Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Sept. 14, 2021



How do I apply for residence?

Visit our Apply for Residence page for step-by-step instructions on applying for residence at Dal.

Can I apply to live in residence for just the Winter semester?

Yes, you may apply for the Winter semester, however, we cannot guarantee that space will become available. 

If you have questions about the availability for the Winter semester, contact the Residence Office

Will applicants receive a refund of their application fee if their application is cancelled due to our COVID-19 response?

Yes, if a student’s application is cancelled due to COVID-19, they will receive a refund for their application fee.

I deferred my acceptance to Dal last year due to COVID-19. I will now be coming to Dal this Winter. Am I guaranteed a residence spot?

Yes, if you did not study remotely in 2020/21, and submitted your residence application by June 15, you qualify for our room guarantee for new, direct-from-high-school students.

If you deferred your residence application in 2020/21 and studied remotely, you are no longer considered a new, direct-from-high-school student and are, unfortunately, not eligible for our residence room guarantee. These applications have been processed and notifications sent to the applicants.

Are international students who did their first year in their home country through virtual learning guaranteed a room in residence if they come to Canada for the first time in Winter 2022?

Unfortunately, due to the high demand for residence rooms and reduced capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to offer space in residence for students who studied remotely in their first year. 

Are double rooms available? Can I have a roommate?

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we will not be offering double rooms until further notice. All existing double rooms will be assigned as single rooms. We will update the information if this changes.


Can I apply to live in the same building as my friend?

Students can request to be allocated to the same building as other students, however there is no guarantee as it depends on when students apply and the rooms that are available based on our COVID-19 response.

Will ResLife Learning Communities be available this year?

Due to restrictions in place as part of our response to COVID-19 and the reduced capacity of our residence buildings, ResLife Learning Communities will not be offered in the 2021-22 academic year.



What supports will be available to me in residence if I need to self-isolate?

Because we anticipate the majority of students arriving will not need to self-isolate, self-isolation space on-campus is not currently offered. All residents requiring self-isolation will be required to do so off campus.

Will I be required to self-isolate when I arrive?

Read the latest information on travelling to Nova Scotia from outside the province here. 

Below are the current requirements for self-isolation:

Domestic students

  • People who are fully vaccinated (both doses of an approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia don’t need to self-isolate. Proof of vaccination is required. Testing is recommended.
  • People who are partially vaccinated (first dose of an approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 7 days and receive 2 negative standard PCR lab test results (not rapid tests) in order to leave self-isolation after 7 days. Proof of vaccination is required. 
  • People who are not vaccinated (0 doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 7 days and receive 2 negative standard PCR lab test results (not rapid tests) in order to leave self-isolation after 7 days.

International students

If you are travelling to Canada from another country, you may qualify for certain quarantine and testing exemptions if you:  

Will I be able to self-isolate in residence?

Because we anticipate the majority of students arriving will have been vaccinated and will therefore not need to self-isolate, self-isolation space on-campus will not be offered. All residents requiring self-isolation will be required to do so off campus at their own expense. Your residence room and meal plan fees will be pro-rated to begin on your move-in date after you've completed your quarantine/self-isolation.


If I have family members or friends travelling with me to help me move, will they need to self-isolate as well?

All travellers entering Nova Scotia must adhere to public health directives regarding self-isolation. Please review the requirements on the Nova Scotia Coronavirus website.

I have items in storage. Will I be able to access them while in self-isolation?

If you have items in storage from last year, you will not be allowed to access them until you have completed your self-isolation period, so please plan ahead and bring everything with you that you may need.

Can I pick up my DalCard while in self-isolation?

No, you may not visit the DalCard office to pick up your DalCard while in self-isolation. Your card will be provided to you when you check in to your residence room after your self-isolation period is complete. 

After you receive your card, you may pick up your UPass at the DalCard office service window.

While in self-isolation, you are not permitted to visit any campus administrative office or building.

Will I need to get a COVID-19 test while I’m self-isolating?

Make sure to review the public health requirements outlined on the Nova Scotia Government website for testing requirements.


Dining Halls

Which dining halls will I be able to visit?

Halifax Campus:

To offer a safe and pleasant dining experience, there are currently three dining halls confirmed for Fall 2021.

  • Shirreff Hall - For residents of Shirreff Hall and LeMarchant Place
  • Howe Hall - For residents of Howe Hall and Mini Res
  • Risley Hall - For residents of Risley Hall

You will be assigned a dining hall based on the building in which you live. You will not be able to dine at any other dining hall on campus.

Our dining halls will feature a large selection of delicious and nutritious options for all palettes and dietary needs. The menu changes each day, so be sure to check the daily menus at the Dalhousie Food Services website.

If you're curious about the nutritional content of your meals, you'll find nutritional information provided at the kiosks in all the dining halls. If necessary, you can talk to the dietitian at Food Services about designing a plan to accommodate your needs.

Truro Campus:

Jenkins Hall is open with a continuous dining meal plan - you may come and go as many times each day as you like - just use your DalCard.

Monday – Friday

7:30-9:30 a.m. Hot Breakfast
9:30-11 a.m. Continental Breakfast
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Hot Lunch
2-4:30 p.m. Sandwich & Salad Offerings
2-3:30 p.m. Short Order Grille
4:30-7:30 p.m. Hot Supper (Friday until 6:30 p.m. close)
7:30-9 p.m. Sandwich & Salad Offerings
7:30-8:30 p.m. Short Order Grille

Saturday & Sunday

9-11 a.m. Continental Breakfast
11-2 p.m. Hot Lunch
2-4:30 p.m. Sandwich & Salad Offerings
2-3:30 p.m. Short Order Grille
4:30-6:30 p.m. Hot Supper (Sunday until 7 p.m. close)

Check the daily menus online. 

What measures have been put in place in the dining halls for the health and safety of residents?

The Residence and Food Services teams are currently working to ensure that the dining halls are set up with the safety of residents in mind. Measures currently being implemented include adjustments to seating layouts to ensure physical distancing and physical distancing signage.

Visit our Dining Safe @ Dal page for photos and information on what measures we're taking.

Will I be able to get meals to go?

Take out will not be available. We will be offering dine-in service in the dining halls with physically distanced seating that complies with public health guidelines.


Residence Changes and Procedures

What additional cleaning is being undertaken to keep residents safe?

We pride ourselves in ensuring that our buildings are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly and regularly.

To ensure the health and safety of the residence community, and the university community as a whole, our Custodial Services team has developed a comprehensive cleaning plan to ensure all spaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The team is using a highly effective non-toxic ozonated water disinfectant to ensure disinfection of surfaces.

What are some of the changes to residence I should be aware of before arriving?

COVID-19 has significantly changed how Dalhousie University will operate, including our residence system. We have had to institute some restrictions following Nova Scotia Public Health guidelines. These are subject to change at any time, so please keep checking for updates.

 For Fall 2021, these changes include:

  • Lounges will have a posted maximum occupancy number, depending on the size of the lounge, that must be observed at all times. Masks are mandatory at all times in lounges.
  • Dining halls will be assigned based on your residence building. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use multiple dining halls.
  • Masks are required when you are travelling anywhere outside your personal room. This policy will extend to at least Oct. 31.
  • Until at least Oct. 31, residence students are not permitted to have any guests in residence (this includes no inter-residence travel unless required for access to their assigned dining hall). This will be reviewed at the end of October with potential changes starting Nov. 1, 2021.
  • No alcohol or cannabis allowed in residence at any time for any reason until further notice. Anyone with a prescription for medical-use cannabis should contact us immediately. (This includes ALL residences.)
  • A maximum of five students in a room, including the resident, at all residences except LeMarchant Place, where the limit is 10 people in 3- or 4-bedroom suites. Masks are mandatory where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Updates were made to the Residence Community Living Guide.

Any updates to these residence policies will be sent to your Dal email.

Finally, if you fall ill while in residence and are required to isolate, please contact Residence Life at 902-220-9038 (Halifax) so we can move you to our isolation area.

What are some things I will need to bring with me that may be new this year?

To ensure you are complying with public health recommendations and with new guidelines put in place to ensure the health and safety of our residence community, please bring:

  • Masks (if using cloth reusable masks, ensure they’re washed often)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra cleaning and sanitizing supplies for cleaning your room
  • A reliable thermometer

For a full list, visit our What to bring to res page.



How many people can come with me to help me move in?

You are allowed one helper into the building for move-in. Additional friends and family will be required to wait outside.

Where can I purchase items for my room?

The Dal Bookstore is offers a variety of items for residence rooms. Check their website for product availability and pricing. 


DalCard and UPass

How can I get my DalCard?

Your DalCard is your all access pass to university – including building access, gym membership, dining hall card, laundry (Halifax residences only), library card, printing and copying, debit card, and more.

In order to get your DalCard, you must upload a photo and a copy of your government issued photo ID online. We will then print your card and have it waiting for you at your residence. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be providing photo services at our office on campus. If you are unable to upload your photo or are having technical issues, email