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Before You Arrive

Start preparing for your Freshman Orientation by taking care of the preliminary details.


For Freshmen

A high school graduate who is entering a post-secondary institution for the first time is considered a freshman student.

Planning for Orientation

We plan a lot of fun and informative activities for the two-day Freshman Orientation. Make sure you don't miss out on anything by ensuring that these things are taken care of ahead of time. If you fail to prepare properly, you will not be able to register for classes at Orientation.

  1. Complete your Checklist for New Freshman.
    You can locate the checklist and track your progress with Self Service Carolina.

  2. Complete your advising homework.
    Watch the Pre-Orientation Advising Module and complete your Advising Worksheet.

  3. Take your math placement test online.
    Your math placement test should be taken at least two weeks prior to your orientation session. The exam is available 24 hours a day/7days a week.
    More about math placement testing » 

  4. Register to take your foreign language placement test.
    The foreign language placement test should be taken before you attend Orientation. Testing is administered on campus and by appointment only.More about foreign language placement testing »

  5. Submit residency, citizenship, and immunization records.
    It is cruicial that you submit your residency information, citizenship verification, and immunization records prior to orientation to prevent holds on your account during the registration process.

  6. Request your CarolinaCard, your official university ID, online.
    To receive your CarolinaCard complete the Cardholder Agreement and upload your photo 72 hours prior to Orientation. If your photo is accepted, the CarolinaCard Office will send a confirmation email. Your CarolinaCard will be available for pick up the first day of Orientation with a valid driver's license, military ID or passport.


What to Bring

  • A Government-Issued ID
    This is required to obtain your CarolinaCard.

  • VIP ID and Password
    You will use this throughout orientation, so please plan to memorize it or write it down in advance of your session.

  • Transcripts and Records
    Including AP/IB scores, high school transcripts, immunization records, your advising worksheet and any other relative correspondence.

  • Completed Advising Worksheet »
    You will need this to register for classes. 

  • Comfortable Clothing and Shoes
    Wear/bring comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Plan on a significant amount of walking throughout the two-day session. If you or any of your guests do not have the ability to walk distances of several blocks or up and down stairs, please include that information in the "Special Accommodations" section on the reservation form so that we can accommodate you accordingly.

  • A Sweater or Sweatshirt
    Buildings are air-conditioned and may vary in temperature.

  • Umbrella or Rain Jacket
    Columbia is prone to summer afternoon rain showers.

  • Toiletries and Personal Items
    Linens and towels will be provided for you upon your arrival for on-campus overnight accomodations.

  • Donation Items 
    Incoming students and their families are invited to bring a donation item that benefits Gamecock Pantry and Harvest Hope.