Santa Clara University

New Student Orientation

Am I required to attend Orientation?

Yes, Orientation is required for all new students. It is essential that you attend Orientation so that you can learn about the academic program, receive academic advising, and register for classes.

Are my parents required to attend Orientation?

We encourage, but do not require, parents to attend Orientation. Due to space limitations, each student is limited to a maximum of two parents or guests.

When does Orientation begin and end?

Orientation check-in begins at 7:30am on the first day of your Orientation Session.  You will be permitted to check-out on the second day of your Orientation Session around 3:30pm. Students are required to attend the entire two-day session and are not permitted to leave campus for the duration of the program. Early departure may interfere with your ability to register for fall quarter classes. We advise you to not make air travel arrangements that require a departure before 6:00pm from any of the Bay Area airports.

For parents attending Orientation, your schedule of activities will end around 5:15pm on the first day of the Orientation Session and, similarly to the students, around 3:30pm on the second day of the Orientation Session.

When can I make my Orientation reservation?

New freshmen should make their reservations for Summer Orientation via eCampus beginning March 1, 2012 - May 1, 2012. Transfer students may make their Fall Orientation reservations beginning May 2, 2012 - June 15, 2012.

What are the fees for Orientation and how do I pay these fees?

Freshmen students are charged a one-time $290 program fee which covers the cost of both Summer Orientation and Welcome Weekend. This fee covers meals, lodging, materials, publications, activities, and administrative costs. Parents or guests are charged a one-time $120 program fee per person which covers the cost of all meals, materials, and activities (lodging is not included) for both Parent Orientation and Welcome Weekend.

Transfer students are charged a one-time $130 program fee, which covers the costs of both Transfer Orientation and Welcome Weekend. This fee covers meals, materials, publications, activities, and administrative costs. The charge will be made to your student account shortly after orientation. Transfer parents are charged a one-time $50 program fee which covers the cost of all meals, materials, and activities (lodging is not included) for both Parent Orientation and Welcome Weekend.

For parents or guests who only attend Welcome Weekend, the cost of the program is $20 per person.

How can I change my Orientation reservation?

We are only able to change reservations in extraordinary circumstances and based on space availability. If you need to change your reservation, please contact us as soon as possible at While we will make every effort to accommodate your needs, we cannot guarantee that requests will be granted.

We are able to add parents or guests to your reservation at any time including check-in. However, if you need to remove a parent/guest from your reservation, you must do so at least TWO BUSINESS DAYS prior to the session you are attending or you will be charged the full parent/guest fee. To add or remove and parent or guest from your reservation, please email us at with the full name of the individual to be added or removed.

If I know what session I want to attend, should I make travel plans?

Once you have submitted your reservation online and received your email confirmation, you may begin to make your travel plans. An official letter confirming your assigned Orientation session will be mailed in early May. If you have questions about whether your reservation was received, please call our office at 408-551-1995.

Am I required to stay overnight in the residence hall during Summer Orientation?

Yes. All students, including students planning to live off campus in the fall, are rquired to stay overnight in the residence hall during their Orientation session.

Where do parents stay during the night of Orientation?

Unfortunately, due to the limited housing available on-campus during the summer, we cannot provide overnight housing to parents. Most parents choose to stay in a nearby hotel or with family or friends from the area. A list of nearby hotels is available here.

Can I arrive early or stay late after a session?

We understand the challenge in making travel plans for Summer Orientation. Therefore, we will provide housing for those students who arrive one day early or need to stay one day later for their Summer Orientation session at no additional charge. If you need extended housing, please contact us at least FIVE DAYS prior to your session at and include your name, student ID number, cell phone number, and flight information.

Am I permitted to leave campus during Orientation?

Because Summer Orientation is an important academic and social experience, full student participation is needed. Students are not permitted to leave campus at any time during the two-day session.

If I attend a later Orientation session, will I have difficulty registering for classes?

The Office of the Registrar divides the number of seats available in each first-year course evenly among all Orientation sessions. Therefore, each student should have equal chance to obtain courses that fulfill both major requirements and the Core Curriculum.

What should I bring to Orientation?

When packing for Summer Orientation, please include the following items:

I can’t find the parking permit that was sent to me. What should I do?

Parking permits were sent in the packet that came with your Orientation Confirmation Letter. If you have misplaced this information, please stop at the Main Gate Kiosk when you arrive on campus to obtain a permit.

Do I need to take the Calculus Readiness or Language Placement exam?

Information about these two exams including who needs to take them and a link to the exams can be found here. These exams should be completed prior to your orientation session.

Where can I find the health insurance waiver?

The link to the health insurance waiver can be found at

More questions?

If you have any other questions about Orientation or your transition to Santa Clara University, please feel free to call the Orientation Programs office at 408-551-1995 between 9:00am and 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time. Students and staff are available to answer your questions. You can also e-mail us at

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