The University of Massachusetts Lowell is looking forward to safely welcoming students to campus this fall. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below and continue to monitor this website as the university will continue to provide updates and additional details as guidance from the CDC and local health experts changes over time.

Are students required to be vaccinated before returning to campus for Fall 2021?

Yes, UMass Lowell announced in April it was adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the existing list of required vaccinations for enrolled students. All enrolled undergraduate and graduate students who wish to live or learn or conduct research on campus or access on-campus resources or property must be vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

We have extended our deadline to submit proof of vaccination to Aug. 23, by which time all students must have uploaded proof of vaccination to the Student Health Services Patient Portal or have an approved religious or medical exemption. 

Although we are making every effort to move quickly, due to the high volume of documentation that is being submitted, the verification process may take up to 10 business days. Please submit your documentation as soon as possible to avoid any delays.  If you have questions about your immunization compliance status please access your immunization record through the Student Health Services Portal.

Students not meeting these requirements will not be allowed to move into the residence halls and are at risk of not being able to attend in-person classes or labs. Students in this situation will need to change their schedule to online courses. Undergraduate students should contact their faculty or professional advisor to review course offerings available to them through Graduate, Online & Professional Studies and should also contact the Solution Center to receive clarification on the impacts to their financial aid packages if they choose to transition from in-person classes to online classes for the fall semester.

Students taking classes only online will not be impacted, regardless of their vaccination status.

Am I safe getting a COVID-19 vaccine under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

The Emergency Use Authorization designation is meant to facilitate the availability and use of vaccines during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. In the three phases of clinical trials leading up to granting EUA designation, tens of thousands of doses of vaccine are administered to evaluate safety and efficacy, and EUA authorization is only granted if safety and efficacy standards are met based on this substantial evidence, and that the benefits outweigh risks when used according to the product’s approved labeling.

It is anticipated that after six months of usage under EUA status, vaccines currently in use will  be granted full FDA authorization. 

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information about vaccine safety.

Are you hearing from students that they want to be vaccinated?

More than 82% of students enrolled for in-person classes are, or will shortly be, fully vaccinated, a number that has increased dramatically in recent days. We expect this rate to continue to grow.

By when do I need to submit my proof of vaccination?

Please submit your proof of vaccination as soon as possible. Students who have not uploaded proof of vaccination to the Student Health Services Patient Portalby Aug. 23 will not be allowed to move into the residence halls and are at risk of not being able to attend in-person classes or labs. 

Students in this situation will need to change their schedule to online courses. Undergraduate students should contact their faculty or professional advisor to review course offerings available to them through Graduate, Online & Professional Studies and should also contact the Solution Center to receive clarification on the impacts to their financial aid packages if they choose to transition from in-person classes to online classes for the fall semester.

Students taking classes only online will not be impacted, regardless of their vaccination status.

Although we are making every effort to move quickly, due to the high volume of documentation that is being submitted, the verification process may take up to 10 business days. Please submit your documentation as soon as possible to avoid any delays. If you have questions about your immunization compliance status please access your immunization record through the Student Health Services Portal.

How do I find out if my proof of vaccination has been verified?

Access your immunization record through the Student Health Services Portal. We appreciate your assistance in allowing our staff to focus on the verification of records, so we can move students to compliant status as quickly as possible. Should you still need to call or email after checking the portal, will respond as soon as possible and we appreciate your patience with any necessary delays.

Which COVID 19 vaccines will be accepted by UMass Lowell?

UMass Lowell will accept proof of vaccination with vaccines approved by Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). These organizations are regularly reviewing vaccines for their development processes, safety and efficacy. We will be monitoring the approval processes throughout the summer months.

How do I add my COVID-19 vaccination data to my Student Health Services medical record?

Please follow the steps below to upload your COVID-19 vaccination data as soon as you receive the first dose, then again after you receive the second dose. You do not need to wait to complete the series of shots to enter your COVID-19 vaccine information. A photograph of your COVID-19 CDC vaccination card is acceptable for your documentation. (New Students: Please wait until you are assigned a UML email address to follow the steps below.)

1. Login to the Student Health Services Patient Portal.  

2. Select upload > choose the document you are uploading > Immunization/vaccine/tuberculosis/lab blood titers > select file > upload

3. After uploading your vaccination document, return to the portal homepage and select “immunizations” > other vaccines > enter the date for each dose of the COVID vaccine > submit

Am I still required to be vaccinated if I take all my classes online and never intend to be on the UMass Lowell’s campus?

No.

Are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated before returning to campus for Fall 2021?

In line with requirements at several UMass sister campuses and the President’s Office, all UMass Lowell non-union, part-time and vendor employees must be vaccinated, with accommodations for religious and medical exemptions. Additional details will be sent to these employees shortly on how to provide proof of vaccination. 

The university is also in conversations with each of its unions with the aim of requiring vaccinations, with similar accommodations, to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 to our colleagues, families and communities. We are aware that union leaders are in the process of gathering feedback from their members, and we remain hopeful that our community will come to  understand and accept that this is our strongest mitigation strategy. 

A survey in early August of all employees showed that 95% of faculty and staff will be fully vaccinated by Sept. 1. (More than 75% of employees responded to the survey.)

Are there exemptions to the immunization requirement?

Just as with all required vaccinations, students may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, subject to religious and medical reasons pursuant to state and federal law. Please email Wellness_Center@uml.edu to request documents related to the process. Please submit any exemption requests as soon as possible to allow enough time for your request to be processed before the beginning of the semester.

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

UMass Lowell will accept proof of vaccination with vaccines approved by Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). These organizations are regularly reviewing vaccines for their development processes, safety and efficacy.

I may need to wait a while before I get my vaccine. Is that OK?

All students must have uploaded proof of vaccination to the Student Health Services Patient Portal or have an approved religious or medical exemption by Aug. 23.  

Students not meeting these requirements will not be allowed to move into the residence halls and are at risk of not being able to attend in-person classes or labs. 

Students in this situation will need to change their schedule to online courses. Undergraduate students should contact their faculty or professional advisor to review course offerings available to them through Graduate, Online & Professional Studies and should also contact the Solution Center to receive clarification on the impacts to their financial aid packages if they choose to transition from in-person classes to online classes for the fall semester.

Students taking classes only online will not be impacted, regardless of their vaccination status.

I am eligible for a vaccination. Can I get vaccinated at UML?

UMass Lowell does not provide COVID-19 vaccinations; however, vaccines are widely available throughout every community in Massachusetts and across the country, with and without an appointment. Contact your health care provider or visit the state’s website to find a vaccination site near you.

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

Yes, you will be able to register for classes prior to vaccination, but you will be required to upload required documentation that shows proof of vaccination (or receive an exemption) before Aug. 23.

Although we are making every effort to move quickly, due to the high volume of documentation that is being submitted, the verification process may take up to 10 business days. Please submit your documentation as soon as possible to avoid any delays.  If you have questions about your immunization compliance status please access your immunization record through the Student Health Services Portal.

Students not meeting these requirements will not be allowed to move into the residence halls and are at risk of not being able to attend in-person classes or labs. 

Students in this situation will need to change their schedule to online courses. Undergraduate students should contact their faculty or professional advisor to review course offerings available to them through Graduate, Online & Professional Studies and should also contact the Solution Center to receive clarification on the impacts to their financial aid packages if they choose to transition from in-person classes to online classes for the fall semester.

Students taking classes only online will not be impacted, regardless of their vaccination status.

Will there be a fully remote/virtual option for students who are enrolled in the fall but are not vaccinated?

Students who take all classes online are not required to be vaccinated, although in-person classes will not automatically have an online option. Undergraduate students should contact their faculty or professional advisor to review course offerings available to them through Graduate, Online & Professional Studies and should also contact the Solution Center to receive clarification on the impacts to their financial aid packages if they choose to transition from in-person classes to online classes for the fall semester.

Will a cancellation fee be charged for students who opt out of university housing because of vaccine requirements?

Students who do not receive an exemption and who choose not to be vaccinated will not be permitted to move into on-campus housing and will be offered the alternative of remote instruction, although not all in-person classes will have a corresponding online section. Fees will be charged in accordance with the housing contract signed by the student. 

On-campus housing status changes may impact students’ financial aid packages and students should contact the Solution Center before opting out.

Keep in mind that most colleges and universities in New England have similar vaccination requirements for the fall. 

Will my enrollment deposit be refunded if I choose not to enroll because of vaccine requirements?

Yes, you will be issued a refund if you decline your fall admission, but again please keep in mind that many, if not most, colleges and universities will have similar vaccinations requirements for the fall. Students who drop a course prior to the Sept. 15 add/drop deadline will not be charged tuition for that course. On-campus housing status changes may impact students’ financial aid packages and students should contact the Solution Center before opting out.

Why are students required to be vaccinated, and not faculty, staff and vendors?

In line with requirements at several UMass sister campuses and the President’s Office, all UMass Lowell non-union, part-time and vendor employees must be vaccinated, with accommodations for religious and medical exemptions. 

The university is also in conversations with each of its unions, with the aim of requiring vaccinations for all employees, with similar accommodations, to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 to our colleagues, families and communities. We are aware that union leaders are in the process of gathering feedback from their members and we remain hopeful that the entire community will come to understand and accept that this is our strongest mitigation strategy. 

A survey in early August of all employees showed that 95% of faculty and staff will be fully vaccinated by Sept. 1. (More than 75% of employees responded to the survey.)

Will I know if my roommate or classmates are vaccinated or have an exemption?

While this information is protected by federal privacy laws, any student living on campus or attending classes will be required to be vaccinated OR receive an exemption. You can be assured that your classmates and roommates have received their vaccination or an exemption through the Wellness Center.

Will face coverings still be required?

While vaccines are the long-term solution to the pandemic, increasing evidence that the Delta variant can be spread by fully vaccinated individuals has changed the conversation around face coverings.

Consistent with new guidance issued by federal and state public health officials, face coverings will be required for all faculty, staff, students, vendors and visitors beginning Monday, Aug. 16 in nearly all indoor common spaces, including classrooms, instructional laboratories, meeting rooms, work areas, break rooms, hallways, elevators, restrooms and campus buses and shuttles. Face coverings are not required outdoors. Please review the FAQ on face coverings that includes additional information, including medical exceptions.

UMass Lowell will re-evaluate the need for face coverings in September, by which time we hope that there will be both increased vaccinations and a decline in the current wave of infections, which would allow us to relax this policy.

To facilitate effective instruction, UMass Lowell intends to permit fully vaccinated faculty members to not wear face coverings while teaching in-person classes, if they choose. This permission will depend on the status and direction of the current wave of infections in Massachusetts at the beginning of the semester, and may be rescinded, if necessary.

Will asymptomatic surveillance testing be required? Will weekly testing still be required for residents?

Asymptomatic surveillance testing will not be required for vaccinated students. The university is exploring options for limited surveillance testing for unvaccinated employees and students with approved exemptions. 

Will students who don’t get the vaccine be able to use the Campus Rec Center and other on-campus resources?

Students will be required to get the vaccine or have an approved vaccine exemption in order to use the CRC and other on-campus resources. Students who receive a vaccine exemption will receive information from our campus Wellness Center regarding expectations and guidelines to follow.   

How will this impact students’ ability to gather and participate in activities and programs?

We are planning for students to safely have the ability to gather and utilize space across campus this fall including: outdoor space, the library, social lounges, study lounges, tutoring centers and fitness centers.  

Consistent with new guidance issued by federal and state public health officials, face coverings will be required for all faculty, staff, students, vendors and visitors beginning Monday, Aug. 16 in nearly all indoor common spaces, including classrooms, instructional laboratories, meeting rooms, work areas, break rooms, hallways, elevators, restrooms and campus buses and shuttles. Face coverings are not required outdoors. Please review the FAQ on face coverings that includes additional information, including medical exceptions.

UMass Lowell will re-evaluate the need for face coverings in September, by which time we hope that there will be both increased vaccinations and a decline in the current wave of infections, which would allow us to relax this policy.

What is the impact of receiving an exemption?

Students who request and are approved for an exemption will get information from our campus Wellness Center regarding expectations and guidelines to follow.

If I am on co-op or have an internship off campus, will I be required to be vaccinated?

If you will not be on campus at any time, including not living on campus or visiting campus during your co-op or internship, you will not be required to be vaccinated by UML. You will be required to submit proof of vaccination prior to returning to on-campus activities and should plan on submitting the documentation at least three weeks prior to your planned return. Please note that your place of work may have its own requirements.

Will visitors to campus have to be vaccinated?

All UMass Lowell non-union, part-time and vendor employees must be vaccinated, with accommodations for religious and medical exemptions. Like all other immunizations required for students, visitors to campus will not be required to be vaccinated, but will be required to adhere to all campus, local, state and federal guidelines as well as UMass Lowell mitigation strategies in effect.

What happens if I do not get my COVID-19 vaccine by the beginning of the semester?

By Aug. 23, all students must have uploaded proof of vaccination to the Student Health Services Patient Portal or have an approved religious or medical exemption. 

Although we are making every effort to move quickly, due to the high volume of documentation that is being submitted, the verification process may take up to 10 business days. Please submit your documentation as soon as possible to avoid any delays.  If you have questions about your immunization compliance status please access your immunization record through the Student Health Services Portal.

Students not meeting these requirements will not be allowed to move into the residence halls and are at risk of not being able to attend in-person classes or labs. 

Students in this situation will need to change their schedule to online courses. Undergraduate students should contact their faculty or professional advisor to review course offerings available to them through Graduate, Online & Professional Studies and should also contact the Solution Center to receive clarification on the impacts to their financial aid packages if they choose to transition from in-person classes to online classes for the fall semester.

Students taking classes only online will not be impacted, regardless of their vaccination status.

I am an unvaccinated student arriving to campus this Fall, what do I do?

All students, including international, must be vaccinated. In addition to vaccination sites throughout the state, UMass Lowell will offer the following vaccination clinics:
 
Thursday Aug. 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Salem Street Lot
All walk in appointments
All varieties of vaccine offered
Open to all UML community members
UML ID required 
 
Thursday Sept. 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Salem Street lot
All walk in appointments
All varieties of vaccine offered
Open to all UML community members
UML ID required