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Information for

New Student Orientation

Congratulations on your acceptance to Howard University!

New Student Orientation (NSO) is designed for all incoming first-year and transfer students to be introduced Howard University, and to provide students and their families the opportunity to learn more about academic support services, student development initiatives, and technology tools for academic success.

All new students are expected to participate and complete New Student Orientation, which includes Bison PReP, and Bison Week.  Our goal is to facilitate a seamless transition to Howard University, so that you immediately aclimate and become a part of the Bison family! If you have any further questions or concerns pertaining to New Student Orientation, please email us at

Due to high volume of daily email inquiries from incoming students and their families, please allow the Orientation Team 48-72 hours to respond.

Please take a moment to read the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page regarding New Student Orientation, and other important information pertaining to your enrollment. 

2021 Summer & Fall Orientation

  • Dates and Information Coming Soon!

New Student Resources

Fall 2020 NSO Booklet


This booklet will help navigate new students through orientation by providing important dates, information and list of activities to be completed before arriving in the fall.

First-Year StudentsTransfer Students

Fall 2020 NSO Booklet


This booklet will help navigate parents and families through orientation by providing important dates and information needed for you and your child to have a seamless transition to HU.

Parents and Families



The Student Health Center is committed to creating a seamless transition through meeting your medical requirements, so please review the information on our page very carefully.  

Click here to visit Student Health Website!

Placement Exams & Transcripts


All New students are required to take our placement testing. These tests help the university assure you are enrolled in your correct classes! 

TranscriptsHU Placement Exams

Howard University Virtual Tour

Campus Tour

Explore the Campus Virtual Tour as you please, choosing the subjects and points that interest you. You may proceed systematically; or browse the site, entering the Tour at any point, leaving, then returning at your convenience.

Get Access, Here!

Hotel Accommodations


We encourage visitors to use the CTM Visitor Travel Portal to book their hotel reservations with our hotel partners to save money and support Howard University.

Need Accommodations? Click Here

Office of Residence Life - HU Housing & Residence Life will provide safe, inclusive, and secure residential communities where a diverse and innovative team of professionals encourages students to pursue academic excellence, personal growth, civic leadership, and responsibility.

Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) - ETS provides IT resources to support exceptional educational experiences for Howard students, faculty and staff.

Financial Aid - We offer a wide variety of methods of payment and financial assistance programs to students who, without such assistance, would not be able to attend a university.

Office of Student Life & Activities - We strive to create a student-centered environment that supports the achievement of academic, professional and personal goals while promoting civility, respect, integrity and equity.

Office of Student Services - We create an academic and socially accessible environment in three critical areas: Disability Services, Veteran Affairs and Judicial Affairs.

Department of Public Safety - The primary duties of the officers of HU-DPS are to ensure compliance with Howard University regulations and policies adopted by the Howard University Board of Trustees, as well as the enforcement of applicable District of Columbia Codes and Municipal Regulations within its jurisdiction.

University Counseling Service The University Counseling Service (UCS) provides a full range of psychological and training services that appropriately addresses the varying levels of need for our student community.

Office of Off-Campus Housing & Community Engagement - The OCHCE provides rewarding, experiential learning and growth experiences reflective of the University's core values of Truth, Excellence, Leadership and Service.

What is New Student Orientation?

New Student Orientation (NSO) is a two-part series of virtual engagements designed to ensure a seamless, successful transition to Howard. NSO programming consists of:

  1. Virtual Howard – required online learning modules introducing life at Howard, and
  2. Bison Week – a series of virtual activities and information sessions led by key University personnel and student leaders, introducing programs and services that support academic success.  

What do I need to complete Virtual Howard (online orientation)?

All incoming new students will need access to the internet and access to a computer, tablet or cell phone to complete Virtual Howard and other orientation tasks. Dates fo Summer & Fall 2021 will be announced by June 28, 2021. 

Do I have to take the Math Placement Exam (MPE)?

Yes, all incoming first-year students will take the Math Placement Exam to be registered for a math course in their first semester. If you have not taken the MPE, or have questions/concerns about the MPE, please email Tutoring and Learning Support Services at

Can I change my major in my first semester?

No, incoming first-semester students cannot change their major until after one semester in residence.

Will I register for Spring 2021 classes?

Incoming first-year students do not self-register for first semester of classes. An academic adviser in the Schools/Colleges will register incoming first-year students for the first semester.

Please note:  all incoming first-year students’ course registration is pre-determined based upon their intended major. A typical first-year first semester course schedule will consist of the following:  Freshmen Seminar course, English course, Introductory Major course, Afro-Cluster course, and Elective courses (2). Transfer students, however, may self-register for classes.

How many classes will I take in my first semester?

All new students will take a minimum of 15 credit hours (5 or 6 courses) during their first semester at Howard University.

Who is my Academic Adviser?  How do I schedule an appointment with my Academic Adviser?

All new (first-year and transfer) students are assigned to an Academic Adviser(s) in their School/College.  Students should contact their School/College using their bison email account to schedule an appointment with an academic adviser (see list below).

Academic Advising List

Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties with bison email account?

Email ETS at

Who do I contact if I have questions about my financial aid package, including grants, scholarships and student loans?

Email the Office of Financial Aid at

Who do I contact if I have questions about my bill and/or payment plan options?

Email the Office of Bursar at

Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties with Virtual Howard?

Email us at

Have additional questions relating to Orientation?

Email us at

NSO Fee - All new undergraduate students are assessed a one-time, mandatory New Student Fee of $100 for their first semester of enrollment. It is nonrefundable and charged to your tuition bill. You are not required to pay this fee upfront in order to attend Bison Prep.

This fee includes student attendance to Bison Prep, programming for new students, Bison Week activities, resources, placement exams and university publications.