Preparing for Orientation

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Take your Placement Tests

Placement/proficiency testing must be complete prior to attending orientation. If you arrive for orientation but have not completed testing, you will be required to reschedule your orientation date. Review the Placement Testing website to help you determine if testing is required or recommended for your selected major as well as testing dates. Testing questions should be directed to the Office of Testing Services by phone at 815-753-1203, or by e-mail at

4. 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

Please note: Depending on your orientation date, you may not be able to register for classes at your orientation program. Make sure to check your enrollment appointment in your MyNIU student center.

5. 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.

6. 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, head to the Holmes Student Center Gallery Lounge for the start of the program.

View campus map and directions.

7. 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.

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

Coming to orientation in November or December? We have some sample schedules for you to review. You’ll receive your official orientation schedule when you check in at orientation.

Coming to Express Orientation on January 10, 2019? Below is a sample schedule for you to review. You'll receive your official Express Orientation schedule when you check in at orientation.

8. What to Bring

You should bring the following: 

  • Laptop, tablet, or mobile device are strongly recommended to bring to orientation. 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.
  • Money for snacks and lunch.
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • Bottled water—we have hydration stations throughout the Holmes Student Center and campus.
  • Umbrella—you never know; it might rain or snow!