Knowledgebase: Students and Faculty
OCAD U 365: Student Launch
Updated: 14 January 2020 11:07 AM

OCAD U 365 for Students

Your OCAD U student email is changing!

Beginning in Winter Study Week (February 18 to 21, 2020) your OCAD U Student Email is migrating from Gmail to Office 365. In addition, students will then have access to the entire suite of Office 365 applications.

Please note that migration times will vary amongst students. For updates please pay attention to your Gmail inbox leading up to Study Week. 

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a robust suite of online collaboration tools, built in a cloud platform that offers familiar Microsoft productivity apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook email and OneDrive, along with others such as Teams for chat-based collaboration, To-Do and Planner for tasks, OneNote for notetaking and more.

Email FAQ

Office 365 FAQ

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is Microsoft's suite of desktop and online productivity apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook email and OneDrive, with new apps like Teams for chat based collaboration, To-Do and Planner for tasks, and OneNote for notetaking.

Why is student email moving to the Outlook email platform in Office 365?

Students, faculty, and staff depend on the rich functionality provided by Microsoft Office and our community thrives on collaboration, across the University. Having users on two different email and collaboration systems hinders their creativity and productivity.

  • New cloud-based Office 365 applications were previously not available to students
  • Better integration with your existing Office apps
  • Tools for collaboration with OCAD U faculty and staff

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Will my email address change?

Yay! You asked for it, and we’re delivering. After the transition, your OCAD U email address will be human-readable: a combination of firstname and lastname. Don’t worry, your old numeric or alphanumeric email address will continue to work. You will still receive mail.  

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When is this happening?

During the Winter Study Week, February 18 to 21, 2020, IT Services will migrate mailboxes from Gmail to Office 365 Outlook. This includes your email and calendar, and all of their existing contents. We will provide more details closer to the date. 

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What happens to my email during the cutover?

We will be migrating your email and calendar items using Microsoft’s tools from Gmail to Office 365. When you log in to Office 365, all of your email, sent mail and calendar items will be migrated over.

As migrations complete during Study Week, all new email will be delivered to Office 365 as well as Gmail until each student receives an email to both accounts announcing the completion of migration. This means that following that final email, all new email will go to your Office 365 account. 

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Will I still have access to Gmail and Google Apps?

Yes. Your old email will still be in Gmail, and you can still use Google Apps until we discontinue the service.

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What will be different about my email inbox in Outlook versus Gmail?

While the basic email functionality is similar to Gmail, your Outlook inbox will act as a starting point for all collaboration with other members of the OCAD U community.

  • Outlook has a Focused Inbox, so that email from the OCAD U community is in the foreground.
  • You will be able to look up any faculty, student or staff member in the Global Address List
  • You will see other user's free/busy information in order to schedule time with them

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Will I need to use a different app on my devices (mobile phone, iPad, etc.) to access email?

We recommend that all users install Outlook for iOS, Android, macOS and Windows to access email. This is the richest, most compatible experience. Third-party mail client support is not recommended and not supported. 

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What about the other applications on Office 365?

Once the migration is complete, all students will have the same access to Microsoft’s tools as faculty and staff, so you will be able to start collaborating right away.

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Which students are you migrating to Office 365? 

  • Currently Enrolled Undergraduate and Graduate Students
  • Any Undergraduate and Graduate student who is eligible to enroll at OCAD University
  • Any Alumni who graduated since 2017

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Which students are not migrating to Office 365?

  • Any Alumni prior to 2017
  • Any student who attended OCAD U previously and did not graduate
  • Continuing Studies Students (who do not receive email accounts from OCAD U)

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Should I switch to OneDrive for my file storage?

Yes. We recommend you migrate your files from Google Drive to OneDrive shortly after you gain access. While you will continue to have access to Google Drive, you will spend more of your time reading email and collaborating in Office 365, and the convenience of Microsoft’s integration between tools will mean a better experience for you.

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How do I migrate my files from Google Drive to OneDrive?

We recommend you download the Google Drive Desktop App and sync all of your files to your local computer. Then, copy those files to OneDrive using the native OneDrive app for macOS or Windows.

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Do I need to be on the latest version of Office (Word, Excel, etc.) to use the collaboration/share function for my documents?

Yes. If you haven't done so already, we recommend you download Office 365 from and install it on your laptop or desktop. This version provides the best experience for working with online documents. We will not offer support for Office 2016 and earlier with Office 365.

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What is “syncing” and how to do I do it?

All students receive 1 TB (terabyte) of OneDrive storage, allowing them to save files to Microsoft's online cloud and have them simultaneously on your desktop.

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What is the difference between the web versions of Office (Word, Excel, etc.) as opposed to the applications on my computer?

The web versions of Office replicate the experience of the desktop applications and provide most of the functionality you need to collaborate. The desktop versions provide a fully featured experience, and you can work across the web and desktop with any of the applications. 

Do I need to download the Outlook app to access my email or can I log in through a browser?

You can absolutely log in through the browser. There are benefits to each.

Will I still have access to email and OneDrive after I graduate?

Yes, you will have access to Office 365 for 1 year after you graduate, as sometimes students return to OCAD U. After the 1 year, your account will be downgraded to an Alumni license which has email only.

I have a personal OneDrive account already. Can I use both?

You can only be authenticated into a single OneDrive account at a time in the browser. The OneDrive desktop application does allow you to connect to multiple OneDrive accounts (personal + OCAD U, for example) at a time. We suggest you use your OCAD U OneDrive for academic activities at OCAD U.

I'm an alumni prior to 2017. Will my email and Google Drive files get switched too?

If you graduated prior to 2017, we are not migrating your data. Your student email account will not receive any new email, but you will still have access until Summer 2021.

How long will I retain access to my Google Drive files? When are you sunsetting GSuite?

We recommend you transfer your files right away to get the most benefit out of Office 365. We expect to run the GSuite service until Summer 2021.


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