School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

  • Winter landscape at Queens

Important Updates 

March 17th, 2021

  1. University operations and response to COVID-19, visit the Queen’s University COVID-19 Information page;
  2. Your program and program operations (including classes and practicums/placements), contact your program’s Graduate Coordinator 
  3. Travel to Canada and other important information for international students, visit the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) website and in particular, QUIC’s Arrival to Canada 2020/21 guide;
  4. Research activities, visit the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) COVID-19 Outbreak and its Impact on Research page;
  5. The broader Kingston community, visit the Kingston Public Health website or the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

Please note that the FAQ below will be updated with the most current information as we get them. In the meantime, please refer to the above resources.

School of Graduate Studies FAQs 

Section 1: Academic: Time to Completion, Examinations, & Course Requirements

I have faced delays in my degree progress as a result of COVID-19. Will the university offer time-to-completion extensions?

The School of Graduate Studies, in consultation with its partners, has created a COVID-19 extension protocol. The details can be found here. Questions about your eligibility for this extension should be directed to your Graduate Coordinator.

How will lab, classroom, and office spaces ensure social distancing?

In consultation with University Planning and Environmental Health and Safety, Faculties/departments/programs have worked together to ensure that social distancing guidelines and measures to ensure their adherence are established to ensure university operations comply with Public Health advice.

Please refer to the Queen's Covid-19 Information & Planning for Fall 2020 Term for health and safety guidelines and further details on how the university is preparing for the academic year.

Do you have any suggestions on how I can continue to advance my research while working from home?

SGS recognizes that there may be challenges to working from home. Queen’s Human Resources have compiled tips for staying productive and motivated that may be helpful as your make the transition to working from home.

SGS recommends being in contact with your supervisor and committee members though remote meetings to consult with them on how best to plan and continue your research. Please review the “Guidelines for Effective Remote Supervision.”

If you have completed your research and are currently writing your thesis, the School of Graduate Studies has provided a contingency plan for administering remote thesis examinations.

Depending on the stage of your degree, and in consultation with your supervisor you could consider the following:

  • Conduct a thorough literature review. Remember that the online version of the library is still available.
  • You may also fulfill your PhD candidacy requirement by studying for and completing your comprehensive exams.
  • Analyse your data, examples: statistics, bioinformatics, other electronic analyses, interview outcomes and transcription, archival notes, etc.
  • Write a portion or all of your thesis. If you do not currently have access to all of your print resources, you can still begin writing – make notes or insert footnotes referencing source material you can track down later.
  • If you are a PhD student, please familiarize yourself with the format requirements for your thesis. Ensuring you work within these guidelines now may help you to save time in future.
  • Write your thesis proposal.
  • Prepare outlines of your chapters for discussion with your supervisor and committee.
  • Check if there are graduate courses that you can take during this time.
  • Focus on translations and language requirements that may be necessary for your research or a part of your degree requirement.
  • Take time to evaluate and reflect on the research you have already gathered. Gaining better insight into what you already have may spark ideas and help you to prioritize your activities moving forward.
  • Work on award applications (Tri-Councils or others) for the upcoming academic year.

What should I do if I have an upcoming scheduled comprehensive exam, qualifying exam, field exam, or thesis defense?

Comprehensive exams, field exams, and qualifying exams are program-specific requirements. Questions about how these may be adjusted should be directed to your Graduate Coordinator and Program Chair.

Regarding Oral PhD Thesis Examinations, efforts should be taken to ensure that oral thesis examinations are held as scheduled. Examinations will we conducted remotely. SGS has developed Procedures for Holding Remote Thesis Examinations

What are the procedures for remote PhD Examinations?

SGS recommends using Microsoft teams to hold PhD oral thesis examinations. Mr. David Smith at IT Services is offering technical support. Please see procedures for remote examinations.

What are the procedures for remote graduate-related meetings and comprehensive exams?

In step with the university-wide ITS services, SGS recommends Microsoft Teams. For guidance on how to use and set up Microsoft Teams, visit IT Services. Your program will still be responsible for the conduct of these exams and will work with you on this.

Can I take a break from my graduate studies to deal with the added responsibilities and stresses related to the COVID-19 outbreak?

We understand that this is a challenging time, requiring many considerations and adjustments to be made.

If you feel it is the best choice for you, you may wish to consider a withdrawal from your program. You may apply for readmission to the program once you feel able to do so.  Please contact SGS by emailing grad.studies@queensu.ca for information on how to withdraw. Please be aware that withdrawing from your program means that you will not receive your summer term funding package and you will no longer be a student (temporarily suspended from this status), which means that you will not be able to access many campus resources, including the library and supports offered through the Division of Student Affairs. If you have questions about how your health care plan may be affected, email the Society of Graduate and Professional Students at healthdental@sgps.ca.

You may wish to consider Short-Term Academic Consideration, which is available to those experiencing extenuating circumstances that temporarily affect their ability to fulfill their academic obligations and requirements. Please note that you must still pay tuition, however you retain your status as a student, will continue to receive your funding package, and have access to campus resources.

How will clinical placements/co-ops/internships be affected?  

SGS encourages programs to be creative and flexible in thinking about possible substitutes or adjustments to these requirements. Programs have the ability to make these changes in the interest of their students. All efforts should be made to avoid slowing students down in the progress of their degrees. If you are a student, please speak to your Graduate Coordinator about possible adjustments.

Is there support available for Microsoft Teams?

Yes. Please review the information provided by IT Services about Microsoft Teams. IT Services has also made tutorial for Microsoft Teams.

If you are preparing for a thesis examination, SGS has established procedures for remote examinations. IT Services is available for support and will coordinate a practice session in advance of examination. Please see the "Academic" section of this page for more details

Section 2: Research

I require access to Queen’s Library resources. How can I get the support I need?

For the most up-to-date information on how to access library space and library resources, please visit Queen’s University Library’s Covid-19 Updates on Library Services & Operations  page. 

We encourage remote access of library resources wherever possible. The library staff are available to support your research efforts. Please contact the library using their Ask Us service or reach out to one of the Subject Librarians directly. 

How is my lab research affected by the restrictions and precautions around COVID-19?

The university has implemented procedures intended to impede the spread of COVID-19 in line with the best information we have at this time. The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) has created plan to prioritize and adjudicate requests for on-site research facility access. Postdoctoral fellows and graduate students must work with their principal investigator/faculty member/supervisor if requesting access. The principal investigator/faculty member/supervisor will be responsible for all activities of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research staff who report directly to them. Please refer to the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) for the most up-to-date information on research activities.

What is Queen's current policy on conducting field research activities for the academic year?

Speak with your supervisor about your specific research plans and for the latest information on research operations, including graduate research and field research activities, visit the VP (Research) COVID-19 information web page.

My research involves human participants. How will my work be affected by COVID-19?

Please  speak to your Supervisor and refer to the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)'s Research Ethics page.   Continue to monitor for relevant updates on the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) website.

Section 3: Finances & Funding

I have faced delays in my degree progress as a result of COVID-19. Will the university offer funding extensions for those who will be beyond their funding eligibility in the 2021-22 academic year?

The School of Graduate Studies, in consultation with its partners, has created a COVID-19 extension protocol. The details can be found here. Questions about your eligibility for this extension should be directed to your Graduate Coordinator.

I have emergency financial needs owing to COVID-19. What supports are available?

Please review whether you are eligible for government supports for individuals on the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan webpage.

I have lost income as a result of the restrictions and precautions around COVID-19. I can’t afford to continue my graduate studies. What can I do?

Depending on your employment you may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). You can investigate your eligibility for EI through the following Government of Canada website: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html.

Please review whether you are eligible for government supports for individuals on the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan webpage.

You also have the option to withdraw from your program and apply for readmission to the program once you feel able to do so.    Please contact SGS by emailing grad.studies@queensu.ca for more information on how to withdraw. Please be aware that withdrawing from your program means that you will not receive your term funding package and you will no longer be a student (temporarily suspended from this status), which means that you will not be able to access campus resources, including the library and supports offered through the Division of Student Affairs. If you have questions about how your health care plan may be affected by either a leave or withdrawal from your program, email the Society of Graduate and Professional Students at  healthdental@sgps.ca.

I don't understand all the various government announcements on financial assistance, can someone help?

Dr. Jennifer Robson, Associate Professor of Political Management at Carleton University has put together a web page to help us understand this very question. This website has been adapted from information compiled and published freely by Dr. Jennifer Robson. You can read the original document on this website.   Please note this information is as accurate as possible at the time of print. 

Another explanation can be found on this link - https://www.savvynewcanadians.com/how-to-apply-for-the-canada-emergency-student-benefit-cesb/

Section 4: Convocation and Diplomas

Please check the Office of the University Registrar website http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/convocation/ceremonies for information and updates about all things Convocation.

Section 5: Newly Admitted and Applying Students

I am applying for admission to graduate studies for the academic year 2021-22.  What are the transcript requirements for applicants?

We realize that applicants may have difficulty getting transcript documentation from their current or previous university or universities at this time.  For the purpose of evaluating your application for admission we can use the  version of your official transcripts that you have on hand or can easily get, that you upload as part of the application process.  It is very important that the transcript you upload is an official transcript, if at all possible.  Also note that official transcripts are required before we can process an offer of admission to graduate studies here.”

Transcripts can be emailed by the issuing university to grad.studies@queensu.ca  or sent to us by fax:  1-613-533-6015. Canada Post services on campus is still operational 2 days per week, so we can pick up and process mail, including transcripts, 2 times per week (mailing address - School of Graduate Studies, Queen's University, Gordon Hall Room 425, 74 Union Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6). But, our office building is closed to the public currently, so courier deliveries (ie FedEX, UPS, Purolator, etc.)  cannot be processed for now.

I am currently an undergraduate student. I plan to apply to graduate studies at Queen’s.  How will a Pass/Fail option for any undergraduate courses impact graduate admissions?  Will graduate programs accommodate the circumstances of COVID-19 and its impact on my academic record?

Our graduate programs are aware that final transcripts of students who have accepted offers of admission to graduate studies here, may show CR (Credit) or Pass/Fail, instead of a grade.  That will happen for students from all universities.  Programs are prepared to be as flexible as possible in their assessment of the final term’s grades, as is the School of Graduate Studies. We plan to make the best admissions decisions that we can, given the current circumstances. 

I am a newly admitted international student. What do I need to know? Who should I talk to?

For incoming international students, an important resource for you now and in future is the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC).

  • For questions about visas, work permits, cultural transition advice, etc. please contact isa@queensu.ca.
  • If you have questions about the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), contact uhip@queensu.ca.
  • For any other queries you may have as an international student at Queen’s contact quic@queensu.ca.

Section 6: International Students

I am a/wish to come to Queen's as an international visiting graduate student. What do I need to know? 

Please review this PDF document, which contains important information for students who wish to come to Queen's as a visiting graduate student.

I hope to travel to Kingston for the Winter 2021 semester.  What do I need to do to prepare for my arrival?

Please follow the detailed instructions found on the Queen's University International Centre's Arrival in Canada website.

Please download the ArriveCAN app before departure to ensure that you have all your required documents in order.  The ArriveCAN may also be used to report on symptoms within 48 hours of arrival in Canada. 

What are the quarantine requirements for arrival in Canada and how is Queen’s preparing to support international students when they arrive in Canada?

The International Arrivals page on Queen’s University International Center (QUIC) has information about all requirements. For more details on travel and arrival to Canada, please visit the Government of Canada website for Visitors, Temporary Workers, and Students

Continually updated information for students related to COVID-19 can also be found on on the Queen’s COVID-19 website

If you require financial support for your arrival in Canada, please contact the QUIC student advisors at isa@queensu.ca to explain your needs.

Where can I quarantine? Can students who need to quarantine be accommodated in university housing/residences?

Queen’s University has developed and implemented quarantine arrangements for student and co-arriving immediate family members from international locations to support the requirement for mandatory 14-day self-isolation. Because residences at Queen’s are open and students are now moving into their residence room for the year, there are very limited residence spaces for quarantine. Instead, Queen’s University has worked with Kingston and Toronto hotels to offer discounted rates for Queen’s students who are required to quarantine. Each provider offers a different package, so interested students are encouraged to investigate all the options available. Please visit the Queen's University International Centre's Arrival to Canada page for more details.

Delta Kingston - Use Email for best available rate for students

Four Points by Sheraton Kingston - Contact the hotel by Email for special rates based on length of stay. This option is open to Queens Students/Faculty who may require accommodation during the 20/21 school year.

Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge - Book your corporate rate for Queen's University

Thrift Lodge Kingston - Call Thrift Lodge directly for their best available rate. Toll Free: 1-800-706-0698 or Tel: (613) 546-4411

For international Queen’s graduate students currently not in Canada

Hotels at both Montreal and Toronto airports have preferential rates for Queen’s students who wish to quarantine in the vicinity of the airport before travelling to Kingston:

Holiday Inn Airport East, Toronto.  Code: QUEENS-600. Send an email to us with your full name, student ID number (if applicable), flight details on p.sambasivan@yyzae.com with a copy to w.fawal@yyzae.com; s.patti@yyzae.com; GSM@yyzae.com; and to guestservices@yyzae.com  or call us on +1-416-240-7511 or +1-416-240-4390 and speak with the Duty Manager with reference to the code QUEENS-600

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Montreal Airport will block book up to 20 rooms for arriving students of Queen's University up to five days prior to arrival. After that date students should book with the hotel directly. The block booking will be at a discount rate of $125+tax per night.  Rooms will include a kitchenette and breakfast package.

I plan to quarantine in my own apartment/house.  What are my obligations and what supports are available?

All students will be provided with access to an advisor prior to arrival to assist with developing their quarantine plans to ensure that the plan meets the requirements of the Government of Canada, and the requirements of local and provincial public health authorities. All students in quarantine will receive a mandatory virtual check-in, followed by further email or phone check-ins from International Queen’s staff members.  Students living in their own accommodations can find out more about local delivery of groceries, banking, pharmacy needs, etc. from QUIC’s International Arrival pages.  Continually updated information for students related to COVID-19 are located on the Queen’s COVID-19 website: https://www.queensu.ca/covidinfo/students.

Government embassies/consulates/Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed in my country and/or the borders are closed to neighbouring countries.  

  • Can I still apply for a study permit/visa?  
  • These closures mean that the processing of my study permit application/visa is delayed and/or I can’t submit biometrics. What should I do?  

First, please note the difference between a visa and a study permit. To study in Canada, you need to apply for a study permit, which grants you permission to study and stay in Canada. This is different from a visa, which is not required by all students.  A visa, for those who need it, allows you to enter or re-enter Canada as long it is valid. You may also be required to submit biometrics as a part of your study permit application. 

Government Embassies/Consulates may be currently closed to walk-in traffic; however, they are still processing study permit applications.  The VACs in some countries are currently closed, or offering reduced services. Paper applications are not being accepted but you can apply online. If you plan to come to Canada for your program, please apply for your study permit. Even if your program offers the ability to start remotely, please still apply. 

Please also visit this Government of Canada website for details on what you need and how it may be affected by COVID-19

For incoming international students, an important resource is the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC). For questions about visas, work permits, cultural transition advice, etc. please contact isa@queensu.ca

I have questions about the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and its application processes as related visas, work/study permits, etc. Where can I find answers?

Please also monitor the Government of Canada publications regarding COVID19, and program delivery updates, which are reviewed and updated on a regular basis:

Another important resource is the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC). For questions about visas, work permits, cultural transition advice, etc. please contact a QUIC Student Advisor at isa@queensu.ca.

If my permit is granted on time, will I be able to enter Canada even if my program is delivered online? How do non-essential travel advisories affect me? 

Please refer to the current travel restrictions available on the Government of Canada website to understand how your plans to travel to Canada may be affected. 

Non-essential travel advisories are still in effect in most countries. As foreign governments implement strict travel restrictions and international transportation options continue to become less available, many international students will have difficulty travelling to Canada or may be unable to do so. Local authorities may impose control measures suddenly, including movement restrictions such as quarantine. 

If my spouse obtains a job offer first before applying for a work permit, what type of work permit should he apply for? 

Please contact isa@queensu.ca and one of the International Student Advisor will be able to respond to your question.  

I have been granted a study permit, however, my partner/spouse is still waiting for their eTA to travel to Canada. If they don't get their eTA in August, is there any other type of visa to let them enter Canada?  

Please contact isa@queensu.ca and one of the International Student Advisor will be able to respond to your question. 

I am an international graduate student. I have secured employment outside of Canada in the coming weeks and my visa (and/or work contract) expire soon. What should I do?

Graduate students should get in touch with QUIC for further guidance. Please email isa@queensu.ca and explain your situation.

I am concerned that I will not be able to cross the border into Canada because I am not a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. What should I do?

I have questions about study permits and visas that are not covered in the questions included here. Who should I contact? 

Please contact isa@queensu.ca and one of the International Student Advisor will be able to respond to your question. 

I need to submit original copies of my transcript or other documents to Queen’s. Can I send them by DHL, FedEx or other shipping company?

The School of Graduate Studies is not open to the public, nor for deliveries, currently. It would be best to mail, email, or fax these documents to SGS and to provide us with the original versions upon your arrival and when the building is once again open.

How does health insurance work?

To live and study in Canada, you require health insurance. As a Queen’s student you are required to have two kinds of insurance.

The first is the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). For more details, please visit the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) webpage. If you have questions about UHIP, please email uhip@queensu.ca.

The second form of insurance is a supplemental health plan. This provides you with health and dental insurance that is not covered by UHIP, for example, trips to the dentist, eye glasses, or prescriptions. Supplemental health insurance is administered by the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS). Please read carefully the information on the SGPS website as it explains your options.  You can enroll dependents in this supplemental plan as well. Visit the SGSP website for details on costs and deadlines to do so.

If you are taking your classes remotely, it is important to note that these insurance plans can not be used in your home country. Please reach out to QUIC or the SGPS if you have questions about this.

If I am not living in Canada for the academic year, do I have to get UHIP and the SGPS supplementary health insurance? 

For questions about UHIP, please email uhip@queensu.ca. For questions about the SGPS supplementary health and dental plan, please read the information on the SGPS website very carefully as it explains your options.

My partner/husband/wife is coming to Kingston with me. How easily can they find a job? Does the university offer help with this process?

The university does not offer support to the spouses or partners of students. There are, however, agencies within the city that may be able to offer support, such as Keys Job Centre.

Your partner or spouse requires a work permit to legally work in Canada. Please visit the Government of Canada’s website for more details.

Where can I find information on income taxes in Canada?

Please visit the Queen’s University International Centre’s (QUIC) website for information and support on navigating income taxes in Canada.

Can I access a VPN to help me begin my program remotely?

Queen’s is supporting VPN service abroad. Queen’s has put VPN service in place for our students in China and IT Services is investigating collaborations with other Canadian universities to ensure effective connectivity. 

What specific supports will be made available for international graduate students in light of COVID-19?

There are a number of resources to support you and provide answer to questions you might have as an international student. 

  • If you have questions about immigration, cultural transition advice or with student wellbeing, please contact isa@queensu.ca.
  • If you have questions about the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), contact uhip@queensu.ca.
  • For any other queries you may have as an international student at Queen’s contact quic@queensu.ca.
  • Academic support services will continue to be available to support you in your academic work, including the Student Academic Success Service.
  • Access Student Wellness Services for support. You may wish to reach out to a graduate student counsellor directly by emailing counselling.services@queensu.ca.
  • If there is a specific concern that affects the completion of your program that cannot be addressed at QUIC, with your Supervisor, or within your program, please contact your SGS Associate Dean.

    What resources are available to international students from the Canadian government in relation to Covid-19 travel restrictions?

    Please visit this Government of Canada website, which outlines the details of how COVID-19 might affect you and your plans to come to Canada. International students, staff/faculty holding valid work permits, and others who may be required to travel are advised to consult the IRCC guidelines for specific details relating to travel restrictions, quarantine-on-arrival, and more. Please check back frequently, as guidelines are subject to change on short notice.

    Section 7: Community & Wellness Supports

    Is the Athletic and Recreation Centre (ARC) open to students?

    The ARC is currently closed for in person physical activity, but they continue to provide online classes.  For updates to all Athletics & Recreation programming, go to the ARC Covid landing page.   

    How does the COVID-19 satellite assessment centre operate?

    The KHSC satellite COVID-19 assessment centre located on campus is now open.

    Located at Mitchell Hall, the centre will offer COVID-19 testing to students from Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm.

    Testing is available to Queen’s students who have travelled outside the region (i.e., beyond Hastings, Prince Edward, Leeds, Grenville, or Lanark counties), have had visitors from outside the region, have moved to the region in the last 14 days, or who require testing for contact tracing purposes, even if asymptomatic.

    To book an appointment, please call Student Wellness Services at 613-533-2506.

    Will we still have access to support services, such as those operated by the Division of Student Affairs for the academic year?

    Queen’s University has more than 5000 graduate students and students in professional programs, along with faculty and staff, and therefore all services will be operational in Fall 2020. All of these services will, however, adhere to the guidelines set by Public Health, which may include innovative methods to deliver this support. Keep up-to-date on the services available to you as a graduate student through the Division of Student Affairs’ website (includes Student Wellness Services, Queen’s University International Centre, Student Academic Success Services, Career Services and others) and that of the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

    Will the School of Graduate Studies offer professional and academic development programing over the academic year? For example, workshops and writing retreats?

    SGS has worked hard to transition all of its professional and academic development programs to remote delivery to suit current uncertainties as well as future student needs. In addition to our workshops, there are opportunities to which your Queen’s NetID can provide access, such as Mitacs. Please monitor our professional and academic programming website, Orientation page, and the Mitacs websites for current and future offerings. 

    I require short-term housing in Kingston while I search for somewhere to live. What are my options?

    In response to COVID-19, hotels across Kingston have created accommodation packages to meet the needs of Queen’s graduate and undergraduate students.  Each provider offers a different package, so interested students are encouraged to investigate all the options available.

    Delta Kingston - Use Email for best available rate for students

    Four Points by Sheraton Kingston - Contact the hotel by Email for special rates based on length of stay. This option is open to Queens Students/Faculty who may require accommodation during the 20/21 school year.

    Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge - Book your corporate rate for Queen's University

    Thrift Lodge Kingston - Call Thrift Lodge directly for their best available rate. Toll Free: 1-800-706-0698 or Tel: (613) 546-4411

    What food options are available on campus?

    Decisions about what food options are available and the hours of operation are made through consultation with Public Health.  For up to date information from Hospitality Services visit their web page

    I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed. What do I do?

    First and foremost, take time to ensure the well-being of yourself, your family and friends and your community. This is what matters most at this time. It is okay to pause for a moment right now as the University, Supervisors, Graduate Coordinators, Assistants, Chairs, Deans and Associate Deans and staff at SGS work out contingency plans and procedures to support you. If you can work remotely on your research and academics then go ahead, especially if a sense of routine and task completion helps you to feel well. However, if you are busy with family and your community that is fine and where your focus should be.

    There are several departments you contact to get online/phone support.  From counselling services at Student Wellness, Ban Righ, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and QUIC. 

    I am a student/post-doctoral fellow with children at home. What resources are available to support me?

    SGS understands that the caring for children and working from home presents unique challenges. Please visit the Students with Children website for resources that might help. 

    I have health questions related to COVID-19. Where do I look for that?

    For information specific to Queen’s University, please visit the COVID-19 information homepage.

    For information about COVID-19 as it relates to the broader community and Canada, please visit the Kingston Public Health website or the Public Health Canada website.

    I’m looking for somewhere to live in Kingston. Where can I get housing advice and support?

    Please visit the Queen’s Community Housing online listing service, to search for off-campus housing options.

    For advice and guidance on rental contracts as well as other resources please also visit the Student Community Relations Office webpage.

    I would like to be a tenant in a unit owned by Queen's Community Housing who do I contact?

    All available units at An Clachan and John Orr Tower have been allocated for September 2020. The next application period will open spring 2021.

    I have experienced/witnessed acts of racism as a result of COVID-19. What resources are there to support me?

    Section 8: Post-Doctoral Fellows

    I am a post-doctoral fellow. Since my contract is time-limited and there is little flexibility in the research plan, I cannot make up work that will be affected by current precautions. What should I do?

    Please speak with your supervisor about how best to proceed.

    Please also refer to the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) for information on COVID-19 and its impact on Queen’s research

    I am post-doctoral fellow with a work contract and visa that expire soon. What do the current precautions around COVID-19 mean for me?

    For issues related to your work contract or visa, please reach out to Monica Stewart (monica.stewart@queensu.ca) in Faculty Relations.

    I am an international graduate student or post-doctoral fellow. I have secured employment outside of Canada in the coming weeks and my visa (and/or work contract) expire soon. What should I do?

    Graduate students should get in touch with QUIC for further guidance.

    Post-doctoral fellows should reach out to Monica Stewart (monica.stewart@queensu.ca) in Faculty Relations.

    Section 9: Communicating Your Concerns to SGS

    What is SGS doing to understand the range of issues that graduate students and post-docs are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 restrictions and precautions?

    SGS relies on multiple sources of information to understand the challenges faced by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. However, our most valuable source of information is you. Please get in touch directly via email (sgscomms@Queensu.ca) or join in our live Q&A sessions to share your questions or raise your concerns. We will post the time and date of the live Q&A with a link to join the conversation on this website. We are here to support you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    Section 10: Information for Faculty & Staff

    The shift to remote teaching and learning introduces potential privacy issues around video conferencing and recordings.  Does Queen's have a policy on this?

    Queen's has produced a fact sheet which provides guidance to instructors on how to manage privacy concerns while teaching remotely.

    Is the satellite COVID-19 assessment centre open to faculty and staff?

    At this time, the KHSC-operated satellite assessment centre is focused on testing students who are deemed to be a high risk of having contracted COVID-19 only.

    University students represent a large and at-risk population. Provincial statistics show that 40 to 50 per cent of COVID-19 cases are now reported in young adults, which makes it vital to provide fast and easy assessment and testing to this age group. Most students live near the university so locating it on campus will ensure they can find the centre quickly if they need assessment and testing. An assessment centre dedicated to students will also help divert traffic from the downtown Primary Assessment Centre. The faster students are tested, the safer the entire Queen’s and Kingston communities will be.

    Can the centre’s capacity be expanded if there is an outbreak?

    KHSC and Queen’s are still working on surge plans but expect the centre will be able to expand its operations, as long as KHSC can staff the clinic appropriately.

    Can the admissions team at SGS accept digital transcripts, reference letters, writing samples, etc. from the applicants? Mail has been stopped in many departments or staff are not there to receive the mail.

    SGS cannot accept as official, transcripts directly from any student or applicant in any format, except as hard copy documents received in a sealed envelope from the applicant. See the other section about how we can accept transcripts from issuing universities. Letters of reference are submitted using the secure online reference form for the majority of applicants.

    For other components of the application that are not SGS requirements, such as the writing sample, we are not receiving nor processing very much hard copy mail currently, and we have very limited capacity to convert hard copy documents to electronic documents to be emailed elsewhere. If we can do it, we will. But we recommend you reach out to applicants who still have non-SGS required documentation to submit, to tell them how (and when) you would like to receive that documentation. It would be more efficient if these documents were emailed to your department/program directly.

    Some universities are only issuing unofficial transcripts at this time.  Will the SGS contemplate an unofficial transcript for the purpose of a conditional offer?

    In these unusual circumstances, the School of Graduate Studies will work with whatever arrangements applicants are dealing with. We need the final transcripts for our processes—the documentation is required. But, we can accept the transcript from the issuing university as a pdf or similar document, or any other electronic format, or by fax if that helps.  If for some reason the issuing university cannot produce official transcripts, we can accept unofficial transcripts if they are generated and sent by the issuing university and as long as all parties understand an official hard copy transcript will still be required, eventually. We cannot accept any version of any transcripts from applicants directly by email.

    Transcripts can be emailed to grad.studies@queensu.ca  or our fax number is 1-613-533-6015. Canada Post services on campus is still operational 2 days per week, so we can pick up and process mail, including transcripts, 2 times per week (mailing address - School of Graduate Studies, Queen's University, Gordon Hall Room 425, 74 Union Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6). But, our office building is closed to the public currently, so courier deliveries (ie FedEX, UPS, Purolator, etc.)  cannot be processed for now.

    Normally, SGS sends departments hard copies of transcripts via internal mail. Under the current circumstances, can SGS scan the hard copies and send them to graduate assistants?

    Most SGS staff are working remotely without access to anything that could turn a paper document into a scanned document and without access to the hard copy mail. Queen’s Post Office is only permitting pick up hard copy mail a couple of times per week and is not delivering mail at all. Gordon Hall is locked down, so couriers are not delivering packages to us.  So the receipt of hard copy transcripts is quite limited, currently. And, the capacity for our staff to turn hard copy documents into electronic versions and then email those documents, is extremely limited. If we can do it, we will.

    What is the SGS position on Letter Grades versus the Pass/Fail system?

    SGS recommends that letter grades rather than a Pass/Fail (P/F) option should be provided for graduate courses whenever possible as we believe that these grades will serve students better going forward (for scholarships, job applications, internships etc.). For research programs in particular, SGS strongly recommends assigning grades for graduate courses. In some cases extensions to course deadlines will have to be granted to students so that they have a fair chance at the best possible grade.  Some professional graduate programs may have different considerations.  Employers of graduates from professional programs may look at transcripts differently. SGS also realizes that regardless of whether the program is research-based or professional, some students may need the P/F option, and during these extreme circumstances, all programs have the autonomy to make changes and adaptations to individual course requirements and grading to best serve the needs of their students. Using a P/F option may fall into this category, but it should be based on the student’s particular extenuating circumstances and should be treated on a case-by-case basis.

    How should graduate departments/programs assess undergraduate marks in the final year, if in the Winter 2020 term a combination of letter or number grades, and Pass/Fail, or Credit grades are used?  Will this affect the undergraduate student’s eligibility for admission, and scholarships? 

    Many students from across Canada will be applying to graduate programs at Queen’s over the next few years with transcripts that list Pass/Fail or Credit outcomes for courses taken in the winter term of 2020, instead of the usual numerical or letter grades. Queen’s recognizes the extraordinary circumstances in which the use of Pass/Fail or Credit options have been used, and we seek to assure all potential applicants that these circumstances will be taken into consideration when evaluating applications for admission. To this end, the School of Graduate Studies recommends the following approaches be used by graduate programs at Queen’s in the assessment of these students for admission to the program.  

    1.    The overall GPA may be used as the primary method for ranking applicants.
    2.    The GPA in the final year may be used omitting any Pass/Fail or Credit courses.
    3.    The GPA may be calculated using relevant subject matter courses only, omitting any Pass/Fail or Credit courses.
    4.    The last 4 terms of study prior to the winter of 2020 may be used to calculate the GPA.
     
    To determine eligibility for scholarships, the normal procedure used by SGS is to calculate the average GPA obtained in each of the last two years of completed study. This procedure will continue to be used, except that any Pass/Fail or Credit courses will be omitted from the calculation. 

    The shift to remote teaching and learning introduces potential privacy issues around video conferencing and recordings.  Does Queen's have a policy on this?

    Queen's has produced a fact sheet which provides guidance to instructors on how to manage privacy concerns while teaching remotely.