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University of Calgary files

Dec. 22, 2021

Winter Term classes to start online

Message to the campus community from President McCauley

Health experts are continuing to learn more about the COVID-19 Omicron variant. While there are still a number of unknowns, across Canada the last few days have demonstrated how quickly it can spread. As a result of this latest phase in the pandemic, the University of Calgary, alongside the University of Alberta and University of Lethbridge, will start our respective winter semesters primarily online.

Starting the semester online will allow our communities the time we need to assess the new variant’s potential impact, particularly after the holiday season. By reducing the number of people on our campuses, we can allow the research and learning activities that must be in person to continue while also doing all that we can to help support the health-care system.

Starting Winter Term online

On Dec. 21, 2021 the Government of Alberta announced the Omicron variant is now the dominant variant in Alberta. First detected in this province on Nov. 30, Alberta has seen a spike in Omicron cases over the past 48 hours – particularly in Calgary.

The University of Calgary has already moved most of our pre-semester “block week” classes online (Jan. 3 to 7, 2022) as a precautionary measure. We are now extending this shift to online classes for the first three weeks of the Winter Term.

Most courses for Winter Term will be offered online for the first three weeks of study,  with exemptions where there is a requirement to be in person. 

Students registered for in-person classes will be contacted by a department or faculty office to confirm how their courses will be accessed during this temporary shift to online teaching and learning. Unless noted otherwise, in-person practicums will carry forward as originally planned.

Courses temporarily moved online are expected to resume in-person on Jan. 31, 2022.

University operations to continue

The University of Calgary is not closing beyond its regularly scheduled holiday break.

Faculty and staff supporting on-campus activity such as student services and research will continue to be expected to be on campus. Other support functions should, where appropriate, revert to remote working. Please reach out to your manager for further instructions.

Vaccine boosters

The University of Calgary continues to encourage the campus community to access COVID-19 vaccines. In Alberta, anyone over the age of 18 is now eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot five months after their second shot. Early evidence on the Omicron variant strongly suggests that vaccines continue to protect us against severe outcomes.


What the Omicron variant will mean for Alberta remains unclear but what we have learned to date leads us to act cautiously. This temporary move online is part of that caution. We look forward to returning to the in-person learning experience as soon as appropriate and, as always, we will keep you up-to-date on information as it becomes available and decisions as they’re made.

COVID-19 continues to throw us curves and I know this has not been an easy semester. I want to thank you for everything you’ve done – and continue to do – to keep yourself and each other safe. It’s my sincere hope that we will all be fully back on campus again soon.

Wishing you a happy holiday,

Ed McCauley
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Calgary

For the most up-to-date information about UCalgary’s COVID-19 response, please check COVIDSafe Campus for more resources.