CIIS has been following CDC guidelines and attending the regular SF Health Department briefings about Covid-19 to be sure we are taking all recommended actions to provide a safe and healthy campus environment for everyone. As of September 15, 2021, we are requiring proof of vaccination to enter our buildings. While San Francisco and CIIS have both done an excellent job keeping transmission rates low, with the variants in the virus and increased ease of transmission with variants, we feel we must take this step.  We joined with over 500 other institutions locally and nationally requiring full vaccination to enter CIIS buildings at both our Mission Street and Arkansas Street campuses since September 15, 2021.

We understand that this is a decision that will impact our community and we are not taking it lightly.  We would like to have felt comfortable taking and communicating it a bit earlier.  However, with information currently available to us we think it is the correct decision and will allow us to provide a safe and energetic return to campus for everyone.

Initially all students and employees entering campus will need to complete a short online health screening form daily, that affirms that they are fully vaccinated and are not experiencing any COVID symptoms. Here is a direct link to that form Health Screen Form, which we encourage you to bookmark. Expect to see further information soon about the service we will be using to track vaccination status as required by Cal/OSHA. For verification purposes you are considered to be “fully vaccinated” two weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

We also recognize that, in rare instances, members of our community with verified medical vulnerability or sincerely held religious belief, might qualify for exemption. A process for requesting exemption will be announced shortly. Documentation will be required and an alternative protocol, including regular testing, will be outlined as part of that process. New F-1 students should be in communication with Jody O’Connor, Associate Director of Student Affairs, International Students (, regarding meeting visa eligibility requirements.

Vaccination appointments are now widely available through and many places now accept walk-ins with no appointments.  The City and County of San Francisco also hosts a web site that helps in finding vaccine appointments for those who live, work, or learn in San Francisco. We know that the timeline is tight, but becoming fully vaccinated by September 15, 2021 is possible, and we are committed to helping facilitate the process as needed.

Our vaccine requirement does not mean that we will be dropping other safety protocols related to COVID-19. We have upgraded our HVAC system to provide substantially better air circulation, we continue comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting of our facilities, and we will abide by any regulations related to social distancing and masking. 

Vaccine Verification

Find out more about CIIS's Vaccine Verification Process

Requesting an Exemption to the Covid-19 Vaccine Requirement

California Institute of Integral Studies is an accredited university that strives to embody spirit, intellect, and wisdom in service to individuals, communities, and the earth. We are a special, unique place, a personal learning environment within a supportive community, beloved by its members. In line with our mission and educational philosophy, vaccination against Covid-19 is required because near-universal immunization of a close-knit campus community protects all members: students, staff, and faculty alike.

CIIS also recognizes that in rare instances, individuals’ health conditions or religious commitments may rise to level of a necessary exemption. A person’s personal attitudes, beliefs, or preferences are not grounds for an exemption. In order to request an exemption for either medical reasons or religious commitment, please use one of the forms below. 

Medical exemption form

Religious exemption form

Your request, and supporting documentation, will be reviewed by a panel comprised of the following appointed individuals: Dean of Students, Director of Human Resources, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Director of Accessibility and Accommodation Services.  

If granted exemption, you will be expected to follow an alternative protocol for the health and safety of the community. This will include regular Covid-19 testing, verification of results, use of masks at all times while indoors, including rest break and bathroom facilities, use of mask while outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others, and in other settings as deemed necessary by the CIIS Director of Operations. Your exemption status will be kept confidential and use of masks by vaccinated individuals will continue to be an accepted community norm and as designated as a requirement by the City and County of San Francisco. For mask requirement accommodation requests, please submit a separate request to HR (if you are faculty or staff) or the Office of Student Accessibility Services (if you are a student). Additional documentation will be required.

Deadline to submit your request for vaccine exemption is August 6, 2021.  

Deadline to submit additional supporting documentation, including as requested by the review panel, is August 13, 2021.

For questions or concerns about this process, please email:

Stay Connected to CIIS