COVID-19 Information

Updated March 26, 2020

We are responding to the latest public health direction and advice and will be communicating with our community by updating this site as information becomes available. Check back for updates.

Our highest priority is the safety of our community. We will continue to respond to your needs and are working diligently to provide responsible solutions that also support academic continuity. Please be assured that the university is working quickly to ensure that students will be able to complete their academic term despite these disruptions.


  • The university has shifted to virtual operations
  • The university has clarified information around final grades, appeals, academic forgiveness and withdrawals.
  • The university has issued information around financial aid and support.
  • The last day for withdrawing, without academic penalty, from three (3) credit hour courses or six (6) credit hour courses taught only in the Winter term has been extended to March 30.
  • Student loan borrowers will have their payments suspended until September 30, 2020. This applies to Canada student loans and Nova Scotia student loans.
  • The Patrick Power Library is offering services online. See details.

More information

Message from the President

Presidential Installation of Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray

  • Visit the website daily. This site remains the source of information and direction to the services you need. New resources specific to our virtual operations are being added every day.
  • Ask questions. Email your instructor for help if you are unsure of how your course will be taught, how to access technology or are having trouble with course content. Your Academic Advisors are ready to assist as well.
  • Prepare to learn. Do what you normally would do, if you were coming to campus for class. Shower, eat, get dressed – keeping up with your normal routines will help you.
  • What to do if you have technical issues? With any issues that relate to your course, always notify your instructor by email to make them aware of the problems you are having.  Contact ITSS Help Desk which has extended its hours of support. And for Brightspace-related issues, you can contact the Software & Application Support Centre directly.
  • If your instructor will hold audio or video lectures, ask if you can record the lecture on your laptop or phone so you can listen to lectures again while you study.
  • As a reminder, all students have access to the entire suite of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Skype, Teams, etc.). These applications will be useful during virtual operations. Learn more about how to download applications.

Our university support services are still operating and ready to help in addition to the resources already mentioned.

Please stay connected to your professors and peers and ask for support and advice when you need it, and give support and advice to others. Let us know how you are doing and what you need so that we can continue to respond and adapt.   

Patrick Power Library operations

The university made the decision to close access to the library until further notice. Please note that although access to the Library is closed, Library services will continue online and through alternative methods of instruction and supports. Answers to additional questions related to the Library will be shared as they become available. Learn more.

Spring/Summer 2020 sessions delivered at a distance

Senate has directed that Spring (Summer session 1) and Summer (Summer session 2) terms will be offered through distance delivery only, and planning is underway to follow the same schedule of official start and end dates for these terms.

Temporary adjustment to the application process

We understand that due to school closures and/or COVID-19 quarantine measures, some prospective students may have difficulty obtaining supporting documents required to complete their application to Saint Mary’s University. To ensure that we are able to continue processing your application, we are temporarily adjusting our application process and will accept unofficial copies of transcripts. For more information about this and other application-related issues visit our Information for Future Students webpage.

Travel advisory and self-isolation

All domestic and international university travel is cancelled until further notice, effective immediately. The International travel ban was effective March 13, 2020.

Requests for exceptions must be approved by a Vice-President. There will be no reimbursement for university international travel commencing after March 13, 2020, and no travel advances will be provided for trips commencing after this date. There will be no reimbursement for any domestic travel booked on or after March 17, 2020.

Expenses associated with international travel cancellation will be reimbursed and should be managed through existing processes. Please see the FAQ for dealing with expenses relating to cancelled travel.

Anyone who has returned to Canada from international travel, including from the United States, since March 13, 2020 must self-isolate until they have been back in Canada for 14 days.

Please see the Human Resources information page for more information about self-isolation and working from home.

Remote working

Please see the Human Resources information page.


All on-campus university events are cancelled until April 30, 2020.


Information about prevention is available on the Nova Scotia COVID-19 web page.

Contact us

If you have comments or questions, please use our contact form or email us directly at

FAQs related to COVID-19

How is the university responding to COVID-19?

The Emergency Management Team is working with NS Public Health. The university's Emergency Management Protocols including our pandemic policy are guiding the activity. The university is prepared.

Where can I submit my concerns/feedback/questions?

Anyone with specific questions related to the university’s response and planning for COVID-19 should email This email is monitored by the Emergency Communications Team.

Prospective or New Students

University cleaning   
In our efforts to help safeguard against COVID-19 and keep our community safe, we are utilizing universal precautions, increasing our efforts to sanitize and disinfect high traffic areas, including public spaces, doorknobs, handrails and residence washrooms.

This includes wiping down and cleaning all furniture in all common areas. We are working with other universities and suppliers to determine and utilize best practices in our current circumstance.

More information

For general questions about COVID-19 see:

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