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North Carolina Immunization Branch

Colleges and Universities

North Carolina law requires individuals attending a college or university, whether public, private or religious, to receive certain immunizations.  The registrar of the college or university is responsible for assuring the required immunizations have been received by all new (undergraduate and graduate) students enrolling in college each fall.  The statute applies to all students except students residing off-campus and registering for any combination of:

  • Off-campus courses
  • Evening courses (classes beginning after 5 p.m.)
  • Weekend courses
  • No more than four day credit hours in on-campus courses

If at any time the above student status changes to: on-campus courses, course load of more than four (4) credit hours, on-campus residence, and/or enrollment in day-time courses, a Certificate of Immunization or record of immunization must be presented on or before the date the person first registers for a quarter or semester.

Colleges and Universities

Vaccine Number Doses Required Before School Entry*
Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis 3 doses
Polio 3 doses
Measles 2 doses
Mumps 2 doses
Rubella 1 dose
Hepatitis B (Hep B) 3 doses

*Please read below for further information

Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis

Three doses are required for individuals entering college or university. Individuals entering college or university for the first time on or after July 1, 2008 must have had three doses of tetanus/diphtheria toxoid; one of which must be tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis.

Polio

Three doses are required for individuals entering college or university. An individual attending school who has attained his or her 18th birthday is not required to receive polio vaccine.

Measles

Two doses at least 28 days apart are required for individuals entering college or university. The requirement for a second dose does not apply to individuals who entered school, college or university for the first time before July 1, 1994. A person who has been diagnosed prior to January 1, 1994 by a physician (or designee such as a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant) as having measles (rubeola) or an individual who has been documented by serological testing to have a protective antibody titer against measles is not required to receive measles vaccine. Individuals born before 1957 are not required to receive measles vaccine except in measles outbreak situations.

Mumps

Two doses are required for individuals entering college or university. A physician's diagnosis is not acceptable for mumps disease(s). Individuals must be immunized or have laboratory confirmation of disease or have been documented by serological testing to have a protective antibody against mumps. Individuals born before 1957 are not required to receive the mumps vaccine.  Individuals that entered college or university before July 1, 1994 are not required to receive the vaccine. Individuals that entered school, college, or university before July 1, 2008 are not required to receive the second dose of mumps vaccine.

Rubella

One dose is required for individuals entering college or university. A physician's diagnosis is not acceptable for rubella disease(s). Individuals must be immunized or have laboratory confirmation of rubella disease or have been documented by serological testing to have a protective antibody titer against rubella. Any individual who has attained his or her fiftieth birthday is not required to receive rubella vaccine except in outbreak situations. Any individual who entered college or university after his or her thirtieth birthday and before February 1, 1989 is not required to receive rubella vaccine except in outbreak situations.

Hepatitis B

Three doses are required for individuals entering college or university. Hepatitis B vaccine is not required if an individual was born before July 1, 1994.

Required vs. Recommended

North Carolina law requires children receive certain vaccines. But in order to be fully protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, children should receive all age-appropriate immunizations.

For more information about vaccine preventable diseases and immunizations recommended, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Immunization Action Coalition.

Resources

Information on vaccination requirements and resources for communicating with parents can be found on our Resources for Schools page.