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COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: For Students

Last Updated: June 15, 2021

The student vaccination policy will be updated in January 2022 to reflect the updates announced December 21, 2022.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all undergraduate students in the 2021-22 academic year. This requirement applies equally to residential and commuter students, as well as those who have already had COVID-19. It does not apply to graduate students. Any vaccine authorized for use by the World Health Organization is acceptable. For students receiving a vaccine that requires two doses, both doses of the vaccine must be received to meet the requirement.

Students are required to complete the full number of doses of the relevant vaccine no later than September 1, though we strongly encourage students to complete the second dose at least two weeks prior to their return to campus. Students will need to submit vaccine documents to the Wellness Center by emailing If you are a student who participated in the campus vaccine clinic in the spring, your vaccination is already on file.

Students who arrive without having completed a full vaccination regime will be required to continue their vaccination process upon arrival. The Wellness Center will work with students to facilitate vaccination off-campus. Until full vaccination is documented, students may be subject to enhanced testing or other requirements or restrictions to support community health.

All students will need to have completed a full vaccination regime, or have an approved exemption, by September 1, 2021. Students who have neither been fully vaccinated nor received an exemption by the September 1 deadline may be subject to disciplinary action, registration holds, or other requirements or restrictions to support community health, up to and including being asked to leave campus. A student who must leave campus will be subject to the college’s refund policy.

Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons as provided in Maryland and federal law:

  • Students who are not able to be vaccinated for a medical reason may seek a medical exemption from the Wellness Center. The process to request a medical exemption will require the student to provide supporting documentation from a health care provider. Students seeking a medical exemption may contact the Wellness Center for the required forms.
  • Students seeking a religious exemption may request such an exemption from the Wellness Center and will be required to provide sufficient information to support the request.

Approval of exemption requests will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The College will work with students who may have received a vaccine not approved by the World Health Organization in order to assure compliance with this policy, as necessary. International or other students abroad who have received a vaccine not approved by the World Health Organization should contact Wellness Center staff or their health care provider for consultation prior to taking any action to attempt to comply with this policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will continue to add to our frequently asked questions as we receive inquiries. If you do not find the answer to your question below, please contact the RTTH committee using this online form

Why are you adopting this policy?

The COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are highly effective at preventing COVID-19, as well as at preventing serious illness even in those who do get COVID-19. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect our community are the best protection from COVID-19 available to us and will allow McDaniel to return as much as possible to the pre-pandemic, in-person instruction and activities that are the hallmark of a McDaniel education. This policy is being announced in advance of the Fall semester so that students and their families have the opportunity to gather information, consult with their medical providers if they so choose, and make informed choices for themselves.

What if I don’t get vaccinated or establish an exemption by the deadline?

Students who have neither been fully vaccinated nor received an exemption by the September 1 deadline may be subject to disciplinary action, registration holds, or other requirements or restrictions to support community health, up to and including being asked to leave campus. A student who must leave campus will be subject to the college’s refund policy.

What is the deadline?

September 1 is the deadline for all students to be fully vaccinated or to have obtained an approved exemption. For the purposes of this policy, “fully vaccinated” means that you have received all necessary doses of the particular vaccine that you have received. 

I need an exemption of this requirement for medical reasons. What should I do?

Students who are not able to be vaccinated for a medical or religious reason may contact the Wellness Center at (410) 857-2243 to request the Vaccine Exemption Form. The student should complete the form, provide the requested documentation and return the form to the Wellness Center. Exemptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis within 10 days of receipt of completed paperwork.   

How do I record proof of my vaccination with the college? 

Students should email a scanned copy of their vaccine card and/or an official record received from a medical provider. Information should be emailed to  Any student who participated in the college’s spring vaccination clinic already has their vaccination on record and does not need to submit them a second time.  

What kinds of restrictions will be in place for the 2021-2022 academic year?

The Vaccination Policy gives us the best opportunity to lessen or eliminate campus restrictions put in place for the 2020-2021 academic year. Though policies may change at any time due to the dynamic nature of the pandemic, we are currently planning on:

  • Allowing students to visit one another in their residence halls and residence hall rooms;
  • Returning capacity limits to their previous levels, allowing for larger groups and full classrooms;
  • Removing the mask mandate for indoor spaces;
  • Removing the 6 foot social distancing requirement;
  • Reopening lounges;
  • Allowing campus visitors;
  • Sponsoring off-campus excursions for students on weekends;
  • Allowing indoor dining and self-service buffets.

Even as these restrictions are eliminated, we are sensitive to the fact that each of us has different comfort levels as we return to more in-person and close contact activities. To give students the greatest choice in how they engage on campus, we will be maintaining some things put in place to ensure our safety during COVID-19, including:

  • Mobile ordering for on-campus meals at the Pub and Caseys’ Corner;
  • To go options for Englar (Glar) Dining Hall so students may choose to eat outside or in their rooms;
  • Maintaining the outdoor tents.

If I have an approved exemption, why do I need to get tested weekly?

Because we know that any vaccination does not provide 100% immunity, we must maintain a testing protocol that allows us to address any positive cases before they have time to spread. Unvaccinated students are more likely to get and spread COVID, so weekly testing of our unvaccinated population will help us identify positive cases early and ensure appropriate quarantine and isolation protocols.

At this time, students-athletes should plan to follow McDaniel campus protocols. The department of athletics will update coaches and student athletes with any changes. It is important to note that the NCAA or Centennial Conference could implement requirements that are more stringent than those of McDaniel. It is for this reason that we strongly encourage all student-athletes to be fully vaccinated prior to their return to campus to ensure the ability to participate in practices and other team activities.

My son/daughter already had Covid. Why do they still need the vaccination?

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that in people who have recovered from COVID-19, vaccination provides a strong boost in protection.

If I am vaccinated but begin having symptoms, will I be able to be tested?

Yes. The college will continue providing COVID-19 tests to students exhibiting systems. However we will not be offering general surveillance testing, except for those students who are not vaccinated and who will be tested weekly.

Will I be required to pay for my weekly testing if I am granted a vaccination exemption?

COVID tests will first be run through a student's health insurance. At this time, we are able to use federal assistance to cover any amounts not covered by insurance, but this policy is subject to change as federal assistance is no longer available.

What about faculty and staff?

The college strongly encourages all faculty and staff to get immunized as soon as possible. As of September 1st, over 90% have already done so.

Why are you requiring students to be vaccinated but not employees?

Over the past year, transmission rates among our student population was significantly higher than among our employees, and we observed very rare instances of transmission through work interactions. Congregate living facilities and the type of social and extra-curricular activities our students participate in (eating together indoors, athletic practice and competition, traveling together in cars) are higher risk.  Additionally, as of September 1, more than 90% of McDaniel employees had already been vaccinated.

I am a graduate student. Am I required to be vaccinated?

No. Though we encourage all graduate students to be vaccinated, it is not required for any graduate student, including those enrolled in hybrid programs.

Are campus visitors required to be vaccinated?

No. Visitors to campus are not required to be vaccinated.

Can I still wear a mask on campus, regardless of my vaccination status?

Yes. Anyone on campus is welcome to wear a mask if they choose. Those who are unvaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.