Fall 2021 Remote Courses

Frequently Asked Questions

The University is excited to welcome students back to our Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver campuses. The majority of courses offered in Fall term will be held in-person.

A number of the remote course sections will have some reserved seats for identified student groups that may face barriers to attending in-person classes in September. As identified in the COVID-19 Go Forward Guidelines for BC, these groups include international students unable to return to Canada, Indigenous students, and students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning.

How do I know if I qualify to access the reserved seats in remote courses?

Students who qualify will be notified by email and provided with instructions on how to access the reserved seats. Please note that there are limited reserved seats, and not all remote courses have reserved seating. Qualifying for the reserved seats does not guarantee enrollment in remote courses.

How do I enroll in a remote class?

All fully remote courses are listed here. SFU also offers distance learning courses and partially remote courses. Please visit here for instructions on how to identify if a course has remote or in-person components. Distance learning courses can be searched in goSFU under additional search criteria > mode of instruction.

I have permission to access reserved seats in remote classes, but they’re all full. What do I do?

As we are transitioning back to in-person learning, a minimal number of remote courses are offered for Fall. If the reserved seats are unavailable, you may be able to enroll in other remote courses that have availability, or search for distance learning courses.

I believe I should qualify to enroll in reserved seats in remote courses. Can I get permission?

Only international students who cannot be on campus, Indigenous students who cannot leave their Nations/communities, and Centre for Accessible Learning registrants are eligible for the reserved seats.

  • International students were requested to complete a survey by July 2 at midnight. That information was used to add international students to the qualifying group.
  • Self-identified Indigenous student have been identified and have access.
  • Current CAL registrants have been identified and have access.
Please note that there are limited reserved seats in remote courses and not all remote courses have reserved seating. Having access to the reserved seats does not guarantee enrollment in remote courses.

Why are there reserved seats in remote sections of the courses I want to take?

We are excited to welcome students back to campus and recognize that some students face circumstances beyond their control that have made it difficult or impossible for them to return to campus. These students have been provided with access to the reserved seats.

What is the difference between a remote and a distance education class?

Distance Education courses do not have scheduled meeting times (i.e. asynchronous delivery) except for midterms and final exams. Remote courses are courses that would normally be delivered in-person that are being offered remotely. These courses can have synchronous and asynchronous components.

I cannot attend in person this Fall and need to register for a remote section of a course that I need to graduate. However this course is full.  Who can I talk to?

Please meet with your departmental advisor to determine if there is another course you can take to meet the requirements of your degree, or to identify other options.

Students who have declared a major should contact their department advisors:

See list of departmental advisors

Book an appointment with a department advisor:

Students who are undeclared should contact a general advisor.

FASS undeclared can also go to:

Since I cannot enroll in the remote courses I need, I don’t want to attend this Fall. Can I defer or take the term off?

  • New international and domestic students who were admitted for the Fall 2021 term will be permitted to defer if they cannot enroll in the remote courses that they require for their program. Please visit our Defer Your Admission webpage for more details on how to defer.
  • Current undergraduate students should consult with an advisor about taking the term off.

As a New Fall 2021 International Student, how will deferring the Fall term (first term in Canada) impact my study permit?

For students outside Canada who have been approved for a study permit to attend SFU (i.e.. They used their SFU letter of acceptance to apply for a study permit), the validity of their study permit approval would not be impacted. Under the current travel restrictions, they should not travel to Canada until closer to their new start date and should carry an updated letter of acceptance or confirmation of enrollment letter for travel.

Students who are holding study permit approval for another institution (and whose study permit has not yet been issued) will need to apply for a new study permit before they can travel to Canada. For late admits in this scenario deferral may be warranted to allow enough time for processing of the new application.

For students outside Canada who are already holding a valid study permit, the validity of the study permit is not affected by a deferral of admission. Study permit holders who

  • are transferring from another post-secondary institution should notify IRCC via the online DLI transfer process.
  • For students outside Canada whose study permit application is still in process, they should provide an updated letter of acceptance to the visa office once their deferral request is approved.

For students who are already in Canada with a valid study permit and defer their admission to a later term, their study permit validity will not be impacted. However, a deferral admission will render them ineligible to work in Canada until they begin full-time studies at SFU. Students with a gap of more than 150 days (about 5 months) between programs of study in Canada should also apply for another status (e.g., visitor status) if they intend to stay in Canada during the gap.

As a Current International Student, how will taking a term (or more) off impact my study permit, ability to work on or off campus and/or eligibility to work after graduation?

In general, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires that students enroll in classes, remain enrolled until completion of a program, and actively pursue studies. Taking a term (or more) off may affect students study permit, ability to work on or off campus, and/or eligibility to work after graduation.

With limited exceptions, maintaining continuous full-time enrollment in each academic session (i.e. Spring and Fall terms for undergraduate students) is one of the requirements to qualify for a post-graduation work permit. Thus, taking a reduced workload or taking the term off in Fall 2021 may negatively impact work eligibility and eligibility for the post-graduation work permit. Visit the links below for more information on immigration implications of taking a term off or studying part time:

If you have further questions relating to the immigration implications of studying part-time or taking a term off in Fall 2021, please contact an International Student Advisor, Immigration Specialist.