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COVID-19 FAQs for International Students & Scholars

What is Northwestern’s policy regarding the COVID-19 vaccination?


Northwestern will continue to require the primary series of COVID-19 vaccination for all students. Students may request an exception to the primary vaccine requirement based on personal health conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs. Students must have proof of their vaccination or approval for an exception on record in order to register for classes. 

  • Students who have already received a full WHO/FDA-approved COVID-19 primary vaccine series, should attest to vaccination status by completing the COVID-19 Student Vaccination Disclosure Form in order to register for classes.
  • Students who are partially vaccinated or have not had access to an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine before arriving on campus must submit a request for a temporary exception immediately in order to remain compliant for the month necessary to complete the full vaccination series.
  • Please visit Northwestern's COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement webpage for the most up to date information.

Scholars, Faculty and Staff

With 98% of the campus community currently vaccinated, Northwestern no longer will require COVID-19 vaccination for faculty and staff. We do strongly recommend vaccines and boosters for people who can obtain them as a critical tool for minimizing severe illness. Read the December 1, 2022 Campus Announcement for Faculty and Staff.


I'm a new international student beginning study at NU in 2023. Do I need to complete Northwestern’s COVID-19 Vaccination Disclosure Form?

Yes, all students must complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Disclosure Form to register for classes. The COVID-19 Vaccination Disclosure Form will allow you either to report your vaccination status or to request an exception to the vaccination requirement due to a personal health condition, religious beliefs, access issues (such as limited or no access to the vaccine in your home country), or other personal reasons.

To access the “Student Vaccination Disclosure Form,” go to the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement page and click on “Student Vaccination Disclosure.” You will need to login with your secure Northwestern NetID and username to access the form.

New international students who cannot access a WHO/FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine before arrival to the United States should complete this form and select “Unable to access WHO/FDA approved vaccine” as the Vaccination Exception Requirement reason. Once fully vaccinated, you will be able to return to update this form with vaccination information.

How can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Students, faculty and staff should take advantage of the free walk-up appointments offered by pharmacies such as WalgreensCVS and Jewel-Osco.  If you still need assistance making a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, contact the vaccine support team by emailing

In addition, the website will allow you to find a COVID-19 vaccine at a location nearby, and then you will call or visit the website to make an appointment.

All students, faculty and staff are required to report their vaccination (or request an exception) via the appropriate Vaccination Disclosure. See the NU COVID-19 vaccination website for links to the appropriate online forms.

I've already received an NU approved COVID-19 vaccine. Do I also need to get the booster?

Northwestern currently does not require a booster dose to be compliant with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. More than 95% of the Northwestern community has reported receiving at least one booster shot, and we strongly recommend boosters for those who medically are able to obtain them. See Vaccine booster for more details.

What are NU's COVID-19 student testing requirements?

In response to declining demand, Northwestern will discontinue asymptomatic testing at its Evanston and Chicago locations. Symptomatic testing will continue to be available from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Jacobs Center. Students who require symptomatic testing in Chicago should contact Northwestern Medicine Student Health Service.

What are the latest campus updates regarding COVID-19?

Please review Northwestern’s COVID-19 Dashboard for current testing data and campus updates.


How can I learn more about Northwestern’s positivity rates and the latest campus news related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Visit NU’s COVID-19 and Campus Updates for the most up-to-date information.

My home country has limited COVID-19 vaccine availability, and I cannot receive the vaccine before my planned travel to the U.S. Am I exempt from the vaccine requirement?

Individuals with a passport issued by a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability and a valid nonimmigrant visa that is NOT a B-1 or B-2 tourist visa may claim an exception. Please consult the CDC website Technical Instructions for Implementing Presidential Proclamation Advancing Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic and CDC’s Order for the current list of countries.

Travelers who fall under an exception are required to provide an Excepted Covered Individual Attestation when seeking entry into the United States.

Excepted travelers will be required to attest that they:

  1. Have arranged for post-arrival COVID-19 testing within 3-5 days of arrival;
  2. Have arranged to self-quarantine (if the post-arrival test is negative) or self-isolate (if the post-arrival test is positive) after arriving; and
  3. Agree and have arranged to become vaccinated within 60 days of arrival and provide proof of having arranged for such vaccination, subject to certain exceptions outlined in the CDC Order.
Additionally upon arrival to NU, all new students will be required to comply with the University’s policy regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

What are the requirements for boarding a flight from a foreign country to the United States?

Non-U.S. citizens who are nonimmigrants traveling to the United States by air from any part of the world are required to  establish that they are fully vaccinated, with some limited exceptions.

See the CDC COVID-19 webpage on International Travel for the most up-to-date requirements and recommendations for international travelers.