You are here: American University Campus Life Update: Fall 2021 Health and Safety Guide

American University

July 30, 2021

Dear AU Students,

We’re writing to share crucial information about complying with American University requirements on COVID-19 vaccination status, so that you can be approved for campus presence and fall enrollment. Please read the entire message as there are steps all students must complete before moving into the residence halls and/or beginning classes.

First, if you have already uploaded proof of vaccination, thank you! You are approved for campus presence, class attendance, and housing (if applicable).

If you have NOT uploaded this proof, please read carefully. We understand circumstances are different – some of you are partially vaccinated, others are overseas, others may be online students. This message provides clear directions for all.

As part of our health and safety protocols, all students must show they have completed the vaccination process or, at minimum, have begun the vaccination process before moving into residence halls or starting classes, or must have a university-approved exemption for medical or religious reasons. This applies to all students, full-time or part-time, with a physical presence on AU’s campus or participating in university-sponsored programs.

To international students and U.S. citizens overseas: We recognize that some of you are in parts of the world where you may not have access to approved vaccines. Please fill out this form to let us know if you are coming to D.C. and if you will need help in obtaining a vaccine upon arrival.

To online students: Please fill out this form to let us know if you will or will not be coming to campus at all during Fall semester, for any reason. AU’s vaccination requirement applies to online students with any campus presence, including occasional meetings or facility use.

To ALL students who have not yet uploaded proof of vaccination, please be aware of two urgent deadlines:

  • August 17 (for students with housing assignments), and 
  • August 24 (for all students).

August 17 - for students who will be living in university housing:

  • Students with housing assignments must upload proof of full or partial vaccination by this date. After uploading this proof, both your housing and class enrollment will be secure. Failure to comply will lead to cancellation of your housing assignment.
  • Students with approved exemptions for medical and religious needs have a different process. The university is communicating with them individually.
  • International students, your housing will not be canceled if you vaccinate upon arrival, and we will assist you with that. Please fill out this form.

August 24 – for non-residential/off campus living students:

  • You must upload proof of full or partial vaccination by this date. Once you do so, your enrollment is secure. Failure to comply will lead to cancellation of class registration by the first day of classes.
  • As noted above, students with exemptions have a different process.
  • International students, your class registration will not be canceled if you vaccinate upon arrival, and we will assist you with that. Please fill out this form.

Students who do not fulfill the vaccination requirement and do not have an approved exemption will be dropped from all courses, placed on immediate leave of absence, prohibited from entering campus buildings or facilities, and will receive a tuition refund for this semester.

Here are more details on how to be approved for campus presence and what to expect after arrival.

Students who will arrive on campus fully vaccinated:

  • Upload your proof of vaccination to your student health portal. You will be considered fully vaccinated if 14 days will have passed between your final dose in a series and your first day on campus.
  • After uploading, you are approved for full campus presence.

Students who are partially vaccinated:

  • “Partially vaccinated” means that you have received only one dose of a two-dose vaccine and/or 14 days have not passed since your final dose of a vaccine series.
  • Upload your proof of vaccination, even if you will not have completed all doses. If you will not complete both doses by arrival, upload proof of your first dose.
  • If coming from outside of Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia (DC/MD/VA), you must self-quarantine for seven days at your residence after arrival. See the section on Self-Quarantine below.
  • Follow protocols for unvaccinated students, including twice-a-week testing and masking at all times (except when eating or alone in a room), until fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated students with an exemption:

A small number of AU students have qualified for university-approved exemptions based on verified medical and religious needs. The application period for exemptions has closed. Students in this category are already in communication with the university. These students must:

  • Self-quarantine for seven days, if coming from outside of DC/MD/VA. See section on Self-Quarantine below.
  • Follow all protocols required by the terms of the exemption, including twice-a-week testing and wearing protective face coverings at all times indoors and outdoors (unless eating or alone in a room).


All unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students arriving from outside DC/MD/VA must comply with Washington, DC Department of Health guidance for travelers. Students in this category must:

  • Self-Quarantine for seven days
    • Residential / university housing students must self-quarantine in their residence hall rooms. This means remaining in your room for seven days, except for clear necessities such as picking up food and COVID testing. Students in quarantine may participate virtually in convocation and Sophomore welcome through live stream and participate in virtual activities during All-American Welcome.
    • Off-campus students must self-quarantine at their residence. Remain in your home or apartment except for essential trips, such as COVID testing. You may not come to campus during this period, except for a COVID test.
  • Test for COVID-19 3-5 days into your self-quarantine period. Testing is available on campus, and you may come to campus for this purpose only. If you do not test 3-5 days after arrival, quarantine is extended to 10 days per DC Dept of Health regulations.
  • If the test is negative, you may leave self-quarantine after completing the 7-day quarantine and be present on campus, following protocols for unvaccinated students (such as twice-a-week testing and masking) until fully vaccinated.

If you have the option, it is highly recommended that you vaccinate fully before arrival in Washington, D.C.

If you’re unsure of your vaccination status or just want to double-check that your records have been received, go to the Student Health Portal > My Profile > Download Immunization History. You will see your COVID-19 vaccination proof there if it is on file with the university.

At American University, we are committed to creating an environment where everyone is safe. These health requirements are essential for protecting yourself and others as we resume full on-campus activities this Fall. Thank you for uploading your documentation quickly and helping to bring us together in person for a safe, healthy semester.

We look forward to seeing you on campus soon.


Fanta Aw
Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence

Peter Starr
Acting Provost and Chief Academic Officer