By CBSBoston.com Staff

AMHERST (CBS) – All UMass Amherst students will be required to get the COVID vaccine by the first day of classes for the fall semester, the school announced Thursday.

In a letter to students and staff, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy says that he is preparing for “normal campus activities” in the fall, including in-person learning and full residence halls.

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“Our efforts will focus on offering students a full residential, in-person college experience in September safely,” said Subbaswamy. “We will require all undergraduate and graduate students who wish to live or learn or conduct research on campus or access campus resources to be fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall semester, on the basis of expected additional state, federal and legal guidance and vaccine availability.”

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Students will be able to request religious and medical exemptions to the policy.

“While recognizing the potential value of working remotely for some future operations, for this fall all employees will be considered on-site, and only hybrid or remote if approved by a unit’s vice chancellor,” Subbaswamy added.

The University’s full operational plan for the fall of 2021 can be found here.

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UMass joins local schools such as Boston University, Emerson College, and Northeastern University in requiring students to get the COVID vaccine before the fall semester.

CBSBoston.com Staff