IT Connect
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Canvas Access Policy

In order to appropriately secure course content and student data, the ability to sign in to Canvas is restricted generally to current employees and affiliates, and current and recent former students. Employees lose the ability to sign in to the UW Canvas LMS after they separate from the UW, in parallel with other IT services. Former students retain access to Canvas for five years past separation.

Note: No course content or student submissions are deleted under the Canvas access policy. Instructor and student content in Canvas is retained according to the data retention policy.

For detailed information about access to Canvas, consult the FAQs:

Who can access the UW Canvas LMS?

People with the following affiliations are automatically authorized to access Canvas:

  • Current and former students (former students retain access for five years past separation)
  • Current employees and faculty
  • Current contingent employees
  • WWAMI instructors
  • Current clinicians and current employees of affiliated medical organizations
  • Access Program students
  • Admin UW NetID (sadm_ and wadm_) accounts of current employees

Other affiliate or sponsored personal UW NetID accounts can be authorized to access Canvas via the Provisioning Request Tool (PRT).

Note: Shared UW NetID accounts are not permitted to access Canvas.

When do I lose access to Canvas?

Separated employees and upcoming retirees lose access to Canvas four weeks after the effective date of their termination, per the UW’s standard procedure regarding computing services.

Employees who are also current or former students retain access to Canvas and the courses in which they were enrolled as a student. Permissions in the courses in which they had any role as a teacher, TA, course designer, guest teacher or librarian will be removed on separation, after a 90-day grace period.

Former students retain access to Canvas for five years after separation from the UW, which corresponds to the length of time courses are retained. In other words, students can access Canvas courses until they are deleted according to data retention policies and processes.

See the complete timeline for access to Canvas.

What if I no longer have access to Canvas, but I need course materials?

Contact the department in which you were employed and request the course materials. Note that courses are deleted five years after the end of the academic year in which they were offered in accordance with data retention policies.

Alternatively, a current employee can provision access to Canvas for your UW NetID via the Provisioning Request Tool (PRT).

What do I do if I think I should have access?

If you think you should be authorized to access Canvas (if you have one of the affiliations listed above), but are unable to sign in, please contact help@uw.edu.

Instructors or affiliates in the UW School of Medicine WWAMI program should contact somaltsupport@uw.edu and ask to be granted access to the UW Canvas LMS.

I’m a current applicant. Why can’t I sign in to Canvas?

Applicants do not have access to Canvas. Once you have been admitted and confirmed your enrollment, you will be permitted to sign in to Canvas.

I’m a registered PCE or Continuum College student. Why can’t I sign in to Canvas?

PCE or Continuum college students who enroll in a program and then register for courses on the same day might experience an overnight delay in getting access to Canvas. If you enrolled more than one day ago, please contact help@uw.edu.

I have a sponsored UW NetID account and need to access Canvas. What can I do?

Sponsored UW NetID accounts are not automatically permitted to sign in to Canvas. Please ask the employee or department that sponsored your account to use the Provisioning Request Tool to provision Canvas access for your account.

I have a sponsored UW NetID account, and my Canvas access is expiring.

Access to Canvas for sponsored accounts must be renewed annually. If you have a sponsored personal UW NetID, please ask the employee who sponsored your account to use the Provisioning Request Tool to renew your Canvas access.

I’m Emeritus faculty, will I be able to sign in to Canvas?

Emeritus faculty typically have an active academic appointment in Workday, and so will continue to be able to sign in to Canvas.

I’m retired faculty, will I be able to sign in to Canvas?

Anyone with a current academic appointment in Workday will be able to sign in to Canvas. Individuals in this category who are not teaching will not have access to Canvas.

I’m retired faculty, but I also teach courses for one or two quarters. Will I be able to sign in to Canvas?

Once your academic appointment is active in Workday, you will gain access to Canvas. If you need earlier access, please contact your department and ask them to provision Canvas access for your UW NetID via the Provisioning Request Tool (PRT).

Last reviewed March 5, 2021