Preparing for Orientation

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

Once you have registered for your Transfer 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 attending a December Transfer Orientation program should submit a photo to be used on your MCard at least two weeks prior to your Orientation date. Please visit for information regarding photo specifications and the submission process.

If you do not submit your photo in advance, you will not receive your Mcard during the orientation program. You will need to pick it up on your own time after your orientation.

Attention U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint Transfer Students: Be sure to bring your old Mcard to orientation with you. You will receive a new Mcard specific to the Ann Arbor campus at orientation. 

Learn How to Use the U-M Course Registration System (Wolverine Access)

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, as well as the School/College course guide, when you meet with them to register for courses. There are several online resources available to assist you in preparing for the course registration process: 


(Please note: LSA tutorials are often helpful for all students, not just students in LSA.) 


School & College Course Guides: 

Architecture + Urban Planning

Art & Design


Dental Hygiene (bachelor's degree)

Dental Hygiene (degree completion)




Literature, Science, and the Arts

Music, Theatre, Dance


Public Health

These resources and tutorials will introduce you to the course registration process and help to prepare you for course selection and registration at Orientation. You should explore them prior to attending orientation so that you will feel more comfortable with the course registration process at Orientation. 

Bring the Right Things to Campus

As you pack for your Transfer Orientation program, please bring the following items with you:

  • Your uniqname and password
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack/book bag for your orientation materials
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather
  • #2 Pencils
  • Umbrella
  • Orientation confirmation letter
  • Picture ID
  • AP Scores and/or Transcripts, if available
  • Money for parking
  • U-M Dearborn & U-M Flint students should bring your MCard
  • Enthusiasm!
Online and Proctored Placement Exams

The University of Michigan provides two types of placement exams for incoming transfer students: online and proctored (in-person) exams. The Math and Spanish tests and the Directed Self-Placement for Writing Essay are offered online. Students must complete the online exams before attending orientation

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 Fall Term Transfer students may be found at the following links:
MATH  (available November 19) -- Complete this exam no later than three business days prior to your orientation
DIRECTED SELF-PLACEMENT FOR WRITING (available November 1) -- Submit your essay no later than five business days prior to your orientation
SPANISH (available November 12) -- Complete this exam no later than five business days prior to your orientation; click on "accept invitation to join the course"

Language tests in French, Russian, Italian, and German are proctored on campus during the 1-Day Transfer Orientation programs. 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.  Please 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

To determine whether you need to take a particular placement exam, please view the Transfer Placement Exam Chart. 

**Students who need to arrange for extended testing time should visit the Testing Accommodation Center for more information.

Make Your Travel Plans

Traveling to Orientation by Car and Parking

Please click here for driving & parking information.

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 residence hall, please contact our office.

Invite a Parent or Family Member to Attend Transfer Parent & Family Orientation

Winter Term transfer students are encouraged to invite a parent, spouse, or other adult family member to attend the Transfer Parent & Family Orientation Program. This program is a separate program from the Transfer Student Orientation Program and will provide family members with information about the university as well as tips on supporting transfer students throughout the transition to Michigan. For full details on this program and to register, click here. Registration must be done at least two weeks in advance of the program date. 

*There is NO Parent & Family Orientation in January.