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College Life | Undergraduate

What to Expect at New Student Orientation

If you're all registered for new student orientation (NSO) at South Dakota State University (SDSU), you've crossed step one off of your list. (If you haven't yet, act fast! Check out the available session dates here.) The video above will give you a rundown on the important things to take care of prior to your registered orientation date, from submitting records and applications to reviewing your academic options.

Here's what you can expect at the session itself.

Why NSO?

NSO is your gateway to SDSU. College isn’t just textbooks and tests, socializing and social causes, living away from home and becoming independent—it’s an unforgettable experience, and orientation is where it all starts. You'll be connected to the people, places, resources and services you’re going to need later. NSO has a positive impact on your overall transition to SDSU.

The general NSO schedule you can expect can be found here.

Information Sessions

One of the key elements of NSO will be sessions that will provide you valuable information for being a successful SDSU student. These sessions may include financial aid, Honors College, ROTC, career development and study abroad, among others. You'll have the option of selecting the sessions that would most apply to and benefit your situation.

Advising & Registration

Advising and registration should be an opportunity for you to learn how to navigate advising conversations, schedule-building and course selection.

Before NSO, plan to:

Placement Testing

One feature available to you during NSO is placement testing for certain courses. Placement is the method we use to determine in which courses a student should enroll at SDSU in order to reach the highest level of success in those courses and any subsequent ones they might take in the same subject. These include English, reading, math, chemistry and modern languages. Consult this overview for information on placement testing at SDSU.

The Family Option

It’s not always possible for parents or other family members to attend NSO with their respective students, but it's encouraged. In many ways, a parent's role at NSO is the same as his or her student’s—asking questions, attending information sessions and making connections with fellow parents. It's best for parents to take opportunities to encourage their students to navigate certain steps of the process independently—including advising and registration.

Experiencing SDSU Culture

Orientation isn’t just about information and registration. It’s about meeting people, making connections and networking with folks on campus who can help get you where you want to go in college and beyond.

SDSU has specific events set up to encourage connections, but you’ll have countless other opportunities to get social with your future classmates, teachers, academic advisors and friends. Anytime you’re in line, walking from place to place or attending information sessions, take a moment to say hello to someone new. It’s an easy start to building your SDSU network.

Meanwhile, you'll get an opportunity to experience what it's like to be an SDSU student, including Jackapalooza, an evening of entertainment created just for incoming students, including music, dancing, games, refreshments and prize drawings.