University of the Arts COVID-19 Vaccine Policy & FAQ

In support of UArts’ commitment to health and safety for all members of its community, the university has updated its immunization requirements for students to include a COVID-19 vaccine, and will also require all faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Vaccination Requirement for Students, Faculty and Staff

This policy means that, with limited exceptions, all students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated by the start of the upcoming academic year. Documented medical and religious exemptions will be reasonably accommodated. 

  • Students should plan to be fully vaccinated, with the final dose of the vaccine received at least two weeks prior to their return to campus for the upcoming semester. 

  • Faculty and staff should plan to be fully vaccinated, with the final dose of the vaccine received at least two weeks prior to their return to campus. 

We encourage all to visit vaccines.gov to help you find clinics, pharmacies and other locations that offer COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. In addition, visit and bookmark this webpage for FAQs, resources, full policy guidance and updates as we move toward the upcoming semester.

COVID-19 Booster Requirement

In continued support of UArts’ commitment to health and safety for all members of its community and in alignment with the recommendations of the CDC, the university updated its immunization requirements for eligible students, faculty and staff to include a COVID-19 booster. This health policy update means that boosters will be required for all eligible students, faculty and staff prior to the start of the upcoming semester, or within 30 days of becoming eligible, in accordance with CDC guidance.

  • Eligible students should plan to receive their booster at least two weeks prior to their return to campus for the upcoming semester.

  • Eligible faculty and staff should plan to receive their booster at least two weeks prior to their return to campus.

  • Students, faculty and staff who will become eligible on or after the start of the upcoming semester should plan to receive their booster within 30 days of eligibility.

Not sure if you’re eligible for a booster? Visit the CDC website to determine your eligibility.

This health policy update also means that all students, faculty and staff must update their vaccination record to include information about their COVID vaccination and booster.

Documented medical and religious exemptions will continue to be reasonably accommodated. Exemption requests must be submitted for review annually and are applicable for one academic year. Any student, faculty or staff member seeking exemption from the booster only will need to apply for exemption. Students requesting exemption should contact Student Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu to indicate their request for exemption.

Policy

Proof of vaccination will be required for all students planning to attend this upcoming semester. Any vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. is acceptable. For faculty, staff and students living abroad, please see the FAQ on vaccines not authorized for use in the U.S. 

Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Students with questions about accommodations relating to a diagnosed medical, physical, psychological, and/or learning disability should contact the Office of Educational Accessibility at access@uarts.edu.

Individuals participating in fully online graduate programs or remote programs, will not need to provide proof of vaccination. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Policy FAQ

This FAQ addresses University of the Arts’ COVID-19 vaccine policy. For general information about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC website.

Expand all Collapse all
Will UArts require students, faculty and staff be immunized against COVID-19?

Yes. UArts has updated its immunization policy to require all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated in advance of arriving on campus in the upcoming semester. This includes a booster dose for those eligible

How can I upload my vaccination documentation?

Students should plan to be fully vaccinated, with the final dose of the vaccine received at least two weeks prior to their return to campus for the upcoming semester.

  • Students who are fully vaccinated (with a vaccine approved, for emergency use authorization, by the FDA or the WHO) should update their Health Form record with Student Health Services.

  • Students who want to request accommodation should contact Student Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu to request either the medical or religious exemption form. The form will then be emailed to the student and upon return to Health Services students will be notified within 5 business of a decision. 

  • Students who will not be fully vaccinated by the time they arrive on campus, but plan to receive the COVID vaccine or their booster dose at a later date, should email the Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu to make arrangements for their return to campus. 

Faculty and staff should plan to be fully vaccinated, with the final dose of the vaccine received at least two weeks prior to their return to campus. Faculty and staff upload proof of vaccination or request accommodations through the HR Portal page. Faculty and staff with questions about submitting documentation should email hr@uarts.edu

Will there be exemptions to immunization against COVID-19?

Students, faculty and staff accessing campus facilities may request an accommodation for medical or religious reasons. Individuals participating in fully online MEd, Ph.D. program or remote engagement programs, will not need to provide proof of vaccination. 

Faculty and staff can access the exemption forms on the HR page of the UArts Portal in the Benefits section. 

Students requesting exemption should contact Student Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu to request either the medical or religious exemption form. The form will be emailed to the student and upon return to Health Services students will be notified within 5 business days.

How can I request an exemption to the requirement that I submit proof of COVID-19 immunization?

Enrolled students may request an accommodation from the requirement that they submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination for medical or religious reasons. 

Accommodation requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis; they are NOT automatically granted. Students requesting exemption should contact Student Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu to request either the medical or religious exemption form. The form will be emailed to the student and upon return to Health Services students will be notified within 5 business days.

Students requesting an accommodation for religious reasons will be required to submit a written statement, signed by the student or signed by a parent or legal guardian if the student is a minor, explaining how immunization conflicts with the student’s religious beliefs. A religious accommodation is not the same as a philosophical, moral or conscientious accommodation. 

Students requesting an accommodation for medical reasons will be required to submit a medical documentation explaining the specific medical contraindication or disability, and the time period for which the accommodation is being requested. Medical accommodations are reviewed annually.

Faculty and staff can access the accommodations forms on the HR page of the UArts Portal in the Benefits section.

Will there be a full-remote/virtual option for students who are enrolled in the upcoming semester but are not vaccinated?

No. There will be several remote course offerings, but they will be offered for single courses (Critical Studies, discipline history and some other lecture-based courses) rather than for entire programs. Before selecting only remote courses, students should speak with their program director and academic advisor to discuss how this might affect progress toward degree completion. Face-to-face, remote and online course offerings will be confirmed through the course-planning module. Some courses may be offered in a hybrid fashion, which is a mix of online and face-to-face class meetings. 

What is the vaccination policy for international students who are not able to get the vaccine? What about international students who receive a vaccine that has not been authorized for use in the U.S., such as the AstraZeneca vaccine?

We are eager to welcome international students to our community as we follow public health guidelines. Today, there are three vaccines authorized for use in the United States and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and others may well follow between now and the upcoming semester. Additionally, we are accepting vaccinations that are approved by the World Health Organization as "finalized" in the status of assessment. 

For those international students who decide to get vaccinated after arrival in the US, UArts will provide whatever assistance possible that is consistent with PA State public health guidelines.

Pennsylvania has been rolling out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all adults who live, work, or study in the state.  All individuals in Pennsylvania aged 16 and older are eligible for vaccination at this time.

International students with questions about their vaccine status, seeking information about getting vaccinated in the US, or with early/late arrival to campus plans should contact Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu for assistance. 

Will international students who have been vaccinated in their countries need to be re-vaccinated in the U.S. with a vaccine that is authorized for use in the U.S.? 

The university will accept vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Additionally, we are accepting vaccinations that are approved by the World Health Organization as "finalized" in the status of assessment. 

If you have received another vaccine, that is not authorized for use by the FDA or the WHO, please contact Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu

Students who did not receive an FDA-approved vaccine and have questions about the booster requirement should contact the Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu

If I get the vaccine, do I still need to follow UArts COVID-19 policies?

Yes. Your choice to get the vaccine does not impact how you are expected to behave with regard to our COVID-19 policies and the UArts Healthy Promise.

COVID-19 Testing for Students

Students can make an appointment to test in Student Health Services, Gershman Hall room 305, online here. Testing is available Monday-Friday, 9:20am-4pm, while classes are in session.

Expand all Collapse all
What kind of test will be used?

We use rapid antigen tests that have received emergency use authorization by the FDA. 

How long is each appointment?

Each appointment will be approximately 20 minutes. To avoid crowds, do not arrive more than five minutes early.

How will tests be administered?

Tests will be administered by Health Services staff. Health Services is both CLIA-certified and has a Pennsylvania Clinical Lab Permit. The test is a nasal swab that delivers results in 10-20 minutes. All test results, positive or negative, will be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health via the PA-NEDSS system.

What will happen if a student tests negative for COVID-19?

If a student tests negative, they can return to classes and campus.

What will happen if a student tests positive for COVID-19 at the on-campus testing site?

If a student tests positive, they are required to leave campus (if a commuter) or move to an isolation/quarantine space (if a resident). A member of Student Affairs staff walk each student through the next steps within 30 minutes of the positive test notification to review the plan of care. 

What will happen if a student tests positive for COVID-19 at an off-campus testing site?

If you develop symptoms of COVID, contact Student Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu. If you are experiencing symptoms,  do not go to class. Stay home, wear a mask and isolate yourself if you are living in a communal environment. A member of the Health Services staff will be in touch to review a plan of care. However, if you have trouble breathing or any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency, call 911 or call a local emergency facility before visiting.