Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Orientation Schedule and Activities

 

What can I expect at orientation (schedule, check-in times, etc.)?

Orientation schedules are available online prior to your session. Please review the schedules below to get detailed information about your required check-in times. (These schedules vary for those attending the August session or for those admitted to the spring term.)

*For a more detailed and up-to-date schedule, download the UT Orientation app available in the App Store and Google Play Store at guidebook.com/app/UTOrientation.

Is there an orientation program for parents and families?

Yes, Family Orientation is hosted by Texas Parents, which is a separate registration process. You can find out more information about the sessions and register through the Family Orientation website.

Am I allowed to go off-campus during orientation?

Freshman students are required to stay on campus for the duration of the Freshman Orientation session unless they are with an Orientation Advisor or parent/guardian. As Transfer Orientation is not a residential program, transfer students are not required to stay on campus. All students staying in the residence halls during orientation are required to be in the residence hall by a certain time (specified in the orientation schedule) each night.

What if I arrive late to orientation?

If unforeseen circumstances arise that cause you to arrive after check-in is over, you should go directly to the front desk in Jester West residence hall when you arrive to speak with orientation staff. If you arrive late and need additional help, please call New Student Services at (512) 471-3304. There are required programs in the morning on the first day and if you miss them you may not be able to register for classes.

Do I have to stay for my entire orientation session?

Yes, you are required to stay for the duration of your session unless an emergency arises that requires you to leave early. If you need to leave early for any reason, please speak with the orientation staff at the Jester West Help Desk.

What if I miss a required program at orientation? Will I still be able to register for classes?

There are required programs throughout the duration of your orientation session, and if you miss them you may not be able to register for classes. However, if you miss a required program, please contact New Student Services at the Jester West Help Desk at (512) 471-3944 immediately for further instructions.

Do I have to pay my tuition at orientation?

No, if you’re attending a June/July session, payment will be due in August. If you’re attending August Orientation, payment will be due at the end of August. The academic calendar lists tuition payment deadlines.

Can I change my major at orientation?

You will not be able to change your major during orientation. If you are concerned about your major choice, you will have time to discuss it with your advisor during your advising appointment. 

What is the purpose of upgrading my UT EID during orientation? 

Upgrading your EID allows you to activate your Financial Aid Notification (FAN) and to conduct other important university business. To do so, visit the ID Center in the Flawn Academic Center to sign the Electronic Agreement Form. If you are unable to upgrade your EID at orientation, you will still be able to register for classes. 

If you are younger than 18, you must be accompanied by your legal guardian, who must also present a valid, non-expired, official government-issued photo ID. If you're under 18 and you and your guardian can visit the ID Center on campus before orientation, we recommend doing that to avoid lines and delays at orientation. If you cannot upgrade your EID before orientation and your legal guardian cannot be present at orientation, you can print the Electronic Agreement Form beforehand, have it notarized and bring it to orientation. 

What if I’m fasting during orientation?

We will work to accommodate all students who will be observing Ramadan and fasting during their orientation session. This will include ensuring all students have access to meal options at the end of each day, as well as a space for prayer and reflection and the ability to visit a place of worship. Students are encouraged to speak with their Orientation Advisor on the first day of their session to communicate their needs. 

What if my orientation sessions fall during a religious holiday?

We will have designated locations for prayer available to you, and will work with you if you need to make any accommodations to your schedule.

 

Orientation Registration and Sessions

 

What if I can’t attend any of the orientation sessions?

If you are unable to attend an orientation session, you must contact New Student Services and we will assist you. Please note that you will not be able to register for classes until you attend orientation. If you are admitted to the fall semester and are unable to attend any of the June/July sessions, there is an August Orientation session and registration for that session opens in July.

Do I have to pay my enrollment deposit before I register for orientation?

Yes. Before registering for an orientation, you will need to pay your enrollment deposit and be admitted into a specific college.

Note: International students are not required to pay the enrollment deposit.

Can I switch orientation sessions?

If you need to change your session, do so at least 10 calendar days before the session you’re registered for by visiting the online registration page. You will only be able to switch to a session that has space remaining.

Do not attempt to coordinate with another student to switch orientation sessions, even if you are both in the same college. There are several factors that determine how many spaces are available in each session and who can fill those spaces. 

Can I get on a waitlist for a session?

No, sessions do not have waitlists. If the session you wish to attend is full, you should register for a different session. You can continue to check the system to see if a space opens up in your desired session, but New Student Services cannot place you in a session that is full.

What if I miss or do not show up for my orientation session?

If you miss your orientation session, you will not be able to register for classes at your designated access time. You will need to contact New Student Services to make arrangements and discuss the steps you need have to take to be able to register.

If you register for a June/July session and fail to attend it, you will need to go back into the registration system and register for August Orientation. Your payment for the June/July session will transfer to the August Session but will not be refunded. If you miss your June/July session and do not register for August Orientation, you will not be able to register for classes at your designated access time.

I haven’t received an email about my orientation session. What should I do?

You will receive a confirmation email when you register and pay for a session. Please check your spam folder if you believe you haven't received an email. If it’s not in your spam, please contact us at nss@austin.utexas.edu.

How do I register for orientation if I’m an international student (non U.S. citizen, non-permanent resident)?

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident upon admission to UT Austin, you are classified as an international student. In addition to orientation, all international students are required to attend an International Briefing and Check-In (IBC) session. Sign up for an IBC on the International Office website. International students must also satisfy additional immunization requirements. Learn more about requirements for international students.

Find out more information about registration, click here

I’m a Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment (PACE) student. Which orientation session should I attend?

If you are a PACE student who is starting in the fall semester, you should attend one of the first four Freshman Orientation sessions. View orientation dates.

Which orientation program should students in the Coordinated Admission Program (CAP) attend?

All students in the CAP program should attend a June/July session of Transfer Orientation. If you cannot attend a June/July session, you should attend August Orientation.

 

Payment

 

When do I pay for my session?

You must pay for your session when you register via What I Owe. You will not be placed in a session or receive a confirmation email until you have paid. 

Can I defer my orientation payment?

The orientation charge may be automatically deferred for students who qualify based on financial need. If you receive a financial aid award, your payment will be deducted from your fall award. If not, or if your award does not have sufficient funds, you will have until the first day of classes to complete the payment.

While orientation fees may be deferred to a later date, the costs are not waived.

Can I get a refund if I cancel my orientation session?

If you are unable to attend your scheduled session, you must cancel at least 10 days in advance to receive a refund (at least six days for Spring and Summer School Orientation).

Please note that if you cancel your orientation session a $25 non-refundable charge will be deducted from your refund amount. You will receive a refund check in the mail within two to four weeks of cancellation. If you do not cancel within the required time period, you will not receive a refund.

If you registered to attend June or July orientation and fail to attend (no show), the fees are non-refundable and can only be transferred to an August session. 

*You must register to attend August Orientation if you do not attend orientation in June or July. There will be no refunds issued for August Orientation.

 

Parking, Travel, Housing and Disability Accommodations

 

How can I request accommodations for orientation if I have a disability?

If you have a disability and need accommodations during orientation, you can find out more information at orientation.utexas.edu/students-with-disabilities.

Do I have to stay in an on-campus residence hall during orientation?

All incoming freshman are required to stay in an on-campus residence hall while attending a June/July orientation session. Transfer students have the option to pay an additional fee to stay in a residence hall if attending a June/July session, but it is not required. Housing is not provided during August Orientation, Spring Orientation or Summer School Orientation.

If you have a confirmed housing contract, you may have the option to arrange for an early check-in to a residence hall. (This applies only if you are attending Spring, Summer School or August Orientation.) For more information, contact University Housing and Dining.

Can my family stay in the residence hall with me during orientation?

We do not provide on-campus housing for family members during orientation sessions. Family members will need to make their own arrangements at a nearby hotel. Family Orientation provides a list of local hotel accommodations.

Your family should make hotel arrangements immediately after you register for your orientation session because hotels in Austin can book quickly. 

Where do I park during orientation? 

Parking for students and families attending on-campus orientation is serviced by The University of Texas at Austin Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) department. You will need to select your parking option prior your scheduled orientation session. To review rates and select your parking option please visit: https://parking.utexas.edu/orientation-parking-options.

You can contact PTS with questions at parking@utexas.edu or (512)471-7275 (M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., CST). For a faster response time, you are encouraged to submit your inquiries via e-mail.

Do you provide any travel services to and from UT Austin for orientation?

New Student Services does not provide travel accommodations. Students are responsible for making their own arrangements to come to orientation. The UT Austin Visitor Center offers resource information about the different ways you can travel to and around campus.

Who will I be rooming with during orientation?

Students are housed by college and gender. When you check in at orientation, you will be assigned a roommate at random. We do not accept roommate requests in advance.

 

Preparing for Orientation

 

Do I need to watch the pre-orientation videos?

Yes, students admitted to the fall semester are required to view a series of pre-orientation videos. You will receive an email in May when the pre-orientation videos are available. Refer to your MyStatus checklist to see which videos you need to watch.

What should I bring to orientation?

The pre-orientation checklist has information on what to pack. You can also watch our Pack and Prep video.

Do I need to bring my vaccine documentation with me?

Students under the age of 22 are required to document receipt of a meningococcal (bacterial meningitis) vaccine before they can register for classes. Visit Healthyhorns to learn more about immunization and medical clearance requirements, exclusions and exemptions, documentation submission and more—and be sure to submit your documentation to University Health Services (UHS) no later than two weeks prior to your session. You should also bring a copy to orientation.

International students (students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, even if they went to a Texas high school) must satisfy additional immunization and tuberculosis testing requirements before they can register for classes. It can take up to five days for University Health Services (UHS) to process your documentation and remove your medical bar. To avoid course registration delays, please make all attempts to complete these requirements before coming to orientation. You should submit your documentation to UHS before orientation, if possible, or early on the first day of your session.

Do I have to bring my transcript to orientation?

You may find it helpful to have a copy of your transcript with you during your academic advising appointment, but it is not required in order to register for orientation or to register for classes during orientation.

Do I need to bring my test scores (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, etc.) to orientation?

You should have any test scores sent to Admissions, but it's also helpful to gather all test scores and bring them to your advising appointment at orientation. You don't need to bring official score reports and transcripts, but bring a self-compiled list of scores, if possible. If you don't have all your scores, it's not a problem. Your advisor can still work with you to plan out your course selections even if some of your scores are still pending.

How do I set up my email address?

Visit the ITS website for instructions on how to set up your UT Austin email address.

 

Testing

 

What placement tests are given during orientation?

Many students will need to take a math assessment during orientation. For more information on who is required to take the math assessment and other testing requirements, please visit the https://cns.utexas.edu/ut-math-assessment/faqs. Students with credit-eligible Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP, SAT Subject Test, or International Baccalaureate (IB) test score may find they have already earned coursework credit at UT Austin by taking exams. 

Foreign language placement tests are also offered during some orientation sessions. For some orientation sessions, you will have the option to register for these tests when you register for orientation. To learn more about what placement tests you should plan to take and when you can take them, visit the Student Testing Services website or call 512-232-2662.

What is the ALEKS Chemistry assessment and how do I purchase it?

There is an ALEKS Chemistry assessment for students who are planning to take Chemistry 301. The College of Natural Sciences offers additional information about ALEKS Chemistry.

Do I need to take the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment?

You can check your TSI status on your Registration Information Sheet (RIS). If you are exempt it will say "Exempt" or "Complete" on your RIS and there is no further action needed from you. If not, you will need to provide documentation of your exemption or present passing scores from the TSI Assessment before you can register for courses. For more information, email the TSI Office at tsi@austin.utexas.edu.

 

Class Registration

 

Will I still be able to get the classes I want if I attend a later orientation session?

In some classes, seats will be reserved so that students in each orientation session have a chance to register for those classes. No matter which session you attend, there will be classes you can register for that will fulfill your core requirements and keep you on track for graduation. You should expect to be flexible with class days and times—many great classes meet on Friday and/or at 8 a.m. Being open about professors will also help you maximize your options for courses.

Read more about what to expect when you register for classes:

When will I be able to register for classes?

For freshman and transfer students attending a June/July session, you will register on the last day of orientation and you will have access to the registration system until midnight that day. You won't be able to make changes to your schedule until the add/drop period in August.

You can check your Registration Information Sheet to view your access times.

After I have attended an orientation session, if necessary, when can I make changes to my class schedule?

You can make changes to your schedule during the official add/drop period. You can check your Registration Information Sheet to see when you can add and drop classes.

What do I do if I have a registration bar?

Any bars you have will be listed on your Registration Information Sheet.

  • If you have an advising bar, that will be cleared during orientation once you meet with your academic advisor.
  • If you have a health bar, that will be cleared once you have submitted your immunization documentation.
  • If you have an international bar, that will be cleared once you have attended your International Briefing and Check-In session
  • If you have a high school transcript bar, it will not prevent you from registering for classes. 
  • If you have a financial bar, in most cases, financial bars may be paid in cash or by check at the cashier's office in Main Building room 8, or cleared online at the What I Owe page.
  • If you have a non-financial bar, you must resolve a nonfinancial bar in person at the administrative office that imposed it.