FAQs for graduate students regarding the university's COVID-19 directives
On June 6, 2021, President Tim Sands announced the following:
"Vaccinations will be required for all students attending Virginia Tech in the fall, with exemptions for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. During the past two semesters, we weathered significant surges in COVID-19 cases in Blacksburg. We did this through robust testing, self-quarantine, masking, and physical distancing. We must do everything possible to avoid repeating the challenges of the last 14 months, and to ensure that students who cannot be vaccinated are able to participate in campus life and in-person learning. It is essential that every student who can be vaccinated, is vaccinated.
"Students should visit this site for more information about vaccination requirements, confirming vaccination status, and requesting an exemption. The deadline for students to report that they have received the full course of vaccine doses (one or two, depending on the vaccine) is Aug. 6, 2021. "
As the University prepares for fall 2021, it is following its interim operations plan for summer and fall 2021. The university continues to observe the public health guidelines and procedures recommended by the Virginia Department of Health.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate, while students and others who come in contact with someone who tests positive for the disease are asked to quarantine.
On May 27, the University published updated information about masks, social distancing and gathering sizes. Employees and students who are fully vaccinated need not wear masks in most indoor spaces and the university is relaxing some social distancing guidelines and size limits for gatherings. Those who are not vaccinated, or not fully vaccinated, must continue to wear masks indoors. CDC and other health department guidelines suggest frequently washing hands or using hand sanitizer.
We continue to monitor public health updates and will share new information as it is provided. You'll find up-to-date information on the university's Ready page.
(Updated: June 30, 2021)
What are the university’s plans if there is an increase in COVID-19 cases on campus or in the region?
The University is prepared to transition in-person course instruction to online should the need arise.
What is the university doing to with classrooms to ensure safety?
Virginia Tech' facilities crews have been reconfiguring classroom spaces to provide 6 feet of space between students. This has reduced the capacity of instruction spaces. There will be hand santizer stations outside each classroom, and instructors will wear face shields if they are teaching in front of students. You can find out more about VT's efforts to follow public health guidelines in classrooms in this article.
What personal hygiene protocols will be expected of me?
The university follows the governor’s guidelines for personal hygiene related to public health. See this updated guidance from the university regarding face coverings, social distancing and size limits for gatherings on campuses. All university community members are expected to continue frequent handwashing and using hand sanitizer when handwashing is not possible.
(updated May 28, 2020)
What about our campuses in the Washington, D.C. area, Roanoke, and beyond?
The University's FAQs includes a page focused on our campuses in the Washington D.C. area, Roanoke, and other locations, that are updated regularly. We will share more details as we receive them, too.
Are any of Virginia Tech's graduate programs waiving their GRE testing requirement for fall 2021 admission?
The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is not a requirement of the Graduate School, but may be required by the program to which you are applying. Current programs waiving the GRE or GMAT test score requirement for Fall 2021 are listed here.
(updated January 5, 2021)
How is the vaccine being administered?
Virginia Tech is working with the NRHD to vaccinate all eligible individuals in the New River Vally Health District. Register for the vaccine at the Virginia Department of Health website.
Who is eligible for the vaccine?
The governor has announced that all adults are eligible for vaccinations. That expansion began April 18. Additionally, youths ages 12 and up also are eligible.
How do I find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine and its availability?
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is guiding vaccine distribution, and the Virginia Tech community is actively supporting their efforts. We will provide further information about vaccinations as it becomes available. You can read more about the VDH response on this webpage. Meanwhile, we urge all members of our community to continue adhering to public health guidelines.
I live in the greater Washington D.C. metro area. Where do I find information about vaccine availability?
This bulletin announcement provides a wealth of information, including health district contact information and businesses providing vaccines to the public.
(updated May 19, 2021)
I am an international student or I am a student traveling abroad and I do not have access to a vaccine that is authorized by the FDA or WHO. Do I still need to be vaccinated by the August 6 deadline?
If you do not have access to one of the approved vaccines, you must submit the International Vaccination Compliance Form by the August 6 deadline. This will prevent a “hold” from being placed on your student account. Once you arrive in the US, you will need to schedule an appointment with Schiffert Health Center or another provider (New River Health District clinics or CDC Vaccine Finder) to receive a COVID vaccine and any other required immunizations (e.g., Tetanus, MMR, Hepatitis B, Meningitis) as soon as possible before classes start.
If I am an international student who is supposed to live on campus, will I be allowed to move in before getting vaccinated?
For international students who complete the International Vaccination Compliance Form indicating they do not have access to an approved vaccine, we will make accommodations for them to move in so they can get an approved vaccine once they are here. Currently, following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines, all students who have not been vaccinated should wear a face covering and physically distance in any indoor public spaces. Students will be tested regularly until they are fully vaccinated.
Is it safe for me to receive a second vaccine if I have already received a vaccine that is not authorized by the FDA or WHO?
Contact Schiffert at 540-231-6444 if you have health questions about receiving two different vaccines.Can I get a COVID-19 test from Schiffert Health Center if I am in Blacksburg?
Where can I find more information?
Check the University's Ready site page regarding the vaccination requirement.
(updated June 30, 2021)
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
155 Otey Street
Graduate School, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061