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Health and Well-Being

Your mental and physical well-being are fundamental to your ability to do well academically. ESF has many on-campus resources to assist in your success and we can help you get connected with resources in the community to support your health.

Health Care Options and Requirements

All full-time in-person students are required to have health insurance – either through their family’s plan or one affiliated with ESF. This ensures students can access health care services when needed, and that ESF students have access to an affordable, cost-effective private insurance plan with benefits that have been carefully reviewed and approved by the College.

ESF does not have a health clinic on campus, and ESF students are not eligible to use health services at Syracuse University. If students choose to use their family’s plan, please verify the usability in and around Syracuse for your hospital and medical needs before arriving on campus. Because health insurance plans vary so much, it is students’ responsibility to determine if their insurance is accepted by Central New York health care providers.

There are several different student plans affiliated with the College:

Here are some health resources near campus:


New York State law, SUNY policy, and Syracuse University policy direct the MMR, meningococcal meningitis, and COVID-19 requirements for ESF students.

  • MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella): All students born after January 1, 1957, who are registered for six (6) or more credits must demonstrate proof of immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella. Students are required to upload their MMR documentation through the ESF Wellness Portal before the first day of new student orientation. 
  • Meningococcal meningitis: All students must acknowledge that they have received information about meningitis vaccinations and have made an informed decision to receive or decline an immunization against meningitis. Students are required to upload their meningococcal meningitis documentation through the ESF Wellness Portal before the first day of new student orientation. 
  • COVID-19: Vaccination against COVID-19 is not required by New York State or SUNY. 

Any student who believes they should be exempted from the MMR requirements must apply for and be granted an exemption by uploading their request and supporting documentation through the ESF Wellness Portal before the first day of Orientation.

Submit Immunization Info

Students may request the following exemptions:

  • Online or Fully Remote Exemption: Available to students whose program of study is fully remote/online.
  • Medical Exemption: Available to students who are unable to receive MMR vaccination for medical reasons. Supporting documentation from their personal physician should accompany this request.
  • Religious Exemption: Available to students with sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit vaccination. A personal statement outlining how receiving the MMR vaccination conflicts with their sincerely held religious belief or practice should accompany this request.


Counseling Center

ESF offers short-term mental health counseling on campus. Our professionally trained licensed therapists are available by appointment for solutions-focused counseling and for 24-hour crisis support.

For more information, visit ESF Counseling Center.


Frequently Asked Questions

The pharmacy at the Barnes Center at the Arch on Syracuse University's campus is available for use by anyone, including ESF students, faculty and staff. More information, including hours of service and contact information, can be found here.

There are two urgent care facilities within an easy drive of campus:

The ACA requires all U.S. citizens and other permanent residents to have health insurance that meets a certain standard of care, or pay a tax penalty for going without insurance. The ACA requires insurance plans to cover pre-existing conditions and many preventative services, as well as essential health benefits such as emergency services, hospitalization, mental health and substance abuse disorders treatment, and more.