Incoming first year students

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientations for Fall 2018 have now ended. If you have not attended NSO or met with an advisor yet, you should contact your academic department to schedule an appointment with an advisor to get your courses. For instructions on how to find your advisor, visit: Next, you must complete Ram Ready Online Orientation. You can access this at and login with eID and password. NSO registration for students admitted for Spring 2019 will open in late October.

Welcome to Virginia Commonwealth University!

We look forward to meeting you at New Student Orientation, where you’ll learn about all the resources and services available to new students. NSO is required for first-year students, transfer students, international students and students who are returning to VCU after being away for more than three years. Parents and family members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Think of it as your formal introduction to VCU.

During this action-packed program:

  • Orientation Leaders will provide the inside scoop on academics, involvement and social life at VCU.
  • Academic advisors will inform you about your area of study and review your schedule of classes.
  • Faculty and staff will introduce you to campus resources and answer your burning questions.
  • The time spent with your orientation team will help you make friends (and maybe find a roommate).
  • You’ll participate in your first VCU tradition and become an official Ram!

Reserving your space at NSO

We look forward to seeing you at New Student Orientation, but you must make a reservation to attend.  Your reservation is not complete until your online payment is received. Payments are nonrefundable.

There are several different NSO programs offered to meet the needs of our diverse student body. The fees listed below cover all of the items listed as well as new student programs and services designed to support your transition to VCU.  

First-year students (i.e. recent high school graduates) 

First-year students are required to attend a two-day orientation program, which includes an overnight stay in a residence hall. A nonrefundable $150 fee covers all orientation materials, parking, overnight accommodations, linens, lunch and dinner on day one, and breakfast on day two.

Transfer students 

Transfer students are required to attend orientation and may select from one of the options below. A nonrefundable fee of $75 covers all orientation materials, parking and a voucher for lunch on campus on the day of your orientation (for the full-day program) or during the first week of classes (for the half-day program).  

Full-day transfer orientation: recommended for students who have completed less than 36 credits or students under the age of 22

Half-day transfer orientation: recommended for students who have completed 36 or more credits, students who are age 22 or older or students with more than two years of college experience.  Not all majors participate in half-day transfer orientation sessions. If a half-day session is not listed as an option for you, your major does not participate and you will need to select and attend a full-day session.

If you are a transfer student with fewer than 24 credits, you may also participate in the two-day program for first-year students for a more immersive introduction to VCU. To request participation in this program, please email New Student and Family Programs at or call us at (804) 828-3700.

Special Student Populations

If you are a transfer student who is serving or has served in the military, there is a special orientation program designed just for you. Please register for the June 15 transfer half-day morning program. You will participate in the morning with other transfer students then your afternoon will be spent with other veterans learning about resources and opportunities specific to you. The program is a full-day program and includes lunch.

International and out-of-state students may attend any NSO program but there are reserved NSO dates in August just prior to the start of classes so that you do not have to make multiple trips to VCU before classes begin. You will not be able to select these dates using this registration system. To be registered for one of these dates email New Student and Family Programs at or call us at (804) 828-3700

Families and guests  

We encourage family members and guests to attend Orientation. As important partners in your student’s success, we have designed an orientation program just for you. The nonrefundable fee for guests is $50 (first-year program) or $25 (transfer program), which covers orientation materials, a family calendar and guide, and a meal, as well as family programs and services designed to support you. Hotel accommodations for guests planning to stay overnight in Richmond, Va. can be found at

When to attend

New Student Orientation is twice a year. NSO sessions are based on academic major. Space is limited and seats fill up fast, so register as soon as possible once dates are made available. You’ll attend based on the semester you plan to start:  

Fall semester: Orientation is a two-day summer program with an overnight stay for first-year students. Transfer students attend for one day.

Spring semester: Orientation is a one-day event during winter break.

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