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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to attend Orientation?

We encourage all new students to participate in orientation, since the program provides important information on academic planning, KU resources, financial aid, credit evaluation, first-semester success, and campus involvement. Students meet with their academic advisor and enroll during Orientation. Orientation is covered by the enrollment deposit. Non-attendance will prevent you from registering for classes until Open Enrollment on August 18 or later. If you are unable to enroll before the first day of classes, August 22, you will be assessed a $150 late enrollment fee.

I have been admitted and will be attending KU. When do I attend Orientation?

After you are admitted to KU, you will receive emails and postcards with orientation registration information. Orientation registration begins in February for summer and fall students and October for spring students. You will then register for an orientation session corresponding to your school/major. As spots for particular majors fill, those sessions will close. Available dates for your major are provided during the registration process. Do not make any travel arrangements until you have registered for a session and received your confirmation email.

Is there a fee for orientation?

Orientation is included in a new student’s enrollment deposit. Information about orientation guest fees may be found here.

What if I'm a nontraditional student?

KU defines nontraditional students as undergraduates who are three or more years older than class peers, are married, have dependents, commute ten or more miles, or are veterans. If you fit into any of these categories and are beginning your college career as a new freshman at the Lawrence campus, you may choose to attend an orientation for transfer students. Transfer sessions are geared toward students with more college and life experience. For more information, call the Office of First-Year Experience at (785) 864-4270.

Many of our nontraditional students attend classes at the KU Edwards campus. Visit their website  for additional information.

Do I have to attend the earliest possible Orientation session in order to select the best classes?

Orientation sessions are designed to avoid classes filling up with attendees of the first Orientation sessions in order to be fair to students that either decide on KU later, or cannot travel to campus at that time.  KU knows that students and families have to plan around many different things for in the summer, so we want to ensure that there is no “disadvantage” to a student attending an Aug. session.  We manage course enrollment by opening spaces each day and saving course seats for students attending later sessions.  Academic departments use Orientation data to plan how many courses they need and add additional courses if the need arises. Therefore, First-Year Experience asks that students attend any Orientation session (regardless of date) in order to enroll and when they do attend, they will leave with a full schedule that will count towards their degree plan and ensure that they are on track for graduation from KU in four years.

What if I need to cancel my orientation date?

Information about canceling your orientation date may be found here.

What if I need to change my orientation date?

You may change your orientation date here.

What about housing at orientation?

The University of Kansas has negotiated special rates at Lawrence hotels for students and parents/guests attending an orientation program. Find more information here.

I am a student with a disability. How do I get accommodations at KU?

Accommodations are coordinated by Accessibility Resources in the Academic Achievement and Access Center. Because specific documentation is required, the initial process for arranging accommodations may be lengthy. Please contact them as soon as possible.

Accessibility Resources
1450 Jayhawk Blvd
Strong Hall, Rm 22
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7594
Phone (785) 864-2620 (v/tty)
Fax (785) 864-2817


Do I have to take placement exams?

Foreign language placement exams

Placement exams are required for all students with prior course work or experience in a language they plan to study at KU. Some of these exams are available online and need to be completed one week before your orientation. Others can be taken only after you arrive on campus for classes. For more information on languages offered at KU and placement exams, visit You will need your KU Online ID and password to take the exam.

Math placement exams

Math placement is based on math ACT or SAT scores and high school and college math courses completed. Placement is strictly enforced to support student success in math courses (see the table below). If you think you are ready for a course but do not have the required math ACT or SAT scores, you may take a placement exam free of charge. Preregistration is required. Students generally take their math placement exam during orientation, but may arrange to do so earlier or later if they prefer. For more information and to preregister, contact the Math Department at (785) 864-3651.

Placement Table for Initial Math Enrollment
Math ACT 0-21 22-25 26-27 28-36
Math SAT 0-530 540-590 600-630 640-800
Course Math 002 Math 101 or
Math 104
Math 115 Math 121
Math 002 = Intermediate Mathematics
101 = Algebra
104 = Pre-calculus
115 = Calculus I (required for pre-business, pre-med, & architecture)
121 = Calculus I (required for engineering & many science majors)

English Placement

All majors at KU require completion of at least written communication courses, and many students satisfy the requirements with English 101 and English 102.. Consult the Undergraduate Advising Center or KU website for degree program requirements. If you have not completed the written communications requirements for your major through advanced placement or transfer equivalency, you will enroll relevant courses during your first semester at KU. Good composition skills are essential to success in many KU courses.

Initial enrollment in an English course is based on advanced placement or transfer credit (if applicable) or on your English ACT/SAT score as listed in the chart below.

English ACT/SAT Initial English Course at KU*
0-26/0-599 ENGL 101 Composition
27-30/600-649 ENGL 102 Composition & Literature
31-36/650+ ENGL 105 Freshman Honors English

*Students in the Honors Program at KU follow alternate placement guidelines and will be advised of such during orientation.

What if I plan to participate in Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment?

Prospective members must attend an orientation program in June or July to participate in recruitment. KU Panhellenic Association offers an informational session as part of Orientation and encourages potential new members to attend.

Students who plan to participate in formal sorority recruitment and are unable to attend orientation in June or July will receive additional instructions prior to recruitment. These students will participate in Open Enrollment on August 18 and enroll in classes at that time. 

When is Interfraternity Council's Recruitment?

Interfraternity Council's Formal Recruitment occurs June 24th to June 26th. Students interested in participating are encouraged to attend orientations close to this event. More information may be found here.

What if I've taken college credit in high school?

If you took college courses or earned dual credit while in high school, be sure to have official transcripts sent from the college granting the credit to the KU Office of Admissions. If there is not time to send a final transcript before orientation, bring an unofficial transcript to assist in advising. Failure to supply information on all college credits completed could delay your advising and enrollment and result in inappropriate course selection.

What if I've been admitted to two schools?

If you have been admitted to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a professional freshman-entry school (Architecture, Design & Planning, Business, Engineering, Journalism, or Music), you must register for a professional freshman-entry school orientation date. If you have questions, please contact the Office of First-Year Experience at (785) 864-4270.

I've registered for orientation, what happens next?

We will send you two of confirmation emails: one immediately after you complete your orientation registration confirming your orientation date and one before your session with information about check-in, parking, and what to bring to orientation. Once you receive the first email confirming your orientation date, you may make your travel arrangements.

What is a KU Online ID?

It is the unique username and password you use to enroll in classes and for other KU services on the web. Your KU Online ID is public; it is used as your "nickname" in online classrooms. Your KU Online ID becomes the first part of your KU email address, which is the university’s official communication method for all students

Students must arrive at their orientation program with their KU Online ID & password. The Online ID will allow you to access important information regarding services available to KU students. You received instructions on how to create your KU Online ID and password in your letter of admission from KU. If you have not established your Online ID and password, visit

What is HAWK Link?

HAWK Link is an academic-based retention program designed to help first-year students navigate their first year at The University of Kansas. HAWK Link is open to all students with a special emphasis on students of color and/or first generation college students. Additional information may be found through the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Where can I get additional information about advising?

During orientation, you will meet with an academic advisor, plan your first semester schedule, and enroll in your courses. If you would like more information about that process prior to orientation, please visit the Undergraduate Advising Center website or contact the Office of First-Year Experience.

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