Student Health Center

All enrolled, full-time students at Rensselaer have access to the primary care provided by the Student Health Center (SHC), regardless of the health insurance coverage they carry. The Student Health Center is a comprehensive, nationally accredited, physician-directed program providing outpatient ambulatory health care. Specialty consultation and referrals are available.

We offer the following urgent and primary care (including gynecology) services:

  • Physicals for sports/travel/study abroad
  • Specialist referrals
  • Immunizations
  • Routine onsite laboratory tests
  • Limited number of common medications without added charge
  • Travel immunizations and information
  • LGBTQIA+ inclusive patient-centered care
  • HIV counseling and testing
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening and treatment
  • Contraceptive counseling with onsite options available
  • Emergency contraception (EC)

Service Details

Students who have food allergies and/or intolerances have access to free and confidential nutrition counseling by our campus registered dietitian. Additionally, Rensselaer's Dining Services are able to work with a wide variety of food allergies and other dietary needs.

Administration of Epinephrine

Rensselaer also provides backup administration of epinephrine to students who have known anaphylactic reactions to certain food products and who may occasionally forget to carry their personal epinephrine auto-injectors. 

This backup administration, which is available in four residential dining facilities – Commons, Russell Sage, BARH, and Blitman – also provides a layer of response for students who may have an allergic reaction for the first time to previously unknown food allergens.

Additional information is available in Rensselaer's Residential Dining Hall Emergency Epinephrine Administration Policy.

Gynecology services are provided by a nurse practitioner in our Student Health Center, with on-site services including:

  • Pelvic and breast exams
  • Pap tests for cervical cancer 
  • STI testing and treatment
  • HIV testing and referral to treatment 
  • Contraceptive prescriptions and management
  • Emergency contraception
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Counseling related to sexual health issues
  • Management of common gynecologic problems including vaginal infections and irregular periods

When you call to make your appointment, you will be asked about the purpose of your visit (such as a routine pelvic exam, a first gynecological exam or other reason), so that the appropriate amount of time can be scheduled for your appointment. 

Free and confidential nutrition counseling is available via our campus registered dietitian for RPI students who are on the Sodexo Dining Services Plan.

Some of the topics that can be discussed are:

  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Sports nutrition
  • Healthy eating
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Eating disorders
  • Weight loss and weight gain

To set up an appointment, please contact Kimberly Mayer, RDN via email or by calling (518) 276-8989.

Rensselaer is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy learning, living, and working environment in which no member of the campus community is – on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression – excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any Institute program or activity. Gender-based and sexual-based harassment, including sexual misconduct and sexual violence, are forms of illegal discrimination in that they deny or limit an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the Institute’s programs or activities.

In support of the Institute's basic principles, Rensselaer provides a Sexual Misconduct / Title IX website that has been designed to educate the community regarding Rensselaer's Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures. Additionally, this website offer resources and the ability to report incidents of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.

Individuals can also report incidents of sexual misconduct and assault to Rensselaer's Department of Public Safety (available 24 hours daily), a Title IX Coordinator, a Portfolio Title IX Liaison, the Dean of Students, the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, the Vice Provost and Dean for Graduate Education, or any of the offices under Student Health and Wellness (Health Center, Counseling Center, Disability Student Services, and Office of Health Promotion). 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very common. Some people have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and do not know it because STIs often show no symptoms. Other individuals have symptoms of infection but don’t know what to do.

What are the symptoms of an STI?

While the symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (STI) vary from person to person or may not be present at all, the following are often symptoms of infection and should be evaluated by a medial professional:

  • Painful urination
  • Unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus
  • Skin changes (bumps, sores, rashes, lesions or warts) in or around the genitals, anus or throat
  • Genital/anal itching or pain
  • Pelvic discomfort or pain, or an abnormal PAP test (for biological females)
  • Testicular pain

STI Screening/Testing WITH STI Symptoms

The Student Health Center has services and support to help you learn more about your STI status. Screening/Testing is offered at the Student Health Center by appointment on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. The visit, chlamydia and gonorrhea testing, and HIV testing are free of charge.

STI Screening/Testing WITHOUT STI Symptoms

There is no single test to screen for all STIs. To provide you with individualized STI screening, your medical provider will ask about your concerns, sexual history, risks, and sexual practices.

Together, you can decide which tests are appropriate for your risks and exposure. We encourage you to answer questions honestly, even if doing so makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. We are not here to judge, but rather to help you! And, your information is always kept confidential.

The Student Health Center also encourages students to have open communication with their partner(s) about their risks, so students can come to appointments with a better understanding of their overall personal risk factors. Having this type of conversation with your partner(s) might feel awkward, but it is important that you have it in order to maximize your ability to get the best treatment if needed. 

And, if you're curious to know if you can transmit an infection to a partner even if you don't have symptoms, the answer is "yes." STIs can be transmitted even when symptoms are not present. Fortunately, tests are available to diagnose some STIs – such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV – even when symptoms are not present. 

STI Prevention

There is no absolute way to prevent all STIs, but there are things you can do to reduce your chances of becoming infected.

  • Get vaccinated for HPV (human papillomavirus). The Gardasil vaccine is able to prevent the types of HPV that causes most cervical cancers, as well as some cancers of the head and neck, penis, anus, vulva, and vagina. In addition, this vaccination can protect against the HPV strains that cause most genital warts.
  • The Gardasil vaccine is available at the Student Health Center to everyone, but is offered at no cost to students who have the school insurance.
  • Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A if you're a biological male who has sex with other biological males.
  • Use latex or polyurethane condoms during any sexual contact if you are sexually active (oral, vaginal and/or anal).
  • Reduce your number of sex partners to decrease your risk for STIs.
  • Practice mutual monogamy by agreeing to be sexually active with only one person who has agreed to be sexually active only with you.

Additional Resources

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