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Frequently Asked Questions

Not seeing your question answered here? Send an email to patricia.collins@northwestern.edu or call us at +974 4454 5073. We will do our best to respond within 3 business days (possibly longer during peak times).

General Health Requirements

What are NU-Q's health requirements?

Northwestern University in Qatar requires:

For students who DO NOT currently reside in Qatar and do not have a Qatar national health card, you will need to submit a completed National Health Card Application. Learn more.
The Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate lists the required vaccinations and also provides a place for your healthcare professional to record dates of vaccinations. This must be signed by a licensed healthcare professional in order to be accepted. Learn more.
All of the above must be submitted to Counseling, Health and Wellness via the Admissions portal by these deadlines.

Who must fulfill NU-Q's health requirements?

Students enrolling full-time or half/part-time in a given semester. Learn more about this classification.

Why do I need to fulfill health requirements to attend Northwestern?

The U.S. State of Illinois (where the Northwestern University home campus is located) mandates that all students enrolled full or half-time at a post-secondary educational institution shall present to the designated recordkeeping office (i.e. Counseling, Health and Wellness) proof of immunity diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and meningococcal conjugate. The reason for this is two-fold, 1) to ensure that all students have proper immunity to avoid the spread of disease/illness throughout the campus community, and 2) to ensure that students are protected in case of any outbreak on campus.

Furthermore, Northwestern University in Qatar requires that all students adhere to additional immunization requirements due to close contact with other Education City students. These additional requirements are identified on the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate.

Where can I read the actual U.S. state laws and rules governing immunizations?

What is the deadline for completion of health requirements?

View the deadlines.

Will I be penalized for not fulfilling health requirements by the deadline?

Yes, there are penalties for non-compliance with health requirements. It is very important that the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate and required immunizations be submitted by the applicable deadline. This allows Counseling, Health and Wellness time to process your documents and notify you of any deficiencies. Furthermore, it provides you with the time to rectify any deficiencies prior to arriving on campus.

Students who fail to submit their Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate, or fail to rectify ALL immunization deficiencies by 30 days after the start of classes will be barred from future class registration (including adding or changing classes) until compliant. Only those vaccinations which are not yet due will be allowed to be incomplete at this time. Penalties are not assessed prior to the start of classes and won’t impact registration for classes for your first semester.

Where do I submit my completed forms?

All forms must be submitted to NU-Q Counseling, Health, and Wellness. Students beginning in the fall semester should submit their documents electronically in the Admissions portal. Students beginning any other semester should submit their documents in person or send them electronically in an email message to patricia.collins@northwestern.edu.

I am having trouble upload documents to the Admissions portal. What should I do?

For issues related to the portal, please send an email to admissions@qatar.northwestern.edu.

How will I know if my forms are received by counseling, health and wellness and if there are any deficiencies?

Upon processing your form after July 31st, we will automatically send an email to your "@northwestern.edu" account (or to the address you provide in the event that you have not activated your "@northwestern" account), both to confirm receipt of your form, and to inform you of any deficiencies.

We do not send information to anyone other than the student regarding these deficiencies -- and that includes parents. If you receive the email and you would like to forward it to your parents or other individual so they may assist you in retrieval of certain documents, you may.

Make sure to adjust your SPAM filters to allow email sent from “@northwestern.edu” so that you receive this email. We keep track of “returned” emails, otherwise we will assume it was received.

If you object to having this information sent via email, please send a message to patricia.collins@northwestern.edu indicating your preference for communication.

I have not received confirmation that my form was processed. Should I call?

Forms are processed according to date of receipt. Depending on how many forms we have to process, it could take up to 3 weeks for you to hear from us. If you do not hear from us within this timeframe, you are welcome to call us at +974 4454 5073 or send an email message to patricia.collins@northwestern.edu to find out if we received it or not.

Qatar National Health Card

I do not currently live in Qatar. How do I get a Qatar National Health Card?

If you are preparing to attend NU-Q but currently live outside of Qatar and do not possess a Qatar identification card, you should complete the health card application form: view instructions.

I currently live in Qatar, but do not have a National Health Card. How do I get one?

If you are preparing to attend NU-Q and you possess a Qatar identification card, you are responsible for obtaining and renewing your own Qatar national health insurance card. If you do not have a national health insurance card, you can apply for it by completing the health card application and submitting it to your nearest primary health care center. Learn more.

If you already have a national health insurance card you may check the validity and renew your card, if necessary, online via Hukoomi - Health Card eService

Immunizations/Vaccinations

What are NU-Q's immunization/vaccination requirements?

Northwestern University in Qatar requires all full and half/part-time students to provide healthcare professional (e.g. physician, nurse, etc.) documentation of vaccination for or immunity from:

  • polio
  • diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis
  • hepatitis B
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella
  • varicella
  • meningococcal conjugate

In addition, all students are required to have documentation of tuberculosis screening taken within the last year.

Learn more and access the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate.

How do I access and complete the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

  1. Gather any childhood immunization records.
  2. Download and print the NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate form and complete page 1 of the Certificate form.
  3. Visit your healthcare provider (i.e., doctor), bring your childhood immunization records, and have them complete pages 2 and 3 of the Certificate form. Rectify any deficiencies identified.
  4. Submit the following documents electronically in the NU-Q Admissions portal:
    • Completed Certificate form
    • Any lab test results

Where can I have any necessary vaccinations performed?

Your primary healthcare center or any private healthcare provider can administer vaccinations. You are urged to have the necessary vaccinations completed and submit documentation by the deadline.

May I submit immunization/vaccination documents in a language other than English?

No. The Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate must be completed in English. If your health care provider completes it in another language, please have it translated into English before you submit it.

I am a previous NU-Q student and will be returning. I fulfilled these requirements already -- do I have to complete them again?

If a previous immunization record is on file, it will be applied to the new program of study and you will be informed of any deficiencies via email. If a vaccination, TB test or laboratory report is needed, you will be expected to complete it by the appropriate deadline to avoid any penalties.

I am a transfer student from another Education City university. I fulfilled my previous university’s immunization requirement. Do I need to complete the NU-Q Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

If you are transferring to NU-Q from another Education City university and you submitted an immunization form to them, please complete page 1 of the NU-Q Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate and upload it to the Admissions portal along with the immunization form you submitted to your previous institution. Once your documents are reviewed, you will be informed of any deficiencies via email.

I have a medical condition and my doctor says I shouldn’t have certain vaccinations. What should I do?

Please complete the exemption request section of the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate and provide the explicit written documentation from your physician.

The required immunizations are not given in my country. What should I do?

If there are immunizations which you need and they are not provided in your country, upload to the Admissions portal a letter from your healthcare provider indicating this. Once you arrive in Qatar make an appointment with the Coordinator of Counseling, Health and Wellness to discuss obtaining the necessary vaccinations while in Qatar.

Can I submit copies of my childhood immunization records instead of the NU-Q Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

No, do not submit copies of your childhood immunization records. Instead, share those documents with your doctor and allow them to use these documents to officially complete the NU-Q Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate.

My healthcare professional no longer has my immunization records, and I can’t find my copies. How can I prove immunity?

Please consult with your healthcare provider about the manner in which you can become compliant with NU-Q immunization requirements. Frequently students in this situation will obtain copies of official immunization records from a previous school or their “International Certificates of Vaccinations” cards (usually for international travel, and yellow in color) and share these with their healthcare provider in order to determine prior vaccination. Another method of proving immunity is by titer (e.g. blood test, serology). Lab reports from “positive” titers are accepted as proof of immunity for measles, mumps, and rubella, varicella, and hepatitis B.

Two measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccinations are required, but I have only had one. What should I do?

Please consult with your healthcare provider about the manner in which you can become compliant with NU-Q immunization requirements. Frequently students in this situation may prove immunity by taking blood test and then the healthcare provider will make a determination if another vaccination of measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) is needed.

I took the measles vaccine when I was a child but I did not take the mumps or rubella vaccines. Should I take them now separately or along with the measles again?

Please consult with your healthcare provider about the manner in which you can become compliant with NU-Q immunization requirements. Frequently students in this situation may prove immunity by taking blood test and your healthcare provider will determine how best for you to be fully vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella.

The Hepatitis B immunization requires a series of three vaccinations, but I have only completed some of them. Is it ok to submit an incomplete Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

Some immunizations require a series of vaccinations. Only those vaccinations which are not yet due will be allowed to be incomplete. If you have had all the vaccinations which you can at this time, please submit the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate even though it is incomplete. You will
be required to complete all vaccinations and show documentation of having received them when they are due to remain compliant with the immunization requirements.

My healthcare professional completed blood tests to determine my immunity to MMR, hepatitis B, and/or varicella. Do I need to submit these lab tests results along with my Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

Yes, if you are using lab test results to show positive immunity to MMR, hepatitis B, and/or varicella, you must also submit the lab report(s).

I need a TB test. Where can this be performed and what test methods are accepted?

Northwestern University in Qatar requires a TB screening be completed and interpreted within 12 months prior to registration at NU-Q. Most primary healthcare centers or private healthcare providers can administer a TB screening.

NU-Q accepts the following TB screening methods:

  • TB skin test (PPD)
  • “Negative” Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA), such as T-SPOT and Quantiferon® TB Gold blood tests
  • Chest x-ray report 

I have had the BCG vaccination. Do I still need to complete the TB screening requirement?

Yes. Northwestern University in Qatar requires a TB screening to be completed and interpreted within 12 months prior to registration, even if you have previously received the BCG vaccination.
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