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Freshman FAQ

Online Freshman Orientation

Is Orientation mandatory?
Orientation is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. Approximately 95% of the incoming freshman class attends an orientation session. At Online Freshman Orientation, you will participate in small groups for extensive academic advising and register for fall classes appropriate for your first quarter. You'll also learn about campus life, student services, and get a chance to meet some of your new classmates.
Does my parent or guardian need to participate?
We recommend it! Parents attend a separate but concurrent online program that addresses their unique needs, and introduces them to campus resources and academic life at UCSB. See Program Info for Parents.
You can add a parent or family member to the Online Parent Orientation by including them on your reservation. Please register any additional guests on your reservation form at least three days before your session to ensure they receive the email instructions on how to join the online orientation.
What information will I need to participate in Online Freshman Orientation?
  • Your UCSB NetID and password - see Course Registration on the Before Your Session page for instructions

  • Unofficial copies of transcripts from previous college-level courses


What technology will I need to participate in Online Freshman Orientation?
  • Internet connection. Many of the presentations, including each academic advising session, will be live and require consistent connection to the internet to fully participate. 

  • UCSB Zoom account available at Students will need to sign in using their UCSB Net ID and password in order to be authenticated and admitted into meeting rooms.


Will I register for classes during Online Freshman Orientation?

Yes; freshmen will register for fall classes that are appropriate for their first quarter at UCSB. Advisors will provide support and course schedule assistance via Zoom.

Will I have a better chance of getting my preferred classes if I attend an early session?

Each Online Freshman Orientation session provides the same in-depth academic advising and fair access to course enrollments. Orientation Programs distributes available class space in appropriate freshman courses equally throughout the sessions.

Should I wait until my pending AP and/or IB scores are in before I attend a session?

It is not necessary to wait for all your scores to arrive. Students with pending AP or IB scores will be able to register for a full set of courses appropriate for their first quarter at UCSB.
If your major requires math in the first quarter and you are attending a session before July 15, please check your University email and follow the instructions that will be sent to help you enroll in the appropriate math course. See AP Exams for more information.

What about placement tests for math and writing courses?

Math: The Math Placement Exam is not a requirement for most students at UCSB. However, for certain majors the exam is necessary to place you in a math class. See Placement Exams to determine whether you need to take the exam. Students who intend to take Calculus in the fall must either complete the Math Placement Exam online prior to Orientation or have scored a 2 or higher on the AP Calculus AB or BC exam. Go to the Math Department website to take the Math Placement Exam and to find out more about course placement.
Please note: Students with college level coursework in Calculus do not need to take the Math Placement Exam, but should have a copy of the transcript from the Calculus course available to reference during Online Orientation.
Writing: Please see the Placement Exams page on our website for information about the Entry Level Writing Requirement.


Can I change my session date or other details of my reservation?
Any change to your reservation is subject to availability and it is preferred that changes be made well in advance of your session date. You can make changes to your reservation through the online system up to 10 days in advance of your session. Within 10 days, please call Orientation Reservations at 805-893-3443 for assistance. You must call us directly if you need to cancel your entire reservation, as this cannot be done online. See the Reserve Your Space page on this website to access the online reservation system.
When will I be billed for Online Freshman Orientation?
All Orientation charges will be billed in August or September to the student’s UCSB billing account known as the BARC Billing Statement. Fee payment deadlines will be noted on the statement.
Can I pay by credit card?

All Orientation fees are billed to the student’s UCSB BARC Billing Statement. See the UCSB Billing website for acceptable forms of payment and terms.

Is there financial assistance available for the cost of Online Freshman Orientation?

A limited number of fee reductions are available to eligible students from families with an annual income of $35,000 or less. If you qualify, you may apply by completing the Application for a Fee Reduction which is available through a link on the Fees & Billing page. Fee reductions are allocated based on need and in the order we receive applications until funds are depleted.

What if I cannot attend an online orientation session?

Freshmen who cannot attend an online orientation session will receive communication from their college later in the summer and will register for classes in late August.

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