International Students FAQs

Please refer to Cornell's COVID-19 website as the main source of information on the following topics:

  • Cornell's COVID-19 vaccination requirement
  • How to submit proof of vaccination 
  • Arrival and surveillance testing
  • Move-in information

If you have questions about any of these topics, please submit a support request through Cornell’s COVID-19 Support Center. (Cornell Tech students: please email covid19@tech.cornell.edu.)

COVID-19 vaccination: frequently asked questions

Which international vaccines does Cornell accept?

Please refer to Cornell's Vaccination at Cornell webpage for the most current list of accepted vaccines. Students are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their final dose schedule of an approved vaccine. Proof of vaccination must be uploaded in to the Daily Check. 

What happens if I can’t get vaccinated before coming to campus?

Students who are not able to get vaccinated before coming to campus – or who have received an international vaccine not accepted by Cornell – are expected to be vaccinated at Cornell as soon as possible after arrival. (See Are there special guidelines for students who arrive on campus without being vaccinated? below.)

How do I get vaccinated at Cornell?

Cornell is providing opportunities for students to get vaccinated when they arrive for the fall semester. Visit our COVID-19 Vaccination page to learn how to schedule an appointment at a vaccination clinic or at Cornell Health. (Cornell Tech students may make an appointment with Weill Cornell by emailing pcappt@med.cornell.edu.) 

Which vaccine will Cornell be providing? Can I choose which vaccine I receive?

The Moderna vaccine will be available at Cornell's COVID vaccination clinics. Cornell Health expects to have both Moderna and Pfizer available. Learn more on our COVID-19 Vaccination page.

Is there any cost to getting vaccinated? 

COVID-19 vaccine is provided by the U.S. government at no cost, and providers may charge a vaccine administration fee to cover the cost of the vaccinator.  A COVID-19 vaccine administration fee will be billed to your insurance carrier with no out-of-pocket charge to you (even if your insurance is not in-network with Cornell Health).

Are there special guidelines for students who arrive on campus without being vaccinated (or who have received an international vaccine not accepted by Cornell)? 

Unvaccinated students, including those students who have received a vaccine other than the accepted vaccines noted above, will be required to wear a mask inside Cornell buildings and outdoors when in group settings or when physical distancing is not possible.

Upon arrival, unvaccinated students will be required to receive a COVID test on campus (students do not need to come to campus early for arrival testing; test results are typically available within 24 hours), and must participate in regularly scheduled surveillance testing until fully vaccinated.

More details about arrival and surveillance testing for students in Ithaca will be available on Cornell's COVID-19 website. (Cornell Tech students should refer to the Cornell Tech’s COVID-19 website.)

Are international students required to quarantine upon arrival?

Cornell is not mandating quarantine for international travelers. However, international students are strongly encouraged to follow these CDC guidelines for international travelers with regard to pre- and post-travel testing and quarantine for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Please be aware that New York State may potentially impose quarantine requirements for individuals who have not been vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine. 

Cornell is not able to provide housing for students who are quarantining before the start of the fall semester.

Should I get vaccinated in my home country before coming to the U.S., even if it’s not a vaccine Cornell accepts?

To reduce the risk of COVID infection and disease, you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible, even if the vaccine is not currently accepted by Cornell. Be sure to submit proof of vaccination through Cornell's Daily Check. 

You will be required to get re-vaccinated with an accepted vaccine as soon as possible after arrival at Cornell. 

Is it safe to get re-vaccinated at Cornell if I’ve already gotten a non-approved vaccine in my home country? Will I have to get re-vaccinated right away?

Current CDC guidelines state that “the minimum interval between the last dose of a non-FDA authorized vaccine or a WHO-listed vaccine and an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine is 28 days.” 

If you have received a non-approved COVID vaccine within 28 days of coming to Cornell, please send us a secure message explaining your situation (and include the date(s) of your last vaccine) so we can help you make a plan for getting re-vaccinated at an appropriate time. Log into myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password, and go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements.

If I’m only able to get one of two vaccines in a two-vaccine series before arrival, can I get my second dose at Cornell?

In ideal circumstances, you should obtain your second dose of COVID vaccine from the provider/organization that administered the first dose.

However, if this is not possible, Ithaca students may get a second vaccine at Cornell Health if our supply matches your first vaccine. Please call us at 607-255-5155 to learn more. You may also send a secure message through myCornellHealth and include the date(s) and type of your last vaccine so we can help you make a plan for completing your vaccination series: Log into myCornellHealth using your Cornell netID and password, and go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements. 

(Cornell Tech students should contact Weill Cornell by emailing pcappt@med.cornell.edu.) 

If I’ve recently tested positive for COVID-19, do I need to get vaccinated right away? 

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. However, if you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, current CDC guidelines recommend waiting 90 days before getting vaccinated. If this applies to you, please send us a secure message through myCornellHealth: Log into myCornellHealth using your Cornell netID and password, and go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements. 

If I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine, am I required to get a second dose?

Yes. Students are only considered "fully vaccinated" according to Cornell's standards when they have completed a series of COVID-19 vaccine approved by the following three organizations: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

What happens if my second dose of a two-dose vaccine is the same vaccine but is listed under a different brand name? 

As long as the vaccine is the same, Cornell intends to accept doses with different brand names. Cornell is building an option into the Daily Check proof of vaccination tool to allow students to enter multi-brand two-dose vaccines. If you have not yet entered your first vaccine, please wait to do so until that option is available. If you have already entered your first vaccine – or you have any other questions about this process – please submit a support request through Cornell’s COVID-19 Support Center

Are exemptions considered?

Students may request a medical or religious exemption. See details on our COVID-19 Vaccination page.

Can my parents / family members receive a COVID vaccine? 

Cornell is only able to provide vaccination for students. Family members visiting Ithaca may refer to the Tompkins County Health Department website for information about getting vaccinated in the Ithaca area. Family members may also visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination sites anywhere in the U.S. 

More information: