Transfer Orientation FAQs

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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.

How will orientation change due to COVID-19?

Through this summer, NIU is offering orientation remotely for all new students via virtual presentations, meetings and chats. Admitted students are encouraged to monitor their NIU email inbox for all they need to know about completing this require program remotely.

How can I register for orientation?

To register for orientation, you will need to log into your MyNIU account using your Z-ID and password. From there, you will select the Undergraduate Orientation tile. You will then be instructed to select a date and pay a confirmation fee.

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. We recommend completing the POP at least two weeks before your orientation date.

Will NIU still charge a fee for orientation?

Yes, the $85 fee is still required. However, we are developing an option to defer your Orientation fee payment until the first fall 2020 term payment due date. This will provide additional time to pay the fee Please check back here for an update as to when it becomes available.

How will remote orientation sessions work?

Please plan to complete the self-guided Pre-Orientation Program module at least two weeks before orientation. An academic advisor from your college will contact you after May 1 to provide you with your advising appointment time on your chosen session date.

Also starting in May, we will provide you with a menu of remote resource sessions that you will be able to access online to learn more information about financial aid and scholarships, housing and dining, academic and engagement opportunities, and special programs like University Honors and CHANCE.

You will also have an opportunity to meet with student Orientation Leaders via virtual chats throughout the summer. Our team will send a complete overview of orientation to your NIU email account.  

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?

Once you’ve picked an orientation date and registered for your session, monitor your NIU email account for a message from an academic advisor in your college confirming your virtual advising appointment time. You will meet with them remotely via Microsoft Teams on your scheduled orientation date.

Will there be a virtual Family Orientation session?

Yes, families will be able to view our Pre-Orientation Program (POP) in English and Spanish. Families are also welcome to participate in the virtual presentations offered in the remote resource sessions.

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?

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. Our team can offer support services for students who have a temporary or permanent health impairment, physical limitations, psychiatric disorders or learning disabilities.

You can also contact us at least two weeks prior to your orientation program at 815-753-1535 or at orientation@niu.edu to make arrangements.

I have been accepted to the CHANCE Program; do I register for a specific orientation session?

No, but students in the CHANCE Program can expect to hear from their assigned counselor over the summer. The CHANCE Program will host a remote information session leading up to orientation, as well as a virtual follow-up in late July/early August.

During the Week of Welcome before the start of the fall semester, students in the CHANCE Program will be invited to attend the CHANCE Leadership Conference.

Contact Us

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

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