Frequently-Asked Questions for First-Year Students

2020 Orientation Dates

For students starting their flight at Otterbein in Fall Semester 2020, your options for SOAR will be the following:

  • Thursday, June 18
  • Saturday, June 20
  • Friday, July 10
  • Tuesday, August 18

Orientation begins with check-in at 8:00 am and ends around 5:30 pm.

Frequently-Asked Questions about First Year Student Orientation

Why do I need to attend Orientation?

Orientation is a great opportunity to meet people and learn about life as an Otterbein University Cardinal. At Orientation you will learn tips on navigating the university system, on succeeding academically and on getting involved in campus life. Additionally, you will meet with an advisor and complete the course registration process in preparation for the upcoming semester.

How do I know what date I’m scheduled to attend?

All orientation confirmations are sent directly to students via their Otterbein email account. Emails will be followed-up by a postcard confirming your scheduled date. If you are unsure that your registration has been received, you can call the orientation office (614-823-3202).

How will I register for classes?

You will be emailed a personalized link to the course registration survey to your Otterbein email. You must activate your Otterbein email to get this information. Once you complete your survey, the Registrar’s Office will create your fall term schedule. During orientation, you will meet individually with a faculty advisor to review your schedule and make any necessary changes or adjustments.

How do I access my Otterbein email address?

First you will need to activate your network account. To do this, go to and enter the PIN provided in your Welcome Letter. You will be instructed to create a unique password. Then, to access your email, you can log in at

Start good habits now! You should check your Otterbein email account daily, especially leading up to the start of the academic term, for important information on campus.

How long is Orientation?

Orientation check-in will be 8 – 8:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 8:45 a.m. You should expect to be done by 5:30 p.m.

Should my parents or family come with me?

This is a decision you and your family will need to make. There are informational sessions throughout the orientation day especially designed for parents and families. There is no cost for students to attend, but each guest will need to pay the registration fee. There is a $40 charge for the first guest and $20 for each additional guest.

Can I bring a friend?

All guests that accompany you to orientation will need to pay the registration fee. There is a $40 charge for the first guest and $20 for each additional guest. Be advised, guests will NOT be able to accompany you during the entire day. Parents, family and guests will be asked to attend the parent and family orientation that is scheduled for the day. You will begin the day together, but will not come back together until the end of the day.

What if I can’t come to Orientation?

Attendance at orientation is expected for all new students. Hopefully, there will be a session available to meet your needs and schedule. However, if you have an unavoidable schedule conflict, contact the Center for Student Involvement at 614-823-3202.

Do I have to come to both Orientation and First Flight?

Yes, but this is only required for new students beginning during fall semester. It is expected that all first-time, traditional first-year students will attend both Orientation and First Flight. During Orientation you will work with an advisor to confirm your class schedule for the fall. During First Flight you will attend many important academic meetings that will help you to be prepared for classes when they begin.

Do I need to take a placement test before Orientation?

Yes. If you need to take either the Math or Modern Language Placement Exam you must do so 2 weeks prior to your orientation. More information about placement tests can be found in the Placement section of your OtterBinder.

Will I have my housing and roommate assignment in time for Orientation?

No. Housing and roommate assignments will be completed in late July. During Orientation you will be able to see a sample room, but you will not have your official assignment. You will have an opportunity to interact with the Residence Life Staff during Orientation and they will be able to answer your questions related to living on-campus.

Where can I find a copy of the First Year Seminar and INST 1500: Identity Projects course descriptions?

These items will be mailed to you at the beginning of May. At that time they will also be posted here.

Below you will find the course descriptions to see what types of courses have previously been offered. The course descriptions will be uploaded in May each year.

Remember to register for orientation!

Go to the registration form >