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Health Services

Executive Director: Bernette Melby

University Health Services: (413) 577-5000
Mental Health Services: (413) 545-2337
Health Plan Information: 577-5192
New Student Immunization Program: 577-5275
Medical Appointments: 577-5101
Triage Advice Nurse: 577-5229
Eye Care Services Appointments: 577-5383

University Health Services (UHS) is the campus ambulatory healthcare center, providing comprehensive services including medical care, eye care, health education, and mental health care for university students, staff, faculty, and their families.

Medical care is provided on an appointment basis; walk-in care is available 24 hours a day during the school year. A triage nurse is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to recommend the best course of care. Mental health care is provided by appointment; emergency on-call services are available 24 hours a day.

Student Health Fee
All students taking five or more credits are automatically billed for a non-waivable mandatory Student Health Fee. Coverage periods are August 1-January 31 and February 1-July 31. Medical services provided are billed to the student’s primary health insurance company. Most services not covered under the student’s primary insurance will be covered under the Student Health Fee, which also provides coverage for commonly used services. Insurance cards should be brought to UHS at the first appointment.

Student Health Insurance Plan and Student Family Plan
Massachusetts requires college students to have comprehensive health insurance. The university-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) meets these requirements. The UHS website,, has more information about insurance.

U.S. students taking five or more credits are automatically enrolled in SHIP; premiums appear on the semester tuition bill. Those enrolled in the SHIP individual plan are eligible to purchase a family plan, which provides coverage for spouses, same-sex domestic partners, and/or their dependents. Visit UHS Patient Services by the end of the Add/Drop period to enroll in the SHIP family plan.

Students with comparable coverage under another major medical insurance plan can waive SHIP. The online waiver must be completed by the end of the Add/Drop period to prevent enrollment and charges. Waivers completed for the fall semester apply to the entire academic year. Only new or transfer students with comparable coverage should complete the spring semester waiver. International students are required to maintain SHIP coverage, and are not eligible to waive.

Commonwealth Choice plans do not offer comparable coverage; students with these plans are not eligible to waive SHIP. Students with a Commonwealth Care plan should contact their insurance carrier to verify status; those who are no longer eligible should call UHS’ Patient Services department to be enrolled in the SHIP.

To waive SHIP, go to the SPIRE website, Select the Health Waiver page link, and click on the Online Waiver Site line. Complete and submit the waiver form. A confirmation email is sent within minutes of successfully completing the waiver request. Print and save this email as proof of the waiver. In the absence of a confirmation email, call Aetna Student Health customer service, 1-877-480-4161.

Massachusetts State Law (GL 76 sec. 15c) requires all students to have the required minimum immunizations or proof of positive titers prior to enrollment. Mandatory immunizations include tetanus/diphtheria (within the last 10 years), meningitis (within last 5 years) or a signed waiver, measles (2 doses), mumps (1 dose), rubella (1 dose), and hepatitis B (3 doses).

The multi-page new student immunization form is available on the UHS website at

Please contact your health care provider to update your immunizations prior to arrival at the university. Failure to provide this information will result in an administrative hold. Questions should be addressed to the New Student Immunization Program office, tel. (413) 577-5275.

Medical Care
Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health professionals work as a team to provide medical care at UHS. On-campus services include radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, physical therapy, eye care, and allergy and travel medicine. Specialty clinics, available by referral, include obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, neurology, mind/body medicine, and acupuncture. These services are by appointment only and are billed to the patient’s primary insurance.

Patients are encouraged to schedule appointments for routine visits and develop a relationship with a UHS primary care provider. Any student who is under medical supervision prior to arriving on campus should have his or her medical records forwarded to UHS along with appropriate reports and instructions.

All visits to UHS are treated as confidential. No information is released without the permission of the patient.

Eye Care Services
Eye Care Services provides complete optometry examinations, emergency eye care, contact lens and eye wear services, and more. Students receive a 10 percent discount on all frames and eyeglass lenses (which cannot be combined with other insurance discounts). Emergency eye care is billed to students’ primary insurance.

Mental Health Services
Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist provide services to individuals, couples, children, and families. The brief intervention model includes 24-hour and year-round emergency services, a behavioral medicine clinic, an eating disorders clinic, group programs, medication management, and consultation and education service. Six therapy visits per semester are covered by the Student Health Fee. Further visits are billed to the primary insurance plan. For an appointment, call (413) 545-2337.

Health Education, Community Outreach and Marketing
Health Education’s mission is to improve personal and campus health and well-being by increasing health literacy, improving access to health information and services, and influencing policies and norms that promote public health and social justice.

Health Education provides programs, publications, volunteer opportunities, and individual consultation around topics including sexual health, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, stress management, nutrition, eating disorders, and athletic health. To learn more, call (413) 577-5181.

The Center for Alcohol and other Drug Abuse Prevention (CADAP)
The center’s mission is to support a campus environment that encourages responsible decision making about alcohol and other drug consumption and to decrease incidents of high-risk drinking among University of Massachusetts Amherst students. The staff provides comprehensive training, consultation, early intervention, education, and referral services on alcohol and other drug issues. Individual assessment, online education courses through, peer education programs, social norms marketing, and BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening Intervention for College Students) are some of the services offered.