First-year Orientation FAQ

Why is orientation required for new students?

All new students must participate in orientation prior to enrolling in classes at Northern Illinois University. The program is designed to be your first step toward student success at NIU.

In addition to offering an overview of the Huskie experience, orientation introduces the many academic resources and support services available to you. Through your virtual orientation experience, you will meet virtually with your academic advisor, register your first-semester classes, learn about campus tools and resources and connect with other new students.

How has orientation changed due to COVID-19?Updated

NIU is offering orientation remotely for all new students. On your registered orientation date, you’ll attend your orientation advising appointment and a Huskie to Huskie meeting.

Although we will be supporting you through your transition virtually, you can still expect to hear about everything NIU has to offer. During your advising appointment, you’ll meet virtually with your advisor, who will help you plan your first semester and prepare to register for classes. You’ll also be invited to participate in a live  chat with NIU’s student Orientation Leaders and other new Huskies like you during your Huskie to Huskie meeting.

We encourage you to monitor your NIU email inbox for all you’ll need to know about completing your virtual orientation program remotely.

How can I register for orientation?Updated

Once you’ve confirmed your intent to enroll and paid your enrollment fee, you’ll be able to register for orientation. Sign up for an orientation date by logging into your MyNIU account using your Z-ID and password. From there, you will select the Undergraduate Orientation tile where you will be instructed to select a date. Your Undergraduate Orientation tile should appear within 24 hours of you paying your enrollment fee. If the tile doesn’t appear please contact our office.

You will also access NIU’s required Pre-Orientation Program (POP) in your Undergraduate Orientation Tile. You will find the link to POP in the upper left corner of the screen. Make sure to complete POP at least three days before your scheduled orientation day!

How will remote orientation sessions work?

Your virtual orientation experience will include your Pre-Orientation Program (POP), a virtual meeting with an Orientation Leader and your peers during Session 0, and your initial advising and registration appointment with your academic advisor. After registering for an orientation date, you’ll receive an invitation to select when you’d like to complete your Session 0. An academic advisor from your college will contact you within the seven days leading up to your registered orientation advising date to provide you with your advising appointment time.

Don’t forget to complete POP three days before your scheduled orientation day—we recommend starting it at least two weeks before.

What is Session 0?

You’ll be invited to select your preferred date for completing Session 0, a required part the summer virtual orientation experience after you’ve registered for orientation. Session 0 will give you the opportunity to engage with other new students and get you connected within the Huskie Community.

In addition to getting to know your fellow Huskies, you’ll be introduced to important resources like the cultural resource centers, Housing and Residential Services, Campus Dining Services! You’ll also receive recommendations for how to prepare for your upcoming orientation advising appointment.

When will I have an opportunity to meet with my advisor?

You’ll meet with your academic advisor during your registered orientation date. As your orientation date approaches, it’s important to begin monitor your NIU email account for a message from an academic advisor with details about your virtual advising appointment time. You can expect an email with information about your virtual advising appointment within the seven days leading up to your registered date.

How long will the advising appointment take?

Your advisor will schedule an appointment to help you plan for your first semester and prepare to register for classes. Some advising areas also will schedule a college meeting. Most advising appointments range between 30 minutes and one hour.

How can I change my major?

Please fill out our online form to request a change in your major.

We will contact you once you fill out the form if you need to change your orientation date.

What if I need an accommodation?Updated

When registering for your orientation date via MyNIU, check the "Required Services" box and include a comment about the accommodation you will be requesting to let us know what you will need.

We recommend contacting us at least two weeks prior to your orientation program at 815-753-1535 or at to confirm that  your request for accommodations has been received.

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Orientation and First Year Programs
Altgeld Hall 100
DeKalb, IL 60115

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