for faculty and staff, as well as resources for students.

While there’s still a lot of work to be done for the fall, I see an enormous opportunity for new, innovative ways to deliver engineering education and research. As with any experiment, while some won’t work, everything is a learning experience and I remain ever optimistic that we will come up with some great Skule™ solutions.

I’ll keep you all up to date as details firm up.


Christopher Yip
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto

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