Photo of a group of students posing with Chip the Buffalo on Farrand Field.

College represents an intermediary step between adolescence and full-blown adulthood. That makes it a great time to learn about your health and set yourself up for long-term success. 

Here is a comprehensive checklist you can use to help you thrive in college and beyond. 

Complete your health requirements

All new students and transfer students need to complete the following requirements:

  • Immunization records and questionnaire 
  • Personal health inventory (WellCheck) 
  • Health insurance 

Students should try to complete these requirements as soon as possible. Failure to complete all of your health requirements by Feb. 13, 2024 can result in fees or an inability to register for fall classes. 

Complete your health requirements


Transfer your prescriptions

Did you know that CU Boulder has a full-service pharmacy available right here on campus? If you’re currently taking prescription medications, we recommend transferring your prescriptions to the Apothecary Pharmacy. This will allow you to fill, refill and request prescriptions for pickup at Wardenburg Health Center on central campus. 

To transfer your prescriptions, you’ll need to complete the following steps: 

  • Fill out a “New User Form” online 
  • Provide a copy of your medical and/or prescription insurance card 
  • Fill out a “Prescription Transfer Request Form” online 

Start transferring your prescriptions

Review your health history

Knowing about your personal and family health history is important, especially as you start to make appointments and visit healthcare providers on your own. Take some time to review important health information before your first appointment. You may need to call on family members to fill in the details. Here are a few things to include in your review: 

  • Medications (doses, frequency, why they are taken, etc.) 
  • Allergies (e.g., medications, foods, reactions, etc.) 
  • Significant family medical history (e.g., cancer, asthma, diabetes, etc.) 
  • Personal medical history (e.g., diagnoses, conditions, surgical history, etc.) 
  • Vaccination history (e.g., types, dates administered, additional doses required, etc.) 

You can also use this free, printable personal health information form to review health topics. Be sure to save this form somewhere secure that you can also easily access if you need to schedule a healthcare appointment or meet with a provider. 

Want to keep this information handy? Consider keeping a note on your phone or saving a copy of your health information form in a place you can easily access during appointments (e.g., in a Google Drive or as a photo on your phone). 

Download a free health history form

Protect yourself against preventable diseases

College campuses represent an ideal place for diseases to spread. While CU requires students to meet certain vaccination requirements, there are additional immunizations that we strongly recommend for all students, even if they’re not required.  

Here are a few important immunizations that you can receive at Medical Services to help protect yourself in college and beyond:  

  • Meningitis: Meningitis is a serious illness that can infect the brain, spinal cord and blood. This infection can cause lifelong disability or death if untreated. CU requires all students under the age of 23 living in campus-operated housing to receive the MenACWY meningitis vaccine. However, all students living in tight quarters on and off campus are also at risk, as this disease can be spread through saliva when an infected person coughs, shares utensils, borrows someone’s lip products or is in close contact with others. Protect yourself and your roommates by getting the MenACWY and Meningitis B vaccines. 
  • HPV: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a serious virus that can lead to long-term health effects, including genital warts and cervical cancer. This virus is considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is spread through skin-to-skin contact and intercourse, including oral, anal and vaginal sex. It is one of the most common STIs in the world, and college students are at an increased risk of contracting or spreading HPV through unprotected sex. 
  • COVID-19: While the height of the pandemic is over, we still recommend that students receive an annual COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a booster shot can help you avoid serious illness that may cause you to miss work or classes. 
  • Flu: Like COVID-19, the flu can spread rapidly on college campuses, especially for those living and studying in close quarters. It’s important to know that the flu virus mutates every year, which is why annual flu vaccines are critical in preventing the spread. All CU Boulder students are eligible for a free flu shot from Medical Services during flu season. 

Schedule a vaccination appointment

Learn about health insurance basics

Health insurance is probably one of those things you wish you would’ve learned about in high school or early in college. While insurance plans can be complex, understanding your policy is an important part of managing your health (and wallet).  

If you feel overwhelmed navigating healthcare or insurance systems, you’re not alone. That’s why we’re here to help. Check out tips and tricks to help you understand the basics and make the most of your health insurance plan. 

Learn how to use your health insurance

Register with Disability Services if you need accommodations

Disability Services provides reasonable housing, dining and academic accommodations for students with disabilities. Some examples of disabilities by category include, but are not limited to: 

  • Learning disabilities and/or ADHD 
  • Mental health conditions (e.g., anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.) 
  • Chronic health conditions (e.g., diabetes, Crohn’s, cancer, etc.) 
  • Deafness and hearing loss 
  • Blindness and low vision 

If you have a disability and need accommodations, we recommend that you register with Disability Services as soon as possible. Disability Services can also support students with temporary medical conditions like a broken wrist or concussion. If you have any questions or if you’re unsure if you qualify for accommodations, you can reach out to for assistance. 

Learn more about Disability Services

Create a safer sex plan

Sex is something we hear a lot about in college. Whether you're in a committed relationship or considering exploring sex for the first time, you’ll want to take some precautions to help keep you and your partner safe. Here are a few topics to review (preferably before you have sex). 

Dating advice

You might want to date to get to know new people, start a relationship or casually hang out. It’s also okay if you’re not looking to date or hook up. If you are interested in engaging in romantic or casual relationships during your time here at CU, here are some tips for making dating fun and meaningful.

Unprotected sex 

In the heat of the moment, practicing safer sex habits might not be the first thing on your mind. Here are some things to do after having unprotected sex to help address sexually transmitted infections (STIs), prevent unexpected pregnancy, cure urinary tract infections and prepare for next time. 

Sexual assault prevention 

Sexual assault and violence can have lasting impacts on individuals and communities. Learn more about consent, defining sexual assault, prevention tactics and support services. 

Lean into support systems

There will be plenty of opportunities to reconnect with friends, meet new people and get involved on campus. However, it’s important to remember that it’s okay if things don’t fall into place right away. Making friends and building meaningful connections can take time and effort. 

If you’re struggling or feel like you need additional support, lean into your support system by reaching out to your friends, family or loved ones back home. Peer Wellness Coaching is a free service that’s also available to help you navigate relationships, manage stress and learn about additional resources. The best part? Peer wellness coaches are CU Boulder students, so they know what it’s like to go through the motions of college. 

You can also join Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) for free interpersonal therapy groups. These ongoing group counseling sessions focus on relationship-building, interpersonal skills, feedback and strategies to feel more connected with others. 

Make time for movement

Oftentimes, when we think of movement, we automatically associate it with a sweat-inducing workout at the gym. However, movement can take many forms, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, all types of movement are beneficial for our bodies and minds. 

Building a healthy relationship with movement and participating in joyful movement are an important part of life-long health. Recreation Services offers a variety of recreational opportunities and is a great place to meet people, build community and relieve stress. 

Check out our campus fitness guide

Learn about balanced nutrition

Figuring out how to plan meals, grocery shop and eat a balanced diet without hands-on guidance from our families can be challenging. Nutrition Services offers free nutrition clinics at Wardenburg or online. These clinics allow students to meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to discuss a variety of nutrition topics or concerns, including fueling for physical activity, chronic disease prevention, intuitive eating and more. In-depth nutrition counseling services are also available by appointment through the Physical Therapy and Integrative Care (PTIC) office at Wardenburg. 

Check out nutrition services on campus

Treat yourself

Stress can cause tension, which can be draining on our bodies, especially over time. If you are feeling stressed, treating yourself to a massage or acupuncture session can help. Students can schedule appointments at the Physical Therapy and Integrative Care (PTIC) office within Wardenburg Health Center. You can even get discounted massages from massage therapy trainees. 

Learn more about PTIC services

Familiarize yourself with resources

Knowing where to go for additional information and support is an important part of managing your health. Here are just a few of the resources available to students at CU.

Mental health resources

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)

CAPS provides mental health services for all undergraduate and graduate students, including: 

  • Workshops 
  • Drop-in consultations 
  • Drop-in appointments 
  • Therapy groups 
  • Brief individual therapy 
  • 24/7 crisis support 


AcademicLiveCare provides access to free online counseling, psychiatry, nutrition and medical appointments. Students can access all AcademicLiveCare services for free, regardless of their health insurance plan or coverage. Please note: This program does not provide emergency or crisis services. 

WellTrack Boost

WellTrack Boost provides guided self-help resources to help individuals manage symptoms related to stress, anxiety and depression. This app includes clinically supported, CBT-based tools that you can complete at your own pace. This is a great option for those who want additional support outside of counseling or who want to take a more self-directed approach. 

Behavioral Health

Medical Services has partnered with Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) to provide mental and behavioral health services during appointments. Behavioral health staff can support students by evaluating mental health needs, providing compassionate care and referring students to individualized resources. 

Office of Victim Assistance

OVA provides free and confidential information, consultation, support, advocacy and short-term, trauma-focused counseling services for undergraduate and graduate students who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic, disturbing or life-altering event. 

Collegiate Recovery Community (CUCRC)

The CUCRC provides weekly support meetings, substance-free activities and other resources for those considering, pursuing or actively in recovery from drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, self-harm, other addictions and unwanted behaviors. 

Physical health resources

Medical Services

Medical Services provides a variety of healthcare services for students, including: 

  • Primary care 
  • Sexual and reproductive health 
  • Nutrition 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Massage 
  • Acupuncture 
  • Travel clinic 
  • ... and more 

Free wellness supplies

Students can access free wellness supplies on campus at Wardenburg or through the Buff Box program (limited to residence hall students). You can pick up or order things like: 

  • Safer sex supplies 
  • Naloxone and fentanyl test strips 
  • Cold care supplies 
  • Self-care supplies 
  • ... and more 


The Rec Center offers a variety of recreational opportunities for students, including facilities, classes, programs, trips and more. They strive to create an inclusive environment where all identities and abilities are welcome to thrive, connect and recreate. 

FitWell Suite

The FitWell Suite offers a variety of services to help you lead a healthy, active lifestyle, including nutrition clinics, flu shots, physical therapy, massage, injury care and more. All services are available to Rec Center members and day pass holders unless specified otherwise. 


Wardenburg Health Center is equipped with a full-service pharmacy that can fill prescriptions and provide over-the-counter remedies like vitamins, allergy medications, menstrual supplies, suncare, food and beverages, pain relief and much more. 


AcademicLiveCare provides access to free online counseling, psychiatry, nutrition and medical appointments. Students can access all AcademicLiveCare services for free, regardless of their health insurance plan or coverage. Please note: This program does not provide emergency or crisis services. 

More wellness resources

Peer Wellness Coaching

Peer wellness coaches are trained students who listen and work one-on-one with their fellow Buffs to set wellness goals, connect with resources and learn valuable skills. Peer wellness coaches can provide support for a variety of health areas, including sleep, stress, relationships, finances, academics, careers, self-image, time management and more. 

Wellness events

Health and Wellness Services offers a wide variety of free events on campus. These events cover topics like self-care, nutrition, stress management, recreation, mental health, sleep and more. 

Student Support and Case Management (SSCM)

The severity of a student’s distress may be unclear, or you may be concerned about a student and don’t know how to move forward. If this is the case, you can refer students to SSCM. SSCM case managers connect students with campus partners, community resources and support systems, while also building a trusting relationship and coaching them toward self-advocacy. 

Nap pods

Need to take a nap on campus? Wardenburg and the Rec Center are both equipped with relaxation stations. These stations have several nap pods that can help you rest and reset during your busy days. 


Health Promotion provides free naloxone and fentanyl test strips to students at their main office in Wardenburg or through their Buff Box program (exclusive to residence hall students).