Frequently asked questions
Where can I find my Health Requirement forms?
The forms you must complete are provided through myCornellHealth, our secure patient portal. Log in with your Cornell NetID (please allow two working days after you activate your NetID for Cornell Health to receive your information from the Registrar), then go to “Medical Clearances.”
Detailed instructions about completing your requirements can be found on these pages:
Is COVID-19 vaccination required for new students?
Cornell will NOT require new students entering in summer or fall 2023 to submit proof of COVID vaccination. See the university statement here.
Why can't I log in to myCornellHealth?
Please allow two-three working days after you activate your NetID for Cornell Health to receive your information from the Registrar. After that point you should be able to log in to myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password.
If, after three days, you are still having difficulty logging in, please email Cornell Health at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How should I submit my Health Requirement forms?
Forms should be submitted through myCornellHealth in "Medical Clearances." Specific instructions are provided with each form.
How can I confirm my immunization compliance status?
When you have met your immunization requirements, we will update your status on your New Student To Do List (due to high volume, the review of all of your documents may take 3-4 weeks for students starting in the fall, and up to 2 weeks for students starting in the spring).
Additionally, please note:
- When you submit a form through myCornellHealth, the status for that item may change to "Compliant." This does not mean that your information has been reviewed and approved by Cornell Health staff.
- The Medical Clearances menu option in myCornellHealth may continue to say "Not Satisfied" after you've submitted all of your forms and documentation. This prompt can be ignored; it will continue to appear as long as any non-required items remain on your list.
- The To Do list indicates immunization compliance only. You may have additional forms you must submit as well (if you are missing any, we will email you; see below).
If your materials are found not to be in compliance, we will send an email to your Cornell address directing you to log in to myCornellHealth to view a secure message about what’s is missing from your information and/or documentation.
Precollege Studies & Continuing Education / Summer Sessions students: You do not have a New Student To Do List. If your materials are found not to be in compliance, we will send an email to your Cornell address directing you to log in to myCornellHealth to view a secure message about what’s is missing from your information and/or documentation.
What do I do if I receive a message from Cornell Health telling me my health information does not meet Cornell's requirements?
Read the message carefully. It will instruct you what to do next.
If the problem is with immunizations and/or TB screening tests, please go to Addressing Compliance Problems for assistance.
Can I print copies of my forms?
Unfortunately, our health forms system does not provide an option for printing electronic forms. The only way to "copy" those forms is to take screen shots as you go. (We regret the inconvenience, and are working with our vendor to remedy this problem in the future.)
You may, however, make copies of any of the forms that are accessed by pdf. We encourage you to keep copies of the Physical Examination Form and any official health records you submit to Cornell Health.
I am not going to make the deadline to submit my information. Is this a problem?
If you are unable to meet the deadline, you must contact Cornell's Requirements Office before your Requirements submission deadline to let them know.
Send a secure message through our patient portal: Log in to myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password, and go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or attachment to Immunization Requirements.
See "What can I do if I'm unable to complete the new student health requirements prior to arriving at Cornell?" below for additional information.
I am a returning student. Do I need to complete New Student Health Requirements?
You likely still have some information you need to provide. Please go to the Medical Clearance list at myCornellHealth to complete any outstanding forms.
Do I have to have a physical exam?
Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in Ithaca:
- A physical examination is required for all Intercollegiate/NCAA athletes. The Sports Clearance Form must be completed by a health care provider and submitted with the Physical Examination Form.
- A physical examination within the past 18 months is recommended for all other students. This will give you an opportunity to consult with your health care provider about immunizations, prescriptions, pre-existing conditions, and any health care concerns or needs you have.
A physical examination is not required for Cornell Tech students, and students enrolled through Precollege Studies and the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions.
What are the immunization and TB screening requirements?
Please review the requirements for your specific student status, as instructions vary for each population:
Where can I get my immunization records?
Check for official immunization records at any school you have attended, or your health care provider's office. Military records also are accepted. All records must be in English. You may also have your health care provider complete an Immunization Documentation form (pdf) that you can submit as official documentation.
What if I don't have access to my immunization records?
If you do not have official immunization records, you should get immunized (or re-immunized) by your health care provider before coming to Cornell. If you are certain you have been immunized for measles, mumps and rubella, and/or Varicella but don't have documentation of the immunization or a physician-diagnosed illness, you should ask a clinician to do a protective antibody titer (blood test) to prove your immunity.
Be sure to get official documentation of any new immunizations / titers to submit to Cornell Health.
What can I do if I'm unable to complete the new student health requirements prior to arriving at Cornell?
Students who are unable to meet their requirements because they lack access to required immunizations, TB screening, and/or a health care provider, must contact Cornell Health’s Requirements Office before the requirements submission deadline to consult with staff and make a plan for meeting their health requirements as soon as they get to campus.
Requirements may be met at Cornell Health, or in New York City.
Students in Ithaca:
You may receive all required vaccinations, as well as TB screening, at Cornell Health (charges may apply). See details below.
Cornell Tech students:
If you will be on the Ithaca campus before the start of your program, please you may receive your required vaccinations / TB screening at Cornell Health. Otherwise, please see instructions for Cornell Tech Students to find out how to meet your requirements in New York City.
How can I get my required immunizations at Cornell Health?
You should start by scheduling an online Health Requirements Consultation with a member of our Requirements team to discuss what requirements you are missing, and how to come in to compliance. During the consultation (conducted by Zoom), the Requirements representative will assist you with scheduling any immunization appointment(s) you may need when you arrive on campus.
To schedule your Health Requirements Consultation, log in to myCornellHealth and go to Appointments > Schedule an appointment > New Student Health Requirements consultation. You may also contact Cornell Health’s Requirements Office to consult with a requirements representative.
How much does it cost to meet my requirements at Cornell Health?
Charges to receive all immunizations and TB testing may cost up to $900.
- Charges for required immunizations and TB screening tests are covered by Cornell’s Student Health Plan (nearly all international students are on SHP) with no out-of-pocket costs for plan members.
- If you have other insurance, the charges will be billed to your insurance if Cornell Health is in-network with your insurance plan, or directly to you if your plan is out of network. Your out-of-pocket costs will depend on your insurance coverage.
Is there a penalty for not meeting my requirements?
Students who fail meet their health requirements, or otherwise contact Cornell Health’s Requirements staff or apply for an immunization exemption, by the published deadline(s) are subject to progressive penalties, culminating in disenrollment from the university.
See information specific to your student status for deadlines and penalties:
What should I do if my immunization records are not in English?
All health records you provide to Cornell Health must be in English. You and your health care provider may translate them. Please make sure your health care provider signs any translated records to authenticate the information.
What do I do if the names of immunizations in the United States are different than those in my home country?
Please send us your immunization records (translated into English, if applicable), and we will compare the immunizations you have received with immunizations given in the U.S.
If your immunizations do not meet Cornell's requirements, we will contact you by secure message to give you instructions. (You will receive an email at your Cornell email address to request that you log in to myCornellHealth to retrieve your message.)
Can I get my tuberculosis (TB) screening test in my home country?
- Yes ... if you are able to get one of the tests Cornell requires: Quantiferon-TB Gold or T-SPOT blood test. Skin tests do not meet this requirement.
- If your TB test result was positive, you also must submit a chest x-ray report (no films, please).
- If you cannot get one of the required tests at home, you must get your test as soon as you arrive at Cornell.
- See answer to the question above: "What can I do if I'm unable to complete the new student health requirements prior to arriving at Cornell?"
Please visit our Health Records page for information.
Can I apply for an exemption from Cornell's immunization requirements?
Immunization requirements are in place to protect the health of the community. Therefore, only two exemptions (medical and religious) are allowed under state law for immunizations required by New York State.
Important: Should you request and be approved for an exemption from New York State’s immunization requirements, please note that in the event of an outbreak of measles, mumps, or rubella on campus, New York State law will require you to leave campus (even if you live in a Cornell residence hall or apartment or have a Cornell Dining contract) until the New York State and/or Tompkins County Whole Health (our local health department) has declared it safe for you to return. You will not be permitted to attend classes, laboratories, exams, or paid or volunteer positions, or to participate in any other campus activity. Your own assessment of the risk your presence on campus might pose to you or others will not factor in their decision.
TYPES OF EXEMPTIONS:
Two types of exemptions may be pursued for New York State-required immunizations:
Medical exemption: A medical exemption request must be written by the student’s physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner and state that a valid contraindication to vaccination exists. The exemption must specify which immunizations are contraindicated and why, and how long the medical contraindication will last.
Religious exemption: A religious exemption request is a written and signed statement from the student that they object to immunization due to their religious beliefs (parent or guardian signature required of students less than 18 years of age). The statement must address all of the following elements:
(1) Explain in your own words why you are requesting this religious exemption.
(2) Describe your religious tradition and the principles that guide your objection to immunization.
(3) Indicate whether you are opposed to all immunizations, and if not, the religious basis that prohibits particular immunizations.
Prior religious exemption statements addressed to other institutions are not considered valid.
Philosophical exemption requests will not be considered.
APPLYING FOR AN EXEMPTION:
Upload your medical exemption request documentation or religious exemption request by logging in to myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password and selecting Messages > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements.
Deadlines for exemption requests:
Deadlines for exemption requests are the same as deadlines for compliance with NYS and university immunization requirements. Please refer to the relevant health requirements instructions for deadlines. Exemption requests and/or documentation received after 11:59 pm on the published deadline will be denied.
Medical and/or religious exemption requests that have been denied will not be reconsidered during the same academic year, unless there is a change in your medical circumstances.
The principles of academic integrity apply to the exemption process. Requests demonstrating a lack of integrity, such as faked medical documentation or plagiarized religious exemption requests, will be denied with a mandated referral for the student to meet with an academic advisor within 5 days of the date of the denial notification to discuss the significance of academic integrity. The student must then resubmit an exemption request that is free from the concerns raised in their first request by 11:59 pm on the day after that meeting.
If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed in these FAQs, please contact our Requirements Office through one of the following methods:
- Send a secure message through our patient portal: Log in to myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password, and go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or attachment to Immunization Requirements
- Or call us during business hours: 607-255-4364 (Monday–Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time)
Please note that email is not a secure means to communicate about private health information (read about our confidentiality practices).