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Orientation FAQs

Q:What is orientation?

Orientation is your formal introduction to all that Virginia Commonwealth University has to offer. An Orientation Leader (OL) will guide you through your campus visit to share insights about everything from academics to campus involvement. You will attend programs and sessions that address academic requirements for your major as well as some of the out-of-class transitions you may experience as a new student. At the end of your stay, you will return home registered for a full schedule of classes for the upcoming semester and will feel better prepared for a successful start to the VCU collegiate experience.

Q:What is a first-year student?

A first year student is someone who has not attended classes on another college campus. For orientation purposes, high school students who have dual enrollment credit are considered first-year students.

Q:What is a transfer student?

A transfer student has attended another four-year or community college prior to coming to VCU.

Q:Why do I have to participate in orientation?

Research supports that if you attend Orientation, you are more likely to achieve success in college and graduate. VCU is committed to helping students succeed both in and out of the classroom. This is also the time when you will meet with an academic adviser to register for your classes and make new friends.

Q:I know a lot of people at VCU already, why do I need to attend orientation?

While it is great that you know people on campus already, Orientation will give you a more comprehensive overview of the resources and services available to you as a new VCU student. In addition, it is important that you learn the specifics of your academic major and meet personally with an advisor regarding the expectations of your degree program. You will receive extensive guidance through the process of registering for classes from staff members who will give you individualized attention.

Q: I am a readmit at VCU.  Do I need to attend Orientation? 

You are required to attend Orientation if you have not taken classes at VCU within the last three years.  If you were a student within the last three years, you need to contact your academic department and set up a time with an academic advisor to select and register for your classes.

Q:Can my family members attend orientation?

Yes, parents and family members are welcome and encouraged to attend orientation. While you are meeting with other new students and attending sessions specific to your academic and social transition to VCU, your parents and guests will participate in events that are designed to address their unique needs. Sessions for parents and family members include information on campus resources and services, parent and family involvement in the VCU experience, academic expectations, and changing relationships.

Q: Where do people stay for the overnight program? 

Students will be housed in Brandt Residence Hall.  Parents and guests are not provided with accommodations.  Many parents and guests who have attended in the past have stayed at the Doubletree, Marriott, or Jefferson hotels but there are other options available.

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide overnight accommodations the night before a student is registered for Orientation.  You will need to arrange for accommodations at a local hotel if you need a place to stay the night before your Orientation begins.

Q:Is there a fee for attending the orientation program?

There is a required fee for New Student Orientation.

  • For Summer Orientation, the fee for first-year students is $95 and covers overnight accommodations, meals, parking, and all orientation materials for the student. The fee for transfer students is $45 and covers a meal, parking, and all orientation materials for the student. The cost for guests is $45 per person, which covers orientation materials.  Guests of first-year students will receive lunch on day one of Orientation and breakfast on day two of Orientation.  Guests of transfer students attending the one day session will receive lunch.  Overnight accommodations are not provided for guests during any Orientation program.
  • The Winter Orientation fee for first-year and transfer students is $45. All Winter Orientation sessions are one-day programs. Overnight accommodations are not provided. The fee for each guest is $25.
Q:How long is the New Student Orientation program?
  • Summer Orientation is a two-day program for first-year students and a one-day program for transfer students.  The first-year program begins with check-in at 10:00 a.m. on day one and ends when academic advising is completed on day two between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m.  The full-day transfer program begins with check-in at 9:00 a.m. and ends at approximately 5:00 p.m.
  • Winter Orientation is a one-day program for all students.
Q:What is the schedule for New Student Orientation?
Q:How do I know who my advisor is? When will I get to meet him or her?

You will meet your academic advisor during your advising session at New Student Orientation. You will be escorted to meet your assigned advisor at the appropriate time during orientation.

Q:I don’t know where to go. Where can I get directions to campus?

Please visit and click on “directions.” Additional check-in information and parking directions will be provided in your orientation confirmation e-mail once you have completed an online reservation to attend orientation.

Q:Where do I get my student ID?

The VCUCard office will be available during Orientation. Orientation staff will direct you to the VCU Card office during a scheduled time.

Q:Do I need to bring a check to pay for tuition and fees?

Students are notified at their official VCU email address when their bills are available on the billing and payment site. No paper bills are sent to enrolled students. Tuition and fees for pre-registered students, along with charges for housing and dining plans where applicable, are due by the official start of each semester. Please visit the Student Accounting web site at for questions regarding billing and payment.. If you are receiving financial aid, your tuition, fees, room and board charges may be covered by your financial aid. Be sure to bring your award letters and other correspondence informing you that you will be receiving financial aid in case you need to speak with someone in the Financial Aid Office during your campus visit.