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COVID-19 updates

(Updated September 21, 2021)

U of T has announced a vaccination requirement for students, staff, faculty and librarians that is informed by the latest public health guidance. Click here to learn more.

Read U of T’s COVID-19 Weekly Planning Updates.

Fall 2021 updates

The following information was sent to MSW students by MSW Director Micheal Shier on September 21:

Starting Monday Sep 27, for classes that are scheduled between Monday to Friday from 9-5, you will be able to come in with your laptop and headphones to join the online lectures from the designated classroom space/s in the Social Work building.

The University has advised this activity will require social distancing and capacity limits. To keep with these guidelines, University vaccination requirements and for contact tracing purposes, you will be asked to enter your name on a weekly basis, every week you are planning to attend. The sign in sheet link that you can use to reserve your seat based on the available capacity limits will be shared this Friday, September 24th. The plan is that every Friday students can sign in and reserve their seats for the upcoming week.

All students coming to campus, must familiarize themselves with all University public health guidelines including UCheck vaccination requirements. For more information please visit:


The following information was sent to MSW students by MSW Director Micheal Shier on August 27:

As you may have seen in yesterday’s update, the University has provided updated vaccination requirements and is still waiting for further guidance from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities about physical distancing and capacity limits.

We would like to reconfirm that this fall all MSW classes (with the exception of two ITR classes) will be delivered online as we communicated previously in June. However, as stated in a previous follow up communication, we are still exploring some in-person co-curricular activities and learning options that may be made available. We also expect all classes to be in person in the winter 2022 term.

Based on student feedback at our last community update meeting, and within the context of a dynamic COVID-19 landscape and evolving guidelines from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, we explored the possibility of pivoting to a few classes being offered in a hybrid format. However, it is too late for us to pivot to any hybrid learning at this time. There are still too many uncertainties and public health guidelines are still changing.

While hybrid learning will not be available this fall, we are working on making some classrooms available to you for drop in opportunities on a limited basis (with no instructor present), following university, municipal and provincial public health guidelines. Some of these guidelines are still being developed and therefore, more details, including a date for when the campus may be opened for this option, will be shared when the information is available, likely in early September. In our recent student survey, nearly 40% of students expressed interest in this option. An additional 20% also expressed interest in being on campus if a faculty or instructor would be present in the classroom. While no hybrid learning options with instructors in the classroom will be offered this fall, we hope to communicate details about the option of bringing your laptop and headphones to assigned classrooms/spaces (with no instructor) when detailed Provincial guidelines about in-person learning become available.

We recognize that the anticipation for returning to normal, particularly in-person learning experiences, has been extremely challenging. We also recognize that for many students online learning is the only possible learning option this fall.

We hope that our approach in planning to offer in-person drop in learning spaces (to everyone who is interested to be on-campus) along with a robust set of in-person and online co-curricular activities will create an opportunity for you to connect and enrich your learning experience during this unprecedented time.

We are looking forward to communicating more details as soon as they are available and will hold a community meeting once the Province provides detailed public health guidelines for in-person learning options.


Important building notice:

In light of the rapidly changing COVID developments, the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work building at 246 Bloor Street West is closed to the public until further notice. Deliveries cannot be received without advance notice. Mail to FIFSW should only come through Canada Post. (No couriered packages, please.)

> UTogether 2020: Your guide to summer and fall at U of T

> Information for International Students

NEW: Introducing Navi

U of T has launched a Student Mental Health Virtual Agent to help students navigate mental health supports at the University of Toronto. Navi (short for navigator) is an anonymous wayfinding tool that is available 24/7. It can currently speak to 48 broad topics related to mental health including: stress, anxiety, loneliness, harassment, discrimination, bullying, academics, career, sleep issues, accessibility, coping techniques, abuse, eating disorders, how to get involved, health care access, and more. Click here to learn more.

> Click here to access Navi: Your mental health wayfinder

> Financial Support & Funding Opportunities

> Recommended Technology Requirements for Remote/Online Learning

Research information

> U of T – Frequently Asked Questions

Further resources:

FIFSW Contacts

Members of the FIFSW community who have questions, are encouraged to contact appropriate faculty member below:

Master of Social Work:
David Burnes, Associate Dean, Academic, and Associate Professor

Eileen McKee, Assistant Dean, Field Education

PhD program:
Lin Fang, PhD Program Director, and Associate Professor

David J. Brennan, Associate Dean, Research, and Professor