COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Health and wellness

What rules must I follow if I am travelling to Nova Scotia to study at NSCAD?

Starting June 30, 2021, if you’re travelling from outside Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador) you can enter Nova Scotia. You need to complete the Safe Check-in Form and may need to self-isolate when you arrive in or return to the province. Self-isolation requirements are based on vaccination status and testing.

Please book your appointment for a COVID-19 test by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment. If you need help with transportation to/from you testing appointment, please call 1-844-996-0694.

How do I prepare for self-isolation?

Everyone in Nova Scotia must follow Nova Scotia public health directives to help contain the spread of COVID-19.   All students, faculty and staff who self-isolate must complete a daily digital check in with Nova Scotia Public Health to confirm their self-isolation status, and also the NSCAD self-isolation plan form.

The Student Union of NSCAD (SUNSCAD) can prepare food packages for those self-isolating. Please contact

Other resources and contacts can be found in this video from Community Health Teams.

Can I come to NSCAD's campuses?

Students can have authorized and scheduled access to NSCAD campuses, though at this time we ask that only those with essential course work to finish the semester (or those with essential access authorization) plan to be on site at NSCAD. By keeping the number of students and staff to a minimum, we can maintain a safe work environment for those who remain on campus. To access campus you must complete a Campus Access Authorization Form.

What rules must I follow if I am authorized to be on campus?

NSCAD created a COVID-19 addendum for the university’s Code of Conduct to address the current circumstances of the pandemic. Every individual on campus is personally responsible and accountable to all other members of our community, and this expectation is enforced through the Code’s provisions for addressing breaches including escalating discipline.

The Addendum to the Code includes specific NS Public Health directives and university operational requirements with which the NSCAD community must comply, including:

  • social distancing (2 m/6 ft) from others
  • wearing a non-medical (cloth) mask or face covering in any indoor common areas, public spaces and passageways
  • washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water  or a 60-90% alcohol-based hand hand sanitizer
  • following directions on all signage for safe behaviors, interactions, and ways of moving through common areas
  • avoiding gatherings
  • monitoring your health – stay home and away from others if you feel unwell

These requirements are applicable not only on campus but throughout everyone’s daily experience.

NSCAD developed and is implementing detailed plans for each program, office or facility (unit plans) and an overarching plan (the NSCAD Campus Response Plan) to allow the university to operate safely through all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. These plans apply to everyone in the NSCAD community – the senior leadership team, faculty, staff, volunteers, alumni, board members, and, of course, students.

Do I need to wear a non-medical face covering on campus?

Everyone must wear a non-medical (cloth) mask or face covering in any indoor common areas, public spaces and passageways on all NSCAD campuses at all times.

People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are also exempt.

How will mask use compliance be enforced?

All NSCAD community members are expected to follow the COVID-19 Code of Conduct, ‘the Code’. The Code is a protocol that explains expected rules of behaviour, states values, provides guidance and recommends action so that everyone knows exactly what is expected of them.

We will initially focus on education and training to ensure that mask protocols are known and practiced always, and to promote the collective benefits of wearing a mask. We’re all part of a rich and diverse community that has survived for over 130 years, through hurricanes, explosions, pandemics and more because of people who care. Now more than ever, we need to look out for each other by wearing a mask. The Code provides more information on how to report breaches and the consequences for the same, including escalating disciplinary measures.

I am feeling anxious and stressed. What do I do?

We recognize that this is a fast moving and confusing situation. It is normal to feel stress. We are here to help. You can access about the many services available to you at:

We would like to encourage anyone who is need of extra support during this time to access the following resources for assistance:

  • The Department of Health and Wellness recently launched two provincial online programs called ICAN and MindwellU. 

Additional resources that may be available and helpful to you or your loved ones:

  • EFAP Employee Assistant Program (for Civil Servants & Health Care workers) 1-800-461-5558
  • Mental Health & Addictions Intake Services – Call toll-free 1-855-922-1122
  • Mental Health Crisis Line 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free, available 24 hours, seven days a week)
  • Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free, available 24 hours, seven days a week)
  • 211 Nova Scotia is a free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages.
  • Every Woman’s Centre (Sydney) – (902) 567-1212
  • Transition House – (902) 429-7287

Here is a list of resources available in the Northern, Western and Central regions in the province:

Since COVID-19 I have experienced discrimination. How can NSCAD help?

NSCAD acknowledges that students from some communities have been targeted. NSCAD does not tolerate discrimination, see our Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment policy. We encourage anyone experiencing discrimination to please contact the Office of Student Experience. Your concerns will be investigated immediately. You may also contact the Human Rights Commission. We encourage anyone witnessing discrimination to act on your obligation to provide a duty of care. Do not be a bystander.

Summer 2021

What impact does COVID-19 have on the delivery of classes?

The 2021 summer semester is now underway and we have welcomed students to continue their academic journeys at NSCAD from anywhere in the world.

As always, we will be following the requirement of the latest public health directives to plan and deliver a multi-modal classroom experience (depending on the course) that may include:

  • purely online, synchronous, interactive and video-captured learning approaches
  • online learning with select studio access
  • face-to-face learning in rotating cohorts

All online students will continue to have the same access to support as facility-based students including the NSCAD library, academic advising, writing centre, accessibility services and accommodation.

Classes, grades and workshops

What resources are available to help me with remote learning or staying connected to the community?

NSCAD Learning Commons technicians are still available to support students in their course work in an online capacity, and there are a number of new resources created to support students, staff and faculty optimize their connections with each other and to technical support.

The NSCAD Learning Commons staff has produced a guide to review your internet set-up at home with some advice on how to maximize your connectivity. The Learning Commons has also added a new layer of tech support — try connecting with technical staff directly through Teams! Simple instructions for installing the Teams App and joining a Teams Meeting have been provided by NSCAD staff at and

You can also contact Learning Commons techs at still for technical requests.

Click on any of the links below to access the latest Learning Commons online tech help documents:

Reviewing your Class Progress in Brightspace

Submitting Assignments

Using Adobe Spark to showcase images.

Will summer camp courses be offered for 2021 through NSCAD Extended Studies?

We are pleased to resume summer day camp offerings for 2021, with 36 camps scheduled over eight weeks starting July 5. However, we will be limiting our registration numbers according to public health directives to maintain safe and fun camps.

At all times, our day camps will be following the NS Return to Day Camp Guidelines.

All campers are required to complete the daily COVID screening checklist

Daily self-screening for signs and symptoms of COVID by NSCAD members (staff and faculty) and day camp cohorts is required before coming to the day camp program, which is consistent with NSCAD-specific protocols. Anyone experiencing any COVID symptoms are required to stay home.

Arrival at camp

Please note that parents/guardians are not allowed on campus. Pick-ups and drop-offs will be done outside of the building. Please maintain physical distancing during this process.

Parents/guardians must send their child to day camp each day with a completed COVID screening form including name, contact information, time of arrival/departure, and the cohort in which the child is registered. Staff will track present and absent students to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a confirmed positive COVID case or outbreak.

Day campers will be welcomed at the entrance by a staff member who will bring them to their assigned room. Cohorts will be grouped together by camp and have their own room for supervised lunch, pre- and post-camp activities. Rooms are set up to allow for physical distancing between campers and staff.

Masks and hand hygiene practices

NSCAD members are required to wear a non-medical mask while inside when within two (2) metres of campers and other adults, consistent with NS Public Health and NSCAD-specific protocols.

Masks can be removed when cohorts are eating or drinking, engaged in physical activity, or where two (2) metres of physical distancing can be maintained. NSCAD members must follow mask protocols as outlined at all times unless eating/drinking.

Hand washing/sanitizing protocols will be followed upon entering the building. Frequent hand hygiene will be maintained through the day, and before and after eating.

Cohorts and NSCAD members will be expected to wash their hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer of 60 per cent or higher.


Individual material kits will be provided to campers for their individual use to minimize sharing of supplies. When equipment or tools need to be shared, they will be cleaned between users.


NSCAD has a detailed cleaning protocol in place to ensure general cleaning and disinfecting of camp spaces occurs daily. High touch surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, railings, tables, light switches, shared items) are cleaned twice daily. Shared items and studio spaces will be cleaned and maintained by the instructor according to protocols.

Are all the courses that were available prior to the COVID-19 pandemic still available online?

The majority of courses that were available prior to the COVID-19 pandemic will also be available online. The exceptions are those that are primarily studio based that cannot be effectively replicated in an online environmentWe have also created new courses that maximize the benefits of digital and distributed technologies.

How will I acquire all of the materials I need for the online courses?

Supplies can be purchased at the NSCAD Supply Store. The Supply Store offers curbside pick-up on Fountain Campus, and mailing options are available.

Student Finances and Services

What financial resources and aid are available to me during the COVID-19 pandemic?

There are a number of assistance programs available to students during this time, both internally at NSCAD and externally through the provincial and federal governments.

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, including information on the Employment Insurance (EI) program, Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) click here.

Clink on any of the links below for more information on how these programs can be accessed.

NSCAD’s Emergency Bursary Program

NSCAD’s Interim Loan Application

Employment Insurance information

Canada Student Loans – COVID-19

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program: Free Tax Clinics

Do I have to start, or continue, paying my student loan during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The National Student Loan Service Centre has implemented Student Loan COVID–19 Relief Measures to help support students whose finances have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

All Canadian provincial and territorial loan providers are working to support students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You can access the most recent information from your provincial or territorial office at the links provided:

International Students

Will international students be allowed to travel to Nova Scotia to study at NSCAD?

On November 3, 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada added Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions with a COVID-19 readiness plan to the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) list of schools that can reopen to international students who aren’t currently in Canada and who

All international students planning to travel to Canada to attend classes at a post-secondary must know the following:

If a student does not meet quarantine exemption eligibility and a 14-day quarantine period is required, it must be overseen and arranged by the universities at which the students are enrolled.

Click here for more information about international students travelling to Nova Scotia to study at NSCAD.

Can international students commence their studies online abroad without a study permit before transitioning to in-person study in Canada (when travel restrictions lift)?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has indicated that international students who are unable to travel to Canada in the Fall are permitted to enroll in a designated learning institution as a full-time student and take online courses outside of Canada. A study permit is not required to start and complete programs of study outside of Canada, however, this time would not be counted towards Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) eligibility or the length of the PGWP issued.

A study permit isn’t necessary if a student wants to do a program online — already now if a program is offered 100% remotely a student is free to enroll and get the credential. They need a study permit however if they will want/need to enter Canada at one point to complete program requirements or to be eligible for the PGWP.

How will the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for international students be impacted?

IRCC has announced new measures for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for international students who are currently studying online from abroad:

IRCC Web notice:


The announcement includes the following three new measures:

  • Students may now study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program that is between 8 and 12 months in length, with a start date from May to September 2020, will be able to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.
Are the procedures for renewing my student visa still in place during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Whenever an international student’s visa expires, they have to renew it. To learn more about renewing your visa, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website. You can also follow all of IRCC’s updates and notices at

What do I do if I’m on a student visa but cannot return to my home country because of travel restrictions?

Information about extending your stay in Canada is available at  You can also call the Nova Scotia branch of citizenship and immigration at 1-888-242-2100.

Where can I find updated information about my healthcare coverage, health care services, opt-out information, and other forms?

Students can visit the Student VIP website to find information regarding health care coverage, health care services, opt-out information, and other forms.

You’ll also find information about new initiatives such as a student Virtual Health Hub and the Remote Study Health Program. An FAQ document is also available.

What other resources are available to me to help address questions about my healthcare plan and options?

Students can reach out to Student VIP directly with questions about their health care plan, including a live chat a Student VIP rep in real time. Students can also email with their questions.


Will convocation ceremonies be postponed?

The 2021 NSCAD Graduation will take place on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 2 p.m. ADT. The ceremony will be held on Zoom and live-streamed to the NSCAD University Facebook page at

NSCAD Campuses and Facilities

Will the NSCAD School Supply Store remain open?

For the time being, the NSCAD Supply Store is limited to online orders only. For more information, visit the NSCAD Supply Store website:

Will the NSCAD Library remain open?

The NSCAD Library is closed to comply with health authority directives and provincial state of emergency orders. Library staff are working remotely, and are supporting faculty and students as they move to remote teaching. Further details at

Will the Anna Leonowens Gallery remain open?

The Anna Leonowens Gallery plans to return to programming its roster of in-person exhibitions. The gallery itself will be open to the public beginning in the fall 2021. One-week exhibitions will be programmed in Galleries 1, 2A, 2B and 3. The Port Loggia Gallery will be programmed on an ad hoc basis.

Is the NSCAD Service Centre still open?

The Service Centre’s current hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. A Campus Access Authorization Form is required to access the Service Centre.

Donating to NSCAD

How can I make a donation to support NSCAD and its students?

Please visit to make a donation. You may choose direct your gift to scholarships and bursaries, or another priority on the donation page. The COVID-19 epidemic is putting additional pressures on students returning to NSCAD or considering NSCAD. We want to make sure that economics are not a barrier for bright, talented and motivated people.