Orientation FAQs

Attending a New Student Orientation (NSO) is required of each incoming student. Find answers to the most frequently asked questions below.


Should I bring money to pay for my classes at NSO?
You will not need to pay for your classes at orientation. Your tuition bill will be ready for viewing online in STUINFO after you attend orientation. You will receive an email in your MSU account indicating that your tuition bill is ready for viewing. Pay close attention to the payment deadline so you are not charged a late fee.

Do I really have to attend every session at NSO?
Student success is one of MSU’s priorities. NSO, which supports students as they transition to college life, has been carefully planned with your success in mind. In order to meet with an academic adviser and enroll in your courses, you must attend every NSO session.

Can my parents/family come to the NSO sessions with me?
Although it may seem insensitive, the student and parent/family orientations are purposely designed to be separate from each other. By holding separate orientations, the staff is better able to address the unique priorities and questions that students and parents/families typically have. In addition, orientation is a step in your adjustment to learn as you address and resolve issues you will encounter in college.

Why can’t I leave and go visit a friend or family member on campus or nearby when I don’t have any NSO sessions to attend?
While exciting, the college transition can be overwhelming. Because we are committed to the success of each student, during NSO you are required to stay where orientation events are located until the program ends. The schedule of events, including meal times, have been planned to give you a chance to meet other new and current MSU students. During NSO you will have an opportunity to meet faculty, staff and students who will share information that will help ease your transition to college. For these reasons, students who do not attend the entire NSO cannot enroll for classes until after their scheduled NSO.

What if I don’t want to stay the night? Can I stay with a parent/family member at a hotel? (For June-July NSO students)
Staying the night at NSO is a program requirement. The overnight stay has been carefully planned so students who will live on campus room with students who will live in their residence hall in the fall. Students planning to commute to campus will room with other commuter students. During NSO, it is likely that you will meet someone you will see again in the fall. Evening activities for fun and relaxation include singing karaoke, watching movies, playing cards or board games, or participating in volleyball, tennis or basketball.

How can I switch my orientation date?
You can switch your orientation date using the same system you used when you made your NSO reservation. Dates are available on a first-come, first-served basis due to program space limitations.

Is there a wait list for NSO?
There is no wait list for NSO. When changing your date, please select a date with an open spot. Dates are available on a first-come, first-served basis due to program and residence hall space limitations. Because much of the NSO experience is personalized, we cannot accommodate students coming on the wrong date.

What happens if I miss my orientation date?
It is extremely important that you do not miss your orientation date. If you do not notify the Orientation Office at (517) 355-8490 prior to your scheduled NSO date that you are unable to attend, we assume you are no longer interested in attending MSU. Please be advised that Michigan State University reserves the right to cancel or defer a student’s admission if we do not receive notice about a student’s absence from NSO.

What happens if I am going to be late for orientation?
If you are running late, please contact the Orientation Office immediately at (517) 355-8490. At that time, our office staff will let you know if you should come to orientation or reschedule for another time.

What if I have something else planned during orientation, such as an audition, an interview, a sports physical, an awards banquet or a job commitment? Can I leave orientation for a period of time after I enroll for classes and return to complete the program?
No. NSO is committed to helping you successfully transition to the rigor of the college experience. For this reason attendance at every NSO session is required. In order to retain the classes you enroll in, you must complete the entire NSO. Please keep this in mind as you choose an orientation date and make travel plans.

The travel arrangements I made require me to leave early or arrive late. Is that okay?
All NSO sessions are required in order to meet with your adviser to enroll for classes. We are unable to change scheduled enrollment times. Please keep this in mind when you are making your travel arrangements.

What if I get sick or have a family emergency during NSO?
We certainly hope this does not happen, but if it does occur, please come to the NSO Office immediately. We will help you reschedule so that you can complete the program on another date of your choice. Because NSO is committed to student success, you are required to make up any sessions/activities you miss, including the overnight stay. Students who do not attend the required sessions must complete make-up sessions before they can enroll for classes.

Once NSO is over, where do I go for help?
Your academic orientation does not end when you check out of NSO. NSO staff work with professors, academic advisers, and other staff and students to ensure that you receive support and guidance as you transition to college. Please contact our office if you have questions, including where to go to get a question answered or visit the Undergraduate Education website.

The Spartan Resource Guide and Planner provided at NSO includes information that can help you connect with professors, academic advisers, other staff and students who can answer your questions. Current students strongly recommend using a planner, since one of the most challenging aspects of the college transition is managing time and staying organized.

Each Neighborhood Engagement Center includes resources to help you succeed academically, see the world from global perspectives, learn by doing and live a healthy life. You can meet with an academic adviser should you want to discuss your academic plan or want advice regarding the college transition.