New Student Orientation Phase 1
All new first-year students to Penn State must participate in New Student Orientation (NSO). During NSO, you will meet with students, faculty, and staff; begin to develop academic and co-curricular goals; become familiar with campus resources; and schedule courses for your first semester to begin putting your academic plan into action.
To prepare for a successful transition to Penn State, we've developed an NSO Tasklist to help you navigate your next steps. There are some things that you must complete before your NSO, others that you will complete during your NSO, and even more that will be completed after your NSO.
If you are admitted to Penn State for the summer 2021 or fall 2021 semesters and have accepted your offer of admission, you will gain access to the NSO Tasklist in March 2021. You will receive an email to the email address provided on your admissions application when you have access.
You will use this NSO Tasklist to make a reservation for your preferred NSO Program. In April, we will begin to accept reservations for NSO. Because of COVID-19 and the health and safety of the Penn State community, our orientation programs will be virtual in summer 2021.
Your virtual Penn State New Student Orientation experience will combine opportunities for real-time engagement with Penn State staff, Orientation Leaders, and Academic Advisers with a series of self-paced online modules.
The virtual orientation experience has combined some live/synchronous activities with self-paced asynchronous activities. We will begin to accept reservations for orientation in April 2021. When you make a reservation for orientation, you should select a start date that allows you to complete all synchronous and asynchronous orientation activities, except for the advising meeting, within 2 days. Students will be eligible to meet with an academic adviser once these items are complete. Dates/times of the University Welcome live streams will be available to accommodate new students and their families participating from a variety of time zones around the world.
Our live/synchronous activities include:
- A University Welcome,
- Zoom Orientation Leader Small group session,
- Meeting with your campus or UP college
- A one-on-one academic advising appointment
Our self-paced activities include:
- Orientation Canvas course
- Course Planning Guide
Your participation in the University Welcome, Orientation Leader Small Group, and campus/UP college meeting is required in order to gain access to additional self-paced modules and to schedule an appointment with an Academic Adviser. You will be able to select from date and time options within our reservation system.
What’s your time commitment? We estimate it will take you about ten hours to complete orientation:
- University Welcome, Orientation Leader Small Group, and campus/college meeting: 3 hours
- self-paced online modules the next day: 3-4 hours
- Academic Advising & Course Scheduling: 2 hours
You’ll be able to make a reservation for family members to participate in Virtual Orientation through the reservation system. Separate, but concurrent, programming options will be available for family members that wish to support you through the orientation process. Please add them as your guest(s) to ensure they receive important information about orientation.