COVID-19 Vaccine Information

RIT is requiring all students to have a COVID-19 vaccination prior to coming to the Henrietta campus for the Fall 2021 semester.

RIT strongly encourages all community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccinations are readily available in our region and we are all now eligible.

Student Vaccination Requirements

All RIT students, including undergraduates, graduate, non-degree program, as well as staff who are taking courses, must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination prior to coming to the Henrietta campus for Fall 2021.

Students must log into the RIT Wellness Portal to complete the COVID-19 Vaccine form and upload a photo or scanned copy of their vaccination card or receipt with their name, date of birth, name of the vaccine, and the date(s) of the shots.

Complete the COVID-19 Vaccine form

Acceptable vaccines include those approved for use in the U.S., accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration, or on the World Health Organization Emergency Use List (EUL).

This decision was made in accordance with the recommendation of the American College Health Association (ACHA) and following discussions with national, state, and local health officials as well as student, staff, and faculty representatives.

Those individuals who are unable to receive the vaccine for specific medical, religious, or philosophical reasons can follow the exemption process through the Student Health Center. If New York State mandates the COVID-19 vaccine for students, philosophical exemptions will not be allowed and those individuals granted such exemptions will then be expected to obtain the vaccine if they do not qualify for a medical or religious exemption.

If you are not going to be vaccinated and will not be on campus at any time during the 2021-22 academic year, you may be eligible to complete an attestation.

A sign language interpreted translation of vaccination information for new and returning students is available

Unvaccinated Student Testing Requirements

Students who are not fully vaccinated at the time of their arrival will be required to participate in weekly testing starting the week they arrive on campus. Full vaccination means maximal protection, which occurs 14 days after the final dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Learn more about testing requirements

Availability in New York State

New Yorkers 16 years of age or older are eligible to schedule appointments. Eligible people can schedule appointments with individual providers, including pharmacies, local health departments, and hospitals. You are responsible for making your own appointment.

RIT students living in Rochester (on- or off-campus) are considered Monroe County residents. If you are on campus or currently located in the Rochester area and are looking to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, consider scheduling a vaccine appointment at the Wegmans located at 650 Hylan Drive. The RIT off-campus shuttle runs seven days a week and stops at the entrance to the Wegmans parking lot.

Students who are struggling with the logistics of scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination, including locating available appointments and obtaining transportation, can contact Case Management for support.

RIT strongly encourages a COVID-19 vaccination. Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

  • Pfizer (two-dose vaccine, 3 weeks in between doses)
  • Moderna (two-dose vaccine, 4 weeks in between doses)
  • Johnson & Johnson (single-dose vaccine)

If you are getting a two-dose vaccine, you must get both doses at the same location. Do not start the vaccine process if you do not plan on being in town for your second dose. There is no cost to the individual for any of the vaccines. Any individuals who have already had the COVID-19 infection may receive the vaccination and are encouraged to do so.

Employee Testing Requirements

Employees who are not vaccinated or have not reported their vaccination status are required to undergo a weekly COVID-19 test.

Learn more about employee testing requirements

Vaccination Site Resources

For individuals currently residing in Rochester area

Students: Consider scheduling a vaccine appointment at the Wegmans located at 650 Hylan Drive. The RIT off-campus shuttle is available on weekends and stops at the entrance to the Wegmans parking lot. Students who are struggling with the logistics of scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination, including locating available appointments and obtaining transportation, can contact Case Management for support.

Faculty and staff: Rochester Regional Health Family Medicine Practice at RIT has announced a new COVID-19 vaccine sign-up for eligible RIT faculty and staff. Check the RRH website for available appointments or go to the New York state website to schedule an appointment.

For individuals currently residing in New York state

For individuals currently residing outside of New York state

There are a number of resources available to help you find a COVID-19 vaccine outside of New York state:

  • VaccineFinder, which is a free, online service where you can search for pharmacies and providers that offer the vaccination. Information about where COVID-19 vaccines are available is provided directly by pharmacies and providers, in collaboration with states, and is updated daily. VaccineFinder is operated by Boston Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the CDC.
  • CDC Retail Pharmacy List, which includes various pharmacies offering the vaccine through the federal government. This site also allows you to search pharmacies by state.
  • Your state’s department of health website

Frequently Asked Questions

Immunization is critical to controlling the spread of the virus and a key strategy to broaden in-person instruction, on-campus activities, and enhance student living. The decision to require vaccinations was made following discussions with national, state, and local health officials.

If you are not going to be vaccinated and will not be on campus at any time during the 2021-22 academic year, you may be eligible to complete an attestation. If you meet all attestation requirements, you will be exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Currently, we are strongly encouraging faculty and staff to be vaccinated and expect a very high percentage will be vaccinated by the start of the Fall 2021 semester. However, discussions are still underway as to whether or not a vaccine requirement will be mandatory for faculty and staff.

Vaccine requirements for students are not new. Students already are required, under New York state law, to provide proof of vaccinations for certain diseases. The decision to require COVID-19 vaccination for students is consistent with current laws and was made in accordance with the recommendation of the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the Centers for Disease Control. Students who are unable to get the vaccine for specific religious, medical, or philosophical reasons can follow the application process found on the Student Health Center website.

Vaccinations are not just for personal health, they are important for the health of the entire community. Along with other immunizations, the COVID-19 vaccination is now required at RIT. Those individuals who cannot get the vaccine for specific medical, religious, or philosophical reasons can follow the exemption process through the Student Health Center. Those who do not comply with the vaccine requirement and do not have an approved exemption will be disenrolled 30 days after the start of classes.

As in the case with other required immunizations, we will follow the same process for those students with medical and religious exemptions. For the COVID-19 vaccine only, philosophical exemptions are considered and the form to request that is available on the Student Health Center website. For New York State mandated vaccines, only medical and religious exemptions are accepted. At this time, New York state has not mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for college students.

Students who are not fully vaccinated at the time of their arrival will be required to participate in weekly testing starting the first week of classes. This includes students who have an approved exemption.

Full vaccination occurs 14 days after the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Yes. CDC guidance is that you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 as the vaccine provides stronger and longer lasting immunity.

Students must log into the RIT Wellness Portal to complete the COVID-19 Vaccine form and upload a photo or scanned copy of their vaccination card or receipt with their name, date of birth, name of the vaccine, and the date(s) of the shots.

There are many, free of charge, sites where vaccines are available. You can locate a vaccine site near you.

RIT students struggling with the logistics of scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination, including locating available appointments and obtaining transportation, can contact Case Management for support.

RIT is currently accepting vaccines including those approved for use in the U.S., accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration, or on the World Health Organization Emergency Use List (EUL). If the vaccine you received has not been approved by either the FDA or WHO, you will need to get an approved vaccine when you arrive to New York. 

If you have questions, ask your personal healthcare provider. Any future health consequences that may arise due to the use of the vaccine will be the responsibility of the vaccine manufacturers and providers as is the case for all vaccines.

Yes. RIT will return your deposit. Please email the Admissions office or call 585-475-6631. Please note it may take up to three weeks for a refund.

If New York state mandates the COVID-19 vaccine for all students, RIT will require that all students receive the vaccination, subject to any exemptions provided by law.

If you previously uploaded your COVID-19 vaccine information via the RIT Wellness Portal, your information has been processed by the Student Health Center. To confirm that the Student Health Center has reviewed and processed your COVID-19 information, visit the RIT Wellness Portal.

Your vaccine did not expire. The New York State Excelsior Pass or other similar systems may require you to re-enter your information every 3-6 months. If you re-enter, your “pass” will be extended. RIT is not currently using this pass, but other New York venues are. It’s a good idea to keep it updated.