To use the FAQ, click on the question you would like answered. The answer will display below the question (close the answer by re-clicking same question).


Through required online orientation you will learn about Iowa State’s campus, discover essential resources, and gain access to meet virtually with an academic advisor and register for your first semester of classes. OnCyte Orientation is an optional one-day on-campus event for new students who would like to experience campus.  

Once online orientation launches, we will email you the link to experience orientation. If you have enabled OKTA, you will login with that feature. You will also need to have your Net-ID handy for login.  

Yes, and students should plan on completing the required online orientation prior to scheduling a virtual academic advising appointment and course registration. For freshmen, we recommend completing online orientation as soon as possible after May 24 and no later than June 20. For transfer students, we recommend completing online orientation as soon as possible after April 1.  

Yes, orientation is required prior to registering for classes.

You will be able to work at your own pace. We recommend you set aside at least four hours to complete orientation. You can spend as much or as little time as you need learning about the topics that will help you successfully transition to Iowa State University. 

You can work through the information at your own pace. However, we encourage you to dedicate an uninterrupted, appropriate amount of time so you are able fully absorb the information and prepare for course registration. Come back at any time to revisit the information or review the checklist to get ready to transition to Iowa State.

You will not be able to register for classes.

Academic advisers are preparing to connect with you virtually and looking forward to facilitating your personalized academic advising and course registration experience. Instructions for how to schedule your virtual advising appointment will be included in online orientation.

Students will be encouraged to make plans for an advising appointment as soon as they complete online orientation. If you are worried a later advising appointment date will affect your courses, don’t be.  We time release courses throughout the month of June to make sure all students have equal access to a wide variety of options.

Yes, online orientation is required. Online Orientation will cover comprehensive information and is your pathway to prepare for your academic adventure, as well as schedule and experience your virtual academic advising appointment. Academic advising and curriculum sessions will not be available at OnCyte Orientation. OnCyte Orientation is optional experience, designed as an added bonus for students who would like to experience campus, attend helpful sessions, and connect with other Cyclones in person.

Online orientation utilizes universal design and is supportive to students with all abilities. In addition, you can contact Student Accessibility Services by email at You can also visit Student Accessibility Services to learn more about how Iowa State supports students reasonable accommodations.

International Students and Scholars Office coordinates orientation for international students. Please contact them for more information. All students, including international students, are invited to Destination Iowa State events.

We recommend beginning online orientation as soon as it becomes available. Online orientation launches on April 1 for transfer students and May 24 for freshmen. Once you complete the required modules, we recommend you schedule your virtual advising appointment for the earliest available date that works with your schedule. We recommend you complete online orientation no later than June 20.  

There is valuable information available prior to registering for classes that will help with your decision making as well as learning more about the support you will receive during your transition to Iowa State University. Once you register for your classes, more information will become available to make sure you are prepared when classes begin.

For students who accept their offer of admission after online orientation launches, you will be invited to complete online orientation shortly after accepting your offer. Watch your email for instructions. Once you complete online orientation you can register for classes. Online orientation will be open through the first week of classes to assist students at any step of your journey.

We recommend you register for Destination Iowa State prior to August 1.

Follow the instructions in online orientation to submit your photo. Then, you can pick up your ISUCard at OnCyte Orientation or during Destination Iowa State.  

Online orientation will include information about how to purchase athletic tickets. Go Cyclones!

Destination Iowa State is held the Thursday, August 19 through Saturday, August 21. This is the weekend before classes begin.

Destination Iowa State is an event exclusive to new students at Iowa State University that takes place just before the start of fall and spring semesters. 

Making connections to the people and places of your new Cyclone Home is an important part of your transition to Iowa State. Destination Iowa State is a once in a lifetime event gives students the chance to meet new people, connect with experienced students, have tons of fun, and explore campus.

Absolutely. In fact, we have a specific track for transfer students during Destination Iowa State developed based on feedback from transfer students

Our full event schedule will be available in July, as well as some guidelines students will be expected to follow to engage with our programming.

Activities will be offered in small groups throughout with evening programming as well. Students will have the opportunity to connect with each other and an experienced Team Leader, learn how to navigate campus and experience an inspirational kickoff to the fall semester!

The Department of Residence is planning move-in for students, families and staff. These plans will be sent to you directly from the Department of Residence.  

Yes, currently virtual visits and a limited number of on campus visits opportunities are offered. Please check the availability on the Campus Visits website. Tours will also be offered during OnCyte Orientation and Destination Iowa State (students only).