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. 

All students are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted when eligible for COVID-19. Only students with a religious or medical exemption that has been approved by the College 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.

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 or boosting when eligible prior to arrival is strongly encouraged. Columbia will accept the vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO).

International students living in the residence halls who are not fully vaccinated will quarantine at the University Center campus housing and will not be able to move into their assigned residence hall until the quarantine and testing requirements are fulfilled. International students without COVID vaccine access in their home countries will be allowed to arrive unvaccinated but will be required to begin the vaccination process and will be subject to testing requirements until they are fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated international students will be required to provide COVID-19 test results dated no more than two days old for each visit to campus until they are fully vaccinated. International students will have until the end of the sixth week of instruction at the latest to become fully vaccinated. Students can schedule their vaccination at Columbia’s vaccination site online at ColumbiaQ. 

Residence Hall Students
Please see the January Safety Precautions and Booster Requirement page for more information.  

Back to Campus Checklist 

  • Upload your vaccination card and negative COVID-19 test results 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.  Please factor this into your plans when visiting campus. Boosters are also required beginning January 24. Please review the latest protocols here.
  • Review the Safety Protocols below regarding face coverings, social distancing, and testing for unvaccinated individuals. 
  • 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.
  • Maintain respect for others. Please be aware that unvaccinated members of our community will be taking extra precautions, including masking, distancing, and testing, in the interests of everyone's health. Columbia will not tolerate any negative treatment against individuals based on their vaccination status. In addition, as we increase our in-person interactions, please keep in mind that individuals’ comfort levels may not be the same as yours, and continue to be patient and considerate with one another.  
  • Provide evidence of testing if you are unvaccinated or booster-eligible. Please review the Regular Testing Requirements.

Safety Protocols 

All individuals are required to wear a college-approved type of face covering at all times (except in planned classroom situations approved by the Office of the Provost and with added precautions in place, or in one’s dorm room). 

In addition, unvaccinated and booster-eligible individuals will be required to socially distance and get tested regularly

Vaccinated and boosted individuals are not required to socially distance or test, but always have the option of doing so.

Policy Enforcement

  • Face coverings - Failure to wear a face covering as required 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 or distancing 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.