TB Requirements

What is the TB requirement?

This is a healthcare facility requirement enforced by the Eric Cohen Student Health Center to check if students have been exposed to Tuberculosis (TB). Students have to get a TB test every year to meet the TB requirement. If students meet this requirements, it allows them to continue their rotations at their designated healthcare facilities.

When do I have to test for TB?

Incoming students have to show proof of a TB test prior to starting their first year at USC. This can be done by either a two-step PPD skin test, a t-spot, or chest x-ray.

Current students have to show proof of a TB test every year. This can be done through a PPD skin test, a T.spot test, or a chest x-ray.

What kind of TB tests are available for me to take?

Two-step PPD Skin Test: Tuberculin is intradermally placed on the left forearm. The reaction is read 48-72 hours after placement. A waiting period of at least one week goes by. Another Tuberculin is intradermally placed on the left forearm and then read 48-72 hours later.

The ECSHC only requires incoming students to do this.
Current students do not have to do this every year.
HOWEVER, certain healthcare facilities require that students do this prior to the start of your rotations. Please check with your program administrators.
PPD skin test: Tuberculin is intradermally placed on the left forearm. The reaction is read 48-72 hours after placement.

This test is available to all students who:

– were born in the US
– have never tested positive for TB
– have not had a BCG vaccine
– have not had INH treatment.

T.Spot. test or the QuantiFERON-TB Gold IGRA: blood is drawn and then tested for exposure to TB. The ECSHC only offers the T.spot but accepts results from the QunatiFERON-TB Gold test. This test is available to all students who:
were born either in the US or out of it
have tested positive or negative for TB in the past
have had the BCG vaccine.

Chest X-ray: this is an x-ray test used to make sure that you don’t have active disease and that you are not contagious. This test is available to students who:
have proof of a positive T.spot test
have proof of INH treatment

When does ECSHC offer these tests?

PPD Skin Test: Monday – Saturday between 7:00 am – 4:30 pm (Thursdays 10:00 – 12:30 pm only). You must come back for a reading between 48-72 hours.

T.Spot Test: Monday – Friday between 7:00 – 2:30 pm
Chest X-ray: Students can pick up an order form from Student Health during any business hour and then make a walk-in appointment with USC Radiology next door to ECSHC. Tests are done until 4:00 pm Monday – Friday.

How much do these tests cost?

PPD Skin Test: Free to all students unless they miss their reading appointment. If a student doesn’t come back to get it read, a $25 charge will be added for the second PPD skin test placement and reading (this does not apply to the two-step PPD skin test).
T.Spot test: $54 to students without Aetna Student Health Insurance; free to students with Aetna Student Health Insurance.

Chest X-ray: Free to all students

Do I need to make an appointment?

Yes. Call (323) 442-5631 or schedule an appointment by logging in to usc.edu/myshr

How do I know if my year is almost up and I need to test for TB again?

Check your myshr under immunizations to see the last date of your TB test. You are cleared for 365 days after your last TB test.

What’s up with these PPD clinics? Do I have to attend?

Yes you do if you do not have to take a T.Spot or Chest X-ray. Here’s why:
Most of your PPD skin tests on file were taken during the summer. Which means that your year will expire during the summer when you are 1) not eligible to use the ECSHC and 2) would have to pay for the test.

Your attendance to the PPD clinic puts your cohort on a consistent renewal date for your TB requirement. This makes it much easier for your program administrators when they are assigning you to clinical rotations.

Some program administrators would like you to renew your PPD skin test by a certain date in order to stay compliant throughout your rotation time.

Please contact your administrators for specific dates regarding your rotation.
ECSHC only worries about making sure you are cleared for a year.
When you attend the PPD clinic, more appointments are available to other patients for other concerns.


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