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

College is a nice intermediary step between adolescence and full-blown adulthood. This is a great time to learn about your personal health and set yourself up for long-term success.

Here is the ultimate checklist for college students to help you thrive in college and beyond. 

Complete your health requirements

All CU Boulder students are required to complete a unique set of health requirements. 

New and transfer students...

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

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

Continuing students 

While continuing students don’t have as many requirements as new or transfer students, you’ll still need to complete the following requirement:

  • Health insurance

Students should try to complete these requirements as soon as possible. Failure to complete all of your health requirements can result in fees or an inability to register for spring classes.

Complete your health requirements

Transfer your prescriptions

Did you know that CU Boulder has a full-service pharmacy available 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 main campus or at the Village Center in Williams Village.

In order 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 health and family history is important, especially as you start to make appointments and see healthcare providers on your own. Take some time to review your history 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.

Download a free personal health form

Protect yourself against preventable diseases

College campuses are a great 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.
  • 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 an appointment to get vaccinated at Medical Services

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 the basics of 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 provide support to students with temporary medical conditions such as 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.

Register with 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).

Clear communication

Communication is a key part of healthy sexual relationships. It's how we get consent through words and actions and share our boundaries with our partner(s). It can be helpful to think about what you want from a sexual experience, what those boundaries are, and how you talk about sexual health with partner(s) in advance. 

Dating hacks everyone should know

STI prevention

Did you know the most common symptom for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is no symptoms at all? That’s right, there is no fool-proof way to know if you or your partner may have an STI unless you get tested and practice safe sex by using condoms, dental dams and other forms of protection (many are available for free on campus).

Learn more about STIs

Pregnancy prevention

Family planning is an important part of adult health. If you’re not ready to have a family just yet, it’s important to have a pregnancy prevention plan in place. Medical Services has birth control consultations and a variety of short- and long-term options, Plan B, prenatal vitamins and free safer sex supplies, including condoms. 

Learn more about Sexual and Reproductive Health

Sexual assault prevention

Sexual violence can have lasting impacts on individuals and communities. Unfortunately, the majority of sexual assaults are carried out by people we know: friends, acquaintances, classmates, co-workers, partners, exes, neighbors or someone a person may have met online or at a party. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s important to understand sexual assault and how to prevent it.

Learn about sexual assault prevention

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.

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 a number of forms, and there’s 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 and the Rec Center. These clinics allow students to meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to discuss a variety of nutrition topics or concerns, including meal planning, allergies, intuitive eating, grocery budgeting and more. In-depth nutrition counseling services are also available by appointment through the Physical Therapy and Integrative Care (PTIC) office at Wardenburg.

Find a free nutrition clinic on campus

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

Screening appointments

Attend a one-on-one appointment with a CAPS counselor to assess your needs and explore mental health options that work best for you. After completing a screening appointment, you will have an individualized plan to help you address your concerns. 


Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a variety of free workshops to students. Workshops are intended to help you build skills around anxiety and stress management, self-care, healthy habits, relationships and more.

Let's Talk

Let’s Talk is a free service where students can check in for an informal, brief and confidential consultation with a counselor or psychiatrist. Let’s Talk sessions are available virtually and in person. No appointment necessary to join.


WellTrack is a free app for CU Boulder students. It is designed to help you understand your mental health and provide you with the help you need. The app also includes resources if you are struggling with academics, finances, unwanted sexual contact, stress, sleep, relationships, physical health or general well-being. 

Group therapy

CAPS offers a variety of therapy groups to help students learn new skills, improve interpersonal relationships and increase self-awareness. By engaging in a group, students often feel more connected and can develop the skills to grow and succeed. All therapy groups are free and confidential.

Office of Victim Assistance

The Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) provides free and confidential information, consultation, support, advocacy and short-term, trauma-focused counseling services for students, grad students, faculty and staff who have experienced a traumatic, disturbing or life-disruptive event.

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.

Crisis care

If you or someone you know is in need of urgent or same-day support, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) provides crisis support 24/7. Call 303-492-2277 to connect with a triage counselor.

Physical health resources

Medical Services

Medical Services specializes in college health and is available to all CU Boulder students, regardless of your insurance plan. Students can visit Medical Services for primary care, sexual and reproductive health, physical therapy, nutrition and more. They also have a full-service Apothecary Pharmacy on site to fill prescriptions and provide over the counter medications and supplies.


Medical Services provides free nutrition consultations with their registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Students can also access support services for nutrition counseling, disordered eating, meal planning and more.

Physical therapy

Medical Services provides comprehensive care and physical therapy through our team of highly skilled physical therapists. Our team provides detailed examinations to uncover the root cause of issues and works collaboratively with each individual to customize your rehabilitation and meet your personal goals. 

Massage and acupuncture

Massage and acupuncture have proven benefits from relieving stress and reducing tension, to helping improve sleep and address pain. All CU Boulder students, staff and faculty can access massage and acupuncture services through Medical Services. 


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.

More wellness resources

Buff Boxes

Need health and wellness resources? Order a free Buff Box with supplies and resources that are delivered right to your residence hall. 

Free supplies and resources are also available to pick up in the Figueroa Family Wellness Suite on the 3rd floor of Wardenburg.

Wellness programs

Health Promotion offers free wellness programs and events throughout the week, including Mindful Mondays, Health Huts, Wellness Wednesdays, Think About it Thursdays and more! Programs focus on a variety of health topics, including self-care, relationships, mindfulness, stress management, substance use and more.

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.

Figueroa Family Wellness Suite

The Wellness Suite is a place to rest and reset during your busy days. Whether you need a nap, want to pick up some health supplies, or if you just want to find a quiet place to study, the Wellness Suite provides a relaxing environment for all CU Boulder students.

Training opportunities

Health and Wellness Services offers a number of free training opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of health topics, including WellCU and Mental Health First Aid Training. 

  • WellCU offers concrete skills and information about topics that are highly relevant to student health and well-being. Students who attend all five will receive a non-degree certificate. 
  • Mental Health First Aid provides tips and strategies to support someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. This training will provide insight into risk factors, warning signs, hands-on practice and options for support and referrals.

Student boards

Student boards are a great way to get involved on campus, meet like-minded people and make a difference for your CU community.

  • The Student Health Board aims to be a collective student voice for implementing solutions and health and wellness initiatives on campus. Their focus is to improve student health on and off campus.
  • The Recreation Board helps to create and drive policies that positively impact recreation on campus. This board consists of student and non-student members to ensure that the needs of all our campus community groups are met.