Student Orientation Information

At Student Orientation (SO) you make friendships that last a lifetime.

Student Orientation (SO) marks the beginning of your membership into the Rensselaer community. The purpose of Student Orientation is to help you make a smooth transition from your life in high school to your life as a Rensselaer student. SO is designed as a full day-and-a-half series of highly structured programs that cover numerous topics of concern to new students.

Start to get excited — it’s almost here! The First-Year Experience office can’t wait to meet you and your families this summer. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

FRESHMAN STUDENT ORIENTATION DATES

Session I

Tuesday-Wednesday, July 18 & 19

Session II Friday-Saturday, July 21 & 22
Session III Monday-Tuesday, July 24 & 25
Session IV Friday-Saturday, August 22 & 23
You may only sign up for Session 4 if you live more than
350 miles from campus 
AND plan to go on an overnight NRB trip.
Session V Monday-Tuesday, August 25 & 26
Session 5 is reserved for students who live greater than 350 miles away from Rensselaer.
Students participating in a ROTC program are encouraged to attend a July session.
Students in the Physician-Scientist (accelerated medical) Program should sign up to attend either Session 3 or Session 5.

What should I bring to Orientation?

You don’t have to bring too much with you to your SO session. Below is a short list of what you will need:

  • The materials sent as part of your SO confirmation packet
  • A notebook/paper and a pen to take notes with
  • Any forms you have yet to mail in (Medical, Laptop, etc.)
  • A change of clothes
  • Any necessary toiletries you might need
  • An alarm clock so you don’t sleep through registration!
  • You may want some pocket change for a snack or soda although we will feed you well

Your room will have bedding provided. There is no need to bring your own.

What will I be doing during Orientation?

During SO you will attend academic information sessions, meet with an academic adviser from your department, plan your academic program for the fall semester, and register for classes. You will also have the opportunity to meet new classmates, interact with faculty and student leaders, and become familiar with campus facilities. Your photo will be taken for your student ID card, and you will participate in workshops and discussion groups designed to respond to your concerns and interests as a new student.

Below is an example student schedule for SO. Your schedule may be slightly different, but this will give you an idea of what to expect. We look forward to meeting you this summer! A sample parent schedule is also available on the parent page.

Day 1

SO Check-In
You will receive your room keys and orientation packet.

Welcome to Student Orientation!
Learn about the ins and outs of SO.

Welcome to Rensselaer!
It’s our pleasure to welcome you as enrolled students!

Academics Overview
Learn what possibilities and choices await your first registration at Rensselaer.

Departmental Advising
Meet a faculty member from your curriculum.

Lunch

Living, Dining & Safety
Look ahead to the Fall semester and see what to expect from life on campus.

Computing at Rensselaer
Receive an overview of computing privileges and responsibilities, as well as mobile computing information related to laptop pick-up and support.

Break

Student Panel Discussion
This panel will be an excellent opportunity to have your questions answered by the experts-the students!

Team 2021
Explore issues of leadership and teamwork with the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development.

Dinner

Relationships, Sexuality and the Social Scene
An introduction to the college environment and the developmental and transitional issues you may face as part of the college experience.

Evening Meeting
Bring your questions and compare notes with your classmates.

New Student Celebration
A celebration of the Class of 2021 featuring music, food, and prizes.

Day 2

Breakfast

Hands-On Computing & Registration
Learn how to use the Rensselaer Computing System for your coursework, sending and receiving e-mail, and accessing the web (including on-line registration).

Resource Center
You will have a chance to meet staff from various departments from around campus that will provide you with information and answer any final questions you might have.

Closing Remarks
Attend the closing session and learn what makes your class exceptional and unique!

Check-out
Use this time to gather your belongings, return your keys and access card, receive your parting gift, and check out with your SO Advisor.


Disability Services for Students
Please notify Disability Services for Students at (518) 276-8197 and the Student Orientation office at (518) 276-8632 of your specific needs. Doing so will ensure that we are prepared to assist you in having a productive and enjoyable stay on campus.

Behavior guidelines
All campus regulations regarding fire safety, smoking, alcohol, drugs, noise, unruly behavior, etc. are in effect and strictly enforced during SO. Information regarding these policies can be found online at http://doso.rpi.edu and in the Residence Guide at http://reslife.rpi.edu. Please familiarize yourself with these guidelines before attending your SO session.

Please note that Rensselaer is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. We joined more than 360 U.S. colleges and universities that have pursued similar initiatives to promote healthy living, learning, and working environments.