WORCESTER (CBS) — The nine schools in the Massachusetts State University system are the latest to announce they’ll be requiring students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before they can return to campus this fall.

Bridgewater, Fitchburg, Framingham, Salem, Westfield and Worcester State Universities, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy make up the nine schools.

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“Prior to the beginning of the fall semester and following state, federal and legal guidance, the Massachusetts State Universities will require all students to be fully immunized before returning to campus for the start of the fall semester,” said Dr. James F. Birge, president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and chair of the Massachusetts State University Council of Presidents, in a statement “Student safety and the safety of our communities remains at the forefront of our planning as we prepare to return to in-person learning and campus life in the fall.”

The nine schools are just the latest higher education institutions in Massachusetts to announce a coronavirus vaccine requirement. Last week UMass Amherst announced it will require students to get the vaccine. But the state’s community colleges said they will not be requiring vaccinations, explaining that they don’t want to create any barriers to education.

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The state university presidents didn’t say if staff vaccines would be a requirement, but said they “expect that all employees will also be fully vaccinated prior to the start of the fall semester.”

“We are sharing this information now to give students, their families and our employees ample time to make plans to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall term,” Birge said.

Students will be offered a traditional in-person class schedule as well as online and hybrid options this fall.

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