fb-pixel Skip to main content
RI EDUCATION

Do you need a COVID-19 vaccine before going to school in Rhode Island?

Most colleges and universities require students and, in some cases, employees, to be vaccinated before coming to campus in fall 2021. Here’s where each school stands

Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island
Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode IslandLane Turner/Globe Staff

PROVIDENCE — On Wednesday, the Council on Postsecondary Education voted unanimously in support of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees of both Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island. Under the new policy, both faculty and staff members will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Medical and religious exemptions will be “considered.” Previously, the Council had voted to implement a vaccine mandate on all students at both RIC and CCRI.

The colleges join a slew of institutions making vaccination a prerequisite to learn, work, and live on campus. Only one school — the Naval War College — has not yet announced any sort of vaccine requirement for students or employees.

Advertisement



Here is a guide to what colleges and universities in Rhode Island are requiring, with details for each school below.

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Brown University?

More than a month after Brown University announced that it would require all returning students to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus this fall, it became the first college in Rhode Island to require that all faculty and staff be fully vaccinated. In a letter penned by President Christina H. Paxson, which was shared with a Globe reporter, she wrote that, based on discussions with Brown’s public health and medical experts, “it is clear that our priority should be to achieve near-universal levels of vaccination — 90 percent or greater — in the Brown community.”

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Bryant University?

Bryant University announced June 30 that all students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus this fall. Students will be required to email confirmation of being fully vaccinated to the university’s Health Services at bhs@bryant.edu by Aug. 10. Exemptions, which can be granted for medical and religious reasons, can be requested by completing this form and sending it to studentaffairs@bryant.edu by Aug. 10. The university also plans on implementing similar vaccination policies in the near future for faculty and staff.

Advertisement



Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Community College of Rhode Island?

The Community College of Rhode Island announced on June 23 that all returning students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning in the fall. Students must provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to CCRI’s Health Services before the first day of classes on Sept. 1. Those who do not get fully vaccinated or receive approval for their religious or medical exemptions will be barred from participating in fact-to-face classes, in-person activities, and campus events, read the email that was sent to all students. Faculty and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Johnson & Wales University?

In early May, Johnson & Wales University announced that after “careful consultation with government and public health officials,” all returning students will have to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before the fall semester. Once fully vaccinated, students will no longer have to wear a mask indoors or outdoors on campus. Students enrolled in fully remote online degree programs will not be required to get the vaccine unless they go to campus to use the dining, library, fitness center, and other facilities and services.

Advertisement



In late July, the university announced that all employees would be required to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30. All employees must receive at least one dose of the vaccine by Aug. 30.

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Naval War College?

Commander Gary Ross, a spokesman for the Naval War College, told the Globe Thursday that the vaccine is offered on a voluntary basis, and is not mandatory for students, faculty, or staff at the Naval War College at this time, which follows current guidance for personnel in the US Department of Defense. However, he said, “priority populations are highly encouraged to receive the vaccine.”

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the New England Institute of Technology?

All students who plan to participate in on-campus classes or activities at the New England Institute of Technology this fall will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the start of the fall term, which begins on Oct. 4. The vaccination requirement does not apply to students enrolled in fully online degree programs unless they utilize any on-campus facilities or services, or participate in activities, according to spokeswoman Linda Dionne.

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Providence College?

Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, Providence College’s president, announced in late May that all full-time undergraduate and graduate students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return in-person in the fall.

“Science has given us, by the grace of God, the vaccines that make it possible for us to achieve both those goals,” he said in an e-mail to students and their families at the time. “With our students vaccinated, we will be able to return to on-campus living and learning much like it was before the pandemic.”

Advertisement



Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Rhode Island College?

Rhode Island College announced on June 23 that all returning students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning in the fall. Faculty and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Rhode Island School of Design?

The Rhode Island School of Design is requiring that all students receive a COVID-19 vaccine and provide their vaccination record by Aug. 1. RISD’s website said some international students may have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization, but not currently authorized in the U.S. These individuals will not need any additional doses of a vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at this time.

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Roger Williams University?

Roger Williams University was the first college in Rhode Island to announce that it would require all students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Students who have already been vaccinated will have to upload proof of vaccination to the university’s Health Services Patient Portal. Faculty and staff should send a copy of their vaccination card to Human Resources. Faculty and staff are not required to receive shots at this time, but are encouraged by the administration to do so.

Advertisement



Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Salve Regina University?

Salve Regina University announced June 8 that all students, faculty, and staff will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to campus. Individuals will have to upload proof of their vaccination by August; students can upload their card to the student health portal and employees will have to fill out a confidential employee submission form.

Who has to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the University of Rhode Island?

The University of Rhode Island was the first public college in the state to require students to get vaccinated. In an email to students from the university’s Division of Student Affairs and Health Services, the university said students will have to provide proof they received a COVID-19 vaccine or approved exemption by Aug. 16. Exemptions will be allowed for medical or religious reasons. The union representing faculty at the University of Rhode Island said on Sept. 1 that they’ve reached an agreement requiring all full-time faculty to get a COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical or religious exemption.


Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz.