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College Immunization Requirements

The Tennessee Department of Health has immunization requirements for those who attend college. The requirements can be found in the Tennessee Department of Health Rules.

The state’s immunization requirements follow the current schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).  A brief summary of the required immunizations for colleges is listed in the TN Immunization Requirements Summary Table.

Full-time Tennessee college students
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (2 doses of each, normally given together as MMR): if born on or after January 1, 1957 only.
  • Varicella (2 doses or credible history of disease): if born on or after January 1, 1980 only. 
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) – only for health science students expected to have patient contact (before patient contact begins).
  • Meningococcal - At a minimum of 1 dose given at 16 years of age or greater if enrolling in public institution for the first time and under 22 years of age and living in on-campus housing; private institutions set their own requirements for this vaccine. 

Minimum ages or dose intervals - Tennessee follows published CDC guidelines.  For vaccines with critical minimum age requirements (e.g., MMR, varicella) or minimum dose intervals, doses are considered valid if given up to 4 days before the minimum age or dose interval.  Doses administered more than 4 days early are considered invalid and should be repeated as recommended.

Alternative proof of immunity for certain diseases - A positive serology (year of test documented) is acceptable as an alternative to immunization for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B or varicella.  For varicella, documentation of provider diagnosed varicella or provider-verified credible history of disease given by a parent or guardian also is acceptable. By documenting a history of disease, the provider is asserting that he or she is convinced that the child has had chickenpox.