Fall Orientation Overview

The purpose of orientation is to provide students with a smooth and helpful transition to college life. The University of Michigan expects undergraduate students who are admitted for the Fall Term to attend one of the many Summer Orientation Programs offered from June to early August. The University offers over 30 separate sessions to accommodate as many freshmen as possible, and over 95% of freshmen are able to find a Summer Orientation Program that works with their schedules. 

While at orientation, freshmen complete all necessary steps to attend the University of Michigan for the Fall Term, including placement testing, group and individual academic advising, and course registration. Students leave orientation with their Fall Term schedule of classes, including sections and times. In addition, students learn about the resources available at Michigan to help them be successful – academically, socially, and emotionally.  

If you are unable to attend one of the orientation programs occurring throughout the summer, then you are required to attend the Final Fall Orientation. Click on “Cannot Attend” to learn more about Final Fall Orientation.

Click on the links to learn more about each of these things as you make your plans for orientation! 

Program Dates

Program dates for 2019 range from early June - early August, and students must select dates during which academic advising will be available for their school, college, or program (e.g., Literature, Science & the Arts; Art & Design; Honors Program, etc.). Not all dates are available to students in all academic programs. 

Information about Freshman Orientation is emailed in mid-April to the UMICH email accounts of all students who have paid their enrollment deposit. When you register for orientation, you will select an appropriate orientation session based on your academic unit and space availability. Program dates are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and we cannot hold/reserve seats.

Certain factors, such as auditorium capacity, bed space and the number of advisors available on a given date, limit the number of students we can accommodate at one time. When an orientation program reaches its capacity for any of these reasons, that program will no longer be available to students. It is possible for a particular program to be closed for one academic unit while others still have space available. ONSP makes every effort possible to allow all students to find an orientation program that fits their needs. Special requests for a specific date or for a change in date will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and only if there is space available. There is no guarantee that we will be able to honor such requests. Any change will only be possible when the new date is later in the summer than the original date. Changes to orientation dates can be made only by ONSP front desk staff by calling 734-764-6413 during normal business hours.

NOTE: Please do not make travel plans before your student has received their orientation confirmation email. Travel plans made for a specific orientation session before a student has received the official confirmation does not constitute exceptional circumstances, and ONSP is not obligated to accommodate special requests or date changes in these cases.

Attention Parents: If you are attending a Parent & Family Orientation program that does not begin on the same day as your student’s program, you may not be able to visit your student’s academic School/College.

Program Check-In

Check-In Time

Check-in for the freshman Summer Orientation Programs occurring between June and August is 8:00 a.m. at East Quadrangle, 701 E. University Ave.  

Check-In Procedures

When you arrive for orientation, you will be asked to sign in and will receive some orientation materials and further instructions. Please plan to bring a photo ID with you in order to pick up your MCard, and a backpack or book bag in which to put your orientation materials. 

If you are staying in the residence hall during the orientation program, you will also receive a key to your room and instructions to take your luggage to your room. Plan to pack light! You will not have assistance in getting your luggage to your room. Click here for a list of what to bring to orientation.  Click here for East Quad Entry Map.

Program Schedule

Check-in is at 8:00 a.m. at East Quadrangle.  Orientation activities will take place from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. on the first and second days of the program. Orientation activities will take place from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on the third day, except for students auditioning for the Michigan Marching Band. Marching Band auditions typically end by 2:00 p.m.  

If you are traveling by air, do not make return flight/travel arrangements prior to 3:00 p.m. due to traffic, distance to the airport, and airport security check-in. If you are auditioning for Marching Band, do not make return flight/travel arrangements prior to 5:00 p.m. as the ending time varies. Please remember that you are welcome to have lunch in East Quadrangle before heading home.

The exact orientation schedule is unique to each student and is based on the academic program(s) to which he/she has been admitted. The student will receive his/her customized schedule at check-in. 

Here is the general outline of events:

Day 1
Receive MCard
Welcome Meeting (introduction to orientation & general information about campus life including transportation, roommates, meal plans, and more)
Campus Safety
Central Campus Walking Tour
Campus Life Discussion
Money Management
Placement Exams
Educational Theatre Presentation
Evening Activities (movies, games, etc)

Day 2
Making the Academic Transition
Collaboration at Michigan
Campus Libraries
Academic Advising & Preparation for Course Registration
Michigan Learning Communities
Peer Academic Advising

Day 3
Course Registration
"First Step" Study Abroad Presentation (optional)
Michigan Marching Band Auditions (if applicable)

Program Fees

The Freshman Summer Orientation program fee for 2019 is $TBD and it will be billed directly to your student account in the fall. The fee for Summer Orientation includes two nights of lodging in East Quadrangle and eight meals. DO NOT send this fee in advance. We highly recommend that you stay in East Quadrangle during the program.

If you are from the local area or have other reasons for not staying on campus, you may attend the program for a fee of $TBD.  This fee includes eight meals but does not include overnight accommodations. No other fee reductions are possible.

If, due to travel, distance or other circumstances it will be necessary for you to arrive the night before your scheduled orientation date, you may stay in East Quadrangle for an additional fee $35.50. Please see information about early arrival in the Lodging section below. 

*Please note that the $300 enrollment fee is not the same as the orientation fee. The enrollment fee holds a student's seat in the class of 2022, and will be applied to the tuition in the fall.  The orientation program is a separate charge as it is not supported by tuition dollars. 


The Freshman Summer Orientation program is a three-day program for students and includes accommodations for two nights and eight meals in the orientation residence hall. Students need to arrive for check-in at 8:00 a.m. 

Students who are travelling alone AND live more than 75 miles from Ann Arbor may be eligible for early arrival, which allows students to check into the residence hall between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. the night prior to their scheduled Orientation date. There is an additional fee of $35.50 for early arrival. If a student needs to arrive earlier than one night prior to orientation or stay later, they must make their own arrangements for lodging elsewhere. Early arrival housing is limited, so we have put these policies in place to ensure that those who need early arrival are able to get it. Should you have any questions about this policy, please email onsp@umich.edu.

Additionally, we only provide lodging for incoming students registered for orientation or, in the case of a student with a disability, for their caregiver. We do not provide lodging for parents or other guests in the residence hall. Click here for information about lodging for parents and family members attending Parent & Family Orientation.

Students live on a floor with their orientation leaders and approximately 200 other new students in their orientation group. We strongly encourage all orientation participants to stay in the residence hall, as we feel it is part of the total learning experience. Students wishing to commute to orientation, however, may decline their orientation housing opportunity at the time of check-in. If students do not stay in the residence hall during orientation, they will be charged a reduced fee which includes eight meals but does not include overnight accommodations. 

Please note: If you are attending Orientation with a friend, we will make no effort to house friends in the same room. Roommate assignments are random. No exceptions.

Placement Exam Information

Placement exams in chemistry, mathematics, algorithmic thinking, certain languages, and an essay and questions to help you choose your first writing course (a process called Directed Self-Placement for Writing) are administered prior to and/or during orientation. All tests are for placement in University of Michigan courses only. Advisors use the information from the placement exams in conjunction with information from your transcripts and your prior course experience. Students are not expected to study or prepare in advance for the placement exams. 

Placement exams are mandatory if: 

  • you are required to take these subjects by your academic school/college 
  • you wish to continue in these subjects
  • in the case of writing, to help you choose the writing course most appropriate for you

Please visit Online & Proctored Placement Exams under the Preparing for Orientation link to the left for an explanation of each exam (opening dates, due dates, etc.), as well as links to the exams. 

**Students who need to arrange for extended testing time must complete the online request form located on the Testing Accommodation Center website.

Directions and Parking

If you are traveling to orientation by plane, bus, or train, click here for travel information.

Parking for East Quadrangle:

Parking for Student Orientation is located at the Forest Street Parking Structure, located at 650 S. Forest Avenue. Students who are driving themselves to orientation should park in this structure. If you are staying overnight at orientation (most students), you will also need an overnight parking pass that you can pick up from our ONSP Parking Attendant upon entry to the Forest Structure (Sun-Wed, 7:30 - 9:00 AM). This pass provides parking for a reduced flat rate and is only available for students. If you arrive outside of our parking attendant's hourse, you'll need to pick up your overnight parking pass from the Community Center desk inside of East Quad. If you are not staying in East Quadrangle overnight during orientation, you do not need the overnight pass. You will pay a daily parking rate.

If your parents or family members are driving you to Orientation and staying for the Parent & Family Orientation program, they should review the Parent & Family Orientation parking information

Driving Directions to the Forest Street Structure:

From the North (Flint): 

  • Take US-23 South to M-14 (exit 45)
  • Take M-14 West to Exit 3 - Downtown Ann Arbor (exit turns into Main Street)
  • Take Main Street to Huron St. (approximately 1.5 miles)
  • Turn left (East) on Huron St. Huron St. will turn into Washtenaw Ave. 
  • Take Washtenaw Ave. to S. Forest St. (approximately 2 miles). Turn right onto S. Forest St. 
  • Take S. Forest Street two blocks, past the intersection of S. University Ave. The Forest Street Structure will be on your right. 

From the East (Windsor, Detroit, and Airports)

  • Take I-94 West to State Street (exit 177)
  • Turn right (North) on State Street, travel approximately 2.5 miles
  • Turn right (East) onto Hill St. 
  • Take Hill St. to E. University Ave. Turn left onto E. University Ave. 
  • Go 1 block to Willard St. Turn right onto Willard St. 
  • Take Willard St. two blocks to Forest St. Turn left onto Forest St. 
  • The Forest Street Structure will be on your left. 

From the South (Toledo)

  • Take US-23 North to I-94 West (exit 35)
  • Take I-94 West to State Street (exit 177)
  • Turn right (North) on State Street, travel approximately 2.5 miles
  • Turn right (East) onto Hill St. 
  • Take Hill St. to E. University Ave. Turn left onto E. University Ave. 
  • Go 1 block to Willard St. Turn right onto Willard St. 
  • Take Willard St. two blocks to Forest St. Turn left onto Forest St. 
  • The Forest Street Structure will be on your left. 

From the West (Jackson)

  • Take I-94 East to State Street (exit 177)
  • Turn left (North) on State Street, travel approximately 2.5 miles
  • Turn right (East) onto Hill St. 
  • Take Hill St. to E. University Ave. Turn left onto E. University Ave. 
  • Go 1 block to Willard St. Turn right onto Willard St. 
  • Take Willard St. two blocks to Forest St. Turn left onto Forest St. 
  • The Forest Street Structure will be on your left. 

Walking Directions from the Forest Street Structure to East Quadrangle: 

  • Exit the Forest Street Structure at the Forest Street exit. 
  • Travel south (right) on Forest Street to Williard St. 
  • Travel west (right) on Willard St. for two blocks to E. University Ave. (You will see East Quadrangle after only 1 block, however do not attempt to enter East Quadrangle from any of the Church Street or Williard Street entrances. You must enter East Quad from the East University Ave. entrance). 
  • Turn left on E. University Ave. 
  • East Quadrangle will be on your left. 
Cannot Attend?

The Office of New Student Programs strongly encourages students to attend orientation during the summer if possible. The Freshman Summer Orientation Program allows students to focus on the issues they face when making the transition from high school to college, without having to deal with the additional pressures of moving into their residence hall, saying goodbye to friends and family, and adjusting to a new environment. 

If you are unable to attend a summer program due to distance, summer travel, or employment, you may be eligible to attend Final Fall Orientation, which will allow students to complete all necessary procedures for class registration including placement testing, general information sessions, and academic advising.

To register for Final Fall Orientation, you will need special approval from the Office of New Student Programs. Once you pay your enrollment deposit and receive our email inviting you to register for orientation, you should email onsp@umich.edu with "Request for Fall Orientation" in the subject line.  Briefly describe the reason you need to attend Final Fall Orientation, and attach supporting documentation (e.g., airfare e-ticket, letter from camp, letter from employer, etc). 

Spaces in the Final Fall Orientation are filled on a case-by-case basis. If approved, you will receive written confirmation of your assigned orientation date. Your confirmation letter will include information specific to the Final Fall Orientation Program regarding check-in, parking, and what to bring to orientation.

Special Accommodations

If you have a condition that might affect your participation in orientation, ONSP can coordinate certain arrangements you may need while you are on campus for the orientation program. Services may include accessible rooms in the residence hall and refrigerators for medication. Please note: participants will need to travel to various points on campus during their orientation. We have a wheelchair available for those who may request one. However, please consider bringing to campus whatever you might already utilize to ensure you are able to enjoy the full range of activities scheduled during your orientation.  

You can contact our office regarding necessary arrangements in two ways: 

  • You can mark the appropriate box during web registration, and we will contact you prior to your program to discuss your needs. 
  • You can contact our office directly to indicate your needs. 

Because some arrangements take time to complete, please contact us at least two weeks in advance of your assigned date. 

**Students who need to arrange for extended testing time must complete the online request form located on the Testing Accommodation Center website.

Accommodations made during orientation do not reflect how those same accommodations will be made during the school year. It is important that students with disabilities contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible to discuss your school year needs.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you do not need to indicate any special accommodations on your orientation registration. All meals at orientation offer some vegetarian and vegan options. However, if you have a food allergy of any type, please note the allergy on your orientation registration. 

Arrangements for those observing Ramadan can be made by indicating "fasting" on their orientation registration.

Students Admitted to the M-STEM Academies, LSA Honors, LSA Residential College, or Camp Davis

M-STEM Academies

The M-STEM Academies is a joint program between the College of Engineering (CoE) and the College of LSA (LSA).  Their cohort of students call either LSA or CoE their home college, complete with its own programmatic requirements. As a result they are comprised of two smaller academies aligned with each college: M-Engin (CoE) and M-Sci (LSA). If you have been accepted to participate in either M-Engin or M-Sci, please refer to the appropriate program below for more information.


This program is designed to maximize the academic, personal, and professional success of students, with the goal of preparing them for the engineering global workforce. It begins with New Student Orientation followed by a pre-freshman 6-week summer transition program. Once you have been accepted to the M-Engin program, you must participate in the Summer-term orientation (date TBD). If you have already registered for a fall term orientation, please contact ONSP to have your orientation session changed by calling 734-764-6413 during normal business hours of 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Further details regarding your move to campus will be provided directly by the M-STEM Academies.


This is a two-year program for students who have been admitted into LSA and who are interested in any of the natural sciences and mathematics. It begins with New Student Orientation followed by summer-term classes. Once you have accepted the offer into M-Sci, your academic admission term must first be changed by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions from a fall-term to a summer-term start. This change could take up to 48-hours. After your term has been changed, you must register for the Summer-term orientation (date TBD). If you have already registered for a fall term orientation, please contact ONSP to have your registration changed by calling 734-764-6413 during normal business hours of 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Again, your academic term must be changed from Fall to Summer before ONSP can update your orientation dates. Further details regarding your move to campus will be provided directly by the M-STEM Academies.


Admission into LSA Honors and/or LSA Residential College  

LSA students who are admitted to Honors and/or the Residential College (RC), must attend an orientation on which those programs are participating. If you have already registered for a LSA fall-term orientation, you may need to change your orientation in the event Honors or RC seats are not available on your current dates. In some cases, you may have to move to a later orientation session. For example: in mid-April, you register for the June 7-9 orientation as an LSA student. Two weeks later, you accept admission into LSA-Honors. If Honors seats are not available for the June 7-9 orientation, you will have to reschedule to an orientation session that has available Honors seats. This could mean you are moved to a later orientation session. Please note: after you accept admission into Honors or the RC, it can take up to 48 hours for your record to be updated. ONSP cannot change your orientation dates until that occurs. This same process will occur in the event you decide to drop from the Honors or RC program and return to mainstream LSA. Again, seats for your current orientation dates cannot be guaranteed.


Camp Davis

If you are an incoming student admitted for the Fall term who has been accepted into Camp Davis, your matriculation (admission) term will be changed from Fall term to Summer term by the Registrar’s Office. The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences will then register you for summer term courses.

Because you still need to register for Fall term courses, you must attend a fall term orientation session conducted by the Office of New Student Programs. You may register for any orientation that has seats available for your academic unit. However, the sessions noted below are closest to the Camp Davis Program dates.

Camp Davis Program Dates                                    Suggested ONSP Orientations

Earth 116 Session 1 = July 5 - August 4                 TBD

Earth 116 Session 2 = July 17 - August 16             TBD

Earth 202 = June 18 - July 18                                 TBD

Earth 334 = July 14 - July 8                                    TBD

Students who have applied to Camp Davis, but who have not yet been accepted, may select the date above that corresponds with their preferred session. Students who have been accepted into Camp Davis, but who haven't registered for orientation, should contact ONSP for registration assistance. Students accepted into Camp Davis who have already registered for a date other than those above, and who would like to change to one of the suggested orientation sessions, should contact ONSP at 734-764-6413. 

Freshman Post-Orientation Checklist

Going to college is an exciting and busy time for new students. Often though, there is so much information coming from your new school it can be overwhelming. The Office of New Student Programs has created this freshman post-orientation checklist for freshmen students to help remind you of important things to accomplish before classes begin in September. Items in BOLD are required; all others are recommended.