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Fall 2021

UMass Lowell plans to return to full on-campus operations for the Fall 2021 semester, including increasing the number of residential students. With vaccinations accelerating nationwide and multiple semesters of COVID-19 lessons learned and effectively implemented behind us, we are confident in our ability to create a safe, social and interpersonal living and learning experience for all our students on campus.

We will continue to adhere to national and state public health guidance in place, if any, come September. And while campus operations may not look identical to 2019 when the semester begins, university services ranging from student activities to the recreation center to research and dining will all be finalizing and posting plans on the UMass Lowell website in the coming months to move as close to normal as possible.

Summer and fall registration is open now. Students can log into the NOW Dashboard to view holds, search the schedule of classes, view their advisor, access schedule builder and enroll in classes. Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty or professional advisor to discuss summer and fall registration plans. Students who wish to request academic accommodations due to a documented disability, including those that are at an increased risk of severe illness to COVID-19 due to their disability, should register with Disability Services.


Consistent with the growing consensus of colleges and universities across the country, UMass Lowell will require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the beginning of the fall semester to live, learn or visit any UMass Lowell campus or property. According to the CDC, fully vaccinated is two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose series or single-dose vaccine.

As with other vaccination requirements, UMass Lowell will accommodate medical, disability and religious exemptions consistent with state and federal laws. And just as with other disease vaccinations that have long been required by the university, COVID-19 vaccination documentation must be uploaded to the Student Health Services Patient Portal by Aug. 1.

An FAQ is available and additional answers and details will be communicated in the coming days and weeks.

At this time, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to obtain full vaccination as soon as possible and a recent survey indicated that nearly 90% of employees planned to do so by the beginning of fall semester.  

Unvaccinated individuals may be expected to participate in additional public health measures, such as regular asymptomatic surveillance testing, and other measures consistent with the current vaccine exemption policy to help ensure the health of the campus community.

In addition to numerous vaccination options across the country, including through your personal care provider, UMass Lowell continues to partner with Lowell General Hospital to provide members of the campus community with hundreds of appointments each week at LGH’s mass vaccination site at 1001 Pawtucket Blvd. in Lowell. All current and admitted students and employees are able to sign up with a university email address and will automatically be rolled into the following week if this week’s appointments are full. 

Surveillance Testing

Surveillance testing  will continue throughout the fall semester. Following updated CDC guidelines members of our community that have been vaccinated are not required to participate in surveillance testing. 
  • Faculty/staff & commuter students that are not vaccinated are strongly encouraged to participate in the program. 
  • Resident students that are not vaccinated are required to participate in the program. 
  • Athletes, coaches and athletic staff will follow NCCA & America East testing guidelines while in competition. 

Mitigation Strategies

The majority of mitigation strategies will remain in place. 


Face coverings will be required.


Six feet of physical distancing is recommended whenever possible. 


Hand washing for at least 20 seconds continues to be a critical strategy in preventing illness.


Campus community members should continue to use the daily symptom checker and stay home if exhibiting any of the symptoms listed.