Immunization Compliance

New York State public health law and University policy require that all students complete several immunization requirements and submit documentation prior to registering for their first term. ​

Students whose immunization records are not compliant will not be able to register for classes.​  New students may not be permitted to move into housing and may not be permitted to participate in orientation activities.  Columbia University expects all requirements to be met prior to arriving to campus for the respective academic term and students should not expect to meet the pre-matriculation and pre-arrival requirements once in New York City.

New students must submit documentation upon admission or no later than 30 days before registration. ​

  1. MMR
  2. Meningitis (MenACWY)​
  3. COVID-19
  4. Seasonal Influenza (strongly recommended)

Not a Morningside/Manhattanville student? Please refer to your school's immunization compliance information:
CUIMC • Teachers College • Jewish Theological Seminary • Union Theological Seminary 

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Columbia University is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive experience for all students and recognizes medical contraindications to vaccination as well as student observance of their faith as it pertains to the practice of immunization.​

About the Required Vaccines

New York State public health law and University policy requires that all students born on or after January 1, 1957 document immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella.  Documentation must be proof of the vaccines (given on or after the first birthday) or proof of immunity via a blood test.

This requirement applies before a student is permitted to register for their first term at Columbia.  Students that do not achieve compliance on this item may not be permitted to move into Columbia residential spaces or participate in orientation programs.

New York State public health law and University policy require that students must complete a decision form to document one of the following:

  1. Decline to be vaccinated
  2. Intended to be vaccinated in the near future
  3. Have received the ACWY conjugate vaccine in the past 10 years

Those selecting the third option are required to upload proof of the vaccine and are compliant after our team has confirmed the submission meets the requirement.  Those selecting either of the first two options are complete when they submit their decision form.

This requirement applies before a student is permitted to register for their first term at Columbia. Students that do not achieve compliance on this item may not be permitted to move into Columbia residential spaces or participate in orientation programs.

University policy requires that all students provide documentation of the primary COVID-19 vaccinations plus one booster dose, when eligible.  Only vaccines authorized by the US FDA or WHO are accepted to meet this requirement.

Completion of the vaccine process is defined as completion of the primary vaccination and booster dose(s):

  • Primary vaccination
    • At least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine
    • At least 14 days after receiving a single dose vaccine
  • Booster
    • At least 14 days after your booster dose, when eligible: in general, at least two months after the last dose of your primary two-dose series or two months after a single dose COVID-19 vaccination
    • Per CDC guidance as of October 2022, monovalent booster doses are no longer authorized for any ages. Individuals eligible for a booster must receive a bivalent vaccine, widely available at local New York City pharmacies and city-run vaccine sites.

For booster doses received outside the US, Columbia will continue to accept all vaccines that are approved by the US FDA or the WHO, though Pfizer and Moderna are preferred if the person received a non-FDA approved vaccine/vaccine series.

All students are expected to complete the vaccine process at least 14 days before first accessing University facilities or participating in University-approved activities to ensure they are considered fully vaccinated. Students that do not achieve compliance on this item may not be permitted to move into Columbia residential spaces or participate in orientation programs.

Note for continuing students

All Fall 2022 students, incoming and returning, must complete the primary vaccination and booster(s) (if eligible) in order to register for, or remain registered for, Fall 2022 courses. Continuing students that register in the spring/summer and fail to complete this requirement are subject to de-registration from fall courses before the start of the Fall 2022 term.

Columbia University strongly recommends that students receive, or provide documentation they have received, the seasonal influenza vaccine annually.

Columbia Health recommends that students receive all routine childhood vaccinations. Learn more about these vaccines and how to receive one.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Students

Students that intend to access campus for any reason at any time, including those registered only for online courses, are subject to this requirement. Any student that fails to complete the requirement or has not received an approved medical or religious exemption for the required vaccines shall not be permitted to access University facilities nor engage in any in-person, University-recognized activities.

Immunization Requirement by Student Type

Employee/Student

Employees that are registered for classes, including online and audit only, are considered students and must comply with the vaccine requirement.  This requirement applies even if the primary purpose for access to University facilities is a role other than student.

Yes. You will be notified via your Columbia email address only if you need to provide additional information.

Immunization records are processed in order of receipt and based on school/program specific deadlines. At the start of the academic semester, it may take a few days for your documentation to be processed and for the hold to be removed. You should also check that you have properly completed the online meningococcal meningitis requirement.

Please allow up to 15 business days for processing.  Documents submitted less than 30 days before registration are considered late and will not be expedited.  Please submit early to ensure sufficient time for processing and any follow-up that may be required.

Students can always check their hold status by logging into their SSOL account.  Additionally, Columbia Health sends notification messages to students University email after they have met all current requirements.

Sometimes. 

Once we have verified your proof of having received the 1st dose, you will be able to register for classes (MMR) or access campus (COVID-19). Since it is medically necessary that you wait for at least 21-28 days between vaccines, you are granted temporary compliance for 28 days from the date on which the first dose was administered. You will become fully compliant only by submitting proof of the second dose. If you are eligible for the next dose but have not received it you are not permitted to register.

Students that fail to receive the second dose in a timely manner may be subject to de-registration from all courses or blocked from accessing campus, and may not receive tuition and fee refunds.

Columbia Health makes every effort to protect the privacy of submitted information.  Please review our Notice of Privacy Practices and Vaccine Status Privacy Notice for more details.

  • Upload your items as one, complete, set.  If you submit items in parts you will experience significant delays in achieving compliance.

  • Ensure all documents contain your name and date of birth as part of the document.

  • Ensure any non-English/bilingual documents are accompanied by a certified translation (at the student's expense).  Self-translations are never permitted and the acceptance of any non-English document is at the sole discretion of Columbia Health.

  • Check your uploads before confirming/submitting for review to ensure they are complete and readable.   

  • Do not redact documents. We do not accept any documents containing any redactions.

  • Do not password protect documents. We do not accept password protected items.

  • Check your Columbia email for outreach from our team.  You are responsible for any action items stated in the email and any delays in responding to outreach from the University may result in significant processing delays and will not be expedited.

To ensure the best experience with completing your immunization compliance experience please note and utilize these best practices.

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