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First Year Orientation


Welcome Home Cougars! 

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All newly admitted First Year students must attend Orientation in order to register for courses prior to the first day of the admitted semester. Orientation for First Year students is a full-day experience where they:

  • Meet fellow new and current students, faculty, and staff
  • Explore the campus
  • Learn about CSUSM resources
  • Learn how to get involved on campus
  • Begin building Cougar pride
  • Receive academic advising and begin the course registration process

Orientation is designed to assist students in making a smooth and easy transition to CSUSM and welcome them into our community. Orientation sessions run June through August in order to accommodate the busy schedules of our incoming students and their families. Students need only attend one Orientation.

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What do I have to complete before I can make an Orientation reservation?

Please stay aware of requirements that must be completed prior to attending Orientation. There are also some requirements that must be met prior to having access to attend Orientation and enroll in courses. Not adhering to some deadlines and requirements may result in your admission being revoked. Click on the checklist below to make sure you are on track!

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. Students must attend Orientation in order to reserve courses prior to the first day of the semester.

First Year Orientation for First Time Freshmen

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

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.

Spanish Orientation for Families of First Time Freshmen

We hold a limited number of Family Orientation sessions in Spanish each summer. We hold 3 Saturday Orientations where we will be facilitating a Spanish Family Orientation session. The session runs 8am-5pm and is held concurrently with the student session. Up to 2 guests are permitted to attend. Students who are interested in having their families attend this session must select this option when making their Orientation reservation in MyCSUSM. This session will be noted as a Spanish Family Orientation session.

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First Year Orientation Dates and Reservations

After a student accepts the intent to enroll and pays the $150 enrollment deposit, an Orientation hold will be visible in MyCSUSM for those who need to attend Orientation. This hold prevents course registration and will be removed the day of a student's Orientation. All new students have been issued an enrollment appointment date of June 9th. This date does not indicate that course registration will be available. A student's registration occurs at their scheduled Orientation. If an Orientation hold is not on a student's account, they may not have to attend Orientation. Contact Orientation and New Student Programs with any questions.

Orientation reservations can be made now in MyCSUSM. Students should never make arrangements (i.e. travel, work, etc) to attend a particular Orientation until it has been reserved.

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Paying Your Orientation Fee

Note: DO NOT pay the orientation fee prior to making a reservation! Orientation is a fee based program, meaning, without the fee, we cannot offer this service to our new students. Therefore, we have strict policies in place to ensure we receive these fees. When students make an Orientation reservation in MyCSUSM, the Orientation fee will be automatically charged to the student account. Students must pay the Orientation fee prior to attending their reserved session. Please do not send payment prior to a reservation being made. Students who have not paid the Orientation fee within a week of their scheduled session will not be permitted to attend, however the student is responsible for the payment of their fees there after. Orientation and New Student Programs orders catering and materials based on reservations made. If a student contacts ONSP to cancel the reservation at least one week prior to the orientation, fees will be removed on a case by case basis. Notification within one week of the orientation or there after will not remove fees. The student is responsible for payment, even if they do not attend the orientation or no longer choose to attend the university. The same policy is in place for those seeking a refund or requesting guest fee removal. IMPORTANT: DO NOT PAY THE ORIENTATION FEE PRIOR TO MAKING A RESERVATION!

The cost to attend First Year Orientation is $95 per student.

A limited number of sessions are available for students to bring Family members (up to 2). Sessions where guests are permitted are indicated. The cost per guest is $45. Students who choose not to attend Orientation will not have access to register for courses until the first day of the admitted semester.

Orientation Fee Payment Options:

Pay Online:

Log on to MyCSUSM and access Student Services to pay your fees directly using your MasterCard, Discover Card, VISA, American Express or Electronic Check (a 2.75% convenience charge will be assessed for all credit card payments. There is no convenience fee for electronic check payments.)

Pay in person:

Cash, checks & ATM Debit cards are accepted at the Office of Student Financial Services in Cougar Central located in Craven Hall 3800.

Pay by mail:

Checks/money orders can be mailed to:

     ATTN: Cashiers
     333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd
     San Marcos, CA 92096-0001

Checks/money orders can be mailed to:

Check/money order can be dropped in the drop box located in Tukwut Courtyard outside of Cougar Central (Craven Hall 3800). 

Please make checks payable to "CSUSM" and write your student ID number on the check.  For all services, please have your student/picture ID available for verification.

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