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Alternatives to Orientation

You are strongly encouraged to attend Orientation. Orientation is not mandatory, but it gives you an important head start in preparing for your college career. If you are unable to attend, the following information will be helpful to you in preparing for your first quarter at UCSB.

Academic Advising - Freshmen

College of Letters and Science: The College of Letters & Science will offer several web-based academic advising sessions for freshmen in late August. Information about these webinars will be sent in mid-August to freshmen who did not attend Orientation. Orientation is the most effective way to receive academic advising, and these advising sessions are not substitutes for Orientation. 

College of Engineering: Call the College of Engineering at 805-893-2809 for information.

College of Creative Studies: Call the College of Creative Studies at 805-893-2364 for information

Academic Advising - Transfer Students

Contact the undergraduate advisor in your major if you need further assistance after completing the transfer online module.

Course Registration

Students will register for courses on GOLD - Gaucho On-Line Data, the UCSB online course registration system. New students who do not attend Orientation should register online for fall classes during their Pass 2 registration time in late August or early September.

The UCSB General Catalog is available online at It contains major requirements, course descriptions, and prerequisites. Twelve units per quarter is the minimum to maintain full-time registered status. UCSB undergraduates typically register for an average of 15 units per quarter. Freshmen should enroll only in lower division courses which are numbered between 1 and 99 (e.g., History 4A). Transfer students can obtain advice on course selection by completing the transfer student online orientation course.

Analytical Writing Placement Exam

The Writing Program will administer the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) at UCSB on Monday, September 23 from 9:00-11:00am in Campbell Hall. This exam is required for all new students who did not take the AWPE when it was offered in May and who have not satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement in any other way. Students must fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement by the end of their third quarter at UCSB. There is a $110 fee which must be paid in advance. For detailed information about the AWPE, registration, payment, and what to bring to the exam, see the Writing Program website at and the UC website at

Week of Welcome

UCSB Week of Welcome celebrates the start of a new academic year through an annual tradition by welcoming new and returning students to inspire a sense of Gaucho pride. In addition to New Student Convocation, the week's festivities include a series of workshops, presentations, physical activities and events designed to introduce the resources and services available for all students at UCSB. It allows students to take part in intriguing, informative, and exciting activities and programs in order to become a part of the campus community while getting a glimpse of the campus culture, making friends, and sharing in the UCSB welcome experience! The online Week of Welcome Calendar is a comprehensive guide to events and activities.

Campus Tours

Guided campus walking tours and presentations are available through the Visitor Center. Tours leave from the Visitor Center in the Student Affairs Administrative Services Building. For further information about campus tours see the Visitor Center website.

Campus Information

Information can be found by searching on the UCSB website at Most campus offices are open Monday through Friday, variable hours. The phone number for general campus information is 805-893-8000.