Hello future Ravens,

I am writing today to make sure you know all that Carleton University is doing to respond to COVID-19 so that we can have a great fall semester. At a time when the world is grappling with uncertainty, there is something we can celebrate — you will soon be studying a subject that you love at a university that cares deeply about your success.

As we navigate these uncharted waters together, let me assure you that the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty is the university’s top priority and the first guiding principle in all of our plans.

To prioritize safety, in line with public health information available at this time, Carleton has made the decision to guarantee the online delivery of all first-year courses. While we remain hopeful that the university will be able to reopen our physical spaces partially over the coming months and offer some optional in-person instruction when it is safe to do so, this decision ensures that we can provide you with exceptional academic instruction in every possible circumstance, including those that require continued physical distancing.

You can be sure that we are putting everything in place to support your success in these exceptional circumstances. For example, we can assure you that Carleton will provide:

  • Outstanding online courses from award-winning faculty and instructors
  • Quality online academic advising
  • Easy access to virtual mental health counselling and support
  • Online peer-to-peer mentorship programs
  • Creative virtual social spaces and activities for students to help combat isolation
  • An inclusive learning environment that can be accessed from anywhere in the world

This means that if you are unable or choose not to live in Ottawa this fall, you will have everything you need to successfully begin your studies at Carleton from a distance.

As I write, over 13,000 Carleton students are currently taking courses in our fully online summer semester. Amazingly, this is the largest number of students ever taking summer classes at Carleton! More than ever, our students want to learn, and our whole community has mobilized to ensure a high-quality online education and experience for all students.

Registration for our fall semester will start on June 24, and we will be offering virtual registration workshops to make the exciting experience of choosing your courses a seamless process.

Even if courses are online, many students will still want to live in residence. Carleton is working closely with Ottawa Public Health to adapt our spaces in residence and ensure that living on campus will be safe and will remain an exceptional experience for students. The steps being taken include, but are not limited to, single room spaces in traditional- and suite-style residences, increased cleaning practices in communal areas, support for those requiring isolation immediately before or during their time in residence, and decreased density in all areas.

The staff in our student support service offices remain available and committed to virtually supporting you, too. We have provided a centralized webpage with information on how to best get in touch with the services that will assist you in every step of your academic journey. One of Carleton’s greatest strengths is our unique sense of community that is at the heart of everything we do. In these strange circumstances, we are confident that the legendary warmth and compassion of our community will continue to shine through.

You are part of a very special cohort of students who are going through unprecedented times together. By choosing to study at Carleton, your story will forever include that nothing could stand in the way of your pursuit of learning, of making new connections and of bettering yourself. This makes us very proud to call you a Raven!

You can be sure that we will send frequent updates over the course of the spring and summer. As we face these challenging times, you have found a great ally in Carleton, and we promise we will be there to support you every step of the way.

Stay safe and well,


Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor
Carleton University