Vaccine Requirement FAQs

May 3, 2021

Beginning with the 2021 fall term, all students will be required to have been vaccinated. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Fall 2021 COVID-19 vaccine policy.

Beginning with the 2021 fall term, all students—undergraduate and graduate—will be required to have been vaccinated.  Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

Columbia joins more than 50 other universities and colleges in requiring students to be vaccinated.  This will enable a safe return to a full in-person academic and social environment by the beginning of the fall 2021 term.  There is now also ample evidence that COVID-19 vaccines prevent COVID-19 illness and the spread of the coronavirus.   

You do not need to get the vaccine as long as you do not seek admittance to any University building.

Yes, Columbia has been and will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines, at no cost to you, at several locations: Lerner Hall on the Morningside campus, the Black Building on the CUIMC campus and at two other Columbia Doctors locations—51 W 51 St and 2702 Broadway.

There are two ways to make appointments: or

As of now, yes.  If locations change, we will let you know.

Yes. Faculty and staff will receive four hours of paid leave to get vaccinated. Requirements for employees will be forthcoming.

Yes. We will accept any vaccine that has received authorization by the World Health Organization.


No, try to get vaccinated as soon as possible in your home country in order to protect you from COVID-19. Please plan to bring proof of vaccination when you come to campus.

We strongly urge you to get vaccinated this summer, as there may be additional requirements you have to meet if you arrive on campus unvaccinated.

Columbia has an exemption process for those with specific medical or religious reasons that qualify them for such an exemption. Otherwise, you will either have to attend classes remotely (if that is an option) or take a leave of absence.

No. Face coverings, along with other safety measures, will still be required.

Yes, participation in ongoing testing will still be required.

Columbia is creating a process to enable students to upload proof of vaccination and will be sending out that information by May 7.  

Students attending on-campus classes may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for specific medical or religious reasons. Additional details about this process available by May 7.

Yes, you will be able to register for classes prior to vaccination.

Yes you do, even if your class is fully remote/online.

Vaccination data is confidential and will only be used to determine access to the campus. It will not be provided to anyone else.

You will not know who is and who is not vaccinated; however, students will not be allowed on campus unless they have met the vaccine requirement.

Yes, as long as you are not symptomatic and have been medically cleared by a doctor after having COVID-19, you are able to get vaccinated.