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Frequently Asked Questions


We are located in the Cowell Center between the Malley Fitness, Recreation Center and the tennis courts on the east side of campus. We are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and closed on weekends and all SCU holidays. Summer hours may be limited. See our Contact the Cowell Center page for more information.

Student Health Services are strictly confidential as required by state and federal law. California state law and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 protect the confidentiality of communication between health professionals and their patients. This is different from Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts (FERPA).

No information can be released without the student’s written consent except as required by law. If a parent wishes to inquire about a student’s physical or mental health, the student must first give Student Health Services permission to speak with the parent about the issue. Permission is given on a case-by-case basis, and we do not accept blanket signatures of consent for the year. For more information, email or call the front desk at (408) 554-4501 during business hours.


Please log into your Cowell Health Portal to complete the relevant consent forms as well as the personal medical history form. If you have any trouble, email or call the front desk at (408) 554-4501 during business hours. 

We provide a wide scope of services including primary care, same day/immediate care, minor procedures, physical exams, limited immunizations, gynecology services, and ongoing mental health medications. We can also provide medical records to your off-campus providers if you give us permission and complete the relevant forms (ask the Cowell Center front desk staff for more info).

For specialist medical care including X-ray services, we help refer students to community providers when appropriate. We have relationships with a number of specialists in the community who will see our students promptly and urgently, depending on the issue.

We have limited in-house medications for dispensing, including allergy and asthma, some antibiotics, cough and cold, topical rash treatments, and nausea/vomiting. One dose of acetaminophen/ibuprofen are available without an appointment at the front desk.

For prescriptions and medications not available at Student Health Services, Savco Pharmacy is near campus that offers free weekly delivery to the Cowell Center. Savco also accepts SCU’s Anthem Student Health Insurance Plan. For information about how to access this service and for additional local pharmacies, see our Medication Services page.

For local hospitals, urgent care centers, and clinics, see our Local Hospitals and Medical Facilities page.

All incoming students (undergraduates, graduates, transfers, and re-admits) are required to comply with the SCU Immunization Requirements. For more information about immunizations, including exemption requests, see our Immunizations page.

Student Health Services does not provide condoms or prescribe contraceptive medications for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

Yes, since the California Department of Insurance considers birth control services as preventive care services which are required to be provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without any out-of-pocket cost (copayment, coinsurance, etc.), contraceptives are covered under the University's insurance plan.

Yes, Student Health Services offers in house urine pregnancy tests for free and serum (blood) tests for $6-7.50 (1-3 day results).

Planned Parenthood provides many services and practitioners provide resources to students based on the presenting health matter. Examples of reasons why a practitioner may offer a referral include:

  • A direct question about Planned Parenthood;
  • Abnormal pap smears;
  • Ovarian cysts problems;
  • STI testing free of charge;
  • LGBTQ+ services;
  • When a student doesn’t want any knowledge of care referenced in their medical records, etc.

No, date-rape drug testing is not in the scope of the Cowell Center's practice. 

Additional details:

    • Date Rape-Kit tests use a few drops of liquid and can detect Xanax, valium, and Rohypnol.  It does not screen for the other date rape drugs. 
    • These drugs are very short lived in the system.  The urine tests will need to be performed within 12 to 48 hours after drug ingestion.  
  • ALL rapes reported to SHS are reportable by law.  All identifying information must be reported to SCPD.  There is no confidentiality.


Visit the Cowell Center for information about destination-specific risks and relevant vaccine requirements. Your personal health, immunization history, and areas of intended travel will also be examined. To avoid having your trip canceled because you were unable to meet the vaccine requirements within the appropriate time frame, we recommend you schedule an appointment three to six months before your trip. For additional travel information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You may also visit Global Engagement's Accessibility Abroad page for more information.

  1. Patients are treated with respect, consideration, and dignity.
  2. Patients are provided with appropriate privacy. 
  3. Patient disclosures and records are treated confidentially, and, except when required by law, patients are given the opportunity to approve or refuse their release.
  4. Patients are provided, to the degree known, complete information concerning their diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and prognosis.  When it is medically inadvisable to give such information to a patient, the information is provided to a person designated by the patient or to a legally authorized person.
  5. Patients are given the opportunity to participate in decisions involving their health care, except when such participation is contraindicated for medical reasons.
  6. Patients are informed of their right to change practitioners if other qualified practitioners are available
  7. Information is available to patients and staff concerning the following: 
    • Patient rights
    • Patient conduct and responsibilities
    • Services available at The Cowell Center
    • Provisions for after-hours and emergency care
    • Fees for services
    • Payment policies
    • Patient’s right to refuse to participate in experimental research
    • Advance directives, as required by state or Federal law and regulations
    • Provider credentialing

Patient care is improved when:

  1. Patients arrive approximately 10 minutes prior to their appointment time to ensure adequate time for registration and rooming.
  2. Patients attempt to give 24 hours notice to cancel/reschedule an appointment.
  3. Patients are mindful of privacy and confidentiality – both their own and others, while registering and receiving care.
  4. Patients are aware of their insurance coverage and carry an insurance card.
  5. Patients are open and honest when talking to their practitioner regarding their symptoms.
  6. Patients ask questions when they do not understand what their practitioner is saying.
  7. Patients follow the advice/instructions of their practitioner.
  8. Patients finish all medications as instructed.  If there are any side effects, the patient will notify Student Health Services.
  9. Patients attend all follow-up appointments.
  10. Patients return to the Cowell Center if there is an unexpected change in their condition.
  11. Patients treat staff with respect, both in terms of behavior and language.

Not meeting with any of the above patient conduct and responsibilities could lead to denial of services at the Cowell Center and referral to the community.

  1. Marketing or advertising regarding the competence and capabilities of Student Health Services is not misleading to the patients.
  2. Patients are informed about procedures for expressing suggestions and/or voicing grievances to the Cowell Center.