Top 12 Questions We Get About Orientation

So, you’ve been admitted to Portland State University and decided it’s the right college for you. Now what?

Attend New Student Orientation! All undergraduate students must attend Orientation before they can start their journey as a PSU student. But attending Orientation isn’t a chore—it’s a celebration of you joining our community and taking the next step in your academic journey! Orientation will help get you familiar with everything PSU has to offer and start connecting with fellow students.

We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions and the answers, so you know what to expect. If you have more questions, email us at orientation@pdx.edu.


When can I sign up?

Students who are starting in fall term can sign up for orientation starting May 8. You must confirm your enrollment prior to signing up for orientation.

Do I have to go to Orientation?

You sure do! You will not be able to register for classes until you complete an Orientation program. Besides, there’s no better way to start off your PSU experience. You’ll meet academic advisors, who are ready to support you towards graduation, and current and incoming students. You’ll also learn about PSU’s many resource centers and student groups.

How do I sign up?

Sign up online. Before you can sign up for Orientation, you must confirm your enrollment. There are many Orientation sessions to choose from, so sign up early to get the session that works best for you.

What if I’m an out-of-state student and can’t make it to an Orientation session in Portland?

If you’re from Hawaii or California, we are hosting sessions in your state! Sign up online as soon as possible, because these sessions are quickly approaching. If you are coming from another state besides Hawaii or California, or from outside of the US, contact us at orientation@pdx.edu. International students are required to attend the International Student Orientation.

What if I can’t attend any Orientation sessions?

Contact orientation@pdx.edu as soon as possible to make arrangements.

How long is Orientation?

Freshman Orientation sessions taking place on campus are full day programs. Transfer sessions are half day programs, with morning and afternoon sessions available. Out-of-State Orientations are also full day programs. You will not be able to register for classes if you do not attend the entire session. You must arrive and check in at the beginning of the session. If you miss check-in, you will have to attend another session, otherwise you will not be allowed to register for classes.

What do I need to do to attend Orientation?

After you sign up, make sure you’re ready for Orientation. Check our list of things to do to prepare for Orientation.

Do I need to bring anything?

Yes! Bring a government-issued ID, as you use this to get your PSU ID card at orientation, if you should choose to do so. We strongly suggest you bring a laptop or tablet for course registration (smartphones are not recommended). We’ve made a list of everything you’ll need to attend orientation including how to get to campus, where to park, what you’ll be doing at Orientation, answers to many of your questions and sample agendas!

Can I bring someone with me to Orientation, like a parent or guardian?

Of course! While not required, you may certainly bring a guest or two. Beginning this new chapter in your life is exciting, and we want you to share that experience.

Does it cost anything?

Incoming students attending on-campus sessions do not pay a fee to attend Orientation. However, there is a $20 fee for each guest, which helps to cover the cost of the provided meal and materials. This can be paid in advance during the session sign-up process. Incoming freshman and transfers students (and their guests) attending out-of-state sessions in Hawaii and California are each required to pay a $50 fee. These fees support the cost of hosting orientation in your area.

Will I register for classes at Orientation?

Yes! This is why attending Orientation is required. You’ll meet with advisors in your academic area of interest who will give you direction on what courses you should take. You will walk away from Orientation with a completed first-term schedule!

Will I get to tour campus?

Absolutely! We offer campus tours to our incoming students and guests at all on-campus sessions. PSU is about to be your new home, and we want you get a feel for campus!

Will I get to tour the dorms?

Yes. We offer optional housing tours at all our on-campus sessions. Tour times will be on the agenda you receive at check-in.

I’m worried because I don’t know anyone else. Am I going to meet anyone?

Since it’s Orientation, no one knows anyone else yet! You’ll meet tons of other students who will start at the same time as you. You’ll even get to spend time with others who share your major. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with peers you’ll see again on campus in September!

Who should I contact if my question hasn’t been answered here?

If you have any remaining questions after this list, get in touch with us at orientation@pdx.edu. Keep an eye out for Orientation emails. We will send you details about your Orientation session via email, so check your @pdx.edu email account.


Sign up for New Student Orientation!

A Day in the Life of a Biology Major

Valeria just finished her first year at Portland State University. She is in the pre-medical track, majoring in biology.

“I chose to major in biology because I truly love science. I am also interested in pursuing a career in medicine and biology, specifically, how the human body functions and biology focuses exactly on that.”  – Valeria

Watch her video below, where she takes you into her typical day at PSU.

A Day in the On-Campus Life

Shayna has been at PSU for over two years, studying social science with a focus on women’s studies. She is currently living on campus.

“The perks of living on campus are that you are so close to everything; your friends, your classes, your professors, amazing restaurants, concerts, etc. Being in the city opens so many doors and that’s why I love living on campus.” – Shayna

Watch her video below where she takes you into her typical day at Portland State University.

A Day in the Life of a PSU Latina

Naela has been at PSU for 2 years, working on a business administration major with a minor in communications.

“I chose my major because growing up with uncertainty led me to choose a major that could allow me many options and opportunities. Being a PSU Latina, in my opinion, brings another amazing culture in to the diversity at PSU. I’m working to create community within my Latina peers and to encourage them to succeed in professional fields, along with many other cultures as diverse and invested in enforcing social justice and social changes in our unique communities.”  – Naela

Watch her video below, where she takes you into her typical day at Portland State University.

A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineering Major

Alvin is a first year student at Portland State University and is majoring in Civil Engineering.

“My favorite thing about PSU is the food carts. I like Thai Pasta #2 near the Engineering Building, Mississippi Delta and the Asian Grill cart in the park blocks; they are outstanding!” – Alvin

In this video he’ll take you through his typical day at PSU!

 

A Day in the Life of An Environmental Studies Major

Nikki is a third year student at Portland State University and has been on the Orientation team for two years. Her major is Environmental Studies with a Geographic Information Systems minor.

“I decided to major in Environmental Studies because I’ve always found Earth so fascinating. I think it’s pretty special that out of all the planets in the universe, ours is the only one (that we know of) that is capable of supporting life. I knew that I wanted to study and protect the different plants, animals, and ecosystems that make our planet so special.” – Nikki

Check out her video where she takes you through her typical day at Portland State University.

Meet your Orientation Leaders!

We are working hard to ensure that your orientation is everything you imagined. The Orientation Leaders are divided into teams to plan various components of the Orientation session we’re hosting for you this summer. We want you to meet the folks who are organizing the events this summer!

You must confirm your enrollment before signing up for Orientation.

Orientation Team: Bubbly Bubbles

Nettaly1

Nettaly2

Nettaly

Team Leader

Electrical Engineering

I’m the hip master flex, the swag master party thriller. Red Eagle. I’m amazing at badminton and I love film. I love collecting playing cards, and playing cards. Board games are great, too. Nationally ranked Catan player, I’ll eat your brains. Let’s go Rip City! “Lord of the rings quote”.

ann1

ann2

Ann

Returning Orientation Leader

Marketing major, French minor

Hi everyone! I hail from Taiwan but was raised in the Portland area. My involvement on campus includes being a Resident Assistant and a member of the ultimate frisbee team! Welcome to PSU and I hope we get to meet soon~

abby1

abby2

Abby

Returning Orientation Leader

Business Administration: Marketing and Advertising Management

I’m a Portland native and am very close to my family, which made PSU the perfect choice for me. In my free time, I volunteer on two non-profit boards that focus on equitable education in secondary education. I also love to sing in the University Choir, and go sailing on the Columbia River.

tiffany1

Tiffany2

Tiffany

Orientation Leader

Spanish Major

Tengo Corazón Latino, and I have an American mind. My knowledge is rich not only in what I have learned, but rich from my bilingualism, and the Mixtec culture that I am part of. I share with PSU my bicultural background from the vibrant, musical, spiciness that is entwined deep in my roots. Go PSU!

Zach1Zach2Zach

Orientation Leader

English, Law and Legal Studies

I came to Portland for all of the wonderful adventures to be had. On Fridays you can see me hiking, going to a concert, exploring one of the many diverse neighborhoods in Portland, or just wrapped in a blanket burrito trying to get an early start on homework for the weekend.

Francisco1

Francisco2

Francisco

Returning Orientation Leader

Social Work major, Community Development minor

My name is Francisco. I enjoy going on adventures, drinking Dutch Bros of course… and much more! I am a very nice and caring person.

PSU Orientation Leaders Climb Trees to Prepare for New Student Orientation

You’ve been admitted. You’ve submitted your tuition deposit. You’ve signed up for Orientation. Next step? Attend Orientation! Every year we gear up to put together an orientation program that ensures your life at PSU will be smooth sailing. It doesn’t happen overnight either. Our orientation team spends months planning and training for your sessions and it starts by getting all of our orientation leaders and student ambassadors together to become supportive resources for you!

The first people you will meet are orientation leaders (OLs). OLs are your guides, your friends, and your human information booths. They know all the details about what it’s like to be a student at PSU, where the best food carts are located, how to navigate your PSU account, the best resources for registering for classes, and how you can get more involved on campus.

The Orientation Leaders join our Student Ambassadors for a retreat for team building and cohesiveness. This year’s retreat took place at Camp Collins. The team worked together to get through high rope courses, team challenges, and deep conversations to become stronger and to learn how to support each other and how to better serve new students for the upcoming orientation season.

If you haven’t signed up for Orientation, do so as soon as possible! You must submit your tuition deposit or exemption in order to sign up for Orientation.