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University Health Services

University Health Services (UHS), the campus health center, cares for University of Massachusetts Amherst students, faculty, and staff, along with their spouses, domestic partners, and dependents. For the latest news and information, visit

The UHS team of experts includes board-certified physicians, along with nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, optometrists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and certified medical assistants. Specialists in areas such as acupuncture, mind/body medicine, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, and sports medicine also have office hours at UHS.

UHS offers on-site physical therapy, allergy and travel medicine clinics, and pharmacy, optical, radiology, and laboratory services. The Health Education department’s college health specialists provide information on smoking, stress management, sexual health, alcohol and drug concerns, nutrition and eating disorders, violence prevention, gambling, and other issues.

Locations and Hours
Located in the Central Residential Area, near Franklin Dining Commons, UHS is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the academic semester; during January and summer intersession, hours are 8 a.m.-midnight. Some departments have different schedules; call before coming in.

For routine care, appointments are recommended; call 577-5101. A triage nurse answers general questions and directs callers to treatment; call 577-5229 between 8 a.m and 8 pm.; after hours, call the main number, 577-5000. A walk-in clinic serves patients needing immediate medical attention. In a life-threatening emergency, call 911 for transportation to a hospital.

Mental health services are located in Hills North, a separate building also near Franklin Dining Commons. Services include crisis intervention; short-term therapy for individuals, couples, families and groups; medication management; and consultation and education.

For an appointment, call 545-2337 weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; a same-day screening matches callers with appropriate services. Emergency services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; after hours, on weekends or holidays, call the UHS main number, 577-5000.

Health Insurance
Massachusetts requires full-time college students to have primary health care insurance.

Students who do not already have insurance, or whose plan will not meet their needs while at school, can take advantage of the university-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). The plan meets state requirements and offers benefits for physician office visits, hospitalization, emergency room care, x-ray and lab services, prescription drugs, and more.

Students taking five or more credits are automatically enrolled in SHIP, and charged on the semester’s tuition bill.

Those who want family insurance, are taking fewer than five credits, or are a degree-seeking Continuing and Professional Education student must come to UHS Patient Services to enroll. Charges will be forwarded to the Bursar’s Office for inclusion on the semester tuition bill.

U.S. students who already have comparable coverage under another major medical insurance plan can waive the plan; international students are required to maintain SHIP coverage. Commonwealth Choice plans do not offer comparable coverage; students with these plans are not eligible to waive SHIP. Those covered by a Commonwealth Care plan should contact their insurance carrier to verify their status. Students who are no longer eligible for Commonwealth Care must call UHS’s Patient Services department to be enrolled in the SHIP.

Students with comparable coverage can waive the SHIP. The online waiver process must be completed online before the end of the Add/Drop period. SPIRE and the UHS website provide links to the waiver site.

Student Health Fee
A mandatory Student Health Fee is added to the tuition bills of all students taking five or more credits per semester.

The fee is not insurance, but works together with students’ primary plan, entitling them to be seen at UHS and absorbing many costs not covered by primary health insurance.

Students taking fewer than five credits per semester and those enrolled in a degree-seeking program through Continuing and Professional Education or University Without Walls are eligible for UHS services, but must come to UHS Patient Services before the end of the Add/Drop period to register; charges will be forwarded to the Bursar’s Office for inclusion on the semester tuition bill.

Visits to UHS are first billed to the primary health insurance; the Student Health Fee absorbs the cost of most services not covered by insurance.

Students should always bring their primary insurance plan’s ID card whenever they use UHS services. When filling prescriptions at the UHS pharmacy, students should bring their primary insurance plan’s prescription card and be prepared to pay the plan’s co-payment; these are not absorbed by the Student Health Fee. The pharmacy accepts cash, check, UCard, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

Immunization Requirements
Massachusetts law requires college students to be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B. Full-time residential students must also be immunized against meningitis or complete a waiver; full- and part-time non-residential students, and part-time residential students, are exempt from this requirement.

To submit the required information, download and print the Massachusetts State Required Immunization History Form, available on the UHS website, This form should be completed and signed by the student’s healthcare provider. Immunization records from previous schools, military records, and records from healthcare providers are also acceptable in lieu of this form. Documentation must be submitted to the new Student Immunization Program (NSIP) at UHS before the end of the Add/Drop period.

Students should contact their healthcare provider to update their immunizations prior to beginning school. UHS can provide immunizations by appointment, on a fee-for-service basis. For more information, call NSIP, 577-5275.