It takes each of us acting responsibly together to promote safety in our learning, work and living environment. We appreciate the input we have received from students, families, faculty and staff so far and it continues to help shape planning efforts. The VCU Return to Campus plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia Department of Health, city and VCU Health guidance. To be together means we are responsible together.
Required Responsible Together course
All new incoming students are required to complete the Responsible Together Course by the time you arrive on campus for move-in, on-campus classes or to access any activities on campus. This course is available in Canvas for all students who are registered for at least one semester course. Visit the Responsible Together Course information page for details and how to access the training course.
Student vaccine requirement
Vaccination is required for all students who live, learn, work or will be on campus for any reason (excluding those with religious or health exemptions). The requirement also applies to students who are enrolled in virtual classes (unless the degree program is one of VCU's entirely online degree programs). Students are required to submit their documentation (vaccine documentation or exemption request form) prior to registering for classes.
Everyone who is eligible for a booster must report receiving one to VCU by Feb. 1. Those eligible for a booster after Feb. 1 must receive a booster within 30 days of becoming eligible and report receiving it to VCU. Information about how to report your booster status will be available in early January.
For more information about full vaccination, documentation requirements, religious and health exemptions, confidentiality and vaccine manufacturers, see the vaccine FAQ.
- Students who receive vaccination exemptions must follow safety guidelines for their health and for the health of our community, including but not limited to: routine surveillance testing, completing daily health checks, and continuing to follow public safety measures including quarantine procedures. Entry Pass requirements will apply and entry will be allowed if the proper public health measures are followed.
- Vaccinated students are exempt from daily health checks, surveillance testing and quarantine requirements (unless symptomatic; note that vaccinated individuals should still be tested on days 3-5 after exposure to COVID-19 and wear a face mask indoors in public for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result). Entry Pass requirements will continue to apply; however, your Entry Pass will default to a green check.
If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccination, you can make an appointment on-campus through University Student Health Services or at a provider near you (search vaccine availability at www.vaccines.gov).
Masking indoors has been reinstated throughout the university and remains in effect for health system facilities. Studies show that masking effectively reduces the spread of viruses and, combined with COVID-19 vaccination, can greatly reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend indoor masking in areas with substantial community spread.
Additional details and information
There are no longer physical distancing requirements or density restrictions in campus spaces, including classes, events, meetings, research laboratories and gatherings. Indoor masking is required throughout the university and remains in effect for health system facilities. Masking is also required at outdoor events with more than 50 people. Unvaccinated community members and visitors must follow CDC guidelines for indoor and outdoor activities.
Supplies are made available for free at vending machines throughout both campuses. For details, see the “Supplies” section on the Public Health Measures page.
Student success remains the core of the VCU mission and our goal is to provide resources to help new and returning students successfully navigate academic life. For example:
- Computer access scholarships
- "Are You Ready for Online Learning" module
- 24/7 student support for online and blended learning
- Keep on Learning website, including resources and academic for a strong semester
- Keep Pursuing Your Goals website, including resources related to academic and financial advising
- Early Alert Reporting and student self-referral
- Home network troubleshooting
Student international travel, including study abroad, is currently operating with the following restrictions:
- Per CDC guidelines, individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should refrain from all university-sanctioned international travel, including, but not limited to, study abroad and international exchange programs.
- Student international travel in U.S. Department of State Level 1 and 2 countries is permitted. All students must coordinate university-sanctioned international travel plans through GEO and follow all GEO registration requirements and CDC guidance for international travel.
- Student international travel in U.S. Department of State Level 3 and 4 countries is prohibited, but an exception will be considered by petition to VCU’s International Travel Advisory Committee (ITAC). For travel to Level 3 countries (due to COVID-19 only), a final decision will be made by ITAC. For travel to Level 3 countries due to risk indicators other than COVID-19, and travel to Level 4 countries, a final decision will be made by the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs or the senior vice president for health sciences and CEO of VCU Health System and communicated by GEO. Students should work with GEO to petition and register their travel is approved.
- Student international travelers must:
- Follow CDC guidance for international travel and follow general public health considerations such as handwashing, cleaning/disinfection and respiratory etiquette.
- Follow all airline and destination entry requirements, such as testing, vaccination, mask wearing and quarantine. Students should be aware that if they do not follow the destination's requirements, they may be denied entry and required to return to the United States. Students should check with the Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for destination-specific entry requirements.
- Enroll in VCU's international health insurance plan with Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to cover health care and emergency evacuation while abroad.
- Students who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 should discuss their international travel plans with their health care provider.
“Student international travel” includes all university-sanctioned international travel engaged in by admitted undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree- or certificate-seeking students including credit- and non-credit-bearing experiences; this includes group and individual international programs and experiences facilitated by the Global Education Office (GEO),by other units, or undertaken independently by an individual student as a part of their education.
Students may face unpredictable circumstances accessing medical care if they get sick or injured in their host country. Routine health care and emergency medical services may be impacted by COVID-19 at the destination.
VCU will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, and Virginia Department of Health, as well as the destinations’ offices of foreign affairs and ministries of health to make recommendations regarding student international travel and VCU’s programs abroad. In the meantime, students are encouraged to explore virtual global learning program options and visit the Navigating COVID-19 Abroad website for ways they can maintain momentum in planning their study abroad experience.
Review the latest guidelines for personal travel as well as university-sponsored travel. Students residing in VCU residence halls should contact University Student Health Services and refer to the Residential Life and Housing website for additional self-quarantine and isolation requirements.
VCU Parking and Transportation offers several long-term and temporary parking accommodations for students. View details at parking.vcu.edu/parking/students.
Learn about the safety measures GRTC and VCU shuttles have put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All RecWell participants must wear face masks indoors. The only exceptions are in the pools and showers.
VCU Recreation and Well-Being temporarily suspended basketball at all RecWell facilities. Currently, Intramural and Sport Club basketball activities will continue.
For the latest updates regarding RecWell facilities and programs, visit https://recwell.vcu.edu/.
Navigating the anticipated stressors of daily life can often be challenging enough. When unexpected stressors emerge or when we are faced with uncertainty, it can be tough to know how to cope. Try out some of these tips and resources for health and wellness to see if they are a right fit for you.
VCU recognizes that some students who previously did not need Section 504 Academic Accommodations, and who have a qualifying condition or disability, may now need support or assistance.
The university recognizes that some students who previously did not need Section 504 Academic Accommodations, and who have a qualifying condition or disability, may need support or assistance during the return to campus process. A modified approach for the temporary and more permanent need for accommodation has been developed and implemented to provide students with full access to programs and activities related to their academic majors. Because every case is different, student requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please share your need for an accommodation with the Student Accessibility and Education Office, or for MCV Campus students, the Division for Academic Success, after you have worked directly with your faculty member.
Visit the Admissions & Aid website for details on virtual tours, info sessions and chats with current students as well as everything you need to know about joining the Ram family.
There are hundreds of details involved in each of these measures and considerations. Your input is very helpful as we plan for the return. Climatext, a real-time data collection tool developed by VCU Information Technology and the Division for Inclusive Excellence, is part of the university’s proactive monitoring and response plan to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Climatext gauges the sentiment of faculty, staff and students through a series of “pulse” surveys, which include short prompts or questions designed to provide a high-level snapshot of thoughts and feelings about a particular topic at a particular moment in time. Register with Climatext.