Vaccine Requirements: A List of Minnesota Colleges and Universities’ Policies

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The University of Minnesota announced Monday that vaccinations won’t be required for students across its five campuses when school resumes this fall.

The policy aligns with the vast majority of Minnesota colleges and universities, which won’t require vaccinations for students when they return this fall.

Four institutions will require vaccines for on-campus students next school year and for some schools, the policy is still unclear.

Here are the discernable vaccination policies from a list of Minnesota’s colleges and universities as of June 14, 2021: (Excerpts from school websites)

Schools requiring vaccinations

Carleton College 

We intend to require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 upon return for Fall Term 2021. In light of our congregate living environment and educational mission, a vaccination requirement offers the best protection against disease transmission in our campus community. We will also continue to require the flu vaccine.

We strongly encourage all members of our community to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible in preparation for the fall.

Macalester College 

Macalester College in St. Paul will be requiring all students and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the fall semester.

Gustavus Adolphus College 

Gustavus will require students to be vaccinated for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Minnesota College of Art and Design

As we look forward to the Fall 2021 semester, we continue to place safety at the forefront of our priorities. With this in mind we will require, with limited exceptions, all students, faculty, and staff who will work or study on campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 1, 2021. 

Schools NOT requiring vaccinations

University of Minnesota: (Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Twin Cities) 

This collective information and expertise has kept our COVID-19 rates at some of the lowest among our peers and has guided us, along with extensive consultation with you, to decide that the University will not require that students, faculty, and staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the start of the fall semester. 

After extensive consultation with our internal community and after seeking advice from public health and medical experts, we are putting the full weight of the University behind access to vaccines and information about the benefits of vaccination. Public health experts note that a 100% vaccination rate is not possible in any situation and the most effective strategy is access and information.

Minnesota State-Mankato 

To make our Return to Campus happen we’re encouraging all employees and students to get vaccinated and continue to practice good public health behaviors (e.g. wash your hands, stay home when sick, mask if not fully vaccinated). Individuals may still choose to wear a mask if desired; however, individual offices, departments or classrooms cannot require mask-wearing or vaccines of employees or students.

Winona State University 

It is strongly recommended that you get a COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible to do so. At this time, WSU does not have a policy requiring students, faculty or staff to get COVID-19 vaccines.

Augsburg University 

As I shared in my email to Faculty Senate last week, my decision not to mandate vaccines at this point in the early summer is based on three primary factors: (1) the culture of Augsburg, where our strength comes from common purpose and shared conviction, (2) public health data, including COVID-19 case rates and the vaccination data we are now gathering, and (3) trends among our peer institutions. Irrespective of the policy, we are committed to doing the work necessary to achieve the highest vaccination rate possible by fall.

University of St. Thomas

Vaccines are strongly encouraged for all. The university has a limited amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses available through the Center for Well-Being. 

Hamline University 

We strongly encourage all students and employees that are medically able to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to assist in our efforts in creating the safest environment possible for students, staff, and faculty.

St. Catherine’s University

As we look forward to welcoming our community back to campus more fully in the fall, we know that COVID-19 vaccination will be an important part of that process. We continue to strongly recommend that all those who are able to get vaccinated do so. 

College of St. Scholastica

The College intends to maintain a contact tracing program, quarantine and isolation space, and vaccination offerings while continuing to strongly encourage all eligible community members to receive their vaccine.

Bemidji State University

If you haven’t done it yet, we strongly encourage — but do not require — you to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 


The health and safety of our Dragon family is a shared responsibility. Though the COVID-19 vaccine is not required before coming to campus, we strongly encourage you to do what you can to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Bethel University

Bethel University will not require students or employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to participate in classes, activities, or employment in fall 2021. 

St. Mary’s University

The university strongly encourages all individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they are able, but Saint Mary’s will not require mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for fall 2021.

Schools with no discernable or an unclear vaccination policy

St. Olaf College 

Students and faculty have to report their vaccination status and those who are vaccinated don’t have to undergo targeted testing or quarantines, but vaccinations are not explicitly required for on-campus students.

The College says vaccinations will be required for all of its study abroad students.

Yes, because of the many restrictions facing travelers, St. Olaf has made the decision to require that all students be vaccinated before participating in any IOS program during the 2021-22 academic year (fall, academic year, Interim, spring, or summer).  

St. Cloud State University

The University’s masking policy requires unvaccinated students and employees to wear masks, but the school’s website does not make clear whether it will require vaccinations.

Masking will not be required for those who are fully vaccinated while on campus, with the exception of posted facilities such as the Medical Clinic effective May 28.

University of Northwestern – St. Paul 

The University has no discernable policy on its website.

North Central University 

The University said it will announce its fall 2021 plans in the future.

College of St. Benedict/University of St. John’s

While the schools don’t explicitly say vaccines aren’t required, its masking policy includes guidance for people who are not fully vaccinated.

In accordance with the latest updates from the CDC and MDH, wearing a mask is no longer required on campus (indoors or outdoors) if you have been fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated is considered to be 14 days after the final dosage of the vaccine. For individuals not vaccinated, please continue to wear a mask indoors and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained

Concordia University – St. Paul

There is no discernable vaccination policy on the university’s website.

Concordia University – Moorhead

While the school’s website doesn’t explain an explicit policy, it says its vaccination goal is 85 percent.

Concordia’s goal is an 85% vaccination rate by August 1 for students and employees.

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