We know that as new students you have lots of questions about attending orientation, signing up for classes and become a UMass Boston student. We have taken the time to address some of the most frequently asked questions on this page. We request that before you give us a call or email us, take a few minutes browse through our list of FAQs. If you still have questions or need further clarification, then please feel free to call us!
- Do I have to go to orientation?
- Do I have to sign up for orientation ahead of time, or can I just show up?
- How do I sign up for orientation? Can you just sign me up?
- What if I need special accommodations for my orientation?
- I can't make any of the available dates! Will there be any other orientations?
- Can I just meet with an advisor on my own time?
- Can my mom/dad/sibling/friend/significant other/child stay with me during orientation?
- Are all first-year students required to take the New Student Assessment tests?
- I am a transfer student, do I need to complete any assessments before orientation?
- I’ve reserved a spot at orientation. What should I do now?
- What should I bring with me to orientation?
- I already made a reservation online, but I need to switch my date. What should I do?
- I can only come for part of the orientation day. What if I need to leave early/come late?
- I am the parent/legal guardian of a student and I want information about my child’s orientation. Can you provide it for me?
Do I have to go to orientation?
- Yes. Attendance at orientation is MANDATORY for all first-year and transfer students. The program is designed to help you transition to the UMass Boston community. At orientation, you will learn about vital campus resources and the opportunities available to you that can supplement and enhance your educational experience. Attendance at orientation is a key step in registering for classes. Students who do not attend will not be able to register for classes.
Do I have to sign up for orientation ahead of time, or can I just show up?
- You must register for orientation at least five business days in advance. We want to make your orientation experience a great one and we need your advance registration to prepare all of your materials, including those needed for course registration. Visit the Beacon Gateway to register.
How do I sign up for orientation? Can you just sign me up?
- You can register for orientation through the Beacon Gateway. If you are having a hard time registering for orientation, contact our office and we can do our best to help you.
What if I need special accommodations for my orientation?
- If you require special accommodations (including dietary, mobility, sight, hearing, language, religious or other), please indicate what you need when you register. Please be as detailed as possible in your request. A representative from our office may contact you prior to your scheduled orientation to confirm your accommodations.
- If you have a documented disability and need special academic accommodations for Assessment Testing, please contact the Ross Center for Disability Services at 617.287.7430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can't make any of the available dates! Will there be any other orientations?
- Orientation is a critical step in your success as a student at UMass Boston. We ask that you do everything you can do to attend one of the scheduled dates. If you really can not attend any of the posted dates, please contact our office and we will discuss your options.
- We encourage you to attend the earliest date possible. This ensures that you will have maximum class selections. This will also give you time to see if there are any issues that need to be worked out before the semester begins.
Can I just meet with an advisor on my own time?
- All new students must attend an orientation session in order to register for classes. At the program, you will meet with advisors from your colleges who will offer guidance about course registration for the upcoming semester.
- You will not be able to see any academic advisor on campus or register for classes on your own until you have attended the orientation program in its entirety.
Can my mom/dad/sibling/friend/significant other/child stay with me during orientation?
- Guest are not permitted at New Student Orientation. We do run separate Family Programs events that run concurrently with all on-campus First-Year Orientation dates.
- Family Orientation involves a lot of information sharing, so it is not always interesting for young family members. If you have family members that would like to attend, encourage them to email email@example.com for more details.
Are all first-year students required to take the New Student Assessment tests?
- Yes. New Student Assessment is mandatory for incoming first-year students. Assessment testing consists of a writing assessment and a math placement test.
- Math placement will now be completed online by all new students using ALEKS PPL, the online math placement tool. You can complete the ALEKS assessment by logging in to your myUMB portal. Instructions for accessing ALEKS math placement, click here.
- You can also complete the Writing Assessment online by logging in to your myUMB portal. For instructions on accessing the Writing Assessment and more information on the assessment, click here.
I am a transfer student, do I need to complete any placement exams before orientation?
- If you are a transfer student bringing in credit for ENG101, you are not required to take the writing assessment. We encourage you to sign up if you would like our faculty to evaluate your readiness to complete the Writing Proficiency requirement (WPR) of your college as well as placement in a Critical Reading and Writing course. Click here for more information on the Writing assessment.
- Most transfer students will need to complete the Math placement BEFORE attending orientation. Math placement will now be completed ONLINE by all new students using ALEKS, the online math placement tool.
I’ve reserved a spot at orientation. What should I do now?
- Keep checking your application email for updates from the orientation team. Details are sent seven days prior to orientation.
What should I bring with me to orientation?
- If possible, please bring a valid form of photo identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.) in order to get your Beacon Card.
- Bring any important paperwork (such as transcripts, health immunization forms) that you may need to take care of at orientation.
- Appropriate dress. In the summer, the buildings on campus may be very cool so we recommend that you bring layers.
- Energy! Orientation is a dynamic experience, so we hope that you come ready and willing to participate!
- Overnight orientation attendees will also receive a packing list for their overnight stay seven days prior to orientation.
I already made a reservation online, but I need to switch my date. What should I do?
- Please contact our office directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or return to the Beacon Gateway to change your date.
I can only come for part of the orientation day. What if I need to leave early/come late?
- Attendance at orientation is mandatory for new students. While we certainly understand that attending an orientation session is a time-commitment, the information provided during orientation eases the transition to UMass Boston and is absolutely essential. Please make plans to attend the program in it's entirety and come prepared and with an open mind – we feel confident that you will enjoy your time with us!
- We understand that many of our students work full time or have other family commitments. If you absolutely cannot attend the entire day, or an emergency comes up then please contact our office immediately and we will work with you to reschedule your session for a day that works better with your schedule.
- Students who miss portions of the day may be required to attend another session to ensure that they have received all the important information for new students and class registration.
I am the parent/legal guardian of a student and I want information about my child’s orientation. Can you provide it for me?
- Due to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) there is limited information that we can provide to anyone other than the student. We can provide general information about what the students will be doing at orientation, but federal law prohibits university employees from disclosing any personal student information.