Local Universities Announce Vaccine Requirement for Fall Semester

To attend in-person classes this fall, Georgetown University and American University students will need to have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia wrote in a letter to the community that — based on guidance from the school’s chief public health officer, Dr. Ranit Mishori, and its Public Health Advisory Group — GU will require both undergraduate and graduate students at the main campus, the medical center and the law school to be fully vaccinated by the start of the fall semester. There was also consultation with students, faculty and staff.

In the coming weeks, GU will be distributing more information to international students and those who are currently abroad.

Unlike AU and GU, Catholic University will not require vaccination, but is strongly encouraging it for students and staff. Other schools, like George Washington University and Howard University, haven’t announced their official plans yet.

The announcement come on the heels of Georgetown seniors calling for in-person commencement. GU is planning to revise its commencement plans following changes to COVID restrictions in the District and an online petition that called for a masked, socially distanced, in-person ceremony. The petition ended up getting over 2,200 signatures, according to an article in the Hoya, GU’s student newspaper.

The university is working to finalize and submit its commencement plans, which are now expected to include an in-person component. Melanie Cruz-Morales, a student at GU, told the Hoya in an email that “seniors have been robbed of their entire senior experience” and, after “such a dark year,” they hope to end it with a “sense of light.”

GU is still planning to invite first-year and transfer students to campus for its Summer Hilltop Immersion Program, a five-week experience meant to introduce new students to Georgetown University life. Graduation is currently scheduled for May 14 to 23, with the immersion program beginning on June 4.


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