Current Rice University COVID policies:

Vaccination Policy

President Biden’s Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors requires all Rice employees to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, unless they’re granted a medical or religious exemption. Rice does accept federal contracts, so we must comply with this order.

Rice’s Office of General Counsel, together with Human Resources, has prepared a document that details how Rice will implement this requirement. The Executive Order applies to all Rice full-time and part-time employees, including student hourly workers. Undergraduate and graduate students who are not Rice employees (such as graduate students only paid on stipends) are not covered by the Executive Order. As a result of the Executive Order, every staff and faculty member who is on campus, or will come to any campus building, will have to be fully vaccinated and provide proof that you’re fully vaccinated (if you have not already done so) by January 4, or seek a medical or religious exemption. The vaccination requirement policy is available here. It has specific instructions on what each of us who work at Rice must do to comply with the executive order.

Vaccine boosters will be required for all employees and students, effective Jan. 10, if it has been at least six months since you finished your two-shot Pfizer or Moderna regime. If you had the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, you are not required to wait six months and you should get boosted with a second dose of vaccine as soon as possible. This requirement applies to all employees and students who come to campus unless they are granted a medical or religious exemption. There is strong evidence that if you get a booster shot, you are far less likely to be infected with any of the SARS-CoV-2 variants including omicron – and if you become infected, you are much less likely to become seriously ill. As a reminder, the booster shot takes two weeks to be fully effective, and you must update your vaccination status with your booster information here.

Face Mask Policy

Indoors: Face coverings are must be worn indoors at all times except:

  • When you're in your residential dorm suite.
  • When alone in your office or space only used by you with the door closed
  • If you are faculty providing classroom instruction while maintaining 10' distance

Outdoors: Masks are not required outdoors.


Testing Policy

Our large-scale testing program began in the fall semester with qRT-PCR testing from Baylor Genetics and Methodist Hospital, and an experimental LAMP test from Rice University. Symptomatic testing will be offered on campus

  • Faculty and staff who are vaccinated must test once every two weeks.
  • Students (graduates and undergraduates) must test once every two weeks.
  • All unvaccinated people must continue to test twice a week.
  • You may test more often at your discretion, as testing capacity allows.

To provide proof of vaccination:

To schedule a test, CLICK HERE.


Gathering Size and Occupancy Limits

Indoor gatherings, including classes, are limited to 50 people through Jan. 24. and must be in compliance with the university face mask policy.

Room occupancy limits. We are not currently reestablishing the COVID-19 occupancy limits on rooms, nor will there be any changes to university housing levels at this time.


Travel Policy:

  • There are no restrictions on faculty or graduate student travel.
  • All international travel must be registered at TRAVELREGISTRY.RICE.EDU. More information on travel is available here: TRAVEL