Boston University will require students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before they return to campus in the fall. University President Robert Brown delivered the mandate by email on Friday afternoon.
"Boston University will require all students enrolled in classes on our campuses to be vaccinated before the start of classes in the fall of 2021," Brown wrote. "I encourage all our students to get the vaccine as soon as possible. The University also will make every effort to vaccinate students if they arrive on campus without vaccination in the fall. As we do for other required vaccinations, we will have a process for accommodating medical and religious exemptions."
The school is also evaluating how to handle international students, who may have received a vaccine not yet authorized in the U.S.
"We expect that international vaccines with efficacy similar to U.S.-based vaccines will be accepted to satisfy the intended BU requirement, unless federal or state guidelines mandate otherwise," Brown wrote.
Students will have to upload proof of vaccination through an internal online system, according to the letter.
Despite this new mandate, BU will continue to require mask-wearing, proper distancing and regular coronavirus testing once students return to campus in the fall. (Disclosure: Boston University holds the broadcast license for WBUR.)
The school joined a growing list of colleges and universities that will demand students receive vaccinations as a precursor to returning to campus in the fall. On Tuesday, Brown University and Northeastern University announced mandatory vaccinations for students.