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Graduate School

Health Requirements

You'll need to provide proof of immunizations and will be required to have health insurance, either through the university or another approved provider.


Submit Proof of Immunity 

You will submit your immunizations information on MyHealthSpace under "Medical Clearances."


Fall Semester: July 15
Spring Semester: December 1

Who is required to submit immunization records?

All students attending classes on campus must provide proof of immunity to Measles, Mumps and Rubella if you were born after December 31, 1956. 

What happens if I don't submit immunization records?

You will not be able to register for classes until you have submitted your immunization records. 


Online Students Immunization Exemption

Submit Distance Learner Exemption Form 

If immunization records are not provided, online students will need to submit an exemption form every semester on MyHealthSpace under "Downloadable Forms."   Note: submitting immunization records is recommended to expedite access to your registration portal for your first semester and to avoid registration holds each following semester.  

What happens if I don't submit an exemption form?

You will not be able to register for classes until you have submitted an exemption form before each semester.   


Required Health Insurance

Who is required to have health insurance?

  • Graduate students enrolled in 6+ credit hours
  • Graduate assistants
  • International students
  • Students enrolled in School of Medicine graduate programs

University Student Health Insurance Plan

The University Student Health Insurance plan is available to all enrolled graduate students.  

Mandatory Insurance

If you meet the requirements for health insurance listed above, the Mandatory Insurance Fee is set on your Bursar statement (available in  The university sends your information to Academic Health Plans (AHP), the current insurance provider.  AHP sends notification emails with instructions to students to enroll/accept the insurance or waive/opt out.  Once enrolled, you will have access to your insurance card and account numbers. Refer to the University Student Health Insurance Plan for more information.

Voluntary Insurance

If you do not meet the requirements for the mandatory insurance process, you can choose to purchase health insurance through the university.  Enroll in the Voluntary Health Insurance on the AHP enrollment website.  General students will use the USC - Columbia option.  Z-Status students will need to scroll further to select the Voluntary Z-Status option.

  • Who may need to enroll voluntarily?
    • US citizens who are not hired as graduate assistants and who are enrolled in 1-5 credit hours.  This especially pertains to students approved for Special Enrollment/Z-Status  who must enroll via the designated Voluntary Z-Status portal.
    • US citizens who are not hired as graduate assistants and who are enrolled in a fully-online graduate program (shows as a Distance Education concentration in your profile.)
    • Any student admitted in a Summer term who needs insurance must enroll voluntarily in the insurance plan by the June 1 enrollment deadline.
  • How do I pay if I enroll voluntarily?
    • US Citizens approved for Special Enrollment/Z-Status must enroll through the Voluntary Z-Status Student portal (scroll past the campus options) on the AHP website to have billing transferred to their University Bursar statement. 
    • All others must pay the insurance company directly 

Students Who Already Have Health Insurance

Students with health insurance need to waive out of the university health insurance plan if they do not want to be billed for it. 

Waiving Out

You will need to submit proof of your health insurance during the waiver period each term or you will be billed for the university health insurance plan. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Full-time PhD* students and students hired as Graduate Assistants are eligible for the health insurance subsidy.  Refer to the Health Insurance Subsidy page for more information.

*Due to budgetary concerns, non-PhD doctoral students are not eligible for the subsidy unless hired as graduate assistants.

Yes, if enrolled in 6 or more credit hours, graduate students are required to have insurance. However, if your program is formally identified as being fully online, the mandatory insurance requirement is automatically waived. (Students enrolled in a fully online program have a Distance Education concentration showing on their profile.)

Students meeting all criteria listed below need to voluntarily enroll through the Z-Status portal on the AHP website:

  • US Citizen
  •  enrolling in 1-5 credit hours
  •  approved for Z-Status for the current semester
  •  not hired as a graduate assistant
  •  want the insurance coverage


International students do not need to enroll voluntarily. You are automatically set up with the mandatory insurance. However, you will need to respond to the link in the AHP notification email to either accept or waive out of the coverage.

Graduate Assistants whose hire has been fully approved through the HR process will automatically receive the mandatory insurance. You do not need to voluntarily enroll in the plan; however, you will need to respond to the link in the AHP notification email to either accept or waive out of the coverage.

While insurance coverage is mandatory for most graduate students, anyone who is covered under another insurance plan may waive/opt out of the University Student Health Insurance if the other plan provides comparable (or better) coverage. Details are provided on the University Health Services Waive Out webpage.

Note that waiving the student health plan leaves you ineligible for the PhD and GA insurance subsidy. (The university acknowledges and appreciates subsidy-eligible students accepting the financial responsibility of waiving the insurance when other coverage is available.)

When a qualifying event occurs (e.g., loss of other coverage or an actively enrolled student arriving to the US from another country mid-semester), enroll through the portal for Students with a Qualifying Life Event. Contact for more information.

Only the student is covered by the mandatory insurance and the subsidy. However, you may voluntarily enroll your dependents in the AHP Health Insurance plan AFTER you have enrolled and accepted your insurance coverage. Payment for dependent coverage is made directly to the insurance company.

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