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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 Due to high volume of daily email inquiries from incoming students and their families, please allow the Orientation Team 48-72 hours to respond. 

Click here the to download the Orientation Save-the-Date flyer and mark your calendar for summer and fall orientation. Expect to have access to event registration as follows:

  • Bison Prep Registration for new First-Time-In-College (FTIC) Students: June 21, 2021
  • Virtual Howard for ALL new students: Access will be provided July 3, 2021 - NO PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED
  • Bison Prep Registration for new Transfer Students: July 19, 2021
  • Bison Week Registration for ALL new students: August 1, 2021


Scroll down to see the recently updated event information with registration links for 2021 Summer Bison Prep Program (June 28 - July 2) for new first-time-in-college (FTIC) students. 

Summer 2021 FTIC Bison Prep Program - June 28 - July 2

Overview & Registration

The Bison Prep Forum provides new students and their families an opportunity to learn about Howard University's key academic support services and tools for academic success. Students will engage with faculty, academic advisors, and other key personnel to be guided through orientation and first year requirements. 

The Bison Prep Forum comprises two daily sessions:

  • General Session at 10:00 am for all students. Students must participate in ONE of the five sessions. Click here or the tab below to register.
  • School/College Academic Support Session - 1:00 pm daily. Schedules vary by School/College/Major. Click on your School/College to the right to register(-->)
Register for the Required General SessionDownload the Full Program Booklet

Have You Taken the Required Placement Exams?

English Composition Placement Exam


The English Composition Placement Exam (ECPE) is REQUIRED of new students who have not taken the SAT, ACT, or an AP English exam, and are attending college for the first time (FTIC). Your results on the ECPE will determine the composition class you will be registered to take in your first semester.  Follow the instructions provided to successfully complete the  exam and ensure that you are placed in the appropriate level for your composition course.

NOTE: Students who have taken SAT, ACT, or AP English Exam your scores will be used to determine your composition placement.

Math Placement Exam


The Math Placement Exam (MPE) is REQUIRED of all new students who are attending college for the first time (FTIC). Your results on the MPE will determine the math class you will be registered to take in your first semester.  Follow the intructions provided to successfully complete the pre-assessment and exam to ensure that you are placed in the appropriate level of math. 

NOTE: Students who took the MPE as a part of the Karsh STEM Scholars Program (KSSP) requirements are not required to retake it. Your scores have been recorded.

Language Placement Exam


The Language Placement Exam (LPE) is administered in the folowing languages: Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Spanish, French, German, Japanese, and Korean. It is administered through AVANT's Placement Assessment program, a web-based test-taking platform. Every student who has studied a language and is planning to take the same language at Howard University is REQUIRED to take the LPE.

LPE Test-Taking Instructions

Direct all questions related to the LPE to:

Language Placement Exam Instructions

Additional Resources for New Students

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

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

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

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

Email the Office of Bursar at

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

Email us at

What does my orientation fee cover?

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, university publications, and a Howard University branded back pack. 

Have additional questions relating to Orientation?

Email us at

To be eligible for 2021-2022 housing, you must complete the following requirements by the deadlines provided:  

1. Pay the $50 Non-refundable Housing Application Fee: The $50 Non-refundable Housing Application Fee is now available for payment. Students must make a payment between Monday, May 24, 2021 - Friday, June 18, 2021, no later than 12:00 p.m. EDT.  

How to Pay the Housing Deposit: 

  1. Login to Howard Epay  

  1. Click Deposits 

  1. Click Fall 2021, NOT Fall 2021 NT 

  1. Select the Housing Application Fee- New Entrants

  2. Enter Payment Information 

  3. Save Confirmation Email 

2. Complete the 2021-2022 StarRez Housing ApplicationThe 2021-2022 StarRez Housing Application will become available on Monday, May 31, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. The housing application will remain open until Friday, June 25, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. All first-time in college students interested in 2021-2022 housing are required to complete the 2021-2022 housing application no later than June 25, 2021, to be eligible for on-campus housing. 

How to Complete the StarRez Housing Application: 

  1. Login to StarRez 

  1. Click Application below Howard University 

  1. Select Academic Year 2021-2022 

  1. Complete ALL required sections 

  1. You have completed your application once you receive a confirmation email with date and time stamps as shown in the example below:  

  • Application Started: 5/31/2021 10:00:00 PM 

  • Contract Signed: 5/31/2021 10:01:00 PM 

  • Application Complete: 5/31/2021 10:02:00 PM 

StarRez Login Assistance 

If your log in credentials have expired, or you need to register, or reset your login please note the self-help instructions below: 

  1.    REGISTER for password reset by clicking HERE

  1.    RESET your password by clicking HERE

If you are unable to register and/or reset your credentials, please contact HU Help Desk at (202) 806-2020 or email them from your Bison email at 

All enrolled students are required to submit medical/immunization records by July 1, 2021Once you have paid the enrollment fee and have been assigned an HU email account (available up to a week after you have paid the enrollment fee) and student ID number, please log onto Med+Proctor and set  up your account at There is a one-time $10 fee to utilize the service. 


  1.  Register-Visit  and click "register" to start a new account. Search and select Howard University to get started and follow the directions to register a new account. 
  2. Download- Fill out any required personal, medical or insurance information. Download the required forms and follow directions provided.
  3. Upload- Log back into your Med+Proctor account and upload a copy of your forms. Make sure your forms are complete and legible. You will receive an email confirmation once the forms have been reviewed.

You must download the Med+Proctor medical forms and take them to your medical provider. Be sure all forms are filled out completely, including dates and signatures. You can then upload your forms to the Med+Proctor site. Do not bring, fax or email any medical forms to the Student Health Center. All of your documents must be uploaded to Med+Proctor. With this format, you can even upload clear pictures directly from your smart phone.

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.