All you need to know about student COVID-19 testing

Vanderbilt is expanding its testing programs for the on-campus community during the spring semester to help slow the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Student return-to-campus testing

As a reminder, you must take a COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arriving on campus (either a PCR or rapid antigen test) and upload the results to this form. At-home test results will be accepted.

  • If your test result is negative, you can return to campus.
  • If your test result is positive, you must isolate at home consistent with the latest CDC guidance before coming to campus and should notify the Command Center of your positive test result.
    • If you have tested positive in the past 90 days, you are exempt from a pre-semester test and mandatory testing for 90 days if a positive test result is submitted to the Command Center. At the end of 90 days, you will be automatically placed into the appropriate testing protocol based on vaccination status at that time.

If you have had difficulties finding a test, you can test at the Testing Center on Monday, Jan. 17. You should receive your results by the next morning in time for the start of classes.

Questions about testing can be directed to

COVID-19 protocols for students: Asymptomatic testingOngoing student testing programs

The university is expanding the requirements for the existing asymptomatic and sentinel testing programs for students, faculty and on-campus staff. Testing protocols will be as follows:

  • Individuals who have not provided any vaccination documentation will be required to test twice a week. These individuals will not separately be included in the sentinel testing program.
  • Individuals who have provided documentation of completed vaccination but not of a booster will be required to test once a week. These individuals will not separately be included in the sentinel testing program.
  • Individuals who have provided documentation of completed vaccination and a booster will be exempt from asymptomatic testing. These individuals will be included in the sentinel testing program.
    • Sentinel, or random sampling, testing will test groups of asymptomatic community members who are on campus on a rotating basis at the Vanderbilt Testing Center, regardless of their vaccination and booster status. Eligible students will be notified when it is time for them to test.

COVID-19 protocols for students: If you test positiveSymptomatic testing

Students who have moderate to severe symptoms related to COVID-19 can be tested Monday through Friday at the Student Health Center. The Student Health on-call triage line can be reached at 615-322-2427 for additional questions or concerns.

If Student Health is closed, students can also call the VUMC COVID-19 hotline at 888-312-0847 for information about after-hours assessment site availability. Additional options include the Vanderbilt Health walk-in clinics and the Vanderbilt Health clinics at Walgreens. If options listed above are not open and the symptoms are severe enough, students should go to the VUMC emergency department.

An individual who lives on campus awaiting test results should shelter in place in their room or will be moved to quarantine housing, depending on their living situation. Students who live off campus should remain at home off campus, minimizing exposure to others, and keep their instructors informed of their status.

Vanderbilt public health experts will continue to evaluate all testing protocols based on trends in positivity rate and case counts and will update them as needed to protect health and safety as much as possible.

Watch recent virtual town halls for undergraduate students and graduate and professional students on COVID-19 updates and student support.