University Quad and the School of Nursing Building

Fall Vaccine Information & FAQs

Last Modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 1:42 pm

Have a question about vaccinations for fall 2021? You’ll find the answers here.

Is the vaccine mandate for both residential and commuter students?

It is required for all students: residential and commuter students, undergraduate and graduate students. The only exceptions are (1) those who are enrolled in these fully online degree programs, that offer no on-campus instruction, activities, or services and (2) those who qualify under New Jersey law for medical or religious exemptions.

If all of my classes are online, do I still need to get vaccinated?

Only those students who are enrolled in one of the fully online degree programs that offer no on-campus instruction, activities or services are not required to get vaccinated. Most of these programs are for graduate students – there are only two undergraduate fully online programs (Bachelor of Liberal Studies, and the Feliciano 2+2 degree completion program).

All other students who take online courses must be vaccinated, because students taking online courses will generally have to come to campus for a wide range of services and activities.

Students who are simply taking some or all of their courses online (and are not enrolled in one of our fully online degree programs) are not exempt from the vaccine requirement.

What if I don’t want to get vaccinated?

The requirement applies to every student, undergraduate and graduate, commuter and residential, except (1) those who are enrolled in fully online degree programs that offer no on-campus instruction, activities, or services and (2) those who qualify under New Jersey law for medical or religious exemptions.

Students who have an approved exemption will be required to take several precautions to protect themselves and other people. These include wearing masks both indoors and outdoors and getting tested regularly. In addition, unvaccinated students may face limitations on participation in high-contact activities, including sports and performances. Please see the Student Vaccination Policy for Fall 2021 for full details.

Will there be any fully online course options?

The fall semester schedule does have some online courses. Remember, the only students who are exempt from the vaccine requirements are ones who are enrolled in fully online course programs and who never come to campus. Many students who take courses online may have to come to campus for a wide range of services and activities and therefore will need to be immunized. For help in planning your course schedule, please contact your advisor or your Dean’s Office.

I have a medical or religious reason why I cannot be immunized. What is the process for me to gain an exemption?

New Jersey law permits people to refuse a vaccine for medical or religious reasons. The University Health Center website has set up a process for students to file a request for exemption for medical or religious reasons. Exemptions needed to be submitted by Sunday, August 1, 2021. For more information, see the University Health Center’s immunizations page.

Could a third party that accepts a student for an internship, practicum or clinical rotation still require the student to be immunized against COVID-19 and other diseases?

Yes. Students who are enrolled in programs that require for-credit experience at non-University locations, such as those who are doing practicums at health care facilities, should be aware that those host sites may have their own vaccination policies, which are separate from the policies of the University.

Students must comply with the policies of the host site. Those who want to be exempt from vaccination for medical or religious reasons should request an exemption directly from their host site. Please be aware that not all sites may be able to provide such exemptions. Any exemption granted by the University does not automatically apply to these sites.

If a host site refuses to accept a student because the student is not vaccinated, please be advised that University cannot assure that an alternative host site will be available for the student.

What if I’m having difficulty getting a vaccination?

Essex County is sending its mobile vaccine clinic to campus in August. All employees and students are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. Find more information at Where and How to Get Vaccinated.

All Montclair State employees and students can get vaccinated in Essex County, no matter where they live. Check for appointment openings or call the county’s COVID-19 Hotline at 973-877-8456. People who live in New York can also visit the NY State COVID-19 website.

Another alternative: Text your zip code to “438829” and vaccination locations will be texted to your phone within 10 seconds.

What are the University’s vaccination requirements for International students?

International students will find information on the University’s requirements at the Vaccinated for COVID Outside of the United States section of the Health Center’s Immunization and Vaccination page.

When students are vaccinated, will we need to follow the same social distancing and mask-wearing protocols?

The University will continue to follow the COVID safety guidelines established by state and federal authorities. If those guidelines change, we will communicate that to campus.

I am a residential student and would like to know what the COVID policies are for students who live on campus.

Please visit the Residential Life web page about COVID-19.

What are the rules regarding use of the Student Recreation Center?

For details about vaccine and testing requirements for use of the Student Recreation Center, please visit the Campus Recreation site.

I’ve been vaccinated, what is the process for showing proof of vaccination to the University? Does reporting it on Hawk Check suffice?

Students must submit their proof of vaccination through the My Health Portal on the University Health Center website, just as they do for all other immunizations.

Employees upload their proof of vaccination at Vax Check.

Reporting your vaccination status on Hawk Check is requested, but it is not the official process students will use to submit their proof of vaccination.

How do I submit my proof of vaccination?

Students should follow the steps outlined in the MSU student health portal to upload proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Employees can upload their proof of vaccination at Vax Check.

Is COVID-19 vaccination required for all University employees?

Under the University’s Employee COVID-19 Vax Check and Vaccination Policy of September 7, 2021, all employees are required to notify the University of their vaccination status using the Vax Check portal. Doing this provides the University with accurate information about the protection of our campus community. Vax Check is also how the University will track compliance with the vaccination mandate for employees. 

The policy establishes a requirement for all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have an approved exemption for medical or religious reasons. The requirement will be phased in for different groups, to allow for consultation and collaboration with the unions regarding the implementation details. Complete information on the University’s policy can be found at the Employee COVID-19 Vax Check and Vaccination Policy.

Testing for Unvaccinated Employees Starts September 13
The requirement that unvaccinated employees must obtain a rapid test for COVID-19 twice weekly on non-consecutive days at the University’s testing center on campus will start Monday, September 13. This requirement, which parallels the rules for students who are not vaccinated, is designed to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus within the campus community.

The tests are free, and no appointment is necessary. Any employee can get a test at any time. Just come to Webster Hall and bring your University ID. For more information, visit On Campus COVID-19 Testing.

This information is updated over time, so please check back regularly. You may also contact the Office of Residence Life at, or send an email to