Frequently Asked Questions

We are hopeful that many of your questions will be answered below! Please review the information carefully and if you have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact our office at (760) 750-4930 or

What can I expect at Orientation? Orientation is, for many students, the first time they are getting the opportunity to see what CSUSM has to offer. At Orientation, students will: meet other new and current students, explore the campus, learn about CSUSM resources, receive group academic advising, begin the course selection process, and more that will help them feel welcomed and a part of the CSUSM community.

Is there a helpful handout that I could print out with all of the information I need to get to my Orientation? Yes! View the appropriate checklist here: TRANSFER STUDENTS         FIRST YEAR STUDENTS

What types of Orientations are offered?

First Year Orientation for first time freshmen. Orientation for first year students is 8am-5pm. No guests permitted unless it is a Family Orientation.

Transfer Orientations for transfer students. Orientation for transfer students is a half day session, either AM or PM. AM sessions run 8am-12:30pm and PM sessions run 1pm-5:30pm. No guests permitted.

Family Orientation for families of first time freshmen. Family Orientations run concurrently and are offered on select First Year Orientation dates. The session runs 8am-5pm. Up to 2 guests per student are allowed and they must be reserved to attend. Guests attend a separate program from their student and are reunited at lunch. Guests are not permitted to be with their student during course registration at Orientation.

Family Orientation for Spanish speaking families of first time freshmen. We offer a limited number of Orientations for Spanish speaking family members of our incoming first time freshmen. We offer a Spanish speaking session on all Saturday First Year with Family Orientation dates (3 per summer). Students who would like to reserve a space in a First Year with Spanish Family Orientation can do so in in the Orientation reservation system. These sessions will be indicated so students should be careful when selecting the session they are reserving. Up to 2 guests are permitted to attend.

When are Orientations offered? Orientation sessions for new students are offered June - August. We hold numerous sessions to accommodate all admitted students. Orientation dates can be viewed here: TRANSFER STUDENTS                    FIRST YEAR STUDENTS

When and how can I make an Orientation reservation? If you have been conditionally admitted for the Fall 2015 term, congratulations! Reservations for Orientations will open in MyCSUSM on the following dates:

Transfer Students: Make your reservation in MyCSUSM now!

First Year Students: Make your reservation in MyCSUSM now!

Keep an eye on your email and this website for more information.

What do I have to complete before I can make an Orientation reservation? Students must fulfill a number of requirements prior to gaining access to make an Orientation reservation. It is critical for students to adhere to university deadlines and requirements as missing any will impact the ability to attend CSUSM. In order to gain access to the Orientation Reservation System, students must:

- Be conditionally admitted to the university

- Accept their intent to enroll (by May 1st)

- Paid the $150 enrollment deposit (May 1st)

Additionally, First Time Freshmen have specific requirements they must adhere to in order to gain access to the Orientation reservation system:
EPT/ELM Requirement: Students must have taken the English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Mathematics exam and received their scores. For more information including if you are exempt, click here.
Housing Requirement: Students from outside the local service area are required to live on campus during their freshman year. Students must either execute a housing contract or apply for and have an approved exemption form prior to making an Orientation reservation. To learn more about the housing requirement, click here.

Why should I attend Orientation? Students must attend Orientation to gain access to academic advising and course registration prior to the first day of the admitted semester. Students who need to attend Orientation will see "Orientation Required" in their Student Center in MyCSUSM. We understand that many students work and take vacations in the summer. Orientations are planned throughout the summer to accommodate various schedules so we thank you for your flexibility. Students must stay the duration of the Orientation to gain access to course registration and have the Orientation hold removed from their account. Students only have to attend one Orientation.

What if I am returning to CSUSM - do I have to attend another Orientation? If you have been admitted to CSUSM as a returning student, welcome back! We have many students who take a break during their time at CSUSM or are never able to enroll for a variety of reasons. Please visit the Returning Students page here for more information about Orientation and course registration.

What if I want to cancel or change my reservation? If you would like to cancel your Orientation reservation, you must contact the Orientation and New Student Programs Office 10 calendar days prior to your scheduled Orientation date in order to receive a refund.If you would like to modify your Orientation reservation including adding or removing a guest, you must contact the Orientation and New Student Programs office 10 calendar days prior to your scheduled Orientation date. This will allow the Orientation staff to make any necessary adjustments. If you cancel or would like to change your reservation, we cannot guarantee that a space is available in a later Orientation. Please plan accordingly and carefully when selecting your session.

How are the number of spaces in each Orientation determined? Each Orientation session has a maximum number of students who can attend. This number is determined both by space as well as student:academic advisor ratios. There are additional capacities within majors in order to keep the student to academic advising ratio low enough to provide an effective and positive experience for students in attendance. A session will no longer be available for reservation once the session and/or major capacity has been reached. Students should reserve the next available Orientation showing in the reservation system. To allow time to prepare for each session, reservations for Orientations close 7 full days prior to each session.

When can I get Academic Advising and begin my registering for courses? At Orientation, students will experience group academic advising to assist them as they begin building their course schedules, however, there are tools that students can use now to begin the schedule building process. Visit the Pre-Orientation Advising page here to view these tools. Students can continue to adjust their course schedule through the first two weeks of the semester (add/drop period). New students will not have access to an academic advisor or course registration until their Orientation date. There are no exceptions to this policy. Students who attend earlier Orientations do not get a better course selection as courses are opened prior to each Orientation in order to provide seats for each session. If you are a transfer student and are wondering what courses transfer to CSUSM, please visit All students are assigned an enrollment appointment time in their MyCSUSM. The Orientation hold on new students' accounts prevents access to the course registration system until a student attends Orientation. Please disregard the enrollment appointment time listed in your MyCSUSM.

Can I change my major? A student can change their major when making the Orientation reservation or in their MyCSUSM at any time. Click HERE to view the tutorial on how to change your major or minor in MyCSUSM.  Please note that the change may not be reflected in your MyCSUSM immediately.

How much is Orientation? Orientation fees vary by type of session.
- First Year Orientation: $90 per student
- Transfer Orientation: $65 per student
- Family Orientation: $40 per guest (up to 2 per student)

Why do I have to pay for Orientation? Orientation is a self-support program meaning that without fees, we would not be able to offer this service to new students. Students must pay the Orientation fee prior to their reserved session. There are various costs that go into running a large program such as Orientation. The fee covers the cost of materials and food that students and guests receive throughout the session. A student is not considered confirmed for a session until payment has been made and will not be allowed to attend. For payment options, visit the Orientation Payment Options page here.

Please note that fees cannot be refunded after you have already attended an Orientation, despite any change in your admission status. You may re-schedule your Orientation to a later date if an opening exists and you contact the Orientation and New Student Programs Office 10 calendar days prior to your originally scheduled Orientation date. There is no guarantee that there will be an opening in the session you are hoping to reschedule to. If you find that you are not able to attend on the day of your reserved session, please contact Orientation and New Student Programs so we cancel or change your reservation.

IMPORTANT: If you no longer plan on attending CSUSM and have already reserved an Orientation, please cancel your reservation to allow space for another student. If your admission is rescinded after you have already attended an Orientation, we will not be able to process a refund.