Approved by: The President
History: Issued              -- 1979
Revised            -- July 21, 2022
Last Reviewed   -- July 21, 2022
Related Policies:
Additional References:

Student Health Portal; Student Health Services; District of Columbia Immunization Law

Policy Owner:

Contact Person:

Vice President for Student Affairs, tel. (202) 319-5619

Medical Director, Student Health Services, tel. (202) 319-5744

I. Policy Statement 


The District of Columbia Immunization Law requires that all students that are enrolled in an academic institution and are under 26 years of age must provide documentation of immunity to certain preventable diseases. Catholic University requires that this documentation be submitted by all students under the age of 26 years via the Student Health Portal. Students who have not provided documentation of immunity to Student Health Services as required by this policy jeopardize their continued enrollment at the University. Students who do not submit on time will have a restrictive hold placed on their accounts, preventing registration for the following semester until the required documentation has been provided. Students who are granted a medical or religious waiver, or who are distance education students who are not physically present on campus, are exempted from this policy.

II. Required Immunizations 


The following immunizations are required:

  • Two doses of measles/mumps/rubella (MMR). The first dose must be given on or after the first birthday. 
  • Three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine or currently receiving the series. 
  • A Tdap booster within the past 10 years. 
  • Clinical history of having had varicella (chickenpox) or dates of the vaccine. Two doses of varicella vaccine are required.  
  • Polio vaccine series is required for those students under the age of 18 years. 
  • All freshmen are required to receive the vaccine against meningococcal meningitis; a dose of the vaccine needs to have been administered after the 16th birthday. 

Serologic titers which document immunity to varicella, Hepatitis B and Measles, Mumps and Rubella are acceptable in the place of vaccine dates.

III.  Waivers


Under District of Columbia law, a student may request an exemption for medical or religious reasons from the legal requirement to provide documentation of immunization. The University’s policy regarding exemptions of its immunization requirements complies with D.C. law. 

Medical Exemption: A student wishing to request an exemption on medical grounds should submit a signed statement from his or her healthcare provider stating the medical reasons to release the student from immunization requirements. Submission instructions can be found in the FAQ section of the Student Health Services immunization page.

Religious Exemption: A student wishing to request an exemption on religious grounds should submit a signed personal statement clearly stating that providing documentation of some (specifying which) or all required immunizations would violate his or her religious beliefs. In the case of a student under age 18, the request should be signed by the student’s parent or guardian. All requests for religious exemptions must be made sincerely and in good faith, and should be addressed to the President of the University. .  Submission instructions can be found in the FAQ section of the Student Health Services immunization page.

Meningitis Exemption: A waiver of the meningitis vaccine requirement may be requested using the waiver form available for this purpose on the FAQ section of the Student Health Services immunization page.

In the event of a confirmed case of a vaccine-preventable disease on campus, the University may require any student who is granted an exemption from providing documentation of required immunizations for that disease to take protective measures, potentially including but not limited to modifications of class schedules, revised academic or living space, or even temporary exclusion from campus. The University does not refund any tuition or fees to students who are unable to attend or complete classes or coursework due to exclusion from campus for lack of immunization. Further, students who receive exemptions are required to release and hold harmless the University and its trustees, officers, agents and employees from any liability incurred or sustained by the University which arises out of the student’s receipt of an exemption from the University.

The University has no control over and cannot grant religious or medical exemptions to vaccine requirements imposed by non-University entities with which students interact as part of their academic courses or for student activities–for example, requirements imposed pursuant to overseas study, student internship or clinical experiences, or work studies, attendance at required academic events in D.C., or other unforeseen circumstances in which vaccine requirements may apply. Any student wishing to participate in an event or experience that carries a vaccine requirement imposed by a third party will be required to comply with the requirement or request an exemption through the third-party’s exemption process. The University will not negotiate vaccine exemptions with third-party entities on behalf of its students and cannot be held responsible for the failure of a student to comply with third-party vaccine requirements for activities that may be required as part of their academic studies.

IV. Deadlines


Immunization records must be submitted through the student health portal by a designated due date which will be communicated to incoming students. The due date will be determined based upon the start date for the term the student is beginning his or her studies. 

A late fee will be billed to the student account of any student whose records are received after the designated due date. This late fee will also be assessed to students who submit incomplete records that are not completed by the designated due date.