Transfer Orientation FAQ

Paying the Enrollment Fee

Registering for Orientation

How do I find my PIN for the Next Steps Portal? New
Log in to the Next Steps portal using the personal email address that you used to complete your application to NIU. If you do not remember or if you do not know your password, choose “Forgot Your Password” and enter the email address you used to apply to NIU and your date of birth. The system will send a temporary PIN to that email address which you can then use to set a new password and access the Next Steps portal. Your NIU Next Steps portal email address and password are different from the ones you use to access MyNIU. Learn more about navigating the NIU Next Steps Portal > 

Preparing for Orientation

How can I change my major?

Please fill out our online form to request a change in your major. Major changes may impact orientation advising. We will contact you once you fill out the form if you need to change your Orientation Day.

How do I request an accommodation?

When selecting your Orientation Day please fill out the “Accommodations” box on the orientation registration form. Make sure to 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 Day at 815-753-1535 or at orientation@niu.edu to confirm that your request for accommodations has been received.

Family Orientation

Can I bring guest with me to my in-person Orientation Day? Updated

You may bring up to two (2) guests with you to your in-person Orientation Day. There is no additional fee for guests. Please note that you'll attend the academic advising portion of orientation on your own. Guests will attend the large group sessions with you, and we’ll have sessions just for them while you attend your advising appointment alone.

Your Orientation Day

What's the format for in person Orientation Days? New

If you sign up for an in-person Orientation Day, you’ll come to campus to attend information sessions that will support you in getting acclimated with important campus departments and key information for your first semester at NIU, a department resource fair and academic advising. You should plan to be on-campus from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

After you’ve registered for your Orientation Day, you’ll begin receiving emails with information about how to prepare for your orientation date. Make sure you check your NIU email frequently. You will receive your advising appointment time during Orientation check-in.

In addition to your Orientation Day, you’re required to complete a Pre-Orientation Program (POP) and Post-Orientation Program (POP 2.0). Don’t forget to complete POP three days before your scheduled orientation day—we recommend starting it at least two weeks before, if possible.

Where should I park for Orientation?New

You’ll need to plan to travel to the main NIU campus in DeKalb for Orientation. Once you’ve arrived, we’ve arranged for you to park in central campus at the Visitor Lot, located at 121 Carroll Ave, DeKalb, IL 60115. Just let the attendant know you’re here for Orientation and you will be able to park your car for the day without charge.

Where is check-in?New

Orientation check-in will take place on the ground level of the Holmes Student Center. Look for the sail banners and signs pointing you toward the west-side entrance of the building facing the bus turnaround, just across from Neptune Hall. Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. and all students must be checked in before 8:45 a.m.

How will virtual Orientation sessions work?

If you sign up for a virtual experience, your Orientation Day will include virtual information sessions delivered through Microsoft Teams that will support you in getting acclimated with important campus departments and key information for your first semester at NIU and academic advising. Your formal orientation programming will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Advising appointments will occur between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

In addition to your Orientation Day, you’re required to complete a Pre-Orientation Program (POP) and Post-Orientation Program (POP 2.0). Don’t forget to complete POP three days before your scheduled orientation day—we recommend starting it at least two weeks before.

After you’ve registered for your Orientation Day, 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 through your NIU student email within three days leading up to your registered Orientation Day to provide you with your advising appointment time.

When will I meet with my advisor?

You’ll meet with your academic advisor on your registered Orientation Day. If you are attending orientation on-campus, you’ll receive your advising appointment time when you check in. If you’re attending a virtual orientation, you can expect an email with information about your virtual advising appointment within the three days leading up to your registered date.

How long will the advising appointment take?

Advising is a scheduled part of your Orientation Day. You will meet with your academic advisor for approximately 30 minutes. It’s a good idea to review the Academic Catalog and review the Academic Planning section within POP. You’ll have access to a computer lab to register for classes during your on-person orientation.

If you’ll be attending orientation virtually, make sure you have access to a computer or laptop for your meeting with your advisor. We do not recommend using your phone for your virtual advising.

General Questions

Why is Orientation required for new students?

All new students must participate in orientation prior to enrolling in classes at Northern Illinois University. In addition to offering an overview of the Huskie experience, orientation introduces the many academic resources and support services available to you. Through your orientation experience, you will meet with your academic advisor, register for your first-semester classes, learn about campus tools and resources and connect with other new students.

The orientation program is of three components and designed to be your first step toward student success at NIU:

  1. POP – completed online at your own pace but must be completed before your Orientation Day.
  2. Orientation Day and advising appointment – You can register for an in-person or virtual Orientation Day. In both formats, you will have appointments for specific times on a specific day.
  3. POP 2.0 – completed online at your own pace after you attend your Orientation Day and advising appointment.
Has Orientation changed due to COVID-19?Updated

We are excited to host students and their families on campus for Orientation. We are offering a select number of virtual Orientation Days for those who cannot or who would rather not participate in an in-person experience. When selecting an Orientation Day, you will have the option to select an in person or virtual date. Our in-person programs follow safety guidelines outlined in Protecting the Pack.

I have been accepted into the University Honors Program; do I register for a specific Orientation Day?Updated

No, but students in the University Honors Program will receive an opportunity to participate in a special session about the program. If you’ll be attending orientation in-person, you’ll meet with Honors as part of your orientation schedule.

If you’ll be attending a virtual orientation day, you’ll be invited to an online video session and chat about the program. These virtual presentations will be offered leading up to orientation. You will also be offered a virtual honors advising meeting on your chosen orientation date — meeting invitations will be sent to your student email account.

Contact Us

Orientation and First Year Programs
Stevenson Towers South
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-1535
orientation@niu.edu

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