Current Size: 100%

Information for

New Student Orientation

Congratulations on your acceptance to Howard University!

New Student Orientation (NSO) is designed for all incoming first-year and transfer students to be introduced Howard University, and to provide students and their families the opportunity to learn more about academic support services, student development initiatives, and technology tools for academic success.

All new students are expected to participate in and complete New Student Orientation, which includes Bison Prep, Virtual Howard, and Bison Week.  Our goal is to facilitate a seamless transition to Howard University, so that you immediately aclimate and become a part of the Bison family! If you have any further questions or concerns pertaining to New Student Orientation, please email us at orientation@howard.edu. Due to high volume of daily email inquiries from incoming students and their families, please allow the Orientation Team 48-72 hours to respond. 

Below you will find the Save-the-Date flyer to help you get prepared for summer and fall orientation. As we continue to solidify plans for an exciting and informative orientation experience, we invite you to head back over to the #HU25 Admission Dashboard at admit.howard.edu (where you participated in Accepted Students Day). There, you can:

  • review and complete the new student checklist,
  • review the Academic Planner in preparation for discussion with your Academic Adviser during online Bison Prep, and
  • peruse the Career Connector link to explore careers that align with your major.  

Registration links and program schedules will be communitated in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, mark your calendars for the dates below and check your Howard issued emails regularly for information updates. 

          2021 Summer & Fall Orientation 

Summer and Fall Orientation Dates


 

Howard University Virtual Tour

Campus Tour

Explore the Campus Virtual Tour as you please, choosing the subjects and points that interest you. You may proceed systematically; or browse the site, entering the Tour at any point, leaving, then returning at your convenience.

Get Access, Here!

Hotel Accommodations

Hotel

We encourage visitors to use the CTM Visitor Travel Portal to book their hotel reservations with our hotel partners to save money and support Howard University.

Need Accommodations? Click Here

Office of Residence Life - HU Housing & Residence Life will provide safe, inclusive, and secure residential communities where a diverse and innovative team of professionals encourages students to pursue academic excellence, personal growth, civic leadership, and responsibility.

Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) - ETS provides IT resources to support exceptional educational experiences for Howard students, faculty and staff.

Financial Aid - We offer a wide variety of methods of payment and financial assistance programs to students who, without such assistance, would not be able to attend a university.

Office of Student Life & Activities - We strive to create a student-centered environment that supports the achievement of academic, professional and personal goals while promoting civility, respect, integrity and equity.

Office of Student Services - We create an academic and socially accessible environment in three critical areas: Disability Services, Veteran Affairs and Judicial Affairs.

Department of Public Safety - The primary duties of the officers of HU-DPS are to ensure compliance with Howard University regulations and policies adopted by the Howard University Board of Trustees, as well as the enforcement of applicable District of Columbia Codes and Municipal Regulations within its jurisdiction.

University Counseling Service The University Counseling Service (UCS) provides a full range of psychological and training services that appropriately addresses the varying levels of need for our student community.

Office of Off-Campus Housing & Community Engagement - The OCHCE provides rewarding, experiential learning and growth experiences reflective of the University's core values of Truth, Excellence, Leadership and Service.

What is New Student Orientation?

New Student Orientation is comprised of three main components: Bison Prep, Virtual Howard, and Bison Week.  

  • Bison Prep (June 28 – July 2) is our Online Summer Orientation where students and their families will have the opportunity to learn more about Howard’s academic and student support services and tools for academic success.
    • All new (first-year and transfer) students are assigned to an Academic Adviser in their School/College. During Bison Prep you will have the opportunity to hear from School/College Adviser to learn more about University requirements, degree requirements, and your first-year course schedule. Bison Prep is scheduled for June 28 – July 2, 2021. Registration for Bison Prep will open after June 1, 2021. 
  • Virtual Howard (Available online starting July 3) is an online introduction to life at Howard, presented as a series of self-directed modules, which must be completed prior to the start of Bison Week.
  • Bison Week (August 16 – 22) – your official welcome to the Bison family, typically begins the week prior to the start of the fall and spring semesters for all new and transfer students. You will actively participate in a wide array of activities virtually, in-person or hybrid to ensure you have a seamless and successful transition into Howard and the greater Washington, DC community.

What do I need to complete Virtual Howard (online orientation)?

All incoming new students will need access to the internet and access to a computer, tablet or cell phone to complete Virtual Howard and other orientation tasks. Check out the Save-the-Date flyer above for tentative Summer and Fall New Student Orientation dates. 

Do I have to take the Math Placement Exam (MPE)?

Yes, all incoming first-year students will take the Math Placement Exam to be registered for a math course in their first semester. If you have not taken the MPE, or have questions/concerns about the MPE, please email Tutoring and Learning Support Services at tlss@howard.edu.

Can I change my major in my first semester?

No, incoming first-semester students cannot change their major until after one semester in residence.

Will I register for fall 2021 classes?

No, incoming first-year students do not register for fall 2021 classes.  An academic adviser in the Schools/Colleges will register incoming first-year students for the fall 2021 semester.

Please note:  all incoming first-year students’ course registration is pre-determined based upon their intended major. A typical first-year first semester course schedule will consist of the following:  Freshmen Seminar course, English course, Introductory Major course, Afro-Cluster course, and Elective courses (2).

How many classes will I take in my first semester?

All new students will take a minimum of 15 credit hours (5 or 6 courses) during their first semester at Howard University.

Who is my Academic Adviser?  How do I schedule an appointment with my Academic Adviser?

All new (first-year and transfer) students are assigned to an Academic Adviser in their School/College. During Bison Prep you will have the opportunity to hear from School/College Adviser to learn more about University requirements, degree requirements, and your first-year course schedule. Bison Prep is scheduled for June 28 – July 2, 2021. Registration for Bison Prep will open after June 1, 2021. 

Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties with bison email account?

Email ETS at helpdesk@howard.edu

Who do I contact if I have questions about my financial aid package, including grants, scholarships and student loans?

Email the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@howard.edu

Who do I contact if I have questions about my bill and/or payment plan options?

Email the Office of Bursar at bursarhelp@howard.edu

Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties with Virtual Howard?

Email us at orientation@howard.edu

Have additional questions relating to Orientation?

Email us at orientation@howard.edu

NSO Fee - All new undergraduate students are assessed a one-time, mandatory New Student Fee of $200 for their first semester of enrollment. It is nonrefundable and charged to your tuition bill. You are not required to pay this fee upfront in order to attend Bison Prep.

This fee includes student attendance to Bison Prep, programming for new students, Bison Week activities, resources, placement exams and university publications.