Freshman Orientation

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Welcome to Sonoma State University!

Orientation is a mandatory two-day program for all new first-year students and will take place between June 4th-July 1st, 2014. Orientation is designed to help new students get off to the right start by learning about academic requirements, meeting with faculty major advisors, and learning about campus programs and services. Students cannot register for classes until they attend Orientation.

Students who are admitted into EOP will attend a separate orientation session.

As stated above, Orientation is a two-day process and is mandatory for all students to spend the night on campus in the assigned room in a residence hall that they will receive when they arrive. If you have a special accommodation that we should be aware of, please contact the Orientation office at least a week prior to coming to Orientation at 707-664-4464 or

Orientation Schedule

This schedule is tentative and there may be changes when you arrive. Both students and parents/guardians will attend sessions together that are in bold.

Time Event  
9:00 - 10:00am Check-in Vineyard

9:15 - 10:00am
9:15 - 10:00am

9:15 - 10:00am
9:15 - 9:30am
Optional Breakout Workshops and Tours
• Disablity Services for Students
• Study Abroad/National Student Exchange
Information Session
• Undergraduate Pathways to Teaching
• Student Health Center Tour

Salazar 2019
International Hall, Rm 107

Stevenson 2020
Student Health Center
10:10 - 10:35am Welcome to SSU Ballroom A
10:35 - 10:45am Meet the O Team Ballroom A
10:45 - 11:35am The First Year Ballroom A
11:45am - 12:15pm Meet the Schools
• Arts & Humanities
• Early Childhood Studies
• Undeclared
• Science & Technology
• Social Sciences
• Business & Economics

Cooperage 3
Stevenson 1078
Ballroom A
Ballroom B
Ballroom C
Cooperage 1
12:15 - 12:55pm Lunch Salazar Plaza
1:05-1:15pm Parent Host Welcome Ballroom A
1:10 - 1:40pm Doing Business with Seawolf Services Ballroom A
1:35 - 2:05pm Breakout Sessions: Choose 1
• Financial Aid
• Campus Tour

Ballroom A
Ballroom B
2:05 - 2:50pm Campus Health & Safety Ballroom A
2:50 - 3:00pm Break Ballroom A
3:00 - 4:15pm Student Life Session Ballroom A
4:30 - 5:00pm Green Music Center Tour Green Music Center
5:00 - 6:15pm Wine & Cheese Reception at the Green Music Center The Prelude at GMC

Time   Event
6:45 AM (Optional) Morning Workout at the Rec Center. Get in a workout before the day begins, just bring your orientation name tag to get free access to the Recreation Center Recreation Center
8:30-9:15 AM Recreation Center Tour Recreation Center
9:20 - 10:10 AM College Rediness & Your Student's Success Ballroom B & C
10:10-10:55 AM Academic at SSU Ballroom B & C
10:55-11:45 AM What to Expect in that First Year Living Away from Home Ballroom B & C
11:55 AM - 1:10 PM Lunch with Resource Fair Salazar Plaza
1:10 - 1:30 PM Closing Ceremony Ballroom A

Orientation Session Dates

You must attend an Orientation session in which your school is represented. If you are unsure what your major is, you will need to check on your admission letter. If you are unsure what school your major is in, go to your department's website.


Wednesday, June 4th- Thursday, June 5th (School of Arts & Humanities, School of Business & Economics, School of Science & Technology, School of Social Sciences, School of Undeclared)
Monday, June 9th- Tuesday, June 10th (School of Arts & Humanities, School of Business & Economics, School of Science &
Technology, School of Social Sciences, School of Undeclared)
Wednesday, June 11th- Thursday, June 12th (School of Science & Technology, School of Social Sciences, School of Undeclared)
Monday, June 16th- Tuesday, June 17th (School of Science & Technology, School of Social Sciences, School of Undeclared)
Wednesday, June 18th- Thursday, June 19th (School of Arts & Humanities, School of Business & Economics, School of Undeclared)
Monday, June 23rd- Tuesday, June 24th (School of Arts & Humanities, School of Business & Economics, School of Undeclared)
Wednesday, June 25th- Thursday, June 26th (School of Arts & Humanities, School of Business & Economics, School of Science & Technology, School of Social Sciences, School of Undeclared)

How to Sign Up for Orientation

View how to sign up with screen snaps.

Orientation Program Fees

Student: $255 (This fee is combined with the Enrollment Reservation Deposit which totals $455)

Orientation is a self-support program. Your Orientation fee covers all Orientation materials including but not limited to all advising materials, campus resource information, faculty advising, and meals. For more information regarding fees, please contact the Orientation and Family Programs Office at

Paying Orientation Fees

Fees for Summer Orientation cover the cost of staffing, parking, housing, refreshments and program materials. This $255 fee is combined with the Enrollment Reservation Deposit (ERD) and must be paid prior to signing up for Orientation.

Student Refund Policy: If you change your mind about attending Sonoma State University, you must notify the University in writing in order to receive a refund. The Enrollment Reservation Deposit (ERD) and Orientation Payment are 50% refundable if requested by May 1, 2014; non-refundable thereafter. E-mail your refund request to You are not eligible to receive a refund after attending Orientation, despite any change in your admission status.

Changing Your Major

You must attend an Orientation session based on your admitted major. If you are unaware of your admitted major, please see your admission letter. Students who wish to change their major to Undeclared can do so at Orientation. For students who wish to change their major to something other than Undeclared, you must wait until the Fall semester to make those changes. If you think there is an error in your admitted major, please contact Admissions & Records at (707) 664-2778.

Placement Exams

If applicable, EPT/ELM placement tests must be taken and scored BEFORE you can attend Orientation. Out of State students should consult the SSU Testing Office.

To find out if you need to take the EPT/ELM placement tests, please see your admission letter. It should say whether you need to take the test(s) or if you are exempt. The last date to take these tests and be sure that SSU receives your scores prior to your orientation session is May 4, 2013. This is important because without these test scores, you won't be able to sign up for a Math or English class.

The EPT/ELM placement tests can be taken at any California State University campus. Please remember that you need to register for these tests prior to showing up at a campus to take them. For test information, test dates, and test registration, please visit the SSU Testing Office.

Early Start Program

Early Start Program is a new enrollment requirement for some Fall 2014 First-time Freshmen that correlates with student's EPT/ELM test scores. These test scores determine whether a student is required to participate in the Early Start Program. For more information regarding the Early Start Program, please visit the Early Start Program website.

Services to Students with Disabilities

Please contact the Orientation Office at 707-664-4464 or to request services from the Disabilities Services for Students (DSS) office for your time at Summer Orientation. We will get in touch with the DSS Office to make your accommodations available to you at Orientation. If you have already put your disability on your orientation reservation, you do not need to contact us as we will get in touch with you.

Scholarship/Recruited Athletes

All scholarship recruited athletes are required to participate in the mandatory orientation programs at Sonoma State University. You should receive additional information from the Athletics Department prior to attending Orientation. If you have not heard from the Athletics and your orientation date is approaching, you should contact them at 707-664-2521.

EOP Students

EOP students should contact 707-664-2427 for information regarding the Summer Bridge Program.

Orientation Policies

Switching of Orientation Session Policy: Once you have selected an Orientation session, you are required to stay in that session. Orientation session date changes will only be considered due to extenuating circumstances (and only if space is available).

Alcohol and Illegal Substance Policy: Leave any alcohol and illegal substances at home. Orientation is an alcohol and substance free program. Alcohol and/or illegal substances are not allowed during the orientation session or in the Residential Community. Use or possession of alcohol or illegal substances may lead to your dismissal from the summer orientation program, loss of housing for the 2014-2015 academic year, as well as further university sanctions.

No Leave Policy: Should you choose to leave campus or to miss some of the orientation program, you may lose your opportunity to register during your orientation session or your classes may be dropped.

What to Bring to Orientation

  • Overnight Bag - include both warm and cool weather clothes as Sonoma County weather calls for layers of clothes. Towels, bed linens, pillows, and toilet paper will be provided in the residential hall rooms.
  • Clothes/shoes to wear while doing activities in the Recreation Center
  • Comfortable shoes - we will be walking around campus throughout both days
  • AP Test Scores (if you have them)
  • Recreation Center Waiver (signed by your parent if you are under 18 years of age)
  • An umbrella - check the forecast because Sonoma County has been known to get some rain, even in the summer!
  • First Aid Kit

Summer Orientation FAQ's

Q: Do I have to attend Orientation?

A: YES. Orientation attendance is mandatory for all incoming first-year students. Orientation is the only advising available to new incoming students. Parents/siblings cannot attend Orientation in place of their student. It is important for each student to learn first-hand the information and expectations of Sonoma State University.

Q: How do I sign up for Orientation?

A: See instructions on how to sign-up for Orientation.

Q: Is there a disadvantage to not attending Orientation?

A: YES. Students who do not attend Orientation will not be allowed to register for classes. If you are unable to attend Orientation due to a hardship or family emergency, contact the Orientation Office at 707-664-4464 or

Q: What are my orientation fees paying for?

A: The fees to attend Orientation are paying for all the Orientation materials you receive, meals, parking, overnight housing, staffing, etc.

Q: Should my family and friends attend Orientation with me?

A: We invite you to bring your parent(s)/guardians as we have a Parent/Guardian Orientation program for them, which runs concurrently with Summer Orientation but the majority of the workshops/activities at Parent Orientation are run separately from the Summer Orientation (see agenda - link to Summer Orientation agenda). They will have an opportunity to ask questions, learn about campus services and academic requirements, and mingle with other first-year parents/guardians. We highly recommend that friends do not attend Orientation. If they do sign-up and come to Orientation they will participate in the Parent/Guardian Orientation and will not receive overnight housing. We encourage our incoming students to begin to make new friends at Orientation as these are the students they will live with, eat with, and go to class with in the Fall.

Q: What do I need to bring to Orientation?

A: Please refer to the What to Bring to Orientation page (link).

Q: Will I be able to leave Orientation early for a graduation, wedding, flight, etc.?

A: No, please be sure to schedule your Orientation session on a date that you are available. You need to complete the entire Orientation, or your classes may be in jeopardy of being dropped. Remember Orientation is mandatory in order to be a student at SSU.

Q: Who can I call with questions?

A: The friendly and knowledgeable Orientation staff is ready to answer your questions. Call 707-664-4464, Monday - Friday from 9:00am - 4:00pm or e-mail us at During our peak times (February - July) we receive many phone calls and voicemails. We recommend e-mail before phone calls and if you do decide to call please leave one voicemail as we do our best to get back to you within 48 hours. Parent/Guardian