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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Northwestern announced on May 12, 2021 that it requires COVID-19 vaccination for all students (including exchange and visiting students) in credit-bearing, on-campus programs. Students must have their vaccination or exception on record in order to register for classes.

At present, Northwestern no longer requires COVID-19 vaccination for faculty and staff. While vaccines and boosters are not required for faculty and staff, we strongly recommend vaccines and boosters for people who can obtain them as a critical tool for minimizing severe illness.

Questions? See Student Vaccination Requirement FAQs or email

Report Vaccination or Request Exception


All students are required to fill out the COVID-19 Vaccination Form to report their vaccination or request an exception.

Student COVID-19 Vaccination Disclosure form


Students can request an exception to the vaccination requirement due to personal health conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs. Exception requests related to health conditions require a note from a licensed medical provider. Exception requests related to religious beliefs require a personal written statement detailing the objection to vaccination on religious grounds. The statement must identify the specific religious belief, practice or observance that conflicts with vaccination.

Students who are partially vaccinated or do not have access to an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine before arriving on campus must submit a request for a temporary exception in order to remain compliant for the month necessary to complete the full vaccination series. Exceptions related to access issues require proof of first dose and/or confirmation of an upcoming vaccination appointment.

To submit a request for a temporary exception due to fully remote status, a student must be off campus with no planned visits to campus or interactions with individuals who visit campus during the term.

All exception requests must be submitted through the COVID-19 Vaccination Form. For exception requests not related to health conditions, students must upload a personal statement.

Reporting Deadline for Enrollment

Both new students and those returning to Northwestern must meet the COVID-19 vaccination requirement or receive an exception in order to register for classes. Those who have not submitted proof of full vaccination or been approved for an exception will not be able to register for classes, move into campus housing, have access to meal plans, or have access to campus buildings for the upcoming term. They also will not be able to come to campus or participate in any activities (including student organizations) or events intended for enrolled students.

If you wish to request an exception, please do so as soon as possible. Your registrar will notify you of deadlines associated with each term. Submitting your request as soon as possible will give Northwestern time to consider your request before rendering a decision and gives you the best chance to register for classes on time with the rest of your cohort.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness

We encourage members of the community to review this research publication by Northwestern experts, which highlights the importance of receiving a vaccine even if you have already had COVID-19, given the limited length of natural antibody prevention.