Frequently Asked Questions

Health Services

What is Student Health Services (SHS)?

Student Health Services is a free health clinic for Graduate Center students. A licensed nurse practitioner provides primary health care. Students are seen by appointment or on a limited walk-in bases. SHS can also provide referrals to other low-cost clinics and specialists as needed. Many lab tests can be performed at SHS and students will be billed for these services. Through an arrangement with Mount Sinai Medical Center and subsidies by the Doctoral Students Council, tests are usually inexpensive.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education (a minimum of a master's degree) and training in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses. Nurse practitioners provide a broad range of health care services. They provide some of the same care provided by physicians and maintain close working relationships with physicians. An NP can serve as a patient's regular health care provider.

Nurse practitioners see patients of all ages. The core philosophy of the field is individualized care. Nurse practitioners focus on patients' conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families. NPs make prevention, wellness, and patient education priorities. This can mean fewer prescriptions and less expensive treatments. Informing patients about their health care and encouraging them to participate in decisions are central to the care provided by NPs. In addition to health care services, NPs conduct research and are often active in patient advocacy activities. Because the profession is state regulated, care provided by NPs varies. A nurse practitioner's duties include the following:

• Collaborating with physicians and other health professionals as needed, including providing referrals
• Counseling and educating patients on health behaviors, self-care skills, and treatment options
• Diagnosing and treating acute illnesses, infections, and injuries
• Diagnosing, treating, and monitoring chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure)
• Obtaining medical histories and conducting physical examinations
• Ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic studies (e.g., lab tests, x-rays, EKGs)
• Prescribing medications
• Prescribing physical therapy and other rehabilitation treatments
• Providing prenatal care and family planning services
• Providing well-child care, including screening and immunizations
• Providing health maintenance care for adults, including annual physicals

Nurse practitioners provide high-quality, cost-effective individualized care that is comparable to the health care provided by physicians, and NP services are often covered by insurance providers. NPs practice in all states. The institutions in which they work include the following:

• Community clinics and health centers
• Health departments
• Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
• Home health care agencies
• Hospitals and hospital clinics
• Hospice centers
• Nurse practitioner offices
• Nursing homes
• Nursing schools
• Physician offices
• Private offices
• Public health departments
• School/college clinics
• Veterans Administration facilities
• Walk-in clinics

Most NPs specialize in a particular field of medical care, and there are as many types of NPs as there are medical specialties.

I feel sick. Should I come in?

Keeping in mind your personal factors (age, existing conditions, recent health issues) and your health history, here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you decide if you should call your provider:

• Do I sense that something is urgently wrong? Start here. Trust your instincts and see a doctor if you sense that you need immediate medical attention. Always check out chest pains, loss of consciousness, or new severe physical pain.

• What are my symptoms? Have I had them before? If so, how did they get resolved? Would the same approach work now or is there something different about the symptoms this time? Could they be related to a recent condition or procedure?

• How long have the symptoms been going on? Are they getting better or worse? Generally any symptoms that are not improving after one to two weeks are worth pursuing with a healthcare provider. Pay attention to symptoms that are getting worse (and consider the first question).

• What do I really think would be best for my health (ignoring any worries that I will be a bother if I go to the doctor, or that it will cost too much)?


Call the Wellness Center first to see if you can walk-in.

How much will this cost me?

Services at the Student Health Services at the Wellness Center provided by the Nurse Practioner are free to currently enrolled graduate students of the CUNY Graduate Center. This includes episodic and primary health care but does not include laboratory testing done off-site. The cost of laboratory testing may be covered by insurance if you have it.
If you are uninsured, laboratory costs for blood and urine tests are substantially reduced through an arrangement with Mount Sinai Medical Center and then reduced further through partial subsidies from the Graduate Center.

For students who are uninsured or underinsured, and require radiology testing, prescriptions, or specialty referral, the SHS attempts to direct students to the least expensive providers, since these services are not connected with the Graduate Center. All students who are uninsured or underinsured are encouraged to investigate possibilities for health insurance and can receive advice through Student Affairs.

Laboratory Testing Fees Information & Agreement

More information on health insurance coverage for Doctoral students
More resources for the uninsured

Do I need health insurance to be treated at the Wellness Center?

NO, you do not need health insurance to be treated at the Wellness Center. Visits are FREE and laboratory tests are low cost. Those students who are not insured are responsible for 30% of all lab fees (if applicable). It is always recommended to sign up for health insurance. Learn more about health insurance options for students at the Grad Center.

Laboratory Testing Fees Information & Agreement

It's an emergency and the Wellness Center is closed! What should I do?

If you are in the Graduate Center, call Security at x7777 immediately. They can get help to you the fastest.

If you need to go to an emergency room, here are several around New York City:

NYU Downtown Hospital, 70 William Street, (212) 312-5063
NYU Langone Medical Center, 550 1st Avenue, (212) 263-5550
Mount Sinai Medical Center, 1190 Fifth Avenue (East Harlem), (212) 241-6500
New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, 525 East 68th Street, (212) 746-0795
Columbia University Medical Center, 622 West 168th Street, (212) 305-6204
The Allen Pavilion Hospital, 5141 Broadway (@ 220th Street), (212) 932-4245
Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital, One Main Street, Roosevelt Island, (212) 318-8000

Coney Island Hospital, 2601 Ocean Parkway, (718) 616-3000
Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks St (between Atlantic Ave & Pacific St), (718) 522-1099

Montefiore Medical Center, 111 East 210th Street, (718) 741-2000
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, 234 East 149th Street, (718) 579-5000

Mount Sinai Queens, 2510 30th Avenue (Astoria), (718) 267-4285
Elmhurst Hospital Center, 79-01 Broadway, (718) 334-4000

Staten Island:
Staten Island University Hospital, NORTH SITE: 475 Seaview Avenue, (718) 226-9000
Staten Island University Hospital, SOUTH SITE: 375 Seguine Avenue, (718) 226-2000

For non-emergencies, see our RESOURCES page for a list of free or low cost health clinics

I need some over-the-counter medication, can I obtain this from the Wellness Center?

The administrative staff is not authorized to dispense of any over-the-counter medication or first aid supplies.  When the Nurse Practitioner is not on site/unavailable for a walk-in visit, please visit the Security Desk in the lobby for assistance.

I am a staff member/adjunct faculty/temporary student, am I eligible for services at the Wellness Center?

Our services are stricly for matriculated registered students of the Graduate Center and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

I'm an incoming Grad Center student. How do I go about submitting proof of immunizations?

Per New York State law, all incoming students MUST submit proof of immunizations in order to be able to register for classes. All immunization requirements and forms can be found on our Immunization page. Often the easiest way to obtain your immunization records is to request them from your undergraduate college. Even if you attended another CUNY college for undergrad, you must request a copy of your immunization records to be sent to the Graduate Center.

Alternatively, please visit our Immunizations page to locate outside health clinics that will provide vaccinations free of charge. If you have one, consult your Primary Care Physician for immunization records or to request a blood test showing immunity.

Lastly, Meningococcal Meningitis shots are NOT required. However failure to properly complete and submit the Meningococcal Meningitis Response Form will result in a registration hold.

How do I obtain a copy of my immunization records?

Please fill out the immunization record request form and allow 3 business days processing time. 

You may drop off, fax, or email the request form:
Wellness Center
Student Health Services
365 Fifth Avenue, Suite 6422
New York, NY 10016
212-817-7020 (phone)
212-817-1602 (fax)

Please note that we keep immunization records on file 7 years from the date of admission.

I’m a Graduate Center student at another campus. Should I go here or to Student Health Services on my home campus?

If you are registered as a Graduate Center student and pay your tuition here, you must come to Student Health Services at the Graduate Center, not the health center at another campus. You must go to the health center at the school for which you are registered and pay your tuition. E-permit students must go to their "home campus" for services (where they pay tuition, not where they are permitted to take a class). If you have further questions, please call us at 212-817-7020.

What about Psychological Counseling?

A wide range of Psychological Counseling is also available at the GC Wellness Center. Visit Student Counseling Services for more info.