Student Guidance

The following guidance promotes health and safety in our college community. Columbia College Chicago requires all students to be fully vaccinated before the start of the semester. Boosters are strongly encouraged, but not required, for all students.

Only students with a college-approved religious or medical exemption and International Students who are in the process of getting vaccinated are permitted to remain unvaccinated. For assistance with medical and religious exemptions, please contact Columbia Central at as soon as possible.

Students who are not vaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 weekly.

For information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirement and on how to upload your vaccination card, please go to Students with questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination policy, how to submit their COVID-19 vaccination card, and how to request an exemption can email   

International Students

All International students should abide by CDC guidance for their country.

Vaccination prior to arrival in the United states is required by the CDC. Students eligible for a booster are strongly encouraged to get one before arrival. Columbia will continue to accept the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

International students living in the residence halls must be fully vaccinated. Students who are not able to provide evidence of vaccination may not be able to move into their assigned residence hall until the quarantine and/or testing requirements are fulfilled. International students without COVID-19 vaccine access in their home countries will be allowed to arrive unvaccinated but will be required to begin the vaccination process or meet regular weekly testing requirements.

Unvaccinated international students will be required to test weekly at the campus testing center. Testing frequency may be increased over the course of the academic year based on COVID trends, public health guidance, and expert input. International students should work with Clare Lake, director of International Student and Scholar Services, for any additional questions.

Back to Campus Checklist 

  • Upload your vaccination card (if you are a new student or newly vaccinated) to MedProctor or request an exemption before the start of the semester. Please note: Once Columbia has received the documentation, it will take 5 business days to update your record and for your Campus Card to become active. If your Campus Card is not activated, you will not be permitted to enter campus so you must upload ASAP. 
  • Review the new COVID-19 protocols. Read the details on precautions at various COVID-19 risk levels.
  • Follow individual health and safety procedures, such as complying with contact tracing, staying home if you feel sick, avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick, and reporting illness.
  • Provide evidence of testing if you are unvaccinated. Please review the Regular Testing Requirements.

Safety Protocols 

All individuals are required to follow masking precautions on campus based on the college's announced risk level. For more details, please review the COVID-19 precautions for Fall 2022

Student Vaccination Requirement

All students are required to be fully vaccinated as defined below: 

  • 2 doses of Moderna or Pfizer (to be considered fully vaccinated, a person needs to be two weeks passed their second dose)
  • 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson (to be considered fully vaccinated, a person needs to be two weeks passed their J&J dose)
  • International students will be considered vaccinated if they received either of the above or a full course of another World Health Organization-approved vaccine

Policy Enforcement

  • Face coverings - Failure to wear a face covering as required by the college announced COVID risk level will be subject to discipline, up to expulsion for students.  
  • Testing - Unvaccinated students who are not in compliance with the college's testing requirement will be denied entry to campus buildings, and will be unable to attend class in person or take advantage of other campus facilities. Unvaccinated students not following the testing protocols will be subject to discipline.  
  • Reporting a COVID-19 exposure or Illness - You are required to report your illness or close contact to the college. 

Refunds of tuition, fees, and housing costs will not be issued to students who are disciplined for failure to follow Columbia’s COVID-19 policies.

If you notice someone is not observing the college’s policies, we recommend the following: 

  • Assume they are unaware of the non-compliance (lack of face covering may be inadvertent), and if you are comfortable doing so, bring it to their attention.
  • Remind the person of the requirements of the policy, emphasizing our mutual responsibility for protecting the health of all persons on campus. 
  • If the individual refuses to comply, ask that they leave the area or notify Campus Security.