Preparing for Orientation

Orientation will be a busy time, so it’s important to plan ahead for the program.

Once you have registered for the Winter Orientation program, here are a few things to do before you come to orientation:

Submit Your Mcard Photo

The MCard is the official University of Michigan ID card. All new students should submit a photo to be used on your MCard. Students attending the Winter Orientation program on January 7-8, 2019 must submit a photo for the MCard by January 2, 2019. Please visit for information regarding photo specifications and the submission process. If you do not submit your photo in advance, it will delay the processing of your MCard. 


Attention UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn transfer students: Bring your old Mcard with you to orientation. You will receive a new UM-Ann Arbor Mcard and will surrender your old Mcard at this time. 

Bring the Right Things to Campus

As you prepare for Winter Orientation, be sure to bring the following with you to the orientation program:  

  • Your uniqname and password
  • A campus map
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack/book bag for your orientation materials
  • Comfortable walking shoes/boots
  • Comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather
  • #2 Pencils
  • Orientation confirmation email
  • Picture ID
  • AP Scores and/or Transcripts, if available
  • Money for parking
  • Your UM-Flint or UM-Dearborn Mcard (if applicable)
  • Enthusiasm! 


Online Placement Exams

Students must complete the online exams before attending orientation.  Please refer to the charts under Orietnation Overview to note which exams you are required to take.

All test results will be given to your academic advisor and reviewed with you during your advising appointment at orientation. Results cannot be provided ahead of time by the Office of New Student Programs or the individual departments.

Browser Requirements
For each exam, you will need a computer with a web browser. It is recommended that you take the tests using Firefox, version 3.0 or later, as your browser. Other supported browsers are:

  • For Windows: Internet Explorer 7+ or Opera 9.1+
  • For Macintosh OS X: Safari 3.2.1+; Mac OS 9 is not supported.
  • For Linux: Konqueror 3.3+

In addition, please have your uniqname and password readily available.  Be sure your computer is fully charged (and with enough battery if you are away from an electrical outlet).  Arrange to take all online tests in a quiet area, free from distractions (TVs, phones, etc.), and allow yourself ample time, as indicated in each section.  Refer to the links below for specific deadlines by which each exam must be completed prior to orientation.  

Information regarding the online placement exams for Winter Term students may be found at the following links:
MATH   (Available TBD) -- Complete this exam no later than three business days prior to your orientation.
DIRECTED SELF-PLACEMENT FOR WRITING - Freshmen -- Submit your essay no later than five business days prior to your orientation.
SPANISH  (Available TBD) -- Complete this exam no later than five business days prior to your orientation; please allow a few business days after creating you uniqname to access the exam through Canvas.

If you want to take a placement exam for a language other than the ones listed above, call the department directly to take the test after orientation. Do not schedule one of these exams while you are participating in the program. A list of languages and their corresponding departments can be found online. 

If you are unsure as to whether you need to complete any of the exams, please review the Placement Exam Chart when it becomes available (November).

**Students who need to arrange for extended testing time on on-line exams should complete the form on the Testing Accommodation Center website.

Understand the Orientation Expectations

As a new student at the University of Michigan, you will be expected to handle your new responsibilities as a college student, beginning at orientation.

We expect you to make your own reservations for orientation. Students are responsible for creating your University of Michigan computing account (uniqname) and password prior to registering for orientation, and for keeping this information safe and secure. You should not share this information with anyone. You are also expected to complete placement exams without the aid of others.

We expect you to attend all orientation activities. All sessions during orientation are required, and programming is specifically designed to assist students with your academic and social transition to the University. You may be dismissed from the program without registering for classes if you have missed activities and are unprepared to register for classes.

We expect you to act as responsible adults and to follow all orientation rules, including rules prohibiting alcohol and drug use. Failure to comply with these rules can result in dismissal from orientation without registering for classes, or legal consequences including arrests, Minor in Possession tickets and fines, and future appearances in local courts. 

Make Your Travel Plans

Traveling to Orientation by Car and Parking

Most students travel to orientation by car. Click here for complete driving and parking information for the January orientation program. 


Traveling to Orientation by Plane

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is the closest major airport to Ann Arbor. There are many shuttle services and cab companies that provide service from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to campus. A list of these services is available online from the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.


Other Means of Travel

Ann Arbor is accessible by both Amtrak train service and Greyhound bus. To inquire about train schedules or make reservations, you can call 800-USA-RAIL (800-872-7245) or you can book online at The telephone number for Greyhound is 800-231-2222 or you can book online at For directions from the train station or bus depot to the orientation location, please contact our office.

Take the Wolverine Access Online Tutorials

Wolverine Access is the system that you will use to register for your classes. Your academic advisors will expect you to already be familiar with this system when you meet with them to register for courses. There are several online tutorials available to assist you in learning Wolverine Access prior to Orientation:

These tutorials will introduce you to the services available through Wolverine Access, and they will prepare you for course selection and registration at Orientation. Using these tutorials in advance will help you navigate Wolverine Access during orientation, which may expedite your course registration process.