Immunization Requirements for Incoming Students

Please complete the following form before your visit:

Immunization Form

Submit your form by fax: 803-777-3960 or by mail: Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic, 1401 Devine St., Columbia, SC 29208. For questions, please call 803-777-9511. We thank you for your patience, as there may be a delay when calling due to the high call volume.


The immunization clinic offers a full range of vaccines to students, faculty and staff to meet the requirements of the University and their individual needs.

The University follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College Health Association's recommendations regarding immunizations for college students.

Immunization requirements must be met and on file at Student Health Services before a student can register for classes. Students should have their immunization form sent to the Clinic before their orientation date.

If your immunization record form has been submitted and is incomplete, Student Health Services will send a postcard notifying you.

Required Immunizations

1. Two doses of MMR (Measles, mumps, and rubella).

    Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Due to high vaccination rates, outbreaks of measles, mumps and rubella in the U.S. are not as common as they were before the vaccine. However, these diseases still appear in the U.S., and people who decide not to vaccinate their students put them and others at risk for getting these diseases. As of May 1, 2015, measles infected 169 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia in 2015.

2. Meningococcal vaccine for students 21 and under

    Meningitis is an infection around the brain and spinal cord and is spread through the exchange of nose and throat droplets, such as when an infected person is coughing or sneezing or kissing another person. About one of every ten people who get the disease dies from it.

    Two meningitis outbreaks occurred at Princeton University and University of California, Santa Barbara, during the 2013-2014 academic year. While that strain of meningitis (serogroup B) is not the same as the one that the required vaccine protects against, it shows that outbreaks can and do occur.

    Six meningitis strain B cases were confirmed during the spring 2015 semester at the University of Oregon; one of the students died in February 2015 from the disease. While not required by USC at this time, it is strongly recommended that students under age 21 get the strain B vaccine. For more information about meningitis strain B and the vaccine to protect against it, visit click here.

3. Tuberculosis screening (if you are a student who has arrived within the past five years from countries where TB is endemic)

Recommended Immunizations
1. Gardasil* (for females age 11 to 26 for bivalent and quadrivalent vaccine and males 9 to 26 for quadrivalent vaccine)
2. Hepatitis B
3. Varicella (chicken pox)
4. Tetanus - Diphtheria - Pertussis (Tdap)

Immunization exemptions
Students may be exempt from the above immunizations on grounds of permanent medical contraindication, conflicting religious beliefs, or enrolling in only distance education courses and will not be attending any classes on the USC-Columbia campus.

Why Immunizations Are Important

    The University follows the CDC and American College Health Association's recommendations regarding immunizations for college students. We encourage all students, parents and guardians to learn more about the serious communicable diseases and to make an informed decision regarding protection.

    All incoming students are required to submit a completed immunization record / form by their orientation date, or they can experience delays in registering for classes. Immunization records / forms must be submitted by move-in day. Students who fail to submit the required form will not be permitted to move in to their residence halls or to attend classes, which will be dropped from their schedules on the first day of class.

    Immunization requirements must be met and on file at Student Health Services before a student registers for classes. In order to avoid excessive waiting times, students should have all of their immunization requirements and form sent to the Allergy/Immunization & Travel Clinic prior to their orientation date.

    Other Things to Consider

    In addition to the required vaccinations that guard against certain illnesses, there are other factors to consider like a new strain of meningitis, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and a resurgence of tuberculosis. We remind students that they do live in close quarters – they live, learn, work & play in close proximity to many others, so they may be at an increased risk of contracting diseases. If a student is feeling ill, they need to visit the Thomson Student Health Center or seek medical attention at the onset of symptoms.

Allergy Shot Information

    Students, faculty and staff may bring their serum and orders from their allergists and receive shots at our clinic. An appointment is required along with fee for services. Please call with any questions.

GARDASIL Information

    GARDASIL, a quadrivalent, three-shot vaccine spaced weeks apart, protects against HPV (Human Papilloma Virus).

    In girls and young women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases. 

    In boys and young men ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 90% of genital warts cases.

    The CDC recommends all female college students 11-26 years old should receive either bivalent or quadrivalent (GARDASIL) vaccine. It also recommends males 9-26 years old receive GARDASIL.

    The quadrivalent vaccine is indicated for prevention of cervical cancers and precancers, anal cancer and anal intraepithelial dysplasia, and genital warts. The bivalent vaccine is indicated for prevention of cervical cancers and precancers. 

    The Allergy/Immunization and Travel Clinic at Thomson Student Health Center offers GARDASIL to students. 

    Read the GARDASIL Vaccine Information Statement issued by the CDC here.

    Visit the GARDASIL Website here and get the facts about HPV.

    If you're interested in getting the vaccine, call 803-777-3175 to set up an appointment.

    Download the immunization form here
    Submit your form by fax: 803-777-3960 or by mail: Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic, 1401 Devine St., Columbia, SC 29208. For questions, please call 803-777-9511. We thank you for your patience, as there may be a delay when calling due to the high call volume.

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