Vaccine Exemption Appeal Process

Michigan State University requires all faculty, students, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exemptions.  Those limited exemptions are (1) medical; (2) religious; and (3) for students who are taking all online classes during the fall 2021 semester.  The exemptions are set forth in detail in the Covid-19 Directives.  

Faculty, students, and staff who applied for, but were denied, an exemption from the mandatory vaccine requirement may appeal the denial determination by following this appeal process.        

Timeframe for Submitting Appeal

Appeals of a vaccine exemption denial are filed in writing and must specify the basis for appeal in sufficient detail. Appeals must be submitted within five (5) calendar days of the vaccine exemption denial. If a deadline falls on a weekend or university holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next day on which the university is open for business.

The appeal deadline may be extended for good cause, as determined by the Appeal Officer. Good cause is typically found where circumstances outside of an individual’s control would prevent them from complying with the deadline. Requests for extensions should be made to the Appeal Officer before the deadline has expired and explain why there is good cause for the extension.

Appeal Standard

Appeals must demonstrate that the vaccine exemption denial had no reasonable basis in fact. The party filing the appeal bears the burden of proof. 

Appeals will be decided by an Appeal Officer. The Appeal Officer may request more information if needed. 

The Appeal Officer will issue a decision within five (5) calendar days of receiving all information required by the Appeal Officer for the appeal. The Appeal Officer may uphold the vaccine exemption denial determination or determine the decision had no reasonable basis in fact. The decision of the Appeal Officer is final and is not subject to further appeal.

Electronic Submission of Appeal

Appeals of vaccine exemption denial determinations should be submitted electronically to the Appeal Officer at