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Preparing for Orientation and Enrollment

1. Review your Orientation and Enrollment Guide

Read carefully through your Orientation and Enrollment Guide. You'll learn a lot of helpful information about what happens at orientation and how best to prepare.


2. Register for Orientation and Pay Your Confirmation Fee

Once you select your orientation date in MyNIU, you'll be asked to pay your confirmation fee which reserves your spot at NIU and pays for you to attend orientation. Remember, this fee is nonrefundable, so be certain of your plans to attend NIU before you pay this fee.


3. Your Major

It’s very important that we have your correct major at orientation. If you’ve changed your major since you’ve applied to NIU, please make sure you fill out a change your major form. After you submit your form, you’ll receive confirmation of this change within 48 hours. Please note: when you change your major, you may have to change your orientation date. If this happens, staff will contact you to reschedule.


4. Take your Pre-Orientation Program (POP)

Prior to attending on-campus orientation, you’ll need to complete your Pre-Orientation Program (POP) online, through your MyNIU.

POP will be available approximately six weeks before your on-campus orientation.

It’s the first step in completing your orientation requirements (the second is attending orientation in person) and is required of you as a new student. Be sure to check your email for more information.


5. Take your Placement Tests

Transfer students may need to take a placement test. Please contact your major’s college office. The numbers are listed below. When you call the office, tell them you are coming to orientation and need to know if a placement test is needed.

  • College of Business: 815-753-1325
  • College of Education: 815-753-8352
  • College of Engineering and Engineering Technology: 815-753-3130
  • College of Health and Human Sciences: 815-753-1891
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: 815-753-0114
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts: 815-753-1635
  • Academic Advising Center (undecided-any college): 815-753-2573

6. Prepare for Academic Advising and Registration

Depending on your major, advising during your orientation day will vary. Your advisor is an important resource at NIU. They are here to help you meet your academic and career goals. Advisors will help you map out your courses and plan for the future. Your advisor is excited to meet you at orientation!

Prepare for Advising at Orientation

  • Review the General Education Degree requirements.
  • View your major course descriptions and requirements in the Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Explore your major college’s advising website. This will help you to be familiar with advising expectations by your college.
  • Make a list of potential courses you are interested in taking and that you want to discuss with your advisor.
  • Take a look at your college’s four-year degree path. The goal is to promote student success by guiding you to completion of your degree within a reasonable amount of time.

Course Registration at Orientation

After you’ve completed the orientation program and met with your advisor, you can register for classes. The orientation program will have computer labs for you to use and staff will be available to help you.


7. Submit your photo for your OneCard (student ID)

Avoid long lines at orientation by submitting your photo for your OneCard prior to coming to your orientation program. View the submission form and photo guidelines.


8. Travel and Parking

You are expected to arrive at orientation on time. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. If you arrive after 8:30 a.m., you will be asked to reschedule your orientation. Please plan accordingly. If you are going to be late, please call us at 815-753-1535 to reschedule. All information shared at orientation is critical for your success at NIU. You cannot miss any portion of the program.

Orientation participants should park in the Visitor’s Lot located at 201 Carroll Avenue, DeKalb, IL for FREE. No parking pass is needed, however, notify the attendant that you are on campus for orientation. After you park, follow the yard signs to the Holmes Student Center, Gallery Lounge for the start of the program.

View campus map and directions


9.  Program

During orientation, you’ll be introduced to the many academic opportunities and support services available to you. You’ll also meet with your advisor and register for classes. Lunch is not provided as part of your orientation program. We suggest bringing snacks or a bag lunch to eat while you wait to meet with your advisor. NIU also have numerous dining options around campus.

During orientation, many sessions you can attend with your family/guests. However, families/guests cannot attend advising. That time is reserved just for you and your advisor.

Below we have some sample schedules for you to review. You’ll receive your official orientation schedule when you check-in at orientation.


10. What to Bring

  • Laptop, tablet, or mobile device (strongly recommended). You’ll be able to use the NIU wireless internet so you can follow along with the overview of MyNIU session, look up classes in the Undergraduate Catalog, and visit department websites. 
    • Please note, it is your personal responsibility to ensure the safety of your laptop, tablet, or mobile device at orientation. NIU Orientation & Family Connections does not assume responsibility for loss or stolen property.
  • Copy of your transcripts for your reference during advising and registration
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Bottled water—we have hydration stations throughout the Holmes Student Center
  • Umbrella—you never know, it might rain or snow!
  • Non-perishable food item for the Orientation Service Project