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Graduate Student FAQs

Q: Under Gov. Pritzker’s executive order, can students choose to be tested rather than be vaccinated, even if they do not meet the requirements for a medical or religious exemption? 

A: Yes. Under the Governor’s executive order, individuals covered by the vaccination requirement can choose to be tested instead of being vaccinated, regardless of the reason for being unvaccinated.

Updated: 9/9/21

Q: Do I need to wear a face covering while on campus?

A: Face covering for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, per state and federal guidance, is an important protection against the spread of the highly contagious and virulent Delta variant of COVID-19. As we return to campus this fall from across the nation and globe, all individuals will wear a face covering indoors. This temporary return to masks for all is a crucial component for returning to full capacity and campus events without having to alternate attendance and reduce capacities, while also reducing the spread of the virus as much as possible. Returning to full capacity will make social distancing difficult, especially in chapel, classrooms and in the Beamer Student Center.

After careful consideration of our community needs, Wheaton plans to return to fully in person and full capacity classes, chapel, and co-curriculars while allowing students and employees to choose whether to be vaccinated. Our goal is to foster a COVID-Safe environment that allows our students to resume as many in-person activities as soon as possible. 

Each Illinois institution has a different set of circumstances (facilities, number of commuter vs. residential students, vaccination rates, etc.) and must adapt to state and federal guidance based on their own circumstances. Several colleges have opted to recommend rather than require face coverings for unvaccinated individuals, while others have decided to require vaccines for all students. In the immediate Chicago area, institutions requiring vaccines for all students include Columbia College Chicago, DePaul, Dominican, Elmhurst, Knox, Lake Forest, Lewis, Loyola, NIU, Northwestern, Roosevelt University, School of the Art Institute, University of Chicago, the College of DuPage, Elgin Community College, and the University of Illinois System. Wheaton, however, has pursued a different path, allowing our students and employees to choose whether to be vaccinated. 

Please remember that these COVID-19 guidelines are not permanent. As with all pandemic protocols, we are monitoring the public health situation carefully and will adapt our policies to pre-pandemic conditions when appropriate. It is our hope that as soon as the public health context allows, we will be able to re-evaluate our campus face covering requirements.

Updated 8/9/21

Q: Will I need to report my COVID-19 vaccination status for the Fall 2021 semester?

A: Yes. All students should complete the Vaccination Attestation Form before coming to campus. This is a secure, HIPPA compliant form that will only be used by Student Health Services. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be uploaded and will be entered into the permanent immunization record in EPIC. These records will remain private and confidential.

Updated 8/9/21  

Q: Will entry COVID-19 testing be required for the Fall 2021 semester?

A: Vaccinated students do not need to show proof of testing on arrival but must upload proof of vaccination to the Vaccination Attestation Form before coming to campus and be prepared to show your vaccine card or a picture of it at check-in. Unvaccinated students must show proof of being COVID-free (a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result, from any country, within the past 72 hours or proof of a positive test result in the past 90 days) at arrival before joining in-person classes and events on campus wearing a face covering when indoors. Students unable to show proof of being COVID-free will need to be tested at Student Health Services M-F or a local pharmacy on the weekends, avoiding in-person classes/events and eating in the dining commons while awaiting results. Check-in procedures for unvaccinated students will be communicated before students arrive.  Only entry and symptomatic testing will be required of unvaccinated graduate students; there will be no weekly testing requirement.

Updated 8/9/21

Q: What are the COVID-Safe requirements for graduate students arriving on campus from an international location?

A: Expectations for students arriving from international locations will depend on their vaccination status. These expectations are consistent with those for all students arriving on campus in August. Students who have informed the College (prior to arrival) of being fully vaccinated by a World Health Organization EOI approved vaccine are not required to quarantine or test when moving into campus. 

Unvaccinated students must show proof of being COVID-free (negative PCR or rapid antigen test result, from any country, within the past 72 hours or proof of a positive test result in the past 90 days) at arrival before joining in-person classes and events on campus wearing a face covering when indoors. Students unable to show proof of being COVID-free will need to be tested at Student Health Services M-F or a local pharmacy on the weekends, avoiding in person classes/events and eating in the dining commons while awaiting results. International students may reach out to Graduate.Student.Life@wheaton.edu with any further questions.

Updated 8/9/21

Q: What if I am unable to come to campus for the Fall 2021 semester but still want to begin/continue my Wheaton studies remotely? 

A: Wheaton College plans to return to its fully residential programming with students studying in person throughout the 2021-2022 academic year. As we return to this model, we recognize that there may be a need for some exceptions to permit remote class offerings on a case-by-case basis. These exceptions will be rare and only for the following COVID-related reasons:

  • Students with documented disabilities as a part of the reasonable accommodation process managed by Learning & Accessibility Services or
  • International (F-1 Visa / MK / TCK) students unable to travel to the U.S. due to airport closures, travel restrictions, or the inability to renew/secure a visa prior to the start of fall 2021 classes. 

Please complete the International Remote Learning Application Form by June 30, 2021. You may need to submit proof of travel restriction, consulate closure, and other relevant documentation. Applications for international remote learning status will be reviewed by a committee including members from the International Student Programs Office and the Graduate Student Life Office. Questions about this application can be sent to graduate.student.life@wheaton.edu.

The ADA Remote Learning Application Form was due by June 15, 2021.

Note that you will need to submit supporting disability documentation by June 30, 2021 to complete your application. Documentation guidelines can be found here. While applications for ADA remote learning status will be reviewed by a committee, your documentation and disability-related information will be held confidentially by the Learning and Accessibility Services (LAS) office. Any questions about the ADA remote learning application should be sent to las@wheaton.edu .

If your application for remote study is not approved and you are unable to study in-person, on campus, your enrollment may be delayed until the spring semester.

Updated 8/9/21

Q: What are the guidelines for use of the Chrouser Sports Complex?

A:

  • As of July 6, 2021, these facilities will be open to all spouses and dependents of faculty and staff!
  • Everyone must use Chrouser Sports Complex’s Facility Reservation System to book a space for exercise. Participants will need to create a username and password using their wheaton.edu or my.wheaton.edu email address. 
  • All individuals must wear a face covering over both the nose and mouth at all times and unvaccinated individuals should practice social distancing from others. 

If you have any questions, please email us at chrouser@wheaton.edu.