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Orientation

  • freshman students waving at the camera outside on greene street during orientation

Fall Freshman Orientation

We will connect you to resources, services, academic programs and people that will help make the university feel like home. This is just the start of your journey at South Carolina. 

Registration for New Student Orientation opens March 27 at Noon!

Students beginning classes in summer or fall 2023 can register for a New Student Orientation session beginning March 27 at Noon. Dates can be found below. Registration will close on May 12.

 

Overview

If you are a freshman beginning classes in August (Fall Term) you are required to attend a Fall Term Orientation session in May, June or July. These are in-person, two-day, overnight sessions during which you will need to be available beginning at 8 a.m. on day one and 7:45 a.m. on day two. During your session you will hear from university faculty and staff, meet with an Orientation Leader and peers, attend an academic college visit, learn about university resources and take care of several campus business items. In addition, this is when you will meet with an advisor and get registered for fall courses. A continental breakfast (2), lunch (2) and dinner will be provided during your session. Students must participate in all components of their Orientation session in order to successfully complete advising and registration. 

Attendance is mandatory for the entire New Student Orientation program. You must attend all components of your Orientation to be advised and register for classes.

If for any reason (e.g., flight delays, traffic, weather, etc.) you are late to your session and arrive past 10 a.m., you will need to contact the Office of New Student Orientation to reschedule. 

 We cannot guarantee any schedule adjustments, even for travel-related plans. It is essential that you are available for the entirety of the Orientation program. 

While attending New Student Orientation, you will:

  • Connect with South Carolina faculty and staff and get to know some of your peers. 
  • Learn about living at the University of South Carolina. 
  • Get acquainted with our campus policies and procedures. 
  • Receive a list of resources to help you succeed during your first semester and beyond. 
  • Learn about your academic program’s curriculum and degree requirements.
  • Attend an academic advising appointment and register for classes. 

In order to have a successful advising and registration process during New Student Orientation, it is important that you complete the following tasks at least one week before your session:

  1. Complete all items in your Admissions portal: Your Admissions Portal contains information that must be completed before you attend your New Student Orientation and enroll for classes at South Carolina. It is essential you complete all items in the Admissions Portal. 
  2. Submit your Citizenship Verification: Log on to your UofSC Admissions Portal to check if your status was previously verified based on information provided on your FAFSA. If you have not submitted a FAFSA, you will be required to complete the Citizenship Verification Form. If your citizenship has not been verified, complete the Citizenship Verification FormVisit sc.edu/registrar for more information on the residency certification process. 
  3.  Submit your Residency Verification (for SC Residents only): Students claiming South Carolina residency for tuition purposes are required to verify residency. Log on to your UofSC Admissions Portal to check if your South Carolina residency has been verified. We will use the information provided on your FAFSA to determine whether you need to complete the South Carolina Residency Certification Form. If you have not submitted a FAFSA, you will be required to complete the form. If your residency has not been verified, complete the S.C. Residency Certification Form through your portal. Visit sc.edu/registrar for more information on the residency certification process. 
  4. Submit your Immunization Form: Submit your completed Immunization Record Form no later than two weeks prior to your New Student Orientation. Upload your records to sc.edu/myhealthspace portal under "Immunizations." Login with your network username and password and your birth date. Forms may also be faxed to 803-777-3955/ 803-777-3960 or mailed to the Allergy, Immunization & Travel Clinic, 1409 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29208. 
  5. Confirm your Major: If you are considering a major change prior to attending Orientation, make a “New Student Major Change Interest” appointment to speak with an Exploratory Advisor in the University Advising Center. Your Exploratory Advisor will make sure you have all of the correct information. Make an appointment by visiting sc.campus.eab.com. You may also contact the University Advising Center at 803-777-1222 or advising@sc.edu. It is critical that you attend Orientation with the correct major. If you plan on changing your major, please do so at least a week before your session. 
  6. Register for and Complete for your Math Placement Exam: All students are required to take the online Math Placement Test no later than two weeks before your New Student Orientation. You will record your test score on your Pre-Orientation Advising Worksheet. For more information including practice tests and instructions for completing the test online, visit math.sc.edu/assess. 
  7. Register for and Complete your Foreign Language Placement Exam: Every student at South Carolina is required to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam before taking a foreign language course to determine whether they meet course prerequisites. It is only highly recommended for students to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam prior to attending New Student Orientation. For further information, please visit the Language Placement Testing Website.
  8. Have copies of your Unofficial Transcripts and any AP/IB Score Reports: Have copies of your AP/IB/Cambridge (AICE) scores and dual enrollment transcripts available during your New Student Orientation. If your scores do not arrive before your scheduled advising session, make a list of the test(s) you have taken and share this with your advisor. If official transcripts are not available, you may use an unofficial transcript during your session. Your advisor may also ask you to email copies of these documents prior to your meeting. 
  9. Complete your Pre-Orientation Advising Modules and Worksheet: You will access and view your Pre-Orientation Advising Modules in your Orientation Portal after registration. Please complete all modules, as well as your Pre-Orientation Advising Worksheet in order to prepare for your advising and registration appointment during New Student Orientation. 
  10.  

All students attending New Student Orientation are required to stay overnight in one of our designated residence halls. This is included in your registration fee. We will share more information regarding which residence hall at a later date. A packing list can be found on the When You Arrive page. New Student Orientation overnight acommodations are separate from your move-in date for the fall semester.

Participation in our programs involves frequent migrations to and from various campus buildings. If you or your family member/supporter have mobility restrictions at the time of your session, please be sure to indicate this in your Orientation Portal under the ‘Special Accommodations’ section. Golf carts will be made available for those needing assistance. 

Additionally, please make note of any other special accommodation related to sight, hearing, dietary restrictions, etc. in your Orientation Portal so that our staff can plan for your arrival accordingly.  

We recommend having your Orientation Portal updated with any special accommodation no later than a week prior to your session. Otherwise, feel free to contact the Office of New Student Orientation for any updates or changes. 

Specialized Academic Programs

Our team offers a variety of Orientation programs for specialized academic programs at the university. Find your program below to determine if there is anything you need to prepare for prior to your session.

Incoming fall students enrolled in the South Carolina Honors College will be advised and register for courses prior to attending New Student Orientation. Virtual honors advising appointments will take place May 12 - June 2. More information will be sent to students about these appointments in the first week of May. Attendance at New Student Orientation is still required. In addition to the full New Student Orientation experience, Honors students and their families/supporters will attend a welcome breakfast on day one and specialty Honors presentations on day two (one for students and one for families). Students will need to attend one of eight sessions specified for this program:

  • June 5 - 6
  • June 7 - 8
  • June 14 - 15
  • June 19 - 20
  • June 28 - 29
  • July 10 -  11
  • July 12 - 13
  • July 17 - 18

Incoming fall students participating in the Capstone Scholars program will meet with their program on day two of New Student Orientation. Students can attend any of the advertised May - July Orientation dates. Please check your email frequently for updates from your program.

Incoming fall students participating in the Opportunity Scholars Program will meet with their program on day two of New Student Orientation. Students can attend any of the advertised May - July Orientation dates. Please check your email frequently for updates from your program.

Incoming fall students participating in Palmetto Pathway will need to attend one of four New Student Orientation sessions offered specifically for this program:

  • July 10 - 11
  • July 12 - 13
  • July 17 - 18
  • July 19 - 20

At this time, you will meet with staff members from the Palmetto Pathway program on day one and day two. The day one meeting will begin at 9:15 a.m. so please plan travel and arrival time accordingly in consideration of Orientation check-in.

Incoming fall students participating in Gamecock Gateway will attend specified New Student Orientation dates as freshman. During your session, you will meet with your program coordinators periodically and participate in the overall Orientation program. Students will need to attend one of four sessions specified for this program:

  • June 7 - 8
  • June 12 - 13
  • June 14 - 15
  • July 24 - 25

The day one meeting will begin at 9:15 a.m. so please plan travel and arrival time accordingly in consideration of Orientation check-in.

Incoming fall students participating in CarolinaLIFE will need to attend one specified New Student Orientation session:

  • June 26 - 27

At this time, you will meet with staff members from the CarolinaLIFE program on day one and day two. 

Student-athletes and families/supporters will attend a mandatory meeting with their program during their New Student Orientation. Closer to the start of the semester, Gamecock Athletics will host an additional Orientation program for student-athletes only.

Incoming fall students participating in the International Acelerator Program will need to attend one specified New Student Orientation session in August. Visit our August Orientation page for more information on this session.

Check back soon for updates regarding dates!

Dates and Fees

Fall Freshman Orientation is a two-day, overnight program. Students should plan to be available on day one beginning at 8 a.m. On day two, they should plan to be available from 7:45 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

  • Session 1: May 22 - 23
  • Session 2: May 24 - 25
  • Session 3: June 1 - 2
  • Session 4: June 5 - 6
  • Session 5: June 7 - 8
  • Session 6: June 12 - 13
  • Session 7: June 14 - 15
  • Session 8: June 19 - 20
  • Session 9: June 21 - 22
  • Session 10: June 26 - 27
  • Session 11: June 28 - 29
  • Session 12: July 6 - 7
  • Session 13: July 10 - 11
  • Session 14: July 12 - 13
  • Session 15: July 17 - 18
  • Session 16: July 19 - 20
  • Session 17: July 24 - 25

If you are planning your attendance around a standing commitment (e.g. graduations, work, vacation, etc.), we recommend doing so after you have formally registered for New Student Orientation.

Students: $250 per student 

Families/supporters: $115 per family member/supporter. Please note: If your supporter would like to stay overnight in one of our designated residence halls, this will accrue an additional charge that is not already included in the New Student Orientation fee. Click here to learn more about the Family and Supporter Orientation program. 

The New Student Orientation registration fee covers all supplies and resources used during your session. It also covers your meals, overnight accommodation, parking, facility rentals, equipment, printing and staff salaries. 

Changing or Cancelling Your Session

Sessions remain open until filled. If the session does not fill, it will close two business days prior to its start. You are able to change your New Student Orientation reservation at anytime, as long as the new desired date is still open. If you need to cancel your reservation, you will need to do so at least two weeks prior to your session in order to request a refund. To request a refund, please email our office at orientation@sc.edu. In your email, please include the following student information:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Contact information
  • Reason for refund

There is a $35 administration fee associated with all refunds. You will receive an email confirmation upon your request being approved.


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