COVID-19 Resources for Students

CUNY SPH will safely reopen campus for the fall 2021 semester. Students should carefully review the vaccination requirements to ensure they are ready for the fall 2021 semester. This page will be updated as more information on policies and procedures become available, so please check it often.
student wearing face mask works on laptop

Vaccination Requirements for Students for Fall 2021

At CUNY SPH, only those students who have been fully vaccinated and upload proof of their vaccination will be permitted to take in-person or hybrid classes on campus during the fall 2021 semester. Students who are unvaccinated or who do not wish to disclose their vaccine status may take on-line classes.

Students should upload their proof of vaccination to CUNYfirst (more information below) by September 14, 2021. The deadline to fulfill this requirement has been extended from August 10 to Tuesday, September 14 to allow students enough time to get fully vaccinated and to upload their documentation into CUNYfirst. In order to meet this submission deadline, you must receive the following vaccines by these dates:

Moderna: first dose by August 3
Pfizer: first dose by August 10
Johnson & Johnson: single dose by August 31

Vaccination Verification

If you are already vaccinated, you can upload your information by signing in to CUNYfirst and clicking in the Vaccination Verification portal. You will need the dates of your two shots for Pfizer and Moderna or the date of your single Johnson & Johnson shot, the location where you got your vaccine, a scan or photograph of your CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card, and, if you have the NY State Excelsior Pass app, a scan or photograph of your pass on your mobile device. We are working with NYS Excelsior to link the pass to CUNY for validation purposes. International students who have received vaccination outside the United States will also be able to upload in CUNYfirst their verification documentation, as long as the vaccine received was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Testing Requirements

Unvaccinated students who have on-campus class sessions between August 25 and the September 14 deadline will have to show proof of a negative test taken no more than 7 days before attending the class. All students visiting a campus for any reason – including students who are taking only remote classes this fall – are required to upload proof of vaccination or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than seven days prior to the visit.

Requesting an Exemption

You can also submit in CUNYfirst your request and supporting documentation for a medical exemption or religious exception to the vaccine. Students requesting an exemption for medical reasons will be required to submit a COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Exemption Request Form signed by a healthcare provider. Students requesting an exception for religious reasons will be required to submit a written statement explaining how immunization conflicts with the student’s religious beliefs. The requests will be verified by the campus Location Vaccine Authority liaison responsible for implementing the COVID-19 Vaccination Program on your campus. Exemptions and exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are not automatically granted.

Helpful Links and Everbridge

For a visual step-by-step guide to submitting information to CUNYfirst, please visit here. For a list of frequently asked questions about the student vaccination policy, please refer to the policy FAQ or the Getting Back to Learning on Campus FAQ. If you have a technical problem, please contact your campus help desk. If you still have questions, please contact your campus student affairs office listed here.  

Finally, the symptom tracker feature of Everbridge that has been in use to visit a campus will not be in use in the Fall. We will transition to a new feature in Everbridge that will display a CUNY VAX Pass for those who have verified their vaccination information in CUNYfirst.

International Students

Students who currently reside in other countries should review the vaccination timelines for the vaccines they can access in their areas. Students who have completed the final dose of COVID-19 vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and after the specified time period, are considered fully vaccinated.

Please also see the #VaxUpCUNY page for additional information on returning to in-person learning in fall 2021.

Be Prepared

To prepare for the fall semester, we urge all students to:

  1. Get vaccinated now. We urge all students to get vaccinated as soon as you are able. Depending on which vaccine you receive, it can take up to six weeks for you to be fully immunized so the sooner you get vaccinated, the better.
  2. Have documentation of your vaccination ready. If you have gotten or plan to get vaccinated in New York State, get the Excelsior Pass. If you got vaccinated outside of NYS, please make sure you have proof of your vaccination.
  3. Make sure you have a CUNY SPH ID card. If you are a new student, or need a new card, you will be able to get your card remotely. Visit this link to request, replace, and/or activate an ID card.

Other Resources

Please see the COVID-19 Information Technology Resources page for information on how to contact the Helpdesk, obtaining hardware and software for distance learning, Blackboard and Zoom resources, free or low-cost internet service, and assistive technology services.

Click here to learn more about CUNY SPH’s library services, which can all be accessed online.

Please email CUNY SPH librarian Emily Pagano ( with any questions or concerns or to set up an appointment for a phone call, skype session, live chat, etc.

We will continue to provide student advisement, writing, and quantitative tutoring services via phone/email and through use of digital platforms like Zoom. Please refer to the Student Advising, Writing Assistance, and Quantitative Tutoring pages for more information on these services.

Please check the Fieldwork page for the latest info for students planning to complete their fieldwork in Fall 2020.

Please check the COVID-19 Updates for International Students page for the latest information.

Student Wellness Counselor Sherry Adams is available to provide free and confidential counseling to students experiencing heightened anxiety related to COVID-19 and other emotional health concerns. Please email her at to schedule an appointment. Virtual counseling is available via phone.

Students can view videos of workshops from the Remaining Resilient During the COVID-19 Pandemic Workshop Series, hosted by Sherry Adams:

Please refer to the Counseling and Wellness Services page for information and additional helpful links.

Students who are in need of financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, may apply for a grant from the CUNY SPH Student Emergency Fund. The CUNY SPH Student Emergency Fund is a year round fund which provides grants on a case-by-case basis to students facing acute catastrophic financial hardship. Individuals who apply may be asked to submit supporting documentation to demonstrate their financial need. For more information and to apply, click here.

All student services will be provided remotely including:

  • Accessibility Services (accommodations, awareness events, workshops)
  • Admissions (individual advisement and orientation events)
  • Alumni Network (networking events, holiday parties)
  • Career Services (counseling, job fairs, networking mixers, resume prep)
  • International Student Services (F-1 visas, OPT/STEM advisement)
  • Student Conduct/Title IX (trainings, hearings as guided and permitted by CUNY)
  • Student Government (events, student club events)
  • Veteran Services (individual advisement, events)

There will be no extracurricular activities held on campus during the remote learning/working period.

NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-based Violence – this comprehensive initiative out of the Mayor’s Office details resources such as NYC Family Justice Centers where survivors can get connected to comprehensive, free, and confidential assistance.  It also lists the city’s 24/7 Domestic Violence Hopeline 800-621-HOPE (4673) for immediate safety planning, shelter assistance, and other resources. TTY: 800-810-7444
Housing Justice for All – this advocacy organization’s website provides important information about housing rights and the “Tenant’s Declaration of Hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic” that is sent to both your landlord and housing court:
Swipe Out Hunger – this CUNY student food navigator portal offers free resource referrals and support from peers.

Questions? Concerns?

If you have questions or concerns not answered here, please reach out to Lynn Roberts, Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs (