Guidelines for Students


Our team in the Faculty of Science is looking forward to seeing you this Fall! 

Unless you have an approved exemption, you are required to wear a mask in all indoor common and learning spaces, including classrooms. Please come to campus prepared with a non-medical mask. If you forget your mask, disposable masks are available from Student Central in Burnaby and at the information desks in Vancouver and Surrey.

As our top priority remains everyone's health and safety, we took a thoughtful and measured approach towards our return to classes and campus. We acknowledge some Science students may be ready for a full return, and others may feel this is a time of significant transition and uncertainty. We appreciate that in-person classes and activities are essential to your overall academic success, but we will still balance these with remote learning in September.   

Most importantly, we strongly recommend that everyone get vaccinated! You can register for your first and second dose on B.C.'s Get Vaccinated site and review information about COVID-19 vaccine safety from HealthLinkBCBCCDC and the First Nations Health Authority before your appointment. There will also be vaccine clinics held on Burnaby and Surrey campuses - check here for updated dates and times.  

We're here to support you and know you may have questions. Please view our Faculty's most frequently asked questions below and check back regularly for new information. 


Other SFU websites with helpful information, resources and FAQs include:


Fall 2021 Term

Why are some of my Science classes only offered remotely?

We had to make many decisions about our Fall classes this past spring, to allow time for course planning and scheduling. With both the student experience and the safety of our students, staff and faculty in mind, we attempted to make the best decisions we could about in-person classes at that time. Our guiding principle was to keep very large (high enrollment) lower division lecture courses online for the fall semester. The Faculty prioritized small to medium enrollment courses and courses where there is a significant and essential practical learning component so that students acquire the necessary skills for progression in their degree programs.

As you enroll in classes, we strongly encourage you to double-check the method of course delivery. Some workshops and tutorials, for example, may have both remote or in-person options.

We know that much can still change, and our leadership groups are continuing to monitor the situation closely, anticipating any shifts and planning for different outcomes. Our Fall 2021 term will be one of transition, but all students will have on-campus experiences – whether in tutorials or lab courses. We look forward to being back on campus in Spring 2022.


What safety measures will be in place for the Faculty of Science this Fall?

The Faculty of Science is following SFU's Communicable Disease Plan. Some of the current safety measures for fall include:

  • Conducting a COVID-19 Daily Self-Assessment prior to coming to campus
  • Non-medical mask use is mandatory in all indoor common areas and learning spaces
  • Careful social contact by limiting the number of close sustained contacts with others
  • Classrooms and other learning spaces will be cleaned and sanitized daily
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in high-traffic areas and building entrances

Starting on Sept. 13, 2021, you will need the BC Vaccine Card to provide proof of vaccination for many campus services, including: 

  • Live in student housing. (Note that the requirement for proof of vaccination for student housing comes into effect September 7.)
  • Participate in varsity and intramural athletics 
  • Use gyms or recreation facilities
  • Attend student clubs, sports, theatre, performances and other events
  • Organized indoor events (e.g., clubs, parties)
  • Dine indoors or on patios (except campus cafeterias)

Proof of vaccination is not required for students and instructors to engage in teaching activities on our campuses.

Note: this may be expanded to include other areas as guidelines from the Ministry/PHO are released or revised.

Are there exemptions to wearing a mask?

Non-medical masks must be worn in all indoor common areas and learning spaces on SFU campuses, including classrooms unless someone has an approved exemption. We anticipate very few exceptions. Instructors need to follow the guidance of the exemption. Students who cannot wear a mask should be encouraged to practice physical distancing where feasible.

Students requiring mask exemptions in the classroom due to medical or psychological conditions can contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) at for assistance. Students requesting mask exemptions on other protected grounds, such as religion, should contact the Office of Student Support, Rights and Responsibilities (OSSRR) at

Instructors are not required to wear a mask while teaching if they are able to maintain a two-metre distance from students.

Can you recommend some good resources to learn more about vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccines?

We recommend HealthLinkBC, BCCDC and First Nations Health Authority websites for comprehensive information about the vaccines and vaccination, as well as the Government of Canada website for a general overview on COVID-19 in Canada and information about how companies developed vaccines

You might also be interested in the CBC's Coronavirus Questions page and a Red Cross blog post about why misinformation spreads in emergencies.

What will the Faculty of Science do to help ensure I feel safe being on campus?

We appreciate that everyone's experience of the pandemic has been different; some students may be excited about coming to campus, but others may feel anxious and worried.

The Faculty of Science will control safety measures in our buildings and facilities, but not in other Faculties' buildings or public areas. Therefore, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the latest guidelines and protocols in all areas.

We will also require mask usage in common areas, lecture theatres and laboratories.  

What happens if I feel unwell or have COVID symptoms while on campus?

If you're feeling unwell, you should contact your instructor, leave campus and go home. You may also want to contact your health provider.

If you think you may have COVID-19, use the B.C. government COVID-19 self-assessment tool to help you decide what to do next. B.C. also has a dedicated COVID-19 hotline for non-medical questions at 1-888-COVID19 or text 1-604-630-0300.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate, get tested and follow instructions from the Public Health Office.


Still have Faculty of Science-related safety questions?

Contact Danielle Audas at