Freshman Orientation

Freshman Orientation: Students and parents must check in at Manzanita Village between 7:30-9:10am. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the Manzanita check-in area. Please allow extra time for parking and walking to check-in. 

Freshmen who are declared Dance and Theater majors must check in by 8:15am in order to attend an advising meeting with their department at 8:45am.

See What to Bring to Freshman Orientation for a detailed list including important instructions about your UCSB Net ID and a laptop or tablet for course registration.

Follow the signs to Orientation parking when you arrive on campus. Parking fees are $8 per day on weekdays. You will need to purchase a visitor parking permit from one of the pay stations which accept credit cards or cash ($1 and $5 bills only) or use the Park Mobile app.

See Directions to UCSB and Parking for Freshman Orientation for parking location, maps, and directions.

  • In order to park on campus, you must purchase a parking permit
  • You may not park in spaces marked Enforced At All Times, Reserved, or Restricted
  • Please observe all parking signage; parking violations are subject to citation

Orientation is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. Approximately 95% of the incoming freshman class attends Orientation. At 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.

We recommend it! Parents attend a separate but concurrent program that addresses their unique needs, and introduces them to campus resources and academic life at UCSB.

Students who are admitted to the College of Creative Studies should select one of the following two-day sessions to attend Freshman Orientation: June 27-28, July 1-2, July 18-19, July 25-26, July 29-30, and August 5-6. All sessions will have specific advising and programming for CCS students and their parents.

Students who are admitted to the College of Engineering can reserve a space in any of the freshman sessions being offered.

Students who are enrolled in the Freshman Summer Start Program (FSSP) can reserve a space in any of the two-day freshman sessions before the start of FSSP on August 2nd. See the FSSP page on this website for an explanation of session options for FSSP students.

Freshmen will register at Orientation for fall classes that are appropriate for their first quarter at UCSB.

Each 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 Orientation sessions.

It is not necessary to wait to attend Orientation if you have pending AP or IB scores. You will still be able to register for a full set of courses appropriate for their first quarter at UCSB. Students who need to take math in their first quarter and have a pending AP or IB Math score, or who have math transfer coursework, should visit this page and follow the instructions provided to assist with appropriate math placement and enrollment. 

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 coming 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 do need to bring copies of the transcripts from the Calculus course to Orientation.

Writing: For detailed information on the Entry Level Writing Requirement, see Placement Exams.

Students who choose the Program With Accommodations option will stay overnight in an on-campus residence hall. The overnight is between the two full days of the session (Monday night or Thursday night). Sheets, blankets, towels, and pillow are provided. Please note that the residence hall does not have air conditioning.

Most students choose to stay overnight in the on-campus residence hall. See Program Overnight.

Those who choose the Program Only option will need to arrange their own overnight accommodations. 

Students must attend both days of the two-day Orientation program.

Parents who are attending the Parent Orientation program must make their own overnight arrangements separately.

There are several local area overnight options from which to choose. In addition to hotels and motels, UCSB Conference & Hospitality Services has set aside space in the university-owned San Joaquin Apartments for parents who are attending Parent Orientation. See Hotels & Lodging for these apartments and additional options. 

Parents must make their reservation and payment for overnight accommodations separately from the Orientation 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 email for assistance. You must email 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 reservation system.

Orientation Programs is self-supported and non-profit. We do not receive state money or campus funding to offset the costs of the program.

A limited number of fee reductions are available to eligible students from families with an annual income of $45,000 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. Fee reductions are not available for parent program fees.

All Orientation charges, including program fees for parents, 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.

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.

Our campus dining commons can accommodate many diets with a variety of food options available. Dining commons menus will be posted online for the current day, plus six days in advance, and guests may use this Food Facts Tool to identify common allergens and determine safe foods to consume. Additionally, for guests with medically required gluten-free diets, there is a secured, Gluten-Free Cabinet in each dining commons that can be accessed with advance notice and coordination with our Dietitian. Any guests following a medically required gluten-free diet should contact at least ten days prior to their Orientation session.

Parents and family members are welcome to join the Parent and Family Orientation. All guests must be registered on your online reservation. Please note that Orientation does not have a separate program or activities for younger siblings or children.