New student orientation is your student’s introduction to the Trojan Family and an important first step in their USC journey. Even though your student is transferring from another higher education institution, attending Orientation at USC will help introduce them and you to the nuances of life at USC.

For new transfer students entering in the fall semester, On-Campus Orientation takes place at the USC University Park campus in Los Angeles. These one-day events cover the USC experience, campus life, safety, academic expectations and first-semester course registration. Academic advisors and Orientation Advisors help students with course selection and registration. These events are offered on dates that will to allow your student time to submit all final, official transcripts from their transfer institution. Your student’s Transfer Credit Report (TCR) showing unit and subject credit granted for college courses and relevant exams will be completed based on available records and ready by their orientation date. Outstanding coursework and petitions can be discussed with their academic advisor at orientation.

All new students are expected to attend Orientation and we encourage students to bring a guest with them. Keep in mind that orientation sessions are for students and adult guests. We do not offer any programming for siblings or young children. All guests must attend the guest sessions and cannot join student-only sessions during Orientation. All guests attending orientation must have a reservation.

The student-only sessions at orientation are an excellent time for your student to engage independently and build relationships with their peers and campus staff, just like when they start school.

The guest-only sessions are an opportunity for you to meet and talk with other parents and supporters and ask questions you want to know the answers to as a parent and supporter.

One adult guest reservation is included with the New Student Fee. All additional guests are assessed the Orientation Guest Fee, a per-person charge for each guest attending Orientation with a student. Guest fees must be paid when making your reservation. Students do not pay a separate fee to attend Orientation.

EVENT FIRST GUEST FEE ADDITIONAL GUEST FEE (PER PERSON)
Transfer Orientation No Charge  $130 per person
Veteran Orientation No Charge  $50 per person

Embarking on life at USC is exciting and stressful, even for students who have experienced higher education at a previous institution. Attending orientation with your student will help you learn how you can support your student as they navigate this time in their life.

At Orientation, you will learn about academic requirements, student services, housing, transportation, meal plans, student health services, student financial services, as well have opportunities to meet other new parents and supporters, hear from staff and make your own connections with the Trojan Family. You can experience campus life by going on a campus tour or visiting the USC Village. You will also join the Trojan Marching Band for a memorable Spirit Rally!

Your student should check their USC email regularly before orientation for important messages from their academic advisor.

There are a number of to-do items your student must complete before attending orientation. Students should log in to their pre-orientation checklist and complete the following items no later than five business days before their orientation:

  • Math placement exam (as required by their major)
  • Chemistry placement exam (as required by their major)
  • Pre-Advisement Worksheet
  • Upload their USCard photo

Students should also review their admission letter to determine if they are subject to a condition of admission. If students do have a condition of admission, a registration hold is placed on their student account and they cannot register for courses until the hold is lifted. It is very important that students follow-up with their admission counselor before orientation if they have a condition of admission.

You can read more about the Pre-Orientation Checklist here on our website.

It may be helpful to discuss the following topics so you and your student are on the same page regarding academic advising and course registration during orientation:

  • Academic advising at orientation is relatively brief and limited to first-semester course planning.
  • Academic advising at orientation will likely occur in small group setting with other new students in the same major.
  • Students should plan on meeting with their academic advisor one-on-one during the fall semester for a full academic advisement appointment to discuss their long term plan.
  • First-semester course registration at USC is frequently the most challenging, even for transfer students. Students should remain flexible and patient during course registration.
  • Submitting all final transcripts as soon as possible so they can be entered into your student’s Transfer Credit Report will help ensure accurate first-semester course planning.
  • Academic advisors are present during course registration to ensure that students register for courses they need for their degree program.
  • Students have until the end of the third week of semester to add or drop courses, so there is still time to make schedule changes after orientation, but it is important that students consult their academic advisor prior to making changes.

If your student is interested in pursuing a different major, it is important to understand that many majors in our professional schools require an supplemental application/internal admission process that may take a semester or more to complete. Transfer students should carefully consider their time to degree when looking at major change options.

See Changing Majors in the Academic section of our Resources page for links to major change information.

If your student plans to pursue a major that does not require a supplemental application/internal admission process, they should contact their academic advisor prior to orientation so the major change can be processed before orientation.

Your (and your student’s) confirmation email contains detailed event information, including start times, check-in locations and what to bring. Review the start and end times carefully to ensure you do not make travel plans that will cause you and your student to miss parts of orientation. Be certain to take Los Angeles traffic into account when planning your travel.

Lists of what to bring are on our website and included in both your and your student’s confirmation and reminder emails.

For on-campus orientations, keep in mind that it can be quite warm during the summer and there is a fair amount of time spent outside and walking between locations. Be prepared with comfortable clothing, shoes, hats and sunscreen. We also recommend bringing a light jacket or sweater. Indoor air conditioning can be very cool, even with warm outside temperatures, and nighttime temperatures can cool off quickly.

Some sessions students and guests attend together, others they attend separately. View the schedule to see when you and your student are together and when you are apart.

The student-only sessions at orientation are an excellent time for your student to engage independently and build relationships with their peers and campus staff, just like when they start school.

The guest-only sessions are an opportunity for you to meet and talk with other parents and ask questions you want to know the answers to as a parent.

Only students are permitted in academic advising and course registration, however, you and your student attend Academic Expectations together. Academic Expectations is a large group presentation, led by the professional academic advisors in each academic unit, that details the academic requirements for your student’s degree.

  • If you are able to, take the full orientation time off from work. Try not to take work calls or emails that will pull you out of orientation sessions.
  • Think of orientation as an educational conference and attend the sessions we are offering. Some times we have large general sessions for all attendees, other times we offer smaller, breakout sessions to allow you to learn more about topics that are relevant to you and your student.
  • Stick around for the questions and answer time at the end of sessions. Someone might ask something you had not thought of yet.
  • Take the time to connect with campus resources and staff. Collect business cards. We are your partners in supporting your student during their time at USC and are happy to answer your questions.
  • Jot down notes or take pictures of key pieces of information during the sessions. Know that nearly all of the information presented at Orientation is available on either the orientation website or the presenting department’s website. If you do not get everything down during the session, you can always follow up on it later.

You play a pivotal role in your student’s success, but the university is restricted by law from disclosing information such as grades, grade point average (GPA), and progress toward degree to anyone other than the student who owns the education record.

OASIS for Guests allows students to share their academic and financial record with their parent or other individual and signals to university staff that they wish to grant those individuals access to information about their academic record.

Students must be the ones to create OASIS for Guests access through the following steps:

  1. Log into myUSC
  2. Click the OASIS link
  3. Select the Other Services tab
  4. Click on Establish Guest Access to create the guest account

Once a parent/guest account is created, students must provide their parents/guests three pieces of information in order to access OASIS for Guest:

  1. Student USCID (10 digits)
  2. Guest Login ID
  3. Guest PIN

Other helpful links regarding student records:

Your student will receive an email when a new billing statement is generated. eBills are generated every four to five weeks. USC does not mail paper statements. Students can also view their student account at any time logging in to USCe.pay. The student account settlement deadline for each semester is the Friday before classes begin.

Extensive information regarding fee payment is available on the Student Financial Services website. We have called out a few key sections in the list below, and we suggest you review the entire Student Financial Services website with your student to ensure everyone understands when and how payments should be made.

USCe.pay for Guests allows students to grant parents/guests access to financial information ONLY. (OASIS for Guests allows access to financial information, courses and grades.) To set up a guest user, students go to the Your Account page on USCe.pay, then click Add New under Guest Users. Guests can access USCe.pay for Guests from the USCe.pay website.

As your student embarks on their first semester at USC, there are a number of conversations to consider having with your student, which can help clarify expectations and responsibilities (both yours and theirs) and help your student feel supported as they start at USC. Even if you already addressed these topics before they began at their transfer institution, it can be helpful to revisit them as they begin this next chapter. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Communication

  • How often would like to communicate with your student?
  • How will you communicate?
  • Ask your student how they’re feeling. Excited? Anxious? Remind them they’re not alone and other new students are likely feeling the same way (even though it may not seem like it).

Academics

  • What academic information do you expect your students to share with you?
  • What are your expectations for your student’s grades?
  • Ask your student how they feel about about their current major. Talk about what should happen if they decide to pursue a different major.

Housing

  • How much does their preferred housing option cost?
  • Will they live with roommates?
  • What safety and security measures are available at their preferred housing option?
  • What will they bring with them?

Transportation

  • Will they bring a car or take public transit?
  • How much will either option cost?

Finances

  • What bills will your student need to pay?
  • How should your student manage everyday expenses?
  • Should your student get a job on campus?
  • What does your student need to know about using a checking account, debit card or credit card?
  • Work with your student to develop a personal budget.
  • How will your student purchase textbooks?
  • Will your student bring a personal laptop or use a computer lab?

Staying Healthy & Well

  • Will your student have a meal plan?
  • Will they have a budget for meals outside of the meal plan?
  • How can they manage any allergies or dietary restrictions?
  • What health insurance will they use?
  • Which health care provider should they see if they need care while at USC?
  • How will they access needed prescriptions?
  • Discuss their first semester course load. Make sure their course load is realistic and that they have scheduled enough time for extracurricular activities, proper fitness and nutrition, and simple rest.

Staying Safe & Building Community

  • Have they:
    • Programmed the DPS phone numbers into their contacts?
    • Signed up for TrojansAlert?
    • Downloaded the Trojan Mobile Safety app (Livesafe)?
    • Joined the USC Safe Ride Program?
  • If they are bringing a bicycle, they will need to register it with DPS.
  • What would they do if they encountered behavior that violated USC standards?

Move-In Day is an exciting and busy day. If your student is living in university-owned housing, USC Housing mails an extensive Check-in Guide to students living in university housing. Your student can expect to receive this guide in mid to late July. Review this guide with your student to learn more about what to bring, move-in procedures, move-in maps, USC Housing services and other housing information.

If you plan to ship some of your student’s belongings, keep in mind that they must arrive AFTER Move-In Day. USC Housing cannot accept packages for students before they move-in. If you are traveling a long distance to USC, we recommend that your student pack enough supplies to get them through the first few days while they wait for their belongings to arrive. There are also a number of stores where students can purchase items, although keep in mind that they may sell out of popular items quickly around Move-In Day.

On Move-In Day, you also have the opportunity to attend a number of Welcome Week events. Some are for parents only, some are for students only, and some you can attend together.

When making your travel plans for Move-In Day, be sure to stay through Thursday afternoon because you won’t want to miss New Student Convocation on Thursday morning! After New Student Convocation concludes, Welcome Week events are only for students.

If you plan to stay at a local hotel during Move-In, make your reservations early as space does fill up.

Trojan Family Weekend is celebrated every fall and is a great opportunity for you to visit your student and get a first-hand look at life as a Trojan. For dates and more information, visit the Trojan Family Weekend website.

We understand that not every student is able to bring a guest with them to orientation. If you are unable to attend orientation, we invite you to review the publications, videos and resource links on our website. Much of what is covered during orientation is available the Orientation website or other campus departments’ websites.

Be sure to review the Move-In information on this website and in the Check-in Guide. Review the Welcome Week website to learn about opportunities to connect with USC staff, faculty and other parents during Welcome Week.

If your student cannot attend orientation, it is very important they make a reservation for I Cannot Attend Summer Orientation. This lets their academic advisor know that they are not able to attend an in-person orientation. Students will have a virtual advising session with their academic advisor and register for courses remotely in mid-August. They will also have the option to sign-up for an online chat with an Orientation Advisor and a group of other new students to learn about student life at USC.

Your student’s on-campus experience begins with Move-In Day and Welcome Week!