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Transfer Orientation FAQs

Why is orientation required for new students?

  • All new students must attend an orientation prior to enrolling in classes at Northern Illinois University. Orientation is designed to be student’s first step towards student success at NIU.
  • New students will learn the necessary resources, tools, and skills needed for student success.
  • The program is designed to introduce students to the many academic and support services. During orientation, students will meet with their advisor and register for classes.

Should my family attend orientation?

Yes! Family members play such an important role in the transition and success of new students. By attending orientation, your family will learn valuable information that will help them support you during your first year and beyond.

Also, there are numerous sessions during the morning portion of the day your family will attend with you.

Please note: Any family, friends, current students, or partners will not be allowed to attend your academic advising/registration portion of the orientation day.

It is not possible to meet with your advisor or register for courses prior to attending an orientation program.

When can I register for classes?

You will be able to register for classes AFTER you attend orientation and meet with your advisor.

How do I change my major?

Please fill out the online form to request a major change. 

We’ll contact you once you fill out the form if you need to change your orientation date. Some majors don't advise every orientation day or your new major might be full on your orientation date.

What is Express Orientation?

Express Orientation is an abbreviated program providing you with the most essential information/resources on campus, an appointment with an advisor and registration for the upcoming semester. You’ll also get to visit the Financial Aid and get your student ID (OneCard). If Express Orientation is an option for you, you’ll see it when you register in MyNIU.

What if I need an accommodation?

When registering for your orientation program via MyNIU, check the "Required Services" box and include a comment about the accommodation you will be requesting to let us know what you’ll need.  NIU and your orientation program will have numerous support services for students who have a temporary injury or health issue, difficulty with mobility, and other specific disabilities.  You can also contact us at least two weeks prior to your orientation program at 815-753-1535 or at orientation@niu.edu to make arrangements. 

Why do I have to pay for the confirmation fee?

Your confirmation fee is used to secure your attendance at NIU and to pay for orientation program costs including staffing, publications, a/v equipment, lunch, parking, and facilities used during orientation.

What if I decide to not come to NIU, is the confirmation fee refundable?

No, the confirmation fee you pay to secure your enrollment at NIU and to come to orientation is nonrefundable regardless of circumstances. Please make certain of your plans to attend before paying the fee.

How long does orientation last and do I have to attend the entire program?

New students should plan to be at orientation for most of the day. The program begins with check-in at 8 a.m. Most students finish orientation before or at 4:30 p.m. However, some do finish after 4:30 p.m. If you cannot attend the entire program, you will be asked to reschedule your orientation. Students cannot skip any portions of the program.

Do I need to take a placement test? When can I take my test?

Some transfers do have to take placement tests. Contact your major college office. Tell your college office you are coming to orientation and need to know if you need a placement test.

I’ve made my orientation date already but need to reschedule.

Contact Orientation & Family Connections at orientation@niu.edu or 815-753-1535 to reschedule.

I’ve made my reservation, but I haven’t gotten my confirmation. What do I do?

First, double check your NIU email or email you gave on your application to NIU. Be sure to check your junk or spam folder, too. If it’s not there, email us at orientation@niu.edu and we’ll resend your confirmation.

Where do I park when I get to campus?

Check your NIU email account with your confirmation message. Directions for your program will be in that email. 

Where does orientation start?

Your orientation day begins at 8 a.m. and ends at the Holmes Student Center, Gallery Lounge (Main Floor). Look for orientation signs and balloons to the location start.

Will I be able to take care of other university business during orientation?

Yes. All university offices will be open and available to help you. Please note, you cannot leave the orientation program to take care of other university business. After your advising/registration is completed, you’ll have time to visit other offices.

Can my family come to advising and registration?

During the orientation program, families will get to meet with their student’s major college. Families can ask questions and gather contact information on day one of the program. However, only students will attend advising/registration.