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COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Fall 2021


*Published on July 13, 2021*

In June, Northeastern announced new COVID-19 testing requirements for the summer. Today’s announcement provides an update on our fall COVID-19 strategy.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Students are arriving at our campuses from around the world, where vaccination rates and COVID cases may vary significantly. To promote the wellness of our university community in these new conditions, we will institute the following testing requirements.

  • Testing Requirements on U.S. Campuses: Starting on the week of September 6, faculty, staff, students, and vendor employees—both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated—will be required to test once a week if they are on campus one day a week or more. This testing cadence applies on any Northeastern campus where COVID-19 testing is provided. Everyone is welcome to begin their testing cadence during the week of September 6 or before for students moving onto the Boston campus. Boston-based faculty, staff, and students should use the COVID-19 Test Scheduler to schedule their test.  
  • Daily Wellness Check: Starting the week of September 6, everyone—fully vaccinated and unvaccinated—should resume completing the Daily Wellness Check any day they are on campus.
  • Boston Move-In Testing Requirements: All students—both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated—who are moving into university housing in Boston will be required to test on the day they arrive or the following morning if they arrive after the Cabot Testing Center is closed. Students should use the COVID-19 Test Scheduler ahead of time to schedule a test for the appropriate day. They will not be required to complete the test before they move into their residence hall and will not be required to quarantine. They should receive a negative test result before attending class in-person.  
  • Symptomatic Testing in Boston: The Huntington Testing Center will still be available for symptomatic testing. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should indicate their symptoms on the Daily Wellness Check and follow the directions for next steps.

Additional details and logistics will be announced as the fall term approaches. Starting the fall term with this measured approach allows us to gather robust data to fully assess our community’s testing needs. We will reevaluate our testing strategy in October and update the community on any changes.

Update on Vaccine Requirements for U.S. Students 

Students who attend classes or visit our U.S.-based campuses are required to be fully vaccinated before the start of the fall term. Northeastern will accept a vaccine approved in the United States or a vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) to fulfill this requirement. Students should submit the Vaccine Verification form before August 15 to upload documentation of immunization against COVID-19 or to request a medical or religious exemption

Based on new CDC guidance on revaccination, Northeastern requires students who received an unapproved vaccine to be revaccinated with a vaccine approved in the United States or listed for emergency use by WHO. Students should get an approved vaccine as soon as possible. They will be permitted to attend class in person before full vaccination but should wear a mask and follow the testing guidelines outlined above.  

Masks and Distancing 

As always, our requirements are informed by sound science and public health guidelines. Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks or practice physical distancing, unless required to do so by local, state, provincial, or federal authorities. Unvaccinated individuals are still required to wear masks and practice healthy distancing.

We urge everyone to continue following the common-sense health measures that protect our community from any illness—washing your hands frequently, and staying away from campus and wearing a mask if you feel ill.

We will continue to keep you updated in the months ahead. Please visit our Testing and Vaccination FAQs for more details on the updated health and safety requirements. Please email with other questions.


Ken Henderson

Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning

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