Orientation

Starting your adventure? We will map it out.

For those who have accepted your offer of admission and plan on starting your adventure in an upcoming term, orientation is designed to welcome you to campus and help you get familiar with Iowa State!

You will be able to register for your first semester classes, get to know Iowa State and important policies and procedures. It is also a great way to ease yourself into university life.  

Online Orientation and Virtual Academic Advising

Online orientation is your hub of information to succeed as a Cyclone. You’ll learn about Cyclone essentials like paying for college, student resources, health and wellness, campus involvement, safety, living and dining on campus, diversity and inclusion, navigating campus, and academic resources. Following this required online orientation, you will have the opportunity to meet virtually with an academic advisor and register for your first semester of classes.

OnCyte Orientation

As an added bonus, we invite you to attend an optional OnCyte Orientation. This one-day event is designed for students who would like to experience campus, attend helpful sessions, and connect with other Cyclones in person. We recommend all students complete their online orientation and at least schedule their virtual academic advising appointment before attending OnCyte Orientation.

Steps to Complete Your Orientation Adventure

  1. Decide if you would like to visit campus for OnCyte Orientation in addition to completing the required online orientation this summer.
  2. Take the ALEKS math placement assessment at least two weeks prior to your academic advising appointment.
  3. Complete required online orientation and schedule your virtual academic advising appointment.
  4. Attend your virtual academic advising appointment and register for your first-semester classes.
  5. Experience OnCyte Orientation, if you choose. Be sure to register if you plan on coming for OnCyte Orientation.
  6. Sign up for Destination Iowa State, a student-only kickoff experience held the Thursday–Saturday before classes begin!

Know Before You Go to OnCyte Orientation

  • Wearing a face-covering in most places on campus is optional for individuals who are fully vaccinated. Face-coverings continue to be required for everyone on CyRide. Please bring a face-covering with you to be prepared.  
  • We will be promoting physical distancing and reduced seating capacity throughout OnCyte Orientation. Your family is welcome to attend these programs. You should limit your guests to two or fewer at all indoor sessions.
  • OnCyte Orientation is a one-day experience. If you and your family would like to stay in Ames before or after your visit, there are many hotel options in Ames and the surrounding areas.
  • To maximize your experience, be sure to complete online orientation and virtual course registration prior to attending OnCyte Orientation. Academic advising services and offices not listed on the orientation schedule will not be available. Many offices are looking forward to connecting with you virtually – please schedule an appointment.
  • Complimentary parking is available in Lot 63, near Maple-Willow-Larch Residence Halls. If you have a state-issued medical permit, please see staff in the parking area to pick up a hang-tag before parking in medical stalls on campus.
  • Review the schedule ahead of time to plan an arrival time that meets your needs.
  • Programming at OnCyte Orientation is specific to your academic college. If you change your major, please contact us to reschedule.