Health and Wellness

The health and wellness of international students and scholars at UC Berkeley is a primary concern. Not only does UC Berkeley's academic rigor cause stress, but a new, unfamiliar environment can compound the pressure that you may already be experiencing. Please read on to learn about taking care of yourself at UC Berkeley and in the greater Bay Area.

Required Immunizations 

All incoming and re-admitted students must satisfy TB and immunization clearance requirements as mandated by the UC Office of the President prior to the start of their first semester. Questions? Contact the Mandatory TB & Immunization Program Office.

MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) 2 doses given on or after your first birthday (doses must be given at least 28 days apart) OR positive titer results
Varicella (Chicken Pox) 2 doses given on or after your first birthday (doses must be given at least 28 days apart) OR positive titer results
Pertussis (Tdap) 1 dose given on or after your seventh birthday (MUST be Tdap; dTap, Td, and DTP do not fulfill the requirement)
Meningococcal conjugate

(required for all students under 22 years of age)

1 dose given on or after your 16th birthday (MUST be MCV4/Men-ACWY; Men B and Bexsero do not fulfill the requirement)

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U.S. Health Insurance

Health insurance is very important as the cost of medical care in the U.S. is high. If you don’t have health insurance, you will be responsible for paying the full price for your doctor and hospital visits. If you have health insurance, the plan will pay for all or part of your medical bills. All Cal students must have health insurance.

Info about Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

Requirement As a non-academic condition of enrollment, students must have health insurance that meets the university’s criteria. You are enrolled in the Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) automatically to meet this requirement.
Plan Benefits for 2019-2020

SHIP offers major medical, mental health, pharmacy, dental and vision coverage. Berkeley SHIP continues to offer comprehensive benefits including:

  • 90% coverage for in-network services 

  • $15 mental health visits (no charge for counseling at the Tang Center)

  • Free generic prescriptions and reduced copays at the Tang Pharmacy

  • $10 copays for eye exams, annual frame and lens allowance

  • PPO plan with coverage throughout the US and International

  • 24/7 telemedicine visits and Advice Nurse line

Pricing

Undergraduates: $1,643 per semester

Graduates: $2,620 per semester

Bringing dependents?

Your dependents may be eligible for SHIP as well. Please visit SHIP for dependents for more information on enrollment, pricing, and deadlines.

Questions?

Phone: (510) 642-5700 

Email: ship@berkeley.edu

Helpful links

SHIP waiver 

For those who have an existing health insurance plan and would like to opt out of purchasing SHIP, you will need to apply for a SHIP waiver. Please note that it is very difficult to obtain a waiver as most foreign health insurance plans do not meet the requirements of the waiver itself. 

Questions about the terms on your health insurance plan?

Check out this glossary of terms to help you better understand your coverage. See also HealthCare.gov's Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms.

I feel sick! Where should I go?

The Tang Center should always be your first stop unless it is a matter of life or death. If the doctors think you need further treatment, they will refer you to a specialist.

Emergency Room at a hospital

Immediate help with life or death situations

Example of emergency medical conditions
Urgent Care Clinic at the Tang Center For same-day consultation for colds, flus, nausea, unexpected illnesses, injuries, conditions which require immediate medical attention, etc.
Primary Care For check-ups including general wellness, immunizations, long term health issues, physical therapy, etc. Example: Preventive care
Advice Nurse 24/7 If you have a medical question, need home-care advice, or are unsure about which services are best for you, call the Advice Nurse

Medical Facility Cost Comparison 

Sample Scenario: You broke your arm

Please note that prices below are rough estimates only and may not reflect the total actual cost. This is only an example!

Tang Center (with SHIP) Tang Center (without SHIP) Emergency Room (with SHIP) Emergency Room (without SHIP)
Estimated total: $42.95 Estimated total: $114.50, excluding cost of prescription Total: $250 Estimated minimum total: $252, excluding cost of prescription and other services as needed

Campus Resources

University Health Services

For registered students and scholars, find materials and answers to common health questions on this A-Z Online Index of Health Topics designed specifically for the UC Berkeley community.  See also International Student Health Resources at UHS/Tang Center.

Counseling and Psychological Service (CAPS)

All registered students at UC Berkeley are eligible to see a counselor at CAPS, located on the 3rd floor of the Tang Center. Counselors are available to talk to you about any matter of personal concern either on a walk-in basis (for urgent matters), or by appointment. CAPS also offers a range of support groups and workshops, career counseling services, as well as online assessment and informational resources.

Other services offered by the Tang Center:

CARE Services

If you are employed by UC Berkeley, you are eligible to get counseling on a wide range of personal concerns at the CARE Services office also located in the Tang Center.

U.S. Healthcare: Using a Complex System

US Healthcare: Using a Complex System