Informations about COVID-19

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Details Regarding the Autumn 2020 Semester

Greetings students,

Polytechnique wishes you and your loved ones health and safety during this unprecedented time. Your understanding and confidence in our institution is greatly appreciated and valued. Thanks to the work of the entire Polytechnique community, adaptations were quickly made so that the Winter 2020 semester could be completed, and the Summer 2020 semester could be planned successfully.


  • Under normal circumstances Polytechnique has 4,500 seats in 67 classrooms.
  • Applying the 2-metre physical distancing guideline, there are only 14 classrooms that can accommodate more than 16 students (a maximum of 37 total). This gives a total of 310 seats. Other classroom capacities are reduced to less than 16 seats each.
  • As a result, and as per public health guidelines, Polytechnique has determined that distance learning is the preferred instructional method for the Autumn 2020 semester. Though the physical circumstances of learning have been altered, Polytechnique’s programs, at every level, remain unchanged.
  • Polytechnique’s primary goal and commitment, is for the institution’s diplomas and credentials to retain their high value. As an institution, this is one of our most pressing commitments to students, to the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, and to the Engineers Canada’s Accreditation Bureau, and society at large.

For the Autumn 2020 Semester, the following decisions have been made:

a) Classes, computer labs and tutorials

  • All of the above activities will be held via distance education.
  • In order to participate effectively in these activities, students will require to have access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection. Recommended specifications will be announced shortly.
  • If Autumn 2020 is your first semester at Polytechnique: to make your integration into your new community as smooth as possible, Polytechnique intends to make an on-campus courses available to new students, such as “Relations interculturelles et vie universitaire” (for those in a preparatory year), a group work course (for those at Bachelors’ level), or specific complimentary courses (for those in graduate studies)*.
  • Some courses may also comprise an on-campus element. The list of courses will be available as soon as possible.
  • Tutorials and computer labs will take place via distance learning, in real-time (when they are indicated to take place according to the course schedule). Students will likely need to install certain computer software programs onto personal computers or connect to Polytechnique’s computer labs.

    *CAP7702, CAP7003, CIV1205, ELE1001, GCH1140, IND1205, INF1040, MEC1205, PHS1205, SSH0101.

b) Practical work requiring equipment handling and integration projects

  • Polytechnique will do its best to accommodate practical technological work requiring equipment, setup or other elements deemed to be essential and completed on-campus. There will be a schedule reserved for such activities. As needed, educational and technical staff will be able to offer additional time slots to students, given the challenges of the current pandemic.
  • On-campus space will be offered to students for integration projects as per to-be-determined means.

c) Assessments and exams

  • Certain final exams will take place on-campus during the end-of-semester exam period.
  • There will be no other on-campus assessments scheduled.
  • The use of monitoring software will be restricted to Certificate programs (for which it is already used), to students who cannot be physically present on-campus, or for on-campus exams if they were no longer authorised.

d) Students who are unable to be physically present on-campus

  • Polytechnique acknowledges that while it is desirable that as many students as possible join the Polytechnique community in Montréal this September (to benefit from on-campus activities) it is also understood that there may be special challenges such as:
    • Some students returned to their countries of origin when borders closed; others are waiting for their Certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ) or Study Permit, in order to return to Canada and pursue their studies; and others still are concerned about the availability of international flights.
    • Others living in Québec’s regions are concerned about whether or not they should rent an apartment in Montréal.
    • Some individuals may need to place themselves in quarantine upon arrival.
  • To account for special cases, alternative solutions for proposed on-campus activities will be offered including the possibility for deferred exams.
  • Students who are not physically present in Montréal will not be allowed to choose courses taught entirely on-campus.

Note that should new public health and safety guidelines or rules be implemented, Polytechnique may need to reconsider offering on-campus activities.

Polytechnique is committed to supporting students, as well as maintaining the quality of student educational experience.

Philippe A. Tanguy, Ph.D., ing.

François Bertrand, Ph.D., ing.
Senior Vice-President and
Vice-President Academic and Research

May 21, 2020