Return to Campus - Summer & Fall ’21

Updates and Protocols

The University at Buffalo is currently planning for an increased on-campus experience for students, faculty and staff for the summer, and will be fully in-person for fall 2021.

UB is optimistic about the university’s ability to safely resume normal operations given the tremendous progress being made against COVID-19. UB will continue to work under the guidance of local, state and federal regulations and will remain flexible, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. 

The health and safety of our campus community will take precedence in any plans that UB implements. 

Fall ’21 Semester:

Fall '21 Academic Calendar

Aug. 30, 2021 Classes Begin
Sept. 6, 2021 Labor Day Observed
Nov. 24 - Nov. 27, 2021 Fall Recess
Nov. 29, 2021 Classes Resume
Dec. 10, 2021 Last Day of Classes
Dec. 11 - Dec. 12, 2021 Reading Days
Dec. 13 - Dec. 20, 2021 Semester Final Examinations
Dec. 21, 2021 Winter Recess Begins

Need to Know

Effective immediately, summer and fall protocols at UB will include:

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination for In-Person Students

Beginning in the fall semester all students will be required to be vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes. This directive is contingent on final FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, which we expect to be granted soon. learn more at UB Vaccination Updates and Protocols

FAQ - for Fall '21

  • What factors were considered in developing the plans for the fall?

    The health and safety of our campus community take precedence in any plans that UB implements. The university’s health and safety guidelines were part of a planning process, chaired by the provost, which involved more than 180 faculty, staff and students.

    UB's health and safety guidelines are based on the most recent scientific research on effective methods for preventing the spread of COVID-19. They were informed by the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York State Department of Health, and SUNY, as well as UB experts in infectious diseases, laboratory medicine and public health. Every element of this plan was developed with the goal of providing the safest environment possible for all members of the university community.

    Updated July 8, 2021

    fall plan planning
  • What is the most recent vaccination information for students for the fall semester?

    All UB students will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend classes in person in the fall, according to a mandate from the state. The requirement is pending final approval from SUNY and is also still subject to full approval of the vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, which we expect to be granted soon.

    Students may qualify for an exemption due to medical reasons or religious beliefs, or if they are learning fully remote.

    Updated July 8, 2021

    vaccine vaccination
  • Do students need to quarantine prior to coming to campus in the fall?

    Unvaccinated students will need to provide proof they tested negative for COVID-19 within five days prior to arriving on campus for the semester. That must be followed up by another COVID-19 test on their day of arrival on campus.

    In lieu of a negative test, unvaccinated students need to attest to UB that they quarantined at least 10 days prior to or upon arrival to campus.

    Updated July 8, 2021

  • What do UB employees need to know as they return to campus?

    UB continues to adjust its workplace to protect the university community. UB employees are advised to stay informed of the university’s most recent COVID-19 protocols.

    UB workplace information regarding capacity, physical distancing, mask wearing and exemptions, ventilation/air filtration, and health screening can be found on UB’s COVID-19 Employee Guide page.

    Updated August 3, 2021

    employees return requirements
  • Do students and employees need to continue to participate in Daily Health Screenings?

    In order to continue monitoring the health of the university community, all students and employees will be asked to continue to submit a daily health screening.

    Updated July 8, 2021

    Summer Pooled Surveillance Test Testing Mass Screening Screen
  • What do individuals living and working in UB's residence halls need to know for the fall?

    All students and advisers living in residence halls and university owned and operated apartments are required to be fully vaccinated. Recognized vaccines include those that have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA or the World Health Organization. 

    UB will also plan to designate space for quarantine and isolation uses. CDC guidance indicates that fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 do not have to quarantine unless they are symptomatic. Fully vaccinated individuals who test positive must isolate for the 10 days.

    Effective Aug. 3, the University at Buffalo will require all students, employees and visitors – regardless of their vaccination status – to wear face coverings while inside campus buildings. This includes classrooms, hallways, libraries and other common spaces, as well as UB buses and shuttles. Face coverings are not required inside personal rooms at residence halls, while eating in on-campus dining areas, when alone within personal offices or in non-public-facing personal workstations. 

    The new policy is in accordance with updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Erie County Department of Health. 

    Updated August 2, 2021

    residence halls living on-campus apartments dorms dorm dormitory
  • Are there any changes in restrictions for events and gatherings on campus?

    COVID-19 restrictions are in effect for large outdoor events with more than 100 people in attendance.

    At UB, this means that most activities and events on campus will resume in-person, with masking required for individuals regardless of vaccination status. Non-vaccinated individuals must practice physical distancing, where possible. 

    UB football games and other fall sports competitions will be held at full capacity in front of fans, in accordance with New York State guidelines. Masks will be required for individuals regardless of vaccination status

    The university will provide guidance about men’s and women’s basketball games at a later date.

    Updated August 5, 2021

    events gatherings event sports games theater arena stadium
  • Do students, faculty and staff need to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing at UB?

    Mandatory weekly testing still will be required for students and employees who have not been vaccinated and have a regular presence on campus.

    Those who are fully vaccinated may opt out of the weekly testing by showing proof of completion of vaccination series. Human Resources has provided guidance to employees on how to provide proof of vaccination. Students can submit vaccination documentation through the Student Health Services portal.

    Updated July 8, 2021

    Summer Pooled Surveillance Test Testing Mass Screening Screen
  • What do international students and faculty need to know for fall?

    For UB’s international student and faculty populations, the SUNY requirement recognizes vaccines that have been authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO). International students who have received a vaccine not authorized for emergency use either by the FDA or the World Health Organization will need an FDA-authorized Covid-19 vaccine.

    Updated July 8, 2021

    international students scholars faculty vaccine vaccination
  • Do I need to wear a face covering when I’m alone in my private office?

    No, you may remove your face covering when alone while in a private office, but must put it back on when walking around the work area.

    Updated August 3, 2021

    mask face covering
  • Do I need to wear a face covering while in my personal workspace, cubicle or non-public facing work setting?

    Employees at personal workstations, in a cubicle or non-public setting can remove their face covering at their public workstation when alone, but must put it back on when walking about the work area, indoors.

    Updated August 3, 2021

    mask face covering
  • Do I need to physically distance from others indoors?

    The university is not requiring physical distancing indoors, because being fully vaccinated and wearing a face covering provides excellent protection for our campus community, in addition to hand washing and staying home when feeling sick. 

    Updated August 3, 2021

    distance space