Information for Graduate Students + Postdocs

Runhan Tao, Biomedical Engineering graduate student and Mechanical Engineering Teaching Assistant

Johns Hopkins University is actively planning for the staged return of activity to our campuses, with the hope and expectation that the university will be substantially back to normal this fall. We anticipate a broad resumption of in-person classes for our undergraduate, professional, and graduate students this fall.

Our plans are predicated on continuing public health strategies to promote a safe campus and community. However, with increases in vaccine availability and distribution, we are now able to add vaccination as a critical component to our campus safety plan. We will require all students coming or returning to our campuses in the United States this fall, and who do not require religious or health exemptions, to be vaccinated. More information on vaccine requirements and availability

The pandemic continues to present unpredictable challenges, and we will monitor state and local COVID-related restrictions to ensure that our operations abide by them. If we have to scale back our plans to protect the public’s health on our campuses and in our surrounding communities, we will do so.  

Additional details about the policies and procedures that will accompany the careful expansion of on-campus activity will be included in the forthcoming Return to Campus guidance.

Zoom town hall
Fall planning town hall

A discussion of vaccination guidelines and requirements; academics, housing, and dining plans; staff return; and health and safety protocols

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to know if I want to come to campus?

Individuals who are on-campus need to be aware of the following requirements:

  • Faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who have uploaded vaccine documentation to VMS will no longer be required to wear face-coverings indoors, as well as to visiting faculty, scholars, and students.
  • Face-coverings will continue to be required in indoor settings for faculty, staff, and students who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated campus guests will be required to wear face-coverings while on the property. By not wearing a face-covering, guests are self-attesting that they have been fully vaccinated.
  • No smoking or vaping.
  • Students, employees, and contractors who are on-campus must complete a daily health check using Prodensity.

As of July 1, unvaccinated affiliates who are on campus must test twice weekly.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 8:49am

Can events be held on campus?

Yes. Outdoor events can be held without any capacity limits, but indoor events are limited to 50 persons unless special permission has been granted. Special permission is also required for food at indoor events (no restrictions for outdoor). Please email the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer at CAO-Office@jhu.edu with questions or to request permission.

Last updated: June 23, 2021 5:15pm

Are visitors and guests allowed on campus?

Both Visitors and Guests are welcome at JHU.  

Visitors: Visiting faculty, scholars, and students are defined in JHU Visitor Policy and generally on campus for a month or more with formal appointments. These individuals are subject to the same policies as faculty, staff, and students, respectively. Because these visitors are assigned JHED, they should upload proof of vaccination status like all other faculty, staff, and students. 

Guests: All others are considered “guests,” who are not subject to vaccination mandates. Unvaccinated campus guests will be required to wear face coverings while on the property. By not wearing a face-covering, guests are self-attesting that they have been fully vaccinated. 

Last updated: June 23, 2021 5:14pm

Do decisions about activities and health and safety protocols apply to buildings not located on the university’s main campuses?

All reopening plans and health and safety guidelines established by the university apply to people taking part in activities in all of its owned or leased locations.

Last updated: Dec 16, 2020 3:36pm

What is the university’s guidance on travel at this time?

The university’s travel policies have returned to normal effective July 1, 2021.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 8:50am

How does the university’s phased approach align with the state of Maryland and Baltimore City?

The university is guided by the types of activity allowed by both the state and the city along with its own evaluation of public health and medical advice from Johns Hopkins experts.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:47pm

What are the current shuttle schedules?

As of July 1, the following changes are in place regarding JHU Transportation Services: 

  • Capacity restrictions have been lifted on buses and shuttle vans. Buses may return to carrying all seated plus standing passengers.  Shuttle vans may carry up to 14 passengers. 
  • Face coverings are still required at all times while on board all JHU buses and shuttle vans. 
  • The Homewood-Peabody-JHMI route has returned to its normal schedule. See full schedule 
  • Service is expected to be restored to both the Remington and the Homewood-Mt. Washington Express routes in early August; when available, exact start dates and routes / schedules will be posted on the Shuttles page and communicated through Transportation Services social media, the TransLoc apps, the Hub, and Today’s Announcements. 
  • Hop Van rentals are once again become available, to be driven by faculty, staff, and students who have completed the Hop Van Student Driver Certification program. Vans may carry their normal capacity of 7 or 8 total occupants. Face coverings are still required at all times while on board a JHU Hop Van. New Hop Van Student Driver certifications are expected to resume at some point in August, but students wishing to begin the certification process may complete the online training program and submit their release forms allowing for a driving record check per the process outlined on the Hop Van Rentals page.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 2:40pm

Vaccinations

Will Johns Hopkins provide vaccinations for JHU affiliates?

All Johns Hopkins affiliates in Maryland and Washington, D.C., can schedule a vaccination appointment through Johns Hopkins Medicine in MyChart. Johns Hopkins University is also hosting a series of clinics where faculty, staff, students, and contractors can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations are free and staff can use COVID-19 vaccine leave for time off while they receive or recover from the vaccination. Visit the COVID Vaccine Information site for updates.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 11:30am

Is there anything I need to do before I can schedule a vaccination at a Johns Hopkins physician office or JHM clinic?

If you don’t already have a MyChart account, you may receive an email asking you to activate your account. MyChart is a secure website and mobile app used by Johns Hopkins Medicine that can be used to schedule COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, if you need them in the future. If you have any questions about MyChart, please send an email to Testinginfo@jhu.edu.

Last updated: June 29, 2021 3:07pm

Vaccination mandate

Why is Johns Hopkins University requiring the COVID vaccine?

Multiple vaccines have been demonstrated to provide high levels of protection against the COVID virus with reports of only minimal and brief side effects following administration. Ensuring that the overwhelming percentage of our community’s population is vaccinated will greatly reduce the risk of the virus’s spread on our campuses and will also protect our neighbors in Baltimore.

Johns Hopkins affiliates who are required to be vaccinated—and who were not vaccinated at a Johns Hopkins Medicine facility—can upload a photo of their COVID-19 vaccination record to the JHU Vaccine Management System. Affiliates may also submit an exception request in the VMS.

More information about submitting proof of vaccination to the VMS is available on the COVID Info website.

We encourage anyone interested in learning more about the science of the vaccine to visit Johns Hopkins Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety website.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 2:52pm

Who is included in the vaccination mandate?

COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who will be working or studying at a U.S.-based university campus or worksite, beginning August 1. That includes:

  • Members of non-clinical departments at the School of Medicine; members of clinical departments will be governed by Johns Hopkins Health System vaccination policies.
  • Members of collective bargaining units.
  • Contractors who provide services to the university community and whose primary work location is on university properties located in Maryland or Washington, D.C., regardless of employer, except contractors or vendors whose presence at any JHU property is solely limited to the delivery of goods.
  • Those who are doing business on behalf of the university, including individuals engaged in work-related travel.

Medical and religious exceptions will be made where appropriate. Affiliates who are pregnant or attempting to get pregnant may also request an exception.

“Worksite” includes locations that are not within the Homewood, East Baltimore, or Washington, DC campuses, such as but not limited to Keswick, Mt. Washington, etc.

Visitors who fall under the JHU Visitor Policy (i.e., visiting faculty, students, and scholars) are subject to the vaccination mandate.

Last updated: July 1, 2021 2:08pm

Who is exempt from the mandate?

Individuals who are, with permission of their supervisor, working in a fully remote capacity and do not visit any Johns Hopkins worksite or third-party location on behalf of JHU are exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination mandate. 

Contractors or vendors whose presence at any JHU property is solely limited to the delivery of goods are exempt. 

Students who are enrolled in entirely online programs and do not utilize Johns Hopkins facilities, and non-degree and non-credit students, including those attending the Peabody Preparatory, are exempt. 

Guests (individuals who are on campus and not subject to the JHU Visitor Policy), which includes those on campus for short periods for tours, meetings, and public events are exempt. 

Medical and religious exceptions will be made where appropriate using our standard vaccine exemption processes. Those who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant may also seek an exception. The deadline to apply for an exemption exception is August 1.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:50pm

When will the mandate take effect?

Those covered by the mandate will be required to submit proof of vaccination or apply for a medical, religious, or pregnancy exception by Aug. 1.

The university will provide free vaccination upon arrival for those traveling to a U.S.-based campus or worksite from abroad. Until individuals are fully vaccinated, they will be required to mask when indoors (even if masks are not broadly required) and be tested twice weekly.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 2:53pm

International students

Which vaccines will be accepted for international students?

If an international student uploads proof of any of the following vaccines, they will be classified as “vaccinated” by the university: 

  • AstraZeneca
  • CoviShield 
  • J&J/Janssen 
  • Moderna 
  • Pfizer 
  • Sinopharm 
  • Sinovac 

Johns Hopkins recognizes that students in China who received the Sinopharm vaccine may have vaccination documentation that refers to the (1) Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd. or (2) Wuhan Institute of Biological Products. The VMS review team is aware of these alternate names for the Sinopharm vaccine. When submitting your documentation, even if it lists one of these other names, please select “Sinopharm” from the drop-down menu to expedite review and approval.

If the student received a vaccine that has not received WHO emergency use authorization, they will be revaccinated with one of the vaccines that is approved for use in the U.S. 

Last updated: July 5, 2021 7:05am

What if I am returning to JHU from abroad and am not yet considered “fully vaccinated”? What should I do? Is there a grace period?

If you have received two doses of a WHO-authorized vaccine (see FAQ above), please upload the documentation as soon as you have it. You can also obtain a vaccine when you arrive in the U.S. at any vaccination site or through Johns Hopkins. Upon arrival at JHU you will need to receive a COVID test at one of our testing centers and isolate until you receive a negative result. Until you are considered “fully vaccinated” (two weeks after your final vaccine), you will need to wear a mask indoors and be tested 2X/week. Once you have uploaded your documentation and waited the requisite amount of time to be considered fully vaccinated, you can stop masking/testing. International students will be given a 6-week grace period to comply with the requirements, allowing them ample time to complete whatever steps are necessary upon return to JHU. 

You will not be considered out of compliance as long as you complete your vaccination within the 6-week grace period, upload your documentation during that time, and continue masking/testing until fully vaccinated. 

Last updated: July 1, 2021 2:22pm

How does the policy apply to international students traveling to Johns Hopkins’ U.S.-based campuses from abroad?

For those international students arriving from abroad who may not have access to a U.S.- or World Health Organization-authorized vaccine before returning to campus, we will offer a grace period and allow them until September 30 to submit proof of vaccination. The university will provide free vaccination upon arrival for those traveling to a U.S.-based campus or worksite from abroad. Until individuals are fully vaccinated, they will be required to mask when indoors (even if masks are not broadly required) and be tested twice weekly.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 2:01pm

What will happen if a student receives one dose of a two-dose vaccine in their home country and doesn’t complete the series before they arrive on campus?

If a student arrives with one dose of a vaccine that is authorized in the US, we will give them the 2nd dose. If they arrive with one dose of a vaccine that is not authorized for use in the US, we will give them a full course of a US-authorized vaccine.

If the student can get a first dose in their home country (but does not have time for the second), we recommend that they go ahead and get it, regardless of whether the vaccine is authorized in the U.S.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 2:02pm

If a student gets the first dose of a two-dose vaccine, but doesn’t get the second dose on time, do they have to repeat the full series?

No. The student should get the second dose, regardless of the interval.

Last updated: May 20, 2021 1:46pm

Can students receive U.S. FDA-approved boosters if they received an initial foreign COVID-19 vaccine?

This will be determined once we know more about if/when boosters will be recommended.

Last updated: May 19, 2021 3:54pm

How to submit proof of vaccination or request an exception

How do I report my vaccination status?

The university has created a Vaccine Management System (VMS) for reporting vaccine status, similar to the system used to report flu vaccination. All JHU affiliates must log into VMS to upload their documentation by August 1. Affiliates who were vaccinated at a JHM clinic and who provided consent for JHU to access their vaccine record upon logging into the VMS will not need to do anything further. 

Last updated: July 1, 2021 2:13pm

Do I still need to use Prodensity once I have uploaded proof of vaccination or received an exception?

Yes. All students, employees, and contractors who are on-campus must complete a daily health check using Prodensity. If you are 100% remote or online, you should change your status to indicate you will not be coming on campus using Prodensity. For more information, read a Prodensity tutorial on how to ensure your status is up-to-date.

Last updated: July 5, 2021 6:59am

How will the university verify COVID vaccine records from other countries in other languages?

The university asks that vaccination documentation in other languages be translated (and certified) before they are uploaded to the forthcoming Vaccine Management System. All affiliates will electronically sign their submission to affirm that the information that they provided is accurate.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:15pm

Is the university contemplating an antibody test (or some other proof of immunity) after vaccination?

No.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:16pm

How can JHU ask about my vaccine status? Isn’t this a HIPAA violation?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has confirmed that Federal EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers provide reasonable accommodations and other EEO considerations. The EEOC does not consider questions about vaccination status to be medical inquiries. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, provides protections for patients’ confidential health information, and it covers what your health care provider can share with others—not employers and what they can ask for.

Last updated: June 23, 2021 5:01pm

What file types are acceptable for uploading proof of vaccination?

You can upload a JPEG, HEIC (iPhone), or PNG photo of your vaccination card or a PDF copy of a vaccination record.

Last updated: July 22, 2021 10:45am

What do I do if I lost my vaccination card?

If you were vaccinated in Maryland, you can register and obtain your COVID-19 vaccination record from Maryland MyIR, a free website service that allows consumers to view and print copies of their official vaccination records directly from ImmuNet, Maryland’s immunization information system. Just register, download or print a copy of your certification of vaccination, and upload it into VMS. 

If you were not vaccinated in Maryland, your doctor’s office or the location where you were vaccinated (e.g., CVS, Walgreens, etc.) should have a record and you should reach out to them to get a copy. You may also be able to locate this on your patient portal or on the pharmacy website under prescription records or immunization record.  

Last updated: July 1, 2021 2:18pm