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Frequently Asked Questions
Newly admitted CSUSM students must attend Orientation in order to register for courses prior to the first day of the admitted semester. Students reserve an Orientation online in MyCSUSM. Reservations cannot be made over email or by phone. Students will be notified of the date that reservations will open.
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.
What types of Orientations are offered?
We currently offer three types of Orientation sessions:
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. A limited number of Family Orientations are offered for spanish speaking families.
When and how can I make an Orientation reservation?
Reservations for Orientations can be made online in MyCSUSM. There is never a guarantee that students will be able to reserve a space in their preferred Orientation so we encourage flexibility. Students should NEVER make travel plans until an Orientation reservation has been confirmed.
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 (May 1st for Freshmen and June 1st for Transfers)
- Paid the $150 enrollment deposit (May 1st for Freshmen and June 1st for Transfers)
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 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.
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. 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 www.assist.org.
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.
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.