Health and Wellness

Good health and wellness are keys to academic achievement and personal growth. Here at UDC Law, we invest in more than our students’ academic and professional development. We believe in supporting the whole student.

Together with UDC’s affiliate offices, the Office of the Dean of Students works to provide students with the self-care tools they need to succeed in law school and beyond.

Your health is essential to achieving your goals at UDC Law. Access to health care and adequate health insurance are important to your health. Without adequate coverage, unexpected expenses could alter your future dramatically.

Student Health Insurance Plan

All students enrolled at UDC Law are required to have adequate health insurance to provide coverage for medical and mental health care needs in case of an illness. Every year, students are automatically charged for enrollment in the university sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) once registered for classes.

SHIP is a comprehensive, high value plan. To review the full list of SHIP benefits, check out the plan brochure at firststudent.com. To learn about Health Insurance Marketplace plans available, please visit healthcare.gov.

Eligible students who can demonstrate they have other health insurance that meets the university’s waiver criteria may request that the requirement to enroll in the SHIP be “waived.”

Waiver Criteria

UDC’s criteria for adequate health insurance are designed to assure that all students have access to quality, timely, confidential and affordable medical and mental health care and are protected against costs that could undermine their education, financial or personal wellbeing.

Students are required to purchase the SHIP unless they can demonstrate that they have an alternate U.S.-based insurance plan that meets the criteria to waive the SHIP. To learn about UDC’s required criteria for adequate health insurance, please visit UDC Health Services – Waiver Criteria. The criteria are subject to change each academic year.

Please be advised that submission of a waiver form is not an automatic approval. Students wishing to waive their insurance should visit firststudent.com to submit a waiver form during the designated waiver period for the semester in which they start at the university and every fall semester. Once a student has taken action to waive or enroll in the SHIP during an academic year, they are not required to take any action again until the next fall.

Immunization Requirement

For a complete list of immunizations required, please visit UDC Health Services – Immunizations.  

International Students

International students should also visit UDC Health Services – International Students

Contacting Health Services

For more information about Health Services, please visit UDC Health Services or call (202) 274-5030

The UDC Counseling and Wellness Center is available to promote psychological wellbeing that helps students reach their academic, personal and relational goals. The Counseling and Wellness Center works to help students address any issues that may be interfering with students’ wellbeing or success. Services are provided by trained professionals and are fully confidential. 

Students receive free professional assistance in managing depression and anxiety and other mental health disorders, learning about themselves, creating healthy relationships, developing life coping skills and improving decision-making skills. Essentially, the counseling services are provided to help students address any personal, emotional or psychological issues that pose a barrier to their success so that students can achieve their full potential. Personal counseling and mental health services are provided on an individualized basis, and the student and counselor create treatment goals together. 

Students frequently visit the Counseling and Wellness Center to work through issues such as: 

  • Stress management
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Feeling “stuck”
  • Self-defeating patterns
  • Relationship issues
  • Family Problems
  • Self-defeating patterns
  • Self-esteem
  • Trauma
  • Identity
  • Grief
  • Anger and hostility
  • Procrastination
  • Difficulties adjusting

The Counseling and Wellness Center offers individualized services to help students address their concerns in a supportive and collaborative manner. Services include a single session (following consultation session), short-term therapy, insight-oriented therapy, biweekly counseling and consultation.

For more information and to request an appointment, please visit UDC Counseling and Wellness Center.

Crisis Line

The Counseling and Wellness Center also offers telephone crisis support for UDC students after hours. If you would like to speak to a Crisis Counselor on evenings, weekends and holidays, call (202) 274.6000 and press option #1 for urgent assistance. 


Check out WellTrack, an interactive self-help therapeutic resource that can help address stress, anxiety, depression and more. Download the WellTrack App or visit UDC WellTrack to get started. You must use your UDC e-mail address to gain free access.

The DC Bar Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) offers free, strictly confidential mental health and wellbeing services to law students in D.C. who plan to apply to the D.C. Bar. 

LAP services are free, strictly confidential and available via teletherapy or in person by appointment. Services include:  

  • Evaluation and short-term counseling with licensed mental health professional
  • Referral to appropriate community resources and other providers
  • Support Groups
  • Consultations (i.e., concerns of a colleague, or family/friends)
  • Educational programming, workshops, CLEs and trainings
  • Bar Prep Support Group
  • Volunteer mentoring and support

To speak with a LAP counselor or schedule an intake appointment call (202) 347-3131 or email LAP@dcbar.org.

UDC Fresh Food Pantry

With the mission of leading the fight on campus against student food insecurities, the UDC Fresh Food Pantry’s guiding principles include linking students to additional resources (internally and externally), empowering students to make choices and helping to remove barriers to retention.

The UDC Fresh Food Pantry is open each semester for enrolled UDC Law students. Services are free. For more information about the UDC Fresh Food Pantry and to access services, please visit the UDC Student Food Pantry page.

Additional Food & Nutrition Resources

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and obesity through the administration of 15 federal nutrition assistance programs including WIC, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and school meals. For information about each program, please visit USDA Food and Nutrition

Download the LiveSafe Mobile Safety App.

The LiveSafe Mobile safety app enables two-way communication between students/staff and the UDC Police Emergency Communications Center. Users can share information – anonymously if they choose – via text, photo and video directly from their smartphones.

  • Access UDC resources: Have fast access to important information, including phone numbers and emergency procedures
  • Share information with UDC Police: Send safety info and concerns. Attach a photo, video or audio file. Send anonymously if you prefer.
  • Know what’s around you: See where important safety areas are located and where nearby incidents have occurred
  • Get safety alerts: Receive important, timely alerts from UDC Police.
  • Virtual Escorts. Get home safely and help your friends: Use SafeWalk to virtually walk your friends home by watching them move along a map in real time.

The University has taken the necessary steps, precautions, and modifications to operate the Law School in a manner consistent with protecting the public health and safety of the entire UDC Community by reducing risks of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Requirement

The University requires that all faculty, staff, and students be vaccinated (including proof of booster) against COVID-19 unless a reasonable accommodation is approved.  Students reporting to campus for any reason must be vaccinated. Students in violation of this policy may be disenrolled from their course(s) or face other disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Students are to submit their proof of vaccination to the University Health Services using the Student Health Portal by the stated deadline.

Anyone requesting an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination policy because of a sincerely held religious belief must submit a completed Religious Exemption Request Form to the University Health Services to begin the interactive exemption process.

The Medical Exemption is available on a case-by-case basis for any medical condition that is contraindicated to the COVID-19 vaccination. The University Health Services will engage in an interactive process to determine whether an exemption can be granted. The Medical Exemption Request Form must be submitted to University Health Services.

For more information regarding the vaccination policy, please visit UDC RISE.

Weekly Testing Requirement

Weekly COVID-19 testing is required for everyone at the Law School. Students will need to take a self-test at home, or test at a site off-campus and submit their negative test results to the UDC Law Negative COVID form no later than 11:59 every Thursday.   

A list of everyone who has complied with the testing mandate will be provided to the Dean of Students every Friday. Anyone who has not complied will be notified of their non-compliance, instructed to remain off campus until they come into compliance, and to submit the Non-Compliance Request to Return to Campus Form to Ms. Pamala Dunston at pamala.dunston@udc.edu.  

Professors will be provided with a list of students who are not in compliance with the weekly testing mandate. A student’s initial failure to comply with the mandatory weekly testing mandate will be referred to the Dean of Students for counseling. A student’s repeat failure to comply may be referred to the Academic Standards Committee. 

Self-Test At Home Kits

Students can pick up a free self-test kit (containing 2 tests) every other week from anyone on the Administrative Wing of the 4th floor. Kits are also available in the library. Students will need to show their Student ID and provide their N number. Tests are also available at University Health Services and Office of Student Success.

Mask Policy

You must wear a mask covering your nose and mouth when present in any common areas of the law school building. Wearing a clear face shield without a mask or wearing a mask covering your mouth but not your nose does not constitute compliance with the mask mandate. 

Test Positive for COVID-19?

All POSITIVE test results should be immediately reported to the University via email at COVIDCONFIDENTIAL@udc.edu.

You should leave campus immediately and remain off-campus until you receive a clearance notification from the University  indicating that you can return. If you are off campus at the time of the positive test, you should remain off campus until you receive a clearance notification from the University indicating that you can return.

If you are registered for classes, please notify the Dean of Students of your positive results by submitting a Request to Temporarily Learn Remote Because of Positive COVID-19 Status Form along with your test results. Upon receiving a clearance notification from the University indicating that you can return, you should forward that notification to the Dean of Students. 

Experiencing COVID-19 or Flu-Like Symptoms?

If you experience COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, you should not come to campus. If you are on campus and begin to experience symptoms, you should make immediate arrangements to leave campus and refrain from returning to campus until you are symptom free and you test negative for COVID-19. If you are registered for classes, please notify the Dean of Students of your COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms by submitting a Request to Temporarily Learn Remote Because of COVID-19 or Flu-Like Symptoms Form.

Received a Medical or Religious Exemption from the University’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy AND You Have Been in Close Contact With Someone Who Tested Positive for COVID-19?

If you have received a medical or religious exemption from the University’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy and you have been notified that you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you should leave campus immediately, remain off-campus and quarantine for 5 days. If you are enrolled in classes, please notify the Dean of Students of your close contact by submitting a Request to Temporarily Learn Remote Because of Close Contact With Someone Who Tested Positive For COVID-19 Form to the Dean of Students.  

Vaccinated AND You Have Been in Close Contact With Someone Who Tested Positive For COVID-19?

Any student who has been fully vaccinated does not need to quarantine after close contact with someone who has COVID-19 unless that student has a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated students should get tested for COVID-19 five (5) to seven (7) days after exposure, monitor for symptoms and continue to wear a mask in all indoor spaces until receiving a negative test result.

Additional Protocols

  • Class start times are being staggered to avoid crowd congregation in the hallways.
  • Air purifiers have been placed in all instructional spaces including the clinical law offices.
  • Plexiglass shields have been placed in front of all “high contact” administrative stations.
  • Plexiglass shields will also be placed between the front row and the “well” of all classrooms.
  • In addition to universal indoor masking and testing, all law classes are currently assigned to rooms with capacity limits that are double that of each course’s anticipated enrollment to allow for social distancing.
  • We encourage you to use the stairs whenever possible so that the elevators can be readily accessible for our students, faculty, and staff who need them.

Please visit UDC Health Services Helpful Resources to find additional health and wellness resources.