University announces COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all students

Editor’s note: This message was sent May 18 to members of the University community from Provost Ka Yee C. Lee and Dean of Students Michele Rasmussen.

We write to share with you that starting with the 2021 Autumn Quarter, the University of Chicago will require all students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

This requirement will strengthen the University’s ability to protect the health and safety of our campus and neighboring communities. Universal COVID-19 vaccination for UChicago students will contribute to greater immunity, reduce the risk of sudden clusters of COVID-19 on campus, and help protect members of our community who are at the highest risk of developing serious disease from the virus.

At this time, the University of Chicago will require all students to get vaccinated at the first opportunity, whether through the University of Chicago Medicine’s vaccine clinic or other providers. All vaccines approved by the FDA or WHO will be considered suitable to fulfill the University’s requirement. Proof of vaccination through medical records (or vaccine certification card) will be required.  

The COVID-19 vaccination requirement applies to all students participating in in-person classes, research, or other activities in the U.S., starting from the first day of Autumn Quarter with exemptions for religious or medical reasons as required by law. The University has complied with the vaccine requirements of the State of Illinois, and our experience administering and confirming those requirements for students will inform our approach to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. The University continues to encourage academic appointees, staff, contractors/vendors, guests and visitors to be vaccinated as well, and is exploring whether COVID-19 vaccines will be required for these groups.  

As previously announced, the University is planning for a resumption of activities on campus by the start of the 2021 Autumn Quarter. The student vaccine requirement will help make this possible. We will share further details on the University’s requirement and related procedures, including information about how to confirm vaccination status and the exemption process, in the coming weeks. In the meantime, these FAQ should address some common questions. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our campus and our city.