Physical and Mental Health

Taking care of yourself is an important part of academic success. I’ve learned this the hard way. As graduate students, we pay the Health Center Student Fee every semester (unless you’re on your parents’ or some other insurance). Thus, when you’ve already paid for a service, why not use it? The Engemann Health Center on the university park campus (behind the gym) has regular check-ups, lab tests, women’s check-ups, immunizations, flu shots, radiology, student counselors, chiropractors, and more whose services are usually free. Referrals to specialists outside the Health Center or referrals to see nutritionists are required and sometimes you may pay some amount out-of-pocket but insurance will still cover a lot of it depending on who you go to (if they’re in network) and for what. If you’re on the Health Science Campus, you get access to the Keck School of Medicine for your medical needs.


Physical check-ups are important to make sure you’re healthy, take care of any chronic or new conditions, and ensure all systems are a go. Vision care is usually included automatically in the student insurance plan so you can get an annual eye exam done. Dental work requires students to enroll into it specifically but it’s still a service that’s provided (simple things will be free) through the student insurance plan.


Let’s face it – sometimes we need mental health check-ups or help too. Life as a graduate (or undergraduate) student can be stressful and there are often things going on in our personal lives that affect our academic lives. Even something like insomnia or late nights can add up. Don’t be shy to take the help you’re already paying for! It’s also a good idea to learn about what to do or reach out to the services offered in case you’re concerned about a friend. Student counseling is available at the Health Center so you can walk in or make an appointment. This important aspect of mental health and wellness has been recognized by USC and in May 2017, they created a new Office of Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention to improve and streamline the existing wellness, crisis response, student support and other resources at USC.

Published on May 3rd, 2017

Last updated on January 20th, 2021