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FAQ on Vaccination Requirements Frequently Asked Questions

Will AU require that students be vaccinated this fall?

Yes. All students who come to campus for any reason in Fall 2021 must be vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes full-time and part-time students, undergraduates and graduate students, and residential and non-residential students.

Where can I get my vaccination?

Vaccine distribution is managed by federal and state agencies. Here is how to find vaccines, register, and receive your vaccine:

  • Go to the CDC’s vaccine location webpage, which includes search boxes for state health departments and the national Vaccine Finder website; or,
  • Go to the national Vaccine Finder website, which will direct you to relevant locations in your vicinity; or,
  • Go to your jurisdiction’s website for COVID-19 vaccination (by searching on your jurisdiction’s name and COVID vaccination) to see options; or,
  • Ask your personal health provider. Some doctors’ offices offer pre-registration at clinics, or if not, can advise you on services in your area.

Will AU be providing vaccines?

This is not an option at present. COVID-19 vaccines are not currently available to university health clinics in the District of Columbia.

How will students provide proof of vaccination?

Undergraduate, graduate, and WCL students will be required to provide proof of vaccination for the fall semester. Please see the details regarding the submission of the vaccination record.

What vaccines will be accepted?

Any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. will be accepted.

Some incoming students may be 17-years-old at the start of the fall semester, and may only be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

Many of our international students may be vaccinated in other countries that are using vaccines not yet approved in the United States. We are seeking further guidance about how to manage this situation and will communicate directly with these students.

Are there exemptions?

Students may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons, following existing university protocols.

  • Religious exemption. A student may request a religious exemption by following the university’s procedures for requesting religious exemptions for immunizations. More detailed instructions regarding this process will be forthcoming. Students who have previously received a religious exemption for immunizations will not be required to submit another exemption request for the COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Medical exemption. A medical exemption is allowed if a physician provides a detailed letter indicating that immunizations are medically inadvisable. Please submit the request with the physician's letter to shc@american.edu.

Students enrolled in fully online degree programs with no campus presence will not need to provide proof of vaccination.

What is meant by "campus presence"?

This includes visiting the library, attending meetings, visiting offices, or using any campus facilities or spaces. A student can have a campus presence without attending in-person classes.

What about international students?

For international students who may be returning for fall semester and are not yet vaccinated, we will provide information about how to acquire a vaccine when you arrive in the United States.

Some international students may be vaccinated in countries using vaccines not yet approved in the United States. We are seeking further guidance and will communicate directly with these students.

Are vaccinations required for faculty and staff?

We continue to strongly recommend that all AU faculty and staff get immunized against COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity. All faculty and staff with a physical presence on-campus must be tested for COVID-19 according to schedule. The only way to opt out of testing is to submit proof of vaccination.

Further work is underway to determine if there will be a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for faculty and staff.

After vaccination, do community members still need to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing?

We follow current CDC recommendations. Masks continue to be required indoors and at large outdoor gatherings. Maintain physical distancing if unvaccinated persons are present, or if vaccination status is unknown.

Will COVID-19 testing still be required after vaccination?

For Spring and Summer 2021, yes. Further guidance regarding Fall 2021 will be communicated at a later date.

Do students need to show proof of COVID vaccination to live in campus housing?

Yes. Students with Fall housing assignments will need to provide proof of vaccination before Fall move-in. Please note that even if a student lives in AU housing over the summer, they will need to provide proof of vaccination before continuing to live on-campus for the fall.

In the meantime, before showing proof of vaccination, is my housing secure?

Yes, your fall housing assignment remains as it is. However, before moving in, you will need to show proof of vaccination. More information on move-in will be provided shortly to all students with assignments.

Will AU summer housing require vaccination?

No. However, students are strongly urged to secure their vaccination as soon as possible. The vaccination requirement begins in fall.

Will students who intend to study abroad in Fall 2021 be required to get vaccinated?

Yes. All students who intend to study abroad in Fall 2021 will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes undergraduate and graduate students. The same exemptions will apply as for students who intend to be on campus in Fall 2021.  

Looking for More Information?

AU's Health & Safety Procedures and Coronavirus Response: More details about AU's coronavirus response, health and safety protocols, COVID-19 testing and links to policy directives can be found here.