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What is Orientation?

UCSB Freshman Orientation

UCSB offers two different Freshman Orientation experiences. Our in-person program is a two-day visit to UCSB where you will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive extensive academic advising in small groups
  • Register for fall classes appropriate for the first quarter
  • Learn about academics and undergraduate research
  • Meet other new students and make new friends
  • Experience residence hall living
  • Explore ways to get involved in campus activities
  • Discuss important first-year college issues
  • Learn about campus life from current UCSB students
  • Get questions answered about coming to campus
  • Learn how to navigate the UCSB campus


Our online program is a one-day virtual experience focused on academic advising and fall quarter registration. Students who participate in our 1-day program will be asked to complete an online module before the program that will prepare them to register successfully for fall courses, as well as introduce them to many of the campus resources that are covered at our in-person sessions. 


Course registration will take place during each session, both in-person and online. Course seats are distributed evenly across all sessions; there is no registration advantage to attending an earlier session. 

Orientation is not mandatory, but it gives you an important head start in preparing for your college career. Approximately 95% of freshmen attend Orientation. Parents are not required to attend, but by coming to Orientation they can learn more about UCSB and can make your transition to college easier.

UCSB Parent Orientation

The start of your college experience at UCSB is an important and exciting time for your parents too. For this reason, we offer a Parent Orientation program during both our in-person and online sessions to address their interests and concerns. This program is comprised of activities and information to help familiarize parents with campus life. The Parent Orientation is held at the same time as the Freshman Orientation, with separate workshops and presentations designed specifically for parents. The + symbol on the program overview denotes activities where parents and students are together. The more your parents understand about the college experience, the more helpful they will be during your transition.


See the Parent Orientation section on this website for more details. Be sure to include your parents on your reservation form if they plan to attend.