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UC Vaccine Mandate and Study Abroad

July 27, 2021: After extensive consultation, UC’s final policy regarding required COVID-19 vaccinations was issued on July 15, 2021 and is effective two weeks before the start of your instruction. For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the policy requires, with few exceptions, that all students be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus before they will be allowed to be on campus, to enter a UC facility or office, or to participate in a University Program. All UCEAP students must comply with their home campus COVID-19 vaccine verification process prior to their program start date. Please know that while a student may be granted a policy exception or deferral by UC, host institutions may have their own additional requirements with which the student participants will need to comply. Currently, international regulations regarding COVID-19 are extremely fluid; COVID-19 policies and laws from program host countries, host country partners, and transportation bodies may change at any time and may affect your program participation.

Please consult the FAQs webpage of the policy announcement and your home campus policies.

Students who do not complete their campus verification process may risk UCEAP program dismissal.

Question: I have received a UC approved vaccination exception or deferral; can I still participate in my UCEAP program?

Answer: Students who may receive an approved vaccination exception or deferral are still subject to the local requirements of the country and host institution at which the program is located. In addition, UCEAP recommends that students follow nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) while traveling abroad including quarantining upon arrival for the recommended duration, masking when outside their residence and staying home if they manifest any COVID-19 symptoms. Students who receive a COVID vaccine exception or deferral pursuant to the UC Policy acknowledge and accept the risks associated with traveling while unvaccinated. The student acknowledges and agrees that The Regents shall bear no responsibility or liability with respect to any damages, losses or claims arising out of student’s decision to travel while unvaccinated.


Question: What if I am not currently in the USA and I am not able to receive a vaccine in the country where I am currently living before my UCEAP program start date?

Answer: UCEAP students will be required to follow a similar approach as if they were returning to their UC Campus. You can participate in the program on the condition that if you are going to a country where the vaccine is available (now or at some point in the future) you must agree to get vaccinated in that country upon arrival and follow NPIs until fully vaccinated or to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available in their location. Each student must complete the verification process on their home campus and receive a UC approved deferral.


Question: Where can I learn more about nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs)?



Question: Will I know the vaccination status of other individuals I engage with in my UCEAP program, including other UCEAP students, host country staff, students, and faculty?

Answer: Because vaccination-related information is private and confidential, the University will not disclose vaccine status of Covered Individuals except on a need-to-know basis; however, third parties and some locations may distribute badge attachments, stickers,  pins, or other indicators that vaccinated individuals may use to show that they have received the vaccine. Students participating in UCEAP should be aware that UCEAP cannot require staff in many locations abroad to be vaccinated, and faculty, staff or students at partner institutions are not subject to UC’s vaccine mandate.

June 29, 2021: The University of California Office of the President is moving toward a systemwide vaccine mandate will require all students, staff and faculty be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

We anticipate this official policy to be announced soon. For Fall 2021 program participants to comply with this mandate prior to your program start date, it is imperative to plan ahead. Several vaccines require a 6-week period to achieve effectiveness. Students will be responsible for complying with their home campus policy on reporting requirements and proof of vaccination. Home campuses will also be responsible for processing requests for medical exemption.

Question: Why am I being informed about this now if the policy is not yet official?

Answer: We want to give you the most information as early as we can so that you can plan accordingly for your upcoming travel. According to the CDC , people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second dose of a 2-dose series or 2 weeks after the 1-dose vaccine. For students to obtain a fully vaccinated status prior to the program start date, students will need to receive their first vaccine dose (if they are going with a 2-dose vaccine series) as soon as possible. The UC policy release dates correspond with home campus deadlines, which do not necessarily take into consideration unique earlier program departure dates for UCEAP students. Therefore, it is important for you to be informed and to act now.


Question: I am currently fully vaccinated for COVID-19, what do I need to do?

Answer: When this policy is officially announced, you will be responsible for compliance. Please visit your respective campus website and their COVID-19 requirements or consult your campus health center for further details. If you are a California resident, you may also wish to check your vaccination record with the California Department of Public Health. They announced a new Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record for Californians, available at The tool is a convenient option for Californians who received a COVID-19 vaccination to access their record from the state’s immunization registry systems.


Question: I am only partially vaccinated for COVID-19, what do I need to do?

Answer: If you receive your second dose 2 weeks prior to your Program Departure Date, then follow the answer above and ensure compliance with your home campus.


Question: Will I be able to participate in my UCEAP program without receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?

Answer: When this policy is announced, all UCEAP students will be required to report to their home campus regarding compliance. Any requests for exemption will be processed through your home campus. Prior to the Program Departure Date, all UCEAP students will be required to comply with University of California COVID-19 vaccine policy. A UC-granted exemption may not cover program participants abroad. Currently, international regulations regarding COVID-19 are extremely fluid. COVID-19 policies and laws from program host countries, host country partners, and transportation bodies may change at any time and may affect your program participation.


Question: Where can I find more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and receiving a vaccine?

Answer: Students can access information provided by their home campus health center or the CDC website. Vaccine appointments are available throughout the United States. Please consult your State or County Public Health Department for detailed information.