OSST: New Student Orientation

Contact: Mr. Charles Prince, OSST Phone: (202) 806-4029 orientation@howard.edu

The mission of the New Student Orientation program is to prepare incoming students for academic success at Howard University through the formal introduction of academic and academic support programs, information and resources.

New Student Orientation will prepare and inform students about finding and using Howard University resources and navigating Howard University’s campus (history, housing, transportation, financial aid) through our mandatory Pre-, Summer and Fall Orientation programs.

Student Orientation Activities


ALL incoming students are required to complete Virtual Howard prior to starting classes on campus.

Virtual Howard is our online, self-guided tutorial about Howard University and the services available to you and your family. Through Virtual Howard, you will receive valuable information about the University and become more familiar with academic resources and campus life. Subjects covered include:

  • Howard’s history
  • math placement exams
  • tuition payments
  • campus technology, and
  • life outside of the Howard University classroom.

To receive credit for completing the tutorial, you must complete a series of quizzes after registering with your name and Howard ID number. The first 100 students to complete the tutorial and get a 100% on the mastery test will receive a special gift from the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Parents also have access to the modules and you should invite them to visit the site if they’d like to review the tutorial.

** Visit http://ous.howard.edu/virtual-howard to access Virtual Howard.

Orientation webinars

Want to speak with a university representative? Have questions about general information in regards to various services on campus? Join us during our evening Webinars! A list of dates and times are available below.

  • Webinar Title Date Available
  • Intro to Orientation Wed, May 18, 2016
  • Understanding the Placement Examination Wed, May 25, 2016
  • Career Services Wed, Jun 1, 2016
  • Title IX Wed, Jun 8, 2016
  • Student Support Services Wed, Jun 15, 2016
  • Library Services Wed, Jul 6, 2016
  • Registration & Degree Works Wed, Jul 13, 2016
  • Study Abroad & Prestigious Scholarships Wed, Jul 20, 2016
  • Financial Services Wed, Jul 27, 2016
  • Residence Life TBA (rescheduled)

All webinars begin at 6pm, unless otherwise noted.

** Click here to access the live webinars.

Suggested reading list

Are you worried about transitioning into college? Are you excited about the opportunities that await you? As you wait over the summer to start your post-secondary career, we want to provide you with a list of suggested readings that will help instigate reflection discussion about academic and student life in college.

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (HU Alum)
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook)
  • My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor (Supreme Court Justice)
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind
  • Ghettoside by Jill Levoy
  • The Career Playbook by James Citrin
  • Taking on Diversity by Rupert Nacoste
  • The Power of Broke by Daymond John

Summer orientation

After Virtual Howard, you have the opportunity to come to a one-day, on-campus summer orientation. (You are welcome to do both if you are able!)

The currently scheduled dates are:

    • Monday, June 27, 2016
    • Thursday, June 30, 2016
    • Wednesday, July 6, 2016
    • Friday, July 8, 2016
    • Monday, July 11, 2016 (full)
    • Thursday, August 11, 2016 (for freshmen and transfer students)
    • Thursday, August 12, 2016 (for freshmen students only)

Registration for summer orientation is now closed.

For questions or concerns, contact Mr. Charles Prince, orientation@howard.edu.

Summer orientation one-day schedule

Travel packet

Math placement

The Math Placement Examination (MPE) is administered through McGraw-Hill’s Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) program. ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system that quickly and accurately assesses a student’s level of mathematic proficiency. ALEKS provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any web-based computer. Upon completion of the initial diagnostic assessment, a customized learning plan will be generated for each student. Students will be able to complete their learning plan prior to taking the mandatory on-campus Math Placement Exam during New Student Orientation. The MPE results will determine math course eligibility and placement. Academic Advisers will be available during New Student Orientation to answer questions regarding major/program requirements.

Students meeting the following criteria are exempt from the Math Placement Exam:

  • Score of “3” on the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB exam — eligible to enroll in Calculus I
  • Score of “4 or higher” on the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB exam — will earn credit for Calculus I
  • Score of “3” on the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus BC exam — will earn credit for Calculus I, eligible to enroll in Calculus II
  • Score of “4 or higher” on Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus BC exam — will earn credit for Calculus I and Calculus II

Register with ALEKS.

Fall orientation

Move-in dates


English placement

Language placement

Family and parents

Virtual orientation

Parents have access to virtual orientation. Virtual Howard is our online, self-guided tutorial about Howard University and the services available to parents. Through Virtual Howard, you will receive valuable information about the University and become more familiar with academic resources and campus life. Please log-in under the parent registration form.

** Visit http://ous.howard.edu/virtual-howard to access Virtual Howard.

Reminders and Resources for New Students

  • ORIENTATION CHECKLIST: View the orientation checklist for a few tips to a smooth orientation process.
  • RESIDENCE HALL MOVE-IN & HOUSING FEES: Students applying for on-campus housing must pay a housing application fee to the Office of Residence Life prior to arrival. Freshmen and new entrants move into dorms based on the schedule provided by the Office of Residence Life. For the full schedule, visit the Office of Residence Life website.
  • MEAL PLANS: For meal plan information, visit the Auxilary Enterprises website, or contact the Bison One Card office: (202) 806-2109, onecard@howard.edu.
  • STUDENT HEALTH FORMS: All students are required to complete applicable Student Health forms prior to enrollment at the University.
  • PLACEMENT EXAMS: Detailed placement exam information for all incoming students is available on the COAS website. For AP credit information, see the University’s Advanced Placement Credit schedule.
  • TRANSFER STUDENTS: Please bring all academic transcripts with you to orientation. (Include syllabi for courses you want to transfer, if they have not been already accepted.) The University’s Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policy is available online. NOTE: The Office of Undergraduate Studies does not evaluate new student transcripts. For transcript evaluations, please contact your faculty advisor or the Office of the Registrar.
  • Optional parking: Visitor parking is limited. You should secure metered parking on the street or a visitor parking permit from the Office of Parking and Shuttle Operations (OPSO), 2400 Sixth St. NW, Suite B-11. There is a daily charge for permits. Please add an additional 15-20 minutes to complete this process. Please take rush hour delays into consideration when planning your travel time.
  • Campus shuttles and driving directions: The Office of Auxilary Enterprises lists local driving and parking instructions for visitors of the main campus, and maintains a full schedule of campus shuttle buses.
  • Campus map: [jpg]

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.
Martin Luther King Jr