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Transfer Orientation FAQs

Why do I have to attend orientation?

All new students must attend an orientation prior to enrolling in classes It’s not possible to meet with your advisor or register for classes without attending orientation first.

When is orientation?

Students who will begin classes in the spring semester attend orientation in November or December. For students who begin classes in the summer or fall semester, they must attend orientation in April, June, July, or August.

When can I register for classes?

You will be able to register for classes after you attend 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 found in your MyNIU student center.

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 to make arrangements.

Why do I have to pay a confirmation fee?

Your confirmation fee is used to secure your enrollment to NIU and to pay for your orientation program. Program costs including staffing, publications, a/v equipment, 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 attend 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?

You should plan to be at orientation for most of the day. The program begins with check-in at 8 a.m. Most students end their orientation day mid-afternoon. If you can’t attend the entire program, you’ll be asked to reschedule your orientation. You won’t be able skip any portions of the program.

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

Contact your major college office. Tell your college office you are coming to orientation and need to know if you need a placement test.

Should I bring my family?

Yes, there is no additional cost to bring family to your orientation day. 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.

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

Contact Orientation & Family Connections at 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. Make sure to double check your SPAM or JUNK folders. If it’s not there, email us at and we’ll resend your confirmation.

Where do I park when I get to campus?

Orientation participants should park in the Visitor’s Lot located at 201 Carroll Avenue, DeKalb, IL. It is free to park. Make sure to mention to the parking attendant you are there for orientation. After you park, head to the Holmes Student Center Gallery Lounge for the start of the program.

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.

Is lunch provided at orientation?

No, the orientation program will not provide lunch. During lunch time, you’ll be with your advisor or waiting to meet with your advisor. We suggest bringing snacks or lunch to eat while you wait. There are numerous dining options around campus.