Summer/Fall 2021

FAQ's

This year, the University of South Florida will be hosting orientation in a virtual learning environment. This program change will ensure the health and safety of our students, staff and community during this challenging time.

Your online introduction to life as a USF Bull will include all the details you need to get off to a great start at our university, including tips on reaching your academic goals, getting involved and finding support.

We didn’t forget about parents and guardians during the design of this virtual experience. You can expect the same high-quality support for your onboarding and transition into the USF family.

Reach out to our team if you have questions:

Tampa Campus Orientation
Phone: (813) 467-6731 or (813) 974-3060
Email: myorientation@usf.edu (Provide your University ID # in the body of the email)

St. Petersburg Campus Orientation
Phone: (727) 873-4754
Email: OrientationStPete@usf.edu (Provide your University ID # in the body of the email)

Sarasota-Manatee Campus Orientation
Phone: (941) 359-4342
Email: Sar-Orientation@sar.usf.edu (Provide your University ID # in the body of the email)


Frequently Asked Questions - updated 11/5/20

Orientation Program Details - Updated 3/25/21

What can students expect during their Orientation session?

All new first-time-in-college (FTIC) and transfer students will experience Orientation in a virtual format for summer 2021. Orientation sessions will consist of both a Pre-Orientation Canvas course and a live Synchronous Orientation session, requiring students to log in for participation at specific times. Sessions will also provide the opportunity for peer-to-peer engagement and an introduction to the USF community. Students will leave the sessions prepared to start classes and excited to be a USF Bull!

What can families and guests expect during their Orientation session?

The University of South Florida recognizes that family members and guests play an integral role in their student’s transition to the university. Family & Guest Orientation sessions will consist of both asynchronous (self-paced) and synchronous sessions, requiring you to log in for participation at specific times. Sessions will provide an opportunity to engage with other families, interact with campus departments, and feel welcomed and affirmed in their decision to be a part of the USF community.

Why has USF Orientation shifted to a virtual format?

The Orientation Offices for USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee made the decision to move Orientation to a virtual format for Summer and Fall 2021 admits to ensure the continued health and safety of all students, staff and community members during this challenging time. In an effort to provide students and families with a seamless and consistent onboarding experience regardless of geographical location (in state, out of state, international residence, etc.), this decision was made in late March 2020. An important part of the decision-making process was for students and families who need to make travel arrangements to participate in Orientation.

How will the advising process work with Orientation moving to a virtual format?

Undergraduate Academic Advisors continue to support our new students with academic onboarding into their admitted program. Once a student has registered for synchronous orientation, within 15 business days, they will receive an email from their Academic Advisor in their respective academic college regarding the advising process; we ask that students please monitor their USF email. Students should be sure to follow the instructions provided by their Academic Advisor, as they will allow them to register for classes and be prepared for the live Synchronous Orientation session. Additionally, students are required to complete a college overview for the academic college of their major during the Pre-Orientation course in Canvas.

If you have not heard from an Academic Advisor within 15 business days of paying for orientation, you are welcome to contact your Academic Advisor.

When do I meet with an academic advisor? How do I get my classes?

Undergraduate Academic Advisors continue to support our new students with academic onboarding into their admitted program. Once a student has registered for the live Synchronous Orientation session date, within 15 business days, they will receive an email from their respective academic program regarding the advising process; we ask that students please monitor their USF email. Students should be sure to follow the instructions provided, as these steps will allow them to register for classes and be prepared for the live Synchronous Orientation. Additionally, students are required to complete a college overview for the academic college of their major during the Pre-Orientation course in Canvas.

If you have not heard from your Academic College or advising office within 15 business days of paying for orientation, you are welcome to contact your Academic Advisor.


Orientation Reservations, Dates and Fees - Updated 3/25/21

With the move to a virtual format, is Orientation now free for students?

The cost of Orientation will remain at the state-authorized Orientation fee of $35.00. That amount contributes to the costs of providing an Orientation experience to students, families and guests, including technology, staffing and necessary services and expenses to ensure a successful start. It is to your benefit to choose the earliest possible Orientation session that works for your schedule.

Should I continue with making a reservation for Orientation?

Yes! Reservations are now available for any new undergraduate students beginning classes in the 2021 Summer/Fall semesters. Orientation session dates are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis; we recommend registering for Orientation to reserve your desired session date and to allow you to continue with your overall onboarding process. Once reservations become available, you can access your reservation following the links below for your campus:

Tampa: https://www.usf.edu/orientation/reservation/index.aspx

St. Petersburg: https://www.usfsp.edu/orientation/

Sarasota-Manatee: http://www.usfsm.edu/admissions/admitted-students/orientation/index.aspx

If I previously made a reservation, do I need to make another one?

If you already completed a reservation by paying for the session, you are all set. More information about accessing your virtual Orientation will be sent via email closer to your Orientation date.

What is the fee for Guests? How do I request a refund for a Guest?

All USF Orientation programs for family members and students are moving to a virtual format for this summer. We are excited to still deliver a robust program that serves family and student needs. Please visit the website for your campus to review any fee changes:

Tampa: https://www.usf.edu/orientation/reservation/index.aspx

St. Petersburg: https://www.usfsp.edu/orientation/

Sarasota-Manatee: http://www.usfsm.edu/admissions/admitted-students/orientation/index.aspx

If you decide you do not wish to participate in a virtual family/guest program and have already reserved a family/guest session, you may view our refund policy here to request a refund.

Why am I receiving notifications for multiple Orientation dates?

You will receive an email exactly 7 days from your Orientation session which includes the link to your reservation date’s live Synchronous Orientation session. This is the link you need to access your Orientation.

We know not everyone checks their email as frequently or as thoroughly as you, though, so just to be safe, your Orientation Leader has also posted an announcement with your session link 7 days prior to your session date in Canvas as well. However, your Orientation Leader (OL) is not able to filter that announcement to be only for you, so you’ll also see the announcements for all other session dates, as well. Your OL has a busy summer ahead! You can disregard all the links to sessions that are not on your session date. All you need to do is login on your reserved date using the link in your email.

Did Orientation change my session date?

No, the date you selected and paid for is still your Orientation date. We will never change your date unless you ask us to do so.

If you are asking this because you are seeing announcements about session links on dates other than your own, please refer to the question “Why am I receiving notifications for multiple Orientation dates?”.

If you are asking this question because you have login to your Orientation reservation or on myBullsPath and have noticed your session date is changed without your knowledge, please contact us right away so we can assist you and resolve the matter.


Need More Information? - Updated 3/25/21

How will any changes to Orientation be communicated?

As this is an ongoing process and changes can be made suddenly, please visit the Orientation website for your campus to see any updates on program changes. Also, keep an eye on your USF email. Further information on your Orientation session will be communicated there, including any need-to-know details.

How can I get in touch with the Orientation office?

USF Tampa
While our physical office location is currently closed, we encourage you to email our office at myorientation@usf.edu (Include your U# in the body of the email) or call (813) 467-6731.

USF St. Petersburg
While our physical office location is currently closed, we encourage you to email our office at orientation@usfsp.edu (include your U# in the body of the email) or call (727) 873-4436.

USF Sarasota-Manatee
While our physical office location is currently closed, we encourage you to email our office at SAR-Orientation@sar.usf.edu (Include your U# in the body of the email) or call (941) 359-4330

Where can I go to find the latest information about Orientation?

USF Tampa
For complete information about undergraduate FTIC (freshman) and transfer orientation sessions on the Tampa campus, visit usf.edu/Orientation.

USF St. Petersburg
Please visit our website for complete information about Orientation for First-Year and Transfer students.

USF Sarasota-Manatee
Please visit our website for complete information about Orientation for First-Year and Transfer students.

What technology is needed for online sessions?

To ensure you have a seamless virtual session day, please be sure that you have access to: 

  • Reliable Internet Connection
  • Laptop or Desktop Computer
  • Webcam and Microphone
  • Microsoft Teams

If you cannot access any of these required items, please contact the Office of Orientation immediately by emailing us at myorientation@usf.edu.


Family & Guest Orientation Questions - Updated 3/25/21

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 at any time. Log into the student reservation with your NetID and password, click on the “Additional Attendee” section, and add the family member or guest. To choose the family member or guest’s session date, advance to the “Optional Events” section and choose an available date for your additional attendee. Then complete the reservation by paying the additional $35 fee per family member. 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. You may also view detailed instructions on how to reserve a family member or guest at this link.

What is included in the Family and Guest live Synchronous Orientation Session?

In addition to the Canvas Catalog portal, Families and Guests are invited to attend a live Synchronous Orientation session. During your scheduled live Synchronous session, you'll join the Orientation Team and other family members and guests for a full-day event on all things USF. Campus Partners and Orientation Leaders will guide you through live virtual workshops and conversations around the following topics: 

  • Addressing Covid-19 at USF from our USF health experts
  • Meeting the USF Dean of Student
  • Financial Aid and Student Financial Services presenters
  • Conversation with USF employees who are also parents of college students
  • Academic support services
  • Conversation with current USF students who could share their campus experience
  • Various campus resources presented by USF staff

This session will require you to have access to a computer and reliable internet connection from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. A schedule of events for your live Synchronous Orientation Session will come in an email, so make sure to stay up to date with the information we send you!

What time does the Family and Guest live Synchronous program take place? Does it take place at the same time as the student session?

The Family and Guest Orientation experience is completely separate from the student Orientation experience. The live Family and Guest Synchronous session occurs at a different date/time from your student’s Orientation session and the Canvas course elements, although similar, are distinct. Please refer to the Orientation website for your home campus for more information:

USF Sarasota-Manatee campus

USF St. Petersburg campus

USF Tampa campus

How is the Family and Guest session different than the student program?

Orientation has crafted a selection of resources and information available to families and guests as a registered guest. This program has a wealth of content specific for families and guests about USF resources that will help you support your student during their academic journey. At the Family and Guest live Synchronous Orientation session, you will have the opportunity to meet important USF campus partners and have a conversation with employees who have students went to college and learn how you could support your students as well.

How do I access the Family and Guest live Synchronous session?

Approximately 1-3 days prior to your confirmed session date, you will receive an email from the Office of Orientation containing the session link and directions on how to logon. If you do not receive this information, please contact the Office of Orientation and they will assist you.

How do I change or “delete” a reservation I made for a family member or guest?

To change the information provided for your family member or guest’s reservation, please log back into your reservation via this link. Under the “Additional Attendees” tab, you will see a list of the family members or guests you reserved. You can click on “Edit Additional Attendee” to modify the details of your guest; or you may click on “Delete Additional Attendee” if you wish to remove your family member or guest. If you delete an additional attendee and have already paid for them, please also submit a refund request form.

Why do Families and guests need to pay an Orientation fee?

The Orientation fee for students is a state-authorized required $35 fee. The cost of the Family and Guest program is also $35 per person. That amount contributes to the costs of providing an Orientation experience to students, families, and guests, including technology, staffing and necessary services and expenses to ensure a successful start for our students and their families and guests.

Could I and my student schedule an in-person tour of the campus?

Tours are now open to explore the Tampa campus in-person! To ensure the safety and health of our campus community, the on-campus tour experience will have some modifications. Please click here for further information on how to schedule an in-person campus tour.

What if I have difficulty logging in to my live session?

USF Sarasota-Manatee campus: For technical issues, call 941-359-4350 or email help@usf.edu and in the subject line put: Orientation. For other questions, email sar-orientation@usf.edu or call the Orientation Office at (941) 359-4342 for the fastest response.

USF St. Petersburg campus: For technical issues, call 813-974-1222 or email myorientationhelp@usf.edu. For other questions, email orientation@usfsp.edu or text the Orientation Office at ‪(727) 342-0194 for the fastest response.

USF Tampa campus: The Office of Orientation will be available until approximately 5:15 PM EST to assist with troubleshooting any login issues. They can be reached at that time by calling 813-467-6731 or emailing myorientation@usf.edu.