Transfer Orientation FAQs

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 a student’s first step toward student success at NIU.

In addition to offering an overview of the Huskie experience, orientation introduces admitted students to the many academic resources and support services available to them. During orientation, students will meet virtually with their academic advisor and register for classes.

Howhas 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.

You can also access NIU’s required Pre-Orientation Program (POP) from this section by clicking the link 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), access to a curated orientation video playlist, a virtual meeting with an Orientation Leader and your initial advising and registration appointment with your academic advisor. After you’ve registered for orientation, you’ll begin receiving emails with information about how to make the most of your virtual orientation programming. 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 do I need to do about placement tests now that orientation is online?

Math Placement

All students will be given an initial math placement level based on their ACT/SAT math scores and high school GPA. If you did not submit a high school GPA, you should register for the Accuplacer Math Exam (click on the “Test Registration” button at the bottom of the page to register for this exam).

Your placement results will be emailed from testing@niu.edu to your NIU email address.

If you wish to challenge your math placement result, you may also register for the Accuplacer Math Exam (click on the “Test Registration” button at the bottom of the page to register for this exam).

Please note, to take the Accuplacer Math Exam, you will need a computer with a webcam and microphone.

English Placement

If an English Placement Exam is required you will receive an e-mail to your NIU e-mail address from testing@niu.edu with instructions on how to register for this exam. Please note: not all students are required to take this exam.

Writing Composition Competency

If you do not receive an English Placement Exam e-mail and you would like to take a placement exam for English, you may consider registering for the optional Writing Composition Exam I. Please visit the Testing Services website to determine if you wish to take this exam. Note: you are not required to take this exam.

Literacy Placement

If literacy placement is required, you will receive an email to your NIU email address from testing@niu.edu, with your literacy placement results. Your placement results will be based on your ACT/SAT scores and high school GPA.

If you wish to challenge your placement results you may register for the Literacy Placement Exam (click on the “Test Registration” button at the bottom of the page to register for this exam). Please note: not all students will receive a literacy placement.

Foreign Language Placement

You can visit the Testing Services website to determine if a Foreign Language placement is needed. If so, you may register for the exam (click on the “Test Registration” button at the bottom of the page to register for this exam).

Chemistry Placement

You can visit the Testing Services website to determine if a Chemistry placement is needed for your major. Once the exam is available, you may register for the Chemistry Placement exam (click on the “Test Registration” button at the bottom of the page to register for this exam).

Additional Questions

If you have additional questions about placement, contact Testing Services at testing@niu.edu.

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 monitoring 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 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 orientation@niu.edu to confirm that  your request for accommodations has been received.

Contact Us

Orientation and First Year Programs
Altgeld Hall 100
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-0028
orientation@niu.edu

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