Nov. 8, 2021: COVID-19 requirements for the spring 2022 semester

Dear MSU faculty, staff and students:

As we look toward the end of the fall 2021 semester, I want to thank all of you for your commitment to health and safety as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The efforts we have put in place, including a vaccine mandate and required face coverings inside all MSU buildings, have allowed us to help mitigate the spread of the virus. Thanks to the high vaccination rate in our community, with more than 90% fully vaccinated, we have been able to continue learning in person and welcome thousands of students back into our residence halls.

But we must remain vigilant; even this past week we have seen an increase in cases in our community. Now is not the time to let our guard down. It is clear these measures make a difference in containing spread on campus. For the next semester, MSU will continue requiring:

  • All students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Limited exemptions for medical or religious reasons will continue to be provided, as well as online-only exemptions for students.
  • All students, faculty or staff who have received a medical or religious exemption to take part in MSU’s Early Detection Program or other regular testing if they aren’t near a location offering EDP. Students with online-only exemptions cannot come to campus for any reason.
  • At the start of the semester, all individuals to continue wearing face coverings indoors in all campus buildings and other MSU facilities in East Lansing and throughout the state.

With these efforts in place, we continue to work to see fewer cases in our campus community. A few other important notes for spring semester:

  • New students will be required to fill out the vaccine verification form before the spring semester starts. More information is being sent directly to those students.
  • Students who currently have an online-only exemption will need to re-apply for an exemption for spring semester if they wish to continue learning only online. Remember, students with online-only exemptions cannot come to campus for any reason. A new exemption application process will be introduced later this semester.
  • Employees and students who have received a religious or medical exemption do not need to re-apply for an exemption unless they had a medical exemption with an end date. Those individuals with a medical end date or medical deferral will have to receive a vaccine or be approved for a new exemption.
  • For employees, we continue to evaluate how and where we best perform our work. While our university educational modalities will largely be in-person this spring, some units that are not student-facing may have different work locations. More detailed guidance will be issued on this topic. Please contact your supervisor with any questions.
  • Vaccine boosters have been approved for many in our community. I urge everyone eligible to receive a booster when they can. While the CDC has not changed its definition of “fully vaccinated,” and boosters are not at this time required as part of the MSU vaccine verification process, boosters provide additional protection from COVID-19. You can find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster opportunity near you by visiting

I know the past 20 months have been difficult for so many of us, and I realize that we all wish this pandemic was behind us. But it’s not, and we will continue to make decisions based on our commitment to health and safety. I appreciate the efforts of our students, faculty, staff and others to protect the Spartan community.


Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (he/him)