First Year

Sarasota-Manatee Campus

Four USF students holding up the bulls sign.

WELCOME

Welcome to orientation at USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus! Orientation is a vital way for first-year students to feel confident and connected before starting their college journey. During this interactive experience, you’ll engage in educational sessions designed to help you transition into the USF community. You’ll also complete campus business, including picking up your ID card, clearing holds, getting a tour of the university and more. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with new incoming students and build connections prior to the start of your first semester.


RESERVE AN ORIENTATION DATE

Connect with fellow students, explore campus, and gain the knowledge and resources you need to start to your academic journey. 

Summer/Fall Start

Orientation reservations are now live for Summer and Fall 2024.

Spring Start

Orientation reservations will open in October 2024 for students starting in Spring 2025.

Learn more:


ORIENTATION DATES


Summer/Fall Start

First Year Summer and Fall Orientation Date: August 23, 2024

  • Please note: This session will coincide with the Sarasota-Manatee campus Grand Opening of the Student Center and Residence Hall on August 23rd, so the exact time is not available. Students are advised to check their USF email regularly for updates.
  • Please note: All Summer First-year students attending the Sarasota-Manatee campus are required to complete the Pre-Orientation Canvas Course before the first day of class on June 24, 2024. After registering for orientation, an invite to the course will be sent to the student’s USF email.
  • Please note: First-year students are pre-registered for their classes by their academic advisor.

Spring Start

We will post Orientation dates for students starting in the spring once reservations open in October 2024.

  • Please note: First-year Orientation sessions are in-person.

FEES

There is a required $35 Orientation fee per student that helps cover the costs of providing the full Orientation experience to students, including facility rentals, meals, staffing and necessary services and expenses to ensure a successful start.

There are additional fees for families and guests to attend orientation with their student.

First-Year Orientation Session Fees

Attendee Fee
First-Year Student $35
Parent, Family or Guest $50
Children (6-12) $35

If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, please contact us at sar-orientation@usf.edu.

Please note: Fees represent a per-person rate.

Please note: Overnight accommodations are not available for the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Orientation experience.


ORIENTATION SCHEDULE

Summer/Fall Start

Orientation schuedules will be sent to the student's USF email prior to the session. 

Spring Start

Orientation schuedules will be sent to the student's USF email prior to the session. 


FAQS

Please review this section to find answers to our most commonly asked questions.

General Questions

Why is there an Orientation Fee?

New undergraduate students are required to pay a $35 fee to attend Orientation upon making a reservation. Additional charges may apply for families and guests who choose to attend Orientation. The fee goes toward covering the costs of providing the full Orientation experience to students, including facility rentals, meals, staffing and necessary services and expenses to ensure a successful start. If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, please contact us at sar-orientation@usf.edu.

What if I am unable to attend any of the Orientation sessions?

Orientation is mandatory for all new students at the University of South Florida. We strongly encourage anyone who has concerns about being able to attend an Orientation session to call us immediately at 941-359-4342. Additionally, you might consider updating your term of entry to a later term to allow you to attend a later orientation. To do this, you would need to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 813-974-3350.

How do I request ADA accommodations to attend Orientation?

Orientation strives to provide the same experience to all participants.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we provide special accommodations to students and guests who require this to participate in the session. Requests are often submitted for assistance with mobility, vision or hearing issues.

If you need any type of accommodation during your session, please email sar-orientation@usf.edu so we can ensure that all your needs are met. Requests should be submitted at least 14 business days prior to your session. In cases of emergency situations, we will do our best to meet your needs.

Can families and guests attend Orientation?

Family and guests are invited to attend in-person orientations at the family and guest rate. To best support families and guests of students, we provide valuable resources at Orientation and will be open and available to answer any questions that you may have. As a family or guest, even if you decide not to join us for Orientation, we encourage you to review our USF Bull Family Connect guide. It includes helpful information to connect you to relevant campus and university resources. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office by emailing us or by calling 941-359-4342.

Please note: Overnight accommodations are not available for the USF Orientation experience.

What should I bring to Orientation?

  • A pen (for notetaking)
  • A sweater or jacket (the A/C can get cold)
  • An umbrella (Florida weather can be unpredictable!)
  • A snack (some refreshments will be provided)

First-Year Students

Can I stay in a residence hall the night before my Orientation?

The Office of Orientation does not provide overnight accommodations.

Payments

Can I pay for Orientation with check or money order?

While we prefer that you pay for your Orientation with a credit card or e-Check, we can accept checks or money orders. Student reservations are not confirmed until payment is received, so please note that this method will delay your confirmation.

To pay with a check or money order, please log into your Orientation reservation and complete the reservation process up to the point of submitting payment. Then, complete the Cashier Payment Form and mail it to the address listed on the form. You should also then email sar-orientation@usf.edu to let us know that you submitted payment. We will need to manually confirm your reservation.

Can I charge my Orientation fee to my student account?

Students choosing this option of payment are fully responsible for the Orientation fees. Financial aid may or may not cover these charges. The student agrees to pay Orientation fees within other University tuition and fee deadlines. Please email sar-orientation@usf.edu to request the Orientation fee be charged to your student account. 

At this time guest fees will not be charged to a student’s account. Guests may register and pay for Orientation at any time including check-in (if space is available).

Is it possible to obtain a refund for an Orientation session?

Refunds are available only in specific situations. Please email sar-orientation@usf.edu to make a refund request. For more information, contact our office.

Preparing for Orientation Day

How do I print my Orientation parking permit?

If a parking permit is required for your session, you will receive instructions in the orientation session reminder email prior to your session date.

Do I have to bring my unofficial transcripts with me to Orientation?

Knowing the specific classes you have taken and/or being able to provide an expected AP/IB score will assist in choosing the right classes. To support this, we encourage you to bring your unofficial transcripts with you to Orientation to assist you with your course registration. However, this is not required. An unofficial transcript can be a document from your high school/college or something you print from your school’s online site.

Bringing unofficial transcripts is especially important for students starting in the summer when final transcripts are not yet available. Your academic advisor will work with you if your final transcripts or scores later indicate a change that impacts your prerequisites.

Reservation Information

How do I change information on my Orientation reservation or choose another date?

You can make changes to your reservation details and/or add guests by logging into your MyOrientation account. Refunds are not issued for students or guests who do not show up to their scheduled sessions. Further, reservations changed within three business days of a session or due to "no show" status may be subject to a $25 late/no show fee.

Can I change my major before I attend Orientation?

To change your major, you must submit an Application Update Form in your Applicant Portal.

Please note: Many academic programs at USF are limited-access majors that require very specific courses and credits in order to be admitted to these majors. We strongly recommend that you speak with an admissions recruiter prior to submitting the Application Update Form.

I am admitted to USF but will not be attending this semester. Who do I contact?

You should notify both the Office of Orientation at 941-359-4342 or sar-orientation@usf.edu and the Office of Admissions by submitting an Application Update Form. Application Update Forms can take up to two weeks to process.

I don't see any available dates. What do I do?

While this rarely occurs, it could be due to several reasons. To troubleshoot this issue, please contact our office at sar-orientation@usf.edu or 941-359-4342. We will work with you to resolve the issue.

How can a family member/guest be added to an Orientation session?

Students may add a family member/guest to attend the Family/Guest Orientation session by logging back into their Orientation reservation prior to their desired session date. Log into the student reservation with your NetID and password, scroll to the section that states “Add a Guest” and pay the additional $50 fee per guest. Once reservations are closed, a family member/guest may contact the Office of Orientation via email or phone to be added to the session date.