University of the Arts COVID-19 Vaccine Policy & FAQ

    

Vaccination Requirement for Students, Faculty and Staff

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. This health policy update means that, with limited exceptions, all students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated by the start of the fall semester. 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 fall semester. 

  • Faculty and staff should plan to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 15, with the final dose of the vaccine received by Aug. 1. 

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 fall semester.

Vaccine Benefits & Rationale

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination include prevention of serious illness, hospitalization and death from the virus. Broad immunization is critical to help stop the pandemic and protect our community. Benefits specific to the UArts community include

  • An expedited return to physical campus spaces and programming.

  • Additional face-to-face course offerings and academic experiences.

  • Opportunities for a wider range of events and activities offered on our campus.

  • Expanded housing and dining options at UArts.

  • Greater interpersonal collaboration among staff, faculty, students and artists.

The success of our pandemic response relies on a number of different approaches for combating COVID-19 in addition to our vaccine requirement, including masking, social distancing and de-densification, enhanced cleaning and controlled facilities access, restrictions on visitors and events, and the expectations outlined in the UArts Healthy Promise.

Policy

Proof of vaccination will be required for all students planning to attend this fall. Any vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. (currently Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) is acceptable. Some incoming students may be 17 years old and only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine (under current FDA approvals). 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. However, they will not be permitted to access the physical campus if there is an active COVID-19 outbreak in our campus community. If it aligns with their degree planning, students may enroll in Critical Studies, discipline history or other courses that are offered remotely. Before doing so, students should speak with their program director and advisor to discuss how this might affect their progress toward degree completion. 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 engagement programs, will not need to provide proof of vaccination.

The American College Health Association recommends COVID-19 vaccine requirements for college campuses.
Learn more. 

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 fall.

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 fall semester.

  • Students who are fully vaccinated (with a vaccine approved, for emergency use authorization, by the FDA or the WHO) should complete their COVID certification form online here.

  • Students who want to request accommodation should complete the COVID certification form online, but select "requesting accommodation" as their option. Student should then email the COVID Response Team at crt@uarts.edu to request either the religious or medical accommodation form. 

  • Students who will not be fully vaccinated by the time they arrive on campus, but plan to receive the COVID vaccine, should email the COVID Response Team at crt@uarts.edu to make arrangements for their return to campus. 

Faculty and staff should plan to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 15, with the final dose of the vaccine received by Aug. 1. 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 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 do so via the accommodation form. Students can request either a medical or religious accommodation form by emailing the COVID Response Team at crt@uarts.edu

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 do so via the accommodation form. Students can request either the medical or religious accommodation form by emailing the COVID Response Team at crt@uarts.edu

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. 

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to submit proof of vaccination?

Yes, unless submitting a request for accommodation, in which case students should contact the COVID Response Team at crt@uarts.edu. Faculty and Staff can request accommodations by contacting hr@uarts.edu

Will I be able to register for classes for the fall 2021 semester without having been vaccinated?

Yes, you will be able to register for classes prior to vaccination, but you will have to show proof of being fully vaccinated, with the final dose of the vaccine received at least two weeks prior to your return to campus to attend in-person classes or live in a residence hall this fall or be approved for COVID Vaccine Exemption accommodation.

Will there be a full-remote/virtual option for students who are enrolled in the fall 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. 

For any student who wants to attend UArts in fall 2021 but refuses to be vaccinated, what will their options be?

If it aligns with their degree planning, students may enroll in Critical Studies, discipline history or other lecture-based courses that are offered only remotely. Before doing so, students should speak with their program director and academic advisor to discuss how this might affect progress toward degree completion. We announced this requirement early, so students can make their decisions about attendance before enrolling or paying tuition.

Additionally, students can apply for medical or religious accommodation. 

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 fall. 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 the COVID Response Team at crt@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 the COVID Response Team at crt@uarts.edu

Why should I get vaccinated?

According to the CDC, the vaccines are all safe and effective, and studies have shown they prevent severe illness and death from the virus. See the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ for information. We encourage students to talk with their primary care physician if they have specific questions about the vaccine. 

I am concerned these vaccines have not been tested enough.

To date, the FDA has authorized three vaccines for emergency use in the United States; these vaccines have also been recommended for use by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. UArts made this announcement months before the beginning of the fall semester, so students and their families, faculty and staff have the opportunity to gather information, consult with their primary care physicians if they so choose and make informed choices for themselves.

Where can I get vaccinated?

There are many vaccination locations throughout Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. UArts strongly urges members of its community to get an available appointment as soon as they become eligible. See vaccines.gov for a list of vaccine locations throughout the U.S. 

Will UArts offer vaccinations?

There is no plan at this time for UArts to serve as a point of dispensing for COVID-19 vaccines. If you need assistance locating a vaccine point of dispensing in your area, visit vaccines.gov or contact Student Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu for assistance.

Will I have to pay to be vaccinated?

No. The State Department of Health has made clear that no one will have to pay for the vaccine. There is no out-of-pocket cost to get a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of location. 

I will be under the age of 18 when I enroll. Can I still be vaccinated?

The Pfizer vaccine may be administered to persons age 12 and up. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines may be administered to those 18 and older.

I am fully vaccinated. Do I still need to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing?

The University of the Arts is currently mask optional, though any unvaccinated students, faculty, staff or visitors are advised to wear a mask.

Should face mask requirements be reintroduced, we ask that all community members follow all federal, state, city and/or university mask mandates.

Additionally, there are no current social distancing guidelines in place for fall. 

What if I am not fully vaccinated by the time I need to return to campus?

We are announcing this requirement early, so students, faculty and staff can make arrangements to register for the vaccine as early as possible. All adults in the U.S. were eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 19.

Students who will not be fully immunized (2 weeks past last dose) prior to their arrival on campus (whether for Orientation, move-in, or classes) will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to their arrival to campus. Students should email a copy of their test results to the COVID Response Team at crt@uarts.edu.  

If you are a faculty or staff member and will not be fully immunized by your return date for the fall semester, email Human Resources at hr@uarts.edu to discuss your specific situation.

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.

What if I have specific questions about the vaccine and whether or not I should take the vaccine? 

You should contact your primary care physician or other provider to discuss your concerns.

What is the American College Health Association’s recommendation for COVID-19 vaccine requirements at colleges and universities?

The American College Health Association recommends COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all on-campus college students attending in fall 2021. Learn more.