Breaking News
More () »

Washington's universities consider requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students

Here's where Washington state's biggest schools stand on the issue of whether or not to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students.

SEATTLE — Washington’s universities and colleges are weighing whether to require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before they can return to their classrooms in the fall.

University of Washington

The University of Washington is requiring all students on its three campuses to be vaccinated before starting fall quarter.

“Widespread vaccination is the only real way we can put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us and return to a more normal way of living, learning and working,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce wrote in a message to the University community. “Our community is one that cares — about each other and about the state and society we serve. For your health, and for the health of us all, please get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

Decisions about vaccine requirements for faculty and staff are being reviewed in consultation with school leadership and the state.

Washington State University

WSU said it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for students engaging in activities on campus. 

Exemptions will be allowed for medical, religious and personal reasons, according to the website

Students whose programs are fully online and/or for which an on‑campus/location presence does not occur are automatically exempted from this requirement, according to the new guidelines. 

Western Washington University

WWU said it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, faculty and staff before returning to campus for the fall 2021 quarter.

Students will need to verify they have been vaccinated unless they are claiming an exemption, according to the university. 

WWU said in a letter to its community this decision was made "in the belief that it will protect the health and safety of the community on- and off- campus and speed our return to more normal in-person operations."

Seattle Pacific University

SPU will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all undergraduate and graduate students when they return to in-person instruction this fall. 

Vaccine requirements for employees is still undetermined, but SPU said it would make a decision in the coming weeks after further consultation and review of COVID-19 guidelines. 

Seattle University

SU will require COVID-19 vaccinations for students who want to return to classroom learning in the fall. Students must register their vaccination status with the university.

SU says it will work with international students and others who are unable to be vaccinated before arriving in the fall, and will also allow religious and medical exemptions.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccinations required for Seattle University students this fall

Evergreen State College

Evergreen State College announced all students, staff and faculty will be required to show proof of vaccination before the beginning of the 2021 fall quarter. 

“Requiring vaccinations will enable us to provide even richer in-person educational experiences for our students in the fall,” said Evergreen President George Bridges.

Evergreen said anyone who cannot get a vaccine for medical, religious or personal reasons can apply for an exemption. Click here for more information.

Pacific Lutheran University

PLU announced all students, including undergraduate and graduate, will be required to be fully vaccinated before arriving on campus for the fall semester. PLU said there would be “case by case exceptions allowed only for medical or religious reasons.”

The university said it is continuing to monitor “federal and state guidance for employer regulations” about employee vaccinations but encouraged employees to get vaccinated.

PLU also announced it would soon host vaccination clinics on campus with “early access appointments” for PLU community members. Click here for more information.

Check back for more updates as schools make additional announcements.

Before You Leave, Check This Out