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Visit the Return to Campus page for graduate and professional students for the most up-to-date information about Vanderbilt's plans for fall.


UPDATE: Graduate Student Spring Semester COVID-19 Testing

The asymptomatic testing program for the spring semester for graduate students has been announced.  All graduate students who participate in regular in-person on-campus related activities will be included in this testing program, which includes up to weekly mandatory testing. 

Asymptomatic testing is mandatory for all graduate students who are authorized to be on campus.  This includes students who are remote only but live in the Nashville area. 

Full details on the testing program, including information on arrival testing, symptomatic testing through the Student Health Center, compliance and exemptions is available on the Return to Campus website.


Welcoming the new vice provost for graduate education and dean

We are proud to announce that André Christie-Mizell has been named the new vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School.  Christie-Mizell is the first dean to hold this new position, which was designed to offer additional support to our graduate students while also elevating the overall caliber and impact of graduate education at Vanderbilt. Dean Christie-Mizell, a professor of psychology, has made immense contributions to Vanderbilt, both in his current role as dean for undergraduate education and in shaping the university's planning and adaptive teaching efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about our new vice provost for graduate education and Dean in MyVU, and join us in welcoming him to this new role!


In-class reading days, Spring 2021

In order to build in wellness time for students during the spring semester, the university is incorporating four new in-class reading days. These periods will take place on February 23-24 and April 7-8. During these dates, Vanderbilt does not intend to hold any extracurricular required programming, and classes will still meet on these in-class reading days.  Faculty have been asked to refrain from scheduling exams or major assignment due dates on these days or immediately following these periods. 

University leadership is asking students not to travel outside of the greater Nashville area at any time during the semester, including during any of these reading days.

Visit the Return to Campus website to view the message from the Provost regarding these reading days.


Domestic travel

Graduate and professional students should communicate with their program advisors about any request to leave the Nashville area during the semester because of extenuating circumstances, and to discuss methods to mitigate risk of transmission upon their return to Nashville.

Graduate students who are planning to travel for winter break holidays and plan to return to Nashville and campus for in-person activities before the start of in-person spring semester classes must check with their school's/programs protocols and may be required to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus activities. 

Global@Vanderbilt has prepared an informative reference for Traveling During COVID-19.  View this FAQ on the Return to Campus site for more information on personal travel.


COVID-19 Testing

The periodic COVID-19 testing program has concluded for the fall semester.  Students who need testing are encouraged to visit one of the free Nashville and Tennessee assessment sites. In Nashville, call the Metro Public Health COVID-19 Information Hotline at 615-862-7777 to speak to a representative and referral to a Metro Community Assessment Center for testing. Students may also consider in-network providers CareNow or American Family Care in the area for their testing needs.

The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) currently provides access to COVID-19 testing free of charge as long as the test is ordered by a licensed medical provider and FDA authorized. Free access to testing is currently being offered through January 20, 2021. The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) also provides access to COVID-19 treatment free of charge from in-network providers through December 31, 2020. Beginning October 22, 2020, the out-of-network deductible and copays will apply for students seeking COVID-19 treatment from out-of-network providers.

In addition, students who may or need or wish to be tested after returning to their home region should explore their local testing options via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. In the event that local testing sites are not a viable option, students also can consider purchasing a test kit online at their own expense.

Information on COVID-19 treatment coverage is available on the Return to Campus Student Health Insurance FAQs.


Spring 2021 Open Enrollment

Open enrollment begins in December.  Refer to the Graduate School Academic Calendar for all important dates and deadlines; spring open enrollment dates are listed below. Select a link below to add dates to your calendar.

Important dates, Fall 2020:
  • In-person, on-campus classes began Monday, August 24 and will conclude Friday, November 20.
  • The final two weeks of the semester, including final exams, will occur remotely.
  • Registration window for Spring 2021 is November 9 through 20.
  • The semester ends Sunday, December 13.


Fall 2020 - Health, Safety and Compliance

The Vanderbilt community has rigorously implemented a series of required guidelines to minimize spread of COVID-19 on campus. The university has gone to great lengths to address safety in buildings and classrooms, and to provide critical navigation guides so that you can traverse campus in the safest possible way. With us each making the conscious and conscientious decision to commit to the public health guidelines, out of respect for the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and friends and in the self-interest of the progress of your own research and scholarship, we can and will make the fall semester successful.

Acknowledgement Form

All members of the Vanderbilt community, including graduate students are required to complete the COVID-19 Return to Campus Acknowledgement prior to participating in any on-campus activities, including in-person classes, work, or research. The Acknowledgment explains the university’s guiding principles and related plans associated with the return to campus, describes certain guidelines and protocols that campus community members will be required to follow, and requests each person to confirm that they will cooperate to protect the health and safety of our campus community.

Symptom Monitoring

Campus-wide approaches to safety and the practice of physical distancing are important because individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive. Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus. Daily symptom monitoring is mandatory and it is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. Graduate students must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus or participate in activities on campus. 

To facilitate the ease of self-monitoring, install the VandySafe app and use the self-assessment symptom monitoring tool.  Having problems with the app?  Contact during business hours for assistance. 

You can also access the self-assessment tool by going to from a computer or laptop.

Classrooms and Campus Protocols
  • Course schedules may include some evening and weekend classes, a blend of virtual and alternative and in-person learning, and other approaches.
  • All courses will have options for delivery through virtual and alternative platforms to provide for students who cannot return to campus due to travel restrictions or health risks, and for those students who need to be in self-isolation or quarantine during the semester.
  • Students must wear appropriate face mask/covering while in public spaces on campus, including during class.
  • Students and faculty must be appropriately physically distanced in the classroom consistent with the university requirement of six feet of separation

Remember to follow the safety guidelines listed in Anchor Down. Step Up. 

  • Mask Up:  Wear a face mast/covering in public settings
  • Back Up:  Maintain six feet of physical distance from others, and avoid large gatherings
  • Wash Up: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
  • Check Up:  Monitor yourself daily for COVID-19 symptoms

These protocols are just as important off campus and in your personal life as they are on campus and in your educational activities. We ask you to resolve to the continued commitment of responsible behaviors both on and off campus that will keep you and others as safe as possible.