Orientation Family Information

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Welcome Families!

Orientation Program Information


UMD's Transition Programs have three phases/programs: (1) Orientation, (2) Welcome Programs, and (3) UMD Seminar. Each program provides a deeper level of information and discovery for your student. We know that no one can take in all the information they need to be successful in one shot or at one time, so we build our programs to provide information, tips, and opportunities at a pace most people can absorb. Being successful academically, socially and emotionally takes time and patience. Don't worry, our office is here to help your student along the way and so are many other on-campus offices, people, and places.

Mandatory Orientation: Orientation will set your student up for college success by addressing transitional concerns and introducing academic expectations, social & academic success strategies, campus resources and information on what it means to be a student at UMD. This is the next step to making their UMD college journey a reality.

Goals of Orientation:

  • meet other students and make friends
  • receive personalized academic advising
  • register for semester classes
  • learn what is expected of a UMD Bulldog both in and out of the classroom
  • explore campus and ways to get involved
  • get a U Card - the official student ID card

Invitation to Sign-Up for an Orientation session: An invitation to your student is sent to the address provided on their Admissions application. Invitations go out weekly, so make sure your student watches their mailbox (Note: invitations are physically mailed and not emailed to your student).

The invitation asks students to (1) initiate their UMD Internet ID account*, (2) activate their UMD Google email account, (3) register for an Orientation date and (4) pay the $80 non-refundable UMD confirmation fee. Once everything is complete, an email confirmation will be sent to your student's UMD email account with the day/time of their session.

Orientation session dates: each academic college sets its own Orientation session dates. The only date options your student will see when they login to register for an Orientation session date are the open dates for their collegiate unit. If your student wants to explore changing their major or college, please have them contact the Admissions office (218-726-7171) for a decision before they register for an Orientation session.

Orientation $80 non-refundable fee: this fee serves three purposes: (1) serves as a UMD enrollment confirmation fee (lets UMD know you plan to come to UMD), (2) reserves a spot at Orientation, and (3) funds SIT program. Once they choose their Orientation date and pay the fee (non-refundable), an email confirmation will be sent to the students’ UMD email account. Please remember: Your student's spot is not reserved until payment if received.

What does this fee pay for? this $80 fee goes towards all expenses (room rental, food, invitations, printing, publications, student advisors, etc.) for our Orientation & Transitional Programming: Orientation, Bulldog Welcome Week, Transfer Student Welcome, Winter Welcome, First Gen Bulldogs, and Transfer Student Programming.

Proxy Appointments: are reserved for extenuating circumstances (military, health issue, rare opportunity) and are usually conducted over the phone. If a student has a special circumstance that will prevent she/he/they from attending any of the Orientation sessions, please contact our office, so we can assist: 218-726-6393.

Prep Modules (Fall semester start only): two online preparation modules for Orientation will be available beginning mid-April. Students can view the modules within their orientation portal (where they registered for a date and paid the $80 fee).

What to Bring to Orientation: students must bring their UMD Internet ID and password, their driver’s license (for UCard), their laptop or tablet for registration (if they have one).

Parent and Family Program: You are invited to attend the Parent & Family Program presented by the Division for Student Life. The program provides parents and families information about UMD. Some topics that may be discussed are housing, registration, health services, career services and student transition issues and solutions. You will begin the Orientation program with your student to hear an overview of the day, a student success discussion, their collegiate unit welcome. Then your student will be escorted to their college to begin the registration process, and parents and families are encouraged to attend the Parent Program. You will be given a schedule for the program at check-in.

Fostering Autonomy: for parents and families of a new-to-college incoming student, we understand that this can be a scary step, but it is important that students register for classes on their own with the guidance of both their academic and peer advisors, and that they start making their own choices about their academic futures. Developing confidence and improving problem-solving and communication skills all contribute in fostering autonomy within your student.

Fall 2018 Bulldog Welcome Week (BWW) - August 21 – 25, 2018: Move in Day: August 21, 2018. BWW is required for all new first-year college students (including those coming in with PSEO or College in the Schools credit). More information will be sent to your student mid-summer once they have completed an Orientation session.  Please plan family vacations, work schedules, and other activities early so your student will be able to participate in BWW. 

Fall Transfer Student Welcome: transfer students are also required to attend a Welcome program. Students can opt-in to participate in the entire Bulldog Welcome Week program or attend the Transfer Student Welcome. More information will be sent to your student mid-summer once they have completed an Orientation session.

We need your help. Please remind your student to:

  • sign up and pay for an Orientation date ASAP
  • complete the requested tasks before arriving at Orientation
  • bring the required items to Orientation
  • ensure all high school and college transcripts have been sent (college transcripts for PSEO and CITS as well)
  • check UMD email frequently for any updates
  • participate in a Welcome Program

Lastly, on behalf of the staff in the Office for Students in Transition, we look forward to meeting your student and your family during Orientation and assisting your student throughout their college journey. Go Dogs!