As colleges across the country prepare to reopen and host largely in-person, on-campus semesters for the first time in over a year, many are weighing the decision of whether to require students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall. The Daily Pennsylvanian is tracking the vaccine mandate policies of over 200 colleges across each of the 50 states.
Latest updates: University of California system: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Diego; Gonzaga University; Marquette University; George Mason University; Vassar College; Washington University in St. Louis.
U.S. College COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Policies
Many institutions have announced that they will require community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning they have to have received the final dose of a vaccine at least two weeks before the start of the fall semester. Others have announced vaccine mandates that will only go into effect once the United States Food and Drug Administration fully approves at least one of the three vaccines currently approved under emergency use authorization in the United States. Experts expect the FDA to fully approve at least one vaccine this summer.
Some colleges, however — most notably the nine undergraduate schools in the University of California system — have modified their original policies, announcing they will not wait for full FDA approval and will require all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated regardless.
Nearly every college that has announced a vaccine mandate plans to allow exemptions for specific medical and religious reasons.
The majority — 61.29% — of the 217 colleges that the DP is tracking have announced some sort of plan to require the COVID-19 vaccine in the fall, whether it be contingent upon FDA approval, students only, staff only, or for both students and staff. The remaining 38.71% of included colleges either have yet to announce a vaccine requirement or have announced they will not require any community members to be vaccinated. Of these schools, the vast majority lie in the Southern, Midwestern, or Western U.S.
Click each heading on the chart below for categorical organization.
Note: The colleges represented in this list are four-year universities that primarily serve large populations of undergraduate students.