Is attending Orientation mandatory?
All new students are expected to attend Orientation. Your attendance will ensure that you receive the information and resources integral to your success as a student at USC. You will also register for your first-semester courses at Orientation.
If I attended admitted student events, should I still come to Orientation?
Yes. Orientation is different from admitted student events because it is designed to prepare for your first semester at USC. You will meet Orientation Advisors, academic advisors, campus staff members and your fellow new students. Most importantly, you will register for your first-semester courses.
When is Orientation? How long is it?
Orientation events for students admitted to the fall semester take place from June through August. For students admitted to the spring semester, Orientation events will take place in November, December and January.
Summer On-Campus Freshman Orientation events last two days, with students staying overnight. Off-Campus Orientation, Transfer Orientation and Winter Orientation events are one day. The specific schedules can vary, but Orientation activities begin around 8:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. Plan on being at Orientation the entire time. We strongly recommend that you do not make travel plans that require you to leave Orientation before it concludes. The Orientation event schedules are available to view when you make your Orientation reservation.
What is the difference between the On- and Off-Campus Freshman Orientation events?
Off-Campus Orientation events are one day, while On-Campus Orientation events last two days, with students staying overnight. Both Orientation events cover the same information, including academic requirements, student safety and wellness, course registration, student services and opportunities for student involvement. We encourage you to choose the option that is best for you and your guests.
How do I sign up for Orientation if I was just admitted but didn’t receive a welcome email?
Before you receive your Orientation welcome email, the Office of Admission must receive and process your Enrollment Commitment Deposit, which can take up to seven days, and you must activate your USC NetID. Twenty-four hours after your USC NetID is set up, your welcome email will be sent to your USC email address and the email address you provided on your Common Application. Sometimes, especially with non-USC email accounts, the welcome email is marked as spam and filtered from your inbox. We recommend changing your spam filter settings to allow any emails from @usc.edu accounts. You should also check your USC email account regularly, as that is the official means of communication for the university. You can check your USC email by logging in to myUSC. If you don’t receive your welcome email after submitting your commitment deposit and activating your USC NetID, you can still log in directly to the Orientation Events page with your USC NetID.
How do I activate my USC NetID?
Click here to activate your USC Net ID. USC NetIDs are automatically created for new students upon certification (submission of your Enrollment Commitment Deposit or Intent to Enroll Form) at USC. You will use your USC NetID and password to log in to the Orientation Events page.
What do I do if I’m having trouble logging in to the Orientation Events page?
- Make sure that the USC Office of Admission has processed your Enrollment Commitment Deposit. This may take up to seven business days. Also, be sure to activate your USC NetID.
- If you receive an error message that the reservation system is down or experiencing problems, try your request again at a later time.
- If you are trying to log in to the Orientation Events page from a location outside of the U.S., you can install the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility client software to connect to USC securely. You will need to activate your USC NetID before you can use Cisco AnyConnect.
- If problems persist, contact the Office of Orientation Programs at (213) 740-7767 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can U.S. students attend International Orientation?
Only international students may attend the International Orientation event in August. U.S. students are not able to attend this event. If you are a U.S. student living abroad, email us at email@example.com to discuss your options. U.S. students admitted for the fall semester are welcome to attend the Summer Off-Campus Orientation events in China.
Summer Transfer Orientation events are open to both U.S. and international students.
All Winter Orientation events are open to both U.S. and international students admitted for the spring semester.
If you cannot attend any of the on- or off-campus events you are eligible to make a reservation for, select the “I Cannot Attend Orientation” option on the Orientation Events page.
I’m an international student who attended an Orientation event in China. Do I also attend the International Freshman Orientation in August?
No, you do not attend the International Freshman Orientation event in August if you attended an off-campus orientation event in China.
I was admitted for the spring semester. Can I attend Orientation in the summer?
Students admitted for the spring semester must attend a Winter Orientation. Freshmen studying abroad during the fall semester at one of our agreement schools (American University in Paris, Franklin University Switzerland, The American International University in London, Richmond, or John Cabot University, Rome) may attend an Off-Campus Orientation events in November.
How much does Orientation cost?
There is no out-of-pocket fee for students to attend Orientation. The New Student Fee covers your attendance at Orientation, as well as one guest reservation. Fees apply for additional guests, on-campus guest housing and Early Arrival Housing. Details can be found on our website under your specific event type:
Why am I being charged a New Student Fee if I did not attend Orientation?
All new undergraduate students are assessed a one-time New Student Fee. In addition to Orientation, this fee covers services and programs available to new students during their first year at USC. These include Welcome Week programs and activities and university publications.
What do I do now that I have signed up for Orientation?
After you sign up, you need to complete the Pre-Orientation Checklist, which is necessary for your academic advising and registration. Your Pre-Orientation Checklist should be completed at least 5 business days before your Orientation event. Visit the Before Orientation section under the specific type of event you are attending to see what you need to do:
Where do I find my Pre-Orientation Checklist?
- Log in to the Orientation Events page.
- Click on the Event Link next to Pre-Orientation Checklist. Click here for a diagram of where to find the Pre-Orientation Checklist.
Can I opt out of the math and chemistry placement exams?
If your major requires you to take the placement exam, you must take it, regardless of previous coursework. These tests are for advisement purposes only, so your advisor can assess your level of knowledge in these subjects. Visit the Before Orientation section under the specific type of event you are attending for more information about the placement tests:
Do I need to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam if I am transferring in foreign language courses?
You should refer to your Transfer Credit Report (TCR) to determine if your transferable coursework satisfies the USC Foreign Language Requirement. If your transferable coursework does not satisfy the requirement, then you must take the Foreign Language Placement Exam before enrolling in a language course at USC, regardless of the level of coursework you are transferring in.
Where should I enter campus for parking at an on-campus Orientation?
Enter campus at the McClintock Avenue Entrance, located at Jefferson Boulevard and McClintock Avenue. Let the gate attendant know you are attending Orientation and need a parking pass. You will be given a parking pass and instructed to park in the Royal Street Structure. There is no additional charge for parking, and your pass will be valid for the duration of Orientation.
Arrival and parking information are also included in your confirmation email.
Do I need to pay for parking at Off-Campus Orientation events?
Yes. Parking options and rates vary based on location. A link to the venue’s website is included in your confirmation email.
How do I request additional accommodations for Orientation?
Additional accommodation requests should be entered in the Additional Accommodations section of the online reservation form. You may also contact us at (213) 740-7767 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs. Students who need accommodations for placement exams need to register with Disability Services and Programs.
How do I request other meal options for a specific dietary need?
Dietary needs should be entered in the Meal Option section of the online reservation form. You may also contact us at (213) 740-7767 or email@example.com to discuss your dietary needs. If you are attending an On-Campus Orientation event, you may also contact the USC Dietitian to discuss your meal options.
Do students stay overnight?
- Summer On-Campus Freshman Orientation
- All students attending On-Campus Summer Freshman Orientation events are expected to stay overnight in the Orientation housing provided in our on-campus residence halls. There is no additional fee for these accommodations.
- Transfer and Winter Orientation
- Overnight housing is NOT provided during Summer Transfer Orientation or Winter Orientation events.
- International Freshman Orientation
- Students attending the International Freshman Orientation in August and assigned to university housing for the academic year will have the option to move in to their housing assignment as early as Monday, August 13, prior to the start of Orientation. Students opting to move-in on Monday, August 13 will be assessed a $60 fee, which must be paid when making your orientation reservation. All students attending International Freshman Orientation with USC Housing contracts may move-in to their assigned housing on Tuesday, August 14 at no additional cost. Students may also opt to move in on regular Move-In Day, Wednesday, August 15. Student assigned to Fluor Tower moving in Monday will be assigned a temporary space until their assigned room is ready, typically by Tuesday afternoon.
Can I stay in USC Housing the day before Orientation?
- Summer On-Campus Freshman Orientation
- Early Arrival Housing is available for students and guests who may need accommodations the day before an On-Campus Summer Freshman Orientation event. You can request Early Arrival when you make your reservation for Orientation. The fee for Early Arrival Housing is due at the time of the reservation. Visit the Early Arrival section of our website for more details.
- Summer Transfer Orientation (July events only)
- USC Summer Guest Housing if you need accommodations before the July transfer orientations.
- International Freshman, August Transfer & Winter Orientations
- Early Arrival or USC Summer Guest Housing are NOT available before theses orientation events. You can make reservations at a local hotel, if needed.
Can I stay an extra day after the event?
- Summer On-Campus Freshman & Transfer Orientations (June and July events only)
- If you and your guests require overnight housing after an On-Campus Summer Orientation event in June or July, you can arrange for housing through USC Summer Guest Housing. Students under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult in order to stay in USC Summer Guest Housing.
- International Freshman, August Transfer & Winter Orientations
- USC Summer Guest Housing is NOT available after these orientation events. You should make arrangements to stay at a local hotel, if needed.
Are there hotels nearby?
Yes, there are many hotels near USC.
Can I change my major at Orientation? Can I declare a second major or a minor?
An important part of Orientation includes academic advisement and registration for your first semester courses at USC. If you have decided to change your major, let your current advisor know during Orientation and they can assist you in navigating the change-of-major process. Please keep in mind that some professional schools have an internal admission procedure and you may not be able to immediately change your major. Once you start your first semester, you may declare a second major or a minor. Contact the advising office for your intended major or minor for specific instructions.
Do I need to know what courses I want to register for before coming to Orientation?
No, you do not need to have your first-semester schedule planned out before coming to Orientation. Academic advisors will work with you to ensure you enroll in appropriate classes for your first semester.
If I attend a later Orientation, will it affect my course registration?
Regardless of when you attend Orientation, you will have a wide range of options to choose from. Spaces are opened in courses throughout the registration period. Additionally, course registration during Orientation events is open only to those students attending Orientation on that date.
Your advisor will help you enroll in the courses recommended for your degree program, but you should remain flexible. Be patient and work with your advisor if a course you want to take is closed.
If I can’t attend Orientation, when can I register for classes?
If you cannot attend Orientation, make a reservation for the “I Cannot Attend Orientation” option on the Orientation Events page. Your confirmation email will include information about academic advising, placement exams, course registration and Welcome Week.
Do I have to wait for USC to receive my final transcripts and exam scores before attending Orientation?
No, you do not need to wait to receive final exam scores or transcripts before attending Orientation. Academic advisors will work with you during Orientation to help you register for classes based on the information you include in your Pre-Academic Advisement Worksheet. The information you enter in the worksheet will assist your advisor in determining your first-semester course plan. Please complete it as thoroughly and accurately as possible. However, you may not be able to register for all the appropriate classes without final transcripts. To ensure that you receive the proper advisement, you are encouraged to discuss your exam scores and in-progress coursework with your advisor at Orientation.
What do I do now that I have attended Orientation?
After Orientation, there are a number of steps you need to complete. Refer to the After Orientation section for your specific event type:
Is it mandatory for guests to attend Orientation?
Guests are not required to attend Orientation, but we highly recommend it.
Is there a fee for guests to attend Orientation?
Yes, guests must pay a program fee to attend Orientation. Fees vary depending on the type of Orientation event you attend. This fee helps cover the costs of meals, publications, venues and many other aspects of Orientation. Fees are also charged for guest housing and Early Arrival Housing. For more details, refer to the Fees section for your specific event type:
Can I add or remove a guest after I make a reservation?
Yes, you can add or remove a guest up until the reservation deadline for an event. To make changes, log in to the Orientation Events page and click on My Reservation. Any refund due will be posted to the credit card used for payment. No refunds will be processed after the reservation deadline. Visit the Modify Reservation page on our website for detailed instructions for modifying your reservation.
Please contact us at (213) 740-7767 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to make changes to your reservation after the deadline.
Are student and guest sessions the same at Orientation?
Students and guests attend some sessions together. For many activities, including academic advisement and course registration, students and guests are separated. For more details, please view the schedules for your specific event type:
- Freshman Summer On-Campus
- Freshman Summer Off-Campus
- International On-Campus Freshman
- Transfer Summer
- Freshman Winter
- Transfer Winter
The Orientation event schedules are available to view when you make your Orientation reservation and will be provided to Orientation attendees at check-in.
Is there on-campus overnight housing for guests?
- Summer On-Campus Freshman
- Overnight housing for guests may be requested during the reservation process. Additional fees apply for overnight housing. Guests are housed separately from students in traditional dormitory-style residence halls with community bathrooms. Orientation housing is not air-conditioned.
- Summer Transfer Orientation (July events)
- International Freshman, August Transfer & Winter Orientations
- On-campus housing through Orientation and USC Summer Guest Housing are not available during these orientation events. Guests should make reservations at a local hotel.