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. Columbia University expects all requirements to be met prior to arriving on campus for the respective academic term, not when they arrive in New York City.

Students whose immunization records are not compliant will not be able to:

  • register for classes,
  • move into housing, or
  • participate in orientation activities.

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

Required:

  1. MMR
  2. Meningitis (MenACWY) Decision

Strongly recommended:

  1. COVID-19
  2. Seasonal Influenza

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

Required

New York State Public Health Law and University policy require that all students born on or after January 1, 1957 document immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. Documentation must include proof of two (2) measles vaccines, one (1) mumps vaccine, and one (1) rubella vaccine (can be in the form of 2 combined MMR vaccines) administered at least 28 days apart and after the first birthday (12 months of age) or proof of immunity via a positive blood test (titer).

Pre-matriculation MMR vaccines or titers should be completed before a student arrives to the University.  In the unlikely event vaccines are not available in the location of an incoming student vaccines can be administered on arrival.  Please see our vaccine page for more information, including the required costs.

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

  1. Decline to be vaccinated
  2. Intend 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.

Strongly Recommended

Routine Vaccinations

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. Please take action immediately. Delays in responding to outreach from the University may result in significant processing delays and will not be expedited.

Students can look up their immunization compliance status at any time on the Patient Portal, Medical Clearances section.  

Once your submission is verified as compliant, you will receive a notification on your Columbia email. 

If your submission is not compliant, the Immunization Compliance team will send a message to your Columbia email detailing what is outstanding and steps needed to achieve compliance. 

It can take up to 15 business days to process records. Please note that during peak season, email inquiries about compliance status will experience delays in response. We encourage you to visit the Patient Portal to check your status. 

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 informed meningitis decision certification 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.

You may check your status online to verify your hold has been removed:

  • Morningside/Manhattanville students: via SSOL
  • Teachers College students: via My TC Portal. Go to the Student Account section and click the link for “View Holds”

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. Since it is medically necessary that you wait for at least 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 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.

  • Use the Columbia University Pre-Registration Immunization Form.

  • 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 original document.  Handwritten names added to documents are not acceptable.

  • Ensure any non-English/fully 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.

  • Do not submit links to online documents. We do not open links.

  • 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.

  • Late submissions are never expedited. Submit early!

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

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