COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

To safeguard the campus community, and in response to the FDA's full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the University of Cincinnati is requiring faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be submitted using the COVID Check app the web version of the UC COVID Check App or via email to


Faculty, staff, and students may apply for an exemption from the Covid-19 vaccine requirement by completing the appropriate exemption form below.  

Individuals seeking a medical exemption must include a note from their medical provider. Those seeking exemptions due to religious beliefs or sincerely held reasons of conscience must include a notarized verification of their personal statement.

Faculty, staff, and students who receive an approved exemption are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 screening testing beginning November 15, 2021. If your screening test is conducted on a UC campus, your results will be automatically sent to the COVID Check Team. Testing on campus will be provided free of charge. If you choose to complete your testing off-campus, you must take a PCR test. You will be responsible for covering costs of the test and reporting results to the COVID Check Team via the COVID Check app.  

Please see Exemption FAQs listed below prior to submitting an exemption request. A notarized Acknowledgment Certificate Form is required when submitting a request for religious or sincerely held reason of conscience exemption. A note from your health care provider is required when submitting a request for a medical exemption.

Vaccine Requirement FAQs

Like most colleges and universities across the country, UC has required vaccines for years for students and some employees. Vaccination has been one of the mainstays of public health for decades, and the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be the most important tool to fight this deadly pandemic.

Members of the UC community may apply for a medical, religious, or sincerely held reason of conscience exemption. 

This requirement applies to all students, faculty, and staff who come to campus for their classes, work, and/or otherwise use campus facilities. However, there will be an opportunity to request an exemption from the Covid-19 vaccination requirement for medical reasons or sincerely held reasons of conscience or religious beliefs. Details about the exemption process, are outlined above.  

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology officially recommended pregnant women be vaccinated.  However, if you or your obstetrician do not think you should be vaccinated during pregnancy, you may apply for an exemption.

Yes, if they are teaching in-person and are actively engaged in on campus activities.

For students enrolled exclusively in online programs and experiences, vaccination is not required, but is highly recommended.  However, if you come to campus for any purpose including, but not limited to, use of facilities such as the libraries or Campus Recreation Center, you are required to comply with this requirement. Note that students in a traditionally on-campus program who are taking their courses remotely or online continue to be subject to the vaccination requirement.

Students who have not submitted proof of vaccination or received an exemption by  November 15, 2021 will not be dropped from their fall classes but will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 screening testing through the end of the Fall semester. Students who remain out of compliance with the requirement will be unenrolled from their Spring Semester classes.  


All students not enrolled in official online programs must comply with the vaccine requirement. Students who are not in compliance with the vaccine requirement before the start of the Spring term will be unenrolled on January 3, 2022.

Students who received an exemption and are participating in remote or off-campus work  experiences, such as co-op, are not required to participate in the university’s weekly screening testing. ​Weekly testing will be deferred while you are out of town. You must, however, follow the COVID-19 requirements of your employer. If you plan to return to campus for any reason, you must receive results of a negative test within 72 hours of ​returning and upload them via the UC COVID Check app.  

Yes. Proof of vaccination must be submitted using the UC COVID Check app no later than two weeks prior to the beginning of the Spring semester.

Tuition rates will remain the same throughout the academic year.

If your university duties are completely online and you do not intend to come to campus for any purpose including, but not limited to, use of facilities such as the libraries or Campus Recreation Center, vaccination is not required but is strongly recommended.  



Any WHO-approved vaccine meets UC's vaccination requirement.

No. Any COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA and/or recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet UC’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

No. Once you submit a copy of your COVID-19 vaccine card, the university will have a record of your vaccination. You will not need to prove your vaccination status as you move around campus. 

Yes. At the present time, based on CDC guidance, UC is requiring facial coverings indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Research shows that vaccination and facial coverings are proven to greatly reduce the impact of COVID-19. 

Yes, current medical best practices establish that patients who have been exposed and have recovered from COVID-19 should require vaccination. Vaccination after resolution of symptoms from COVID-19 infection provides an important increase in protection.  Those who receive monoclonal antibody therapy (MAB) during their infection should apply for a medical exemption and will be granted a reasonable deferral to provide for the recommended 90-day window between MAB and vaccination.

Our Academic Health Center currently primarily stocks the fully FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine.  Small quantities of the Moderna vaccine are also stocked, primarily for third doses of immunocompromised patients who initially received this vaccine.  UC Health also currently has some supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


Proof of vaccination can be submitted using the COVID Check app web-based version of COVID Check app.

 UC will require full vaccination. At this time full vaccination is defined as being at least two weeks past the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks past the only dose of a single dose vaccine.  UC will continue to follow the science and respected guidelines.  As these evolve, boosters may become part of the definition of full vaccination and may be required.  Members of our community have many options for obtaining the vaccine of their choice, including on our own campus as well as several locations within walking distance of campus.

Students who are not fully vaccinated or have not been granted an exemption before returning for Spring Semester will be unenrolled from in-person classes and directed to take their coursework fully online.

The university will consider disciplinary measures in accordance with established policies for faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated or have not been granted an exemption before the beginning of Spring Semester. Discipline for represented employees will proceed in accordance with agreed-upon processes currently being discussed with their collective bargaining units.

Exemption FAQs

Conditions which qualify for medical exemptions may include, but are not limited to, allergies to vaccine components, certain heart conditions, certain neurologic conditions like a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and others. Each medical exemption request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If an individual holds a religious belief, practice, or observance that is contrary to the practice of vaccination or would prohibit receipt of a particular vaccination, an exemption may be requested. Similarly, an individual may request an exemption if they have a sincere moral or philosophical conviction that is contrary to the practice of vaccination or would prohibit receipt of a particular vaccination. 

Yes. Those members of the community who have been granted an exemption will be required to get a Covid-19 PCR test once per week beginning October 15, 2021. Please see below.

To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on our campus, anyone who has not begun the vaccination process by October 15, 2021 will be required to get a COVID-19 PCR test once per week until in compliance with the vaccine requirement.  They will also be required to wear a facial covering  at all times when indoors or unable to maintain six feet of social distancing, regardless of potential changes to the current campus-wide policy on facial coverings.

If your exemption request is not approved and you choose not to comply with the vaccine requirement, you will be unenrolled from Spring term classes.

All medical exemptions are evaluated by either University Health Services or Employee Health Services with support from experts in the UC Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases.  Religious or sincerely held reasons of conscience-based exemption applications filed by students and employees will be evaluated by teams in Student Affairs and Human Resources, respectively, with expertise in accommodations and accessibility with support from the Office of General Counsel.

Our goal is to provide responses within a two-week period and within the timeline that would require vaccination reporting.

Once your request has been reviewed and either approved or denied you will be contacted via email. Our goal is to provide responses as soon as possible and within the timeline that would require vaccination reporting.

The exemption process is free; however, there may be a cost associated with obtaining the notarization that is required for requesting a non-medical exemption.  

Denials of exemption requests are not subject to appeal. If you submit an incomplete request for an exemption, you will be informed that your request is incomplete, and you may resubmit a completed request within a reasonable amount of time.

Yes. However, students who have clinical placements must also apply for vaccine exemptions through the identified health organization and follow the system's process for approval. It is important to note that a vaccine exemption by one entity is not a guarantee of approval by another entity.

Clinical students must also follow protocols outlined by the clinical site in which they study or train. If a clinical student requests and is denied an exemption by the health system, it may affect their program completion. Exemptions granted by the university do not affect students’ compliance with clinic site requirements.


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