Office of Graduate Studies

Enrollment Requirement for UTPA Students: Proof of Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination

IMPORTANT VACCINATION UPDATE: The State of Texas has updated the bacterial meningitis vaccination requirement for university students. Beginning in October 2013, students aging 22 years or older are exempt from this requirement.  

BACTERIAL MENINGITIS VACCINATION DEADLINE: In order to enroll for courses, new students who are required to obtain the bacterial meningitis vaccination must be taken at least ten (10) days before the first day of class.

As of January 1, 2012 all Texas public and private institutions of higher education including all UT System institutions cannot allow new* students to enroll unless the student shows proof that the student:

  • Has had a vaccination or a booster for bacterial meningitis during the last five years but no later than the 10th day before the first day of the semester (or other period of enrollment) in which the student seeks to enroll.
  • This pertains to first time students as well as students who have stopped out for one long semester.

Students who meet one of the following four specific exceptions permitted by the law do not have to provide proof of the vaccination:

  • New students who are twenty-two years of age or older on first day of the semester
  • New students who are enrolled only in on-line or distance classes
  • New students who provide a medical excuse that states that the vaccination would be harmful to the student’s health
  • New students who provide documentation of a moral or conscientious objection to the vaccine by using a form promulgated by the Texas Department of State Services. Please click here to learn more about the vaccine exemption for reasons of conscience.

*A student is considered a “new” student if they are enrolling for the first time at UTPA or, if they have previously been enrolled at UTPA and are now enrolling in a new undergraduate or graduate program at UTPA.

Graduate students who do not meet the exceptions listed above will need to provide proof of vaccination to the Office of Graduate Studies. In order to enroll, the vaccination must have been taken 10 days before the start of the semester. A registration hold has been placed on all graduate students that do not meet the exceptions. This hold will be removed once the Office of Graduate Studies has received the required proof of the immunization.

Graduate students that are required to provide proof of the vaccination should submit copies of their immunization records, either in person or by postal mail, to:

Office of Graduate Studies
Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
The University of Texas – Pan American
1201 W University Dr.
Edinburg, Texas 78539

Students may also email copies of their vaccination to the admissions staff. Refer to the staff contact page to determine the admissions staff responsible for your graduate program.

To find the vaccine, check with your:

  • UTPA Student Health Services
  • Family doctor
  • Local public health department

Residents of Hidalgo County may visit any of the following locations:

Edinburg Clinic 3150 E. Richardson Edinburg 956-318-2040
Hidalgo Clinic 702 E. Texano Hidalgo 956-843-7463
Mission Clinic 211 South Schuebach Mission 956-581-8596
Weslaco Clininc 1901 North Bridge Weslaco 956-968-7541
Elsa Clinic 708 Edinburg Street Elsa 956-262-1141
McAllen Clinic 300 East Hackberry McAllen 956-682-6155
Pharr Clinic 1903 N. Fir Pharr 956-787-1531

Frequently asked questions can be found here.
Information about the vaccine exemption for Reasons of Conscience can be found here.