Orientation for Freshman Students
Welcome to the Bobcat Family!
We are very excited for you to start your academic career at Montana State University! Orientation/Class Registration is required for all new incoming students and takes place over the summer break and winter break leading up to the start of each semester. During Orientation, students will have the opportunity to:
- Learn how to successfully transition to life at MSU
- Engage with University services and resources
- Connect with other incoming Bobcats
- Learn from Orientation Leaders
- Connect with MSU staff, faculty, and Academic Advisors
- Engage with MSU course planning and class registration systems
- Register for semester courses
Students can register for Orientation through their MyInfo checklist. Registering for Orientation serves as a student's intent to enroll letting us know that you are planning to enroll at MSU!
Click or tap on one of the options listed below to learn more.
Start Term of Spring 2024
We hope to see you join us at Montana State University for the Spring 2024 semester! If you are ready to reserve your spot in our incoming class, make sure you register for Orientation/Class Registration! Orientation is required for all new students and is when you receive your Spring 2024 class schedule. Signing up for Orientation is viewed as a student's intent to enroll.
MSU’s Spring Freshman Orientation/Class Registration program will consist of an online Orientation component and a half-day in-person program. Both components are mandatory.
Online: The online portion of Orientation must be completed prior to attending the half-day in-person program. During online Orientation, students will progress through an online pathway in our CatsConnect platform. During online Orientation, students will learn about MSU resources and services, explore MSU technology, receive instruction on how to remotely connect with their Academic Advisor, and will register for Spring 2024 classes. Students are not eligible to register for classes until they have registered for Orientation, completed the online pathway, and met with an Academic Advisor.
- The online Orientation pathway for incoming transfer and/or Veteran students will open on Monday, November 27, 2023 (including advising and class registration) and must be completed by Friday, January 12, 2024.
- The online Orientation pathway for incoming freshmen, international, and/or non-traditional students will open on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 (including advising and class registration) and must be completed by Friday, January 12, 2024.
Students are not eligible to meet with an Academic Advisor and register for Spring 2024 classes until the dates outlined above.
In-Person: Tuesday, January 16, 2024 from 8:00am – 12:00pm noon in the Strand Union Building (SUB). During in-person Orientation, students will progress through information sessions and meet other incoming Bobcats. Once you have registered for Orientation, you will receive further details regarding check-in, parking, etc.
Start Term of Fall 2024
Orientation Registration opens on February 15th
We hope to see you join us at Montana State University for the Fall 2024 semester! If you are ready to reserve your spot in our incoming class, make sure you register for Orientation/Class Registration! Orientation is required for all new students and is when you receive your Fall 2024 class schedule. Signing up for Orientation is viewed as a student's intent to enroll.
Freshman Orientation/Class Registration will consist of a short online "pre-Orientation" and a 2.5 day in-person Orientation/Class Registration program held on the MSU Campus. Both components are mandatory.
- "Pre-Orientation" will be hosted online and will cover several items that students must take care of before their meeting with their Academic Advisor. Pre-Orientation will include items such as math and writing placement, submitting immunization records, etc. Students can complete online pre-Orientation as soon as Wednesday, May 1 in advance of their selected on-campus Orientation/Class Registration session.
- Orientation/Class Registration will take place in-person on the MSU campus over 2.5 days. We will offer four sessions
for which students may register:
- Session #1: Monday - Wednesday, June 10 - 12, 2024
- Session #2: Monday - Wednesday, June 24 - 26, 2024
- Session #3: Monday - Wednesday, July 15 - 17, 2024
- Session #4: Sunday - Tuesday, August 18 - 20, 2024 *
* August programming coincides with Move-In
During Orientation, students will:
- Meet other future Bobcats
- Stay in MSU's residence halls for 2 nights (required to stay on campus for June & July sessions)
- Connect with their Orientation Leader
- Learn about MSU services, resources, history, and traditions
- Interact with staff, faculty, and advisors in their area of study
- Receive Fall 2024 class schedule
- And more!
The Orientation Office will arrange lodging for the nights you are required to stay on campus (Monday night and Tuesday night) and you will be provided meals during the program. If you need additional lodging outside of those required nights (Monday night and Tuesday night), please see available options here.
The full Orientation/Class Registration program requires a non-refundable Program Fee that directly covers a student's on-campus lodging for the two nights spent on campus of in-person Orientation/Class Registration and the six meals starting with lunch on the first day and ending with breakfast on the third day. It also helps cover additional programmatic costs such as student Orientation Leader pay, online pre-Orientation maintenance, mailings, etc.
What are the primary differences between our summer Orientation sessions (June & July) and our fall Orientation session (August)?
June & July Summer Orientation Sessions
August Fall Orientation Session
Start Term of Summer 2024
Orientation Registration opens on February 15th
Freshmen students starting in the summer and intending to continue in the fall will need to complete a formal Orientation/Class Registration session during the summer term before registering for their summer and fall course schedules. Please register for an available Orientation/Class Registration session that occurs before the start of the summer course you intend to take.
Non-degree seeking freshman students that are only taking classes at MSU for the singular summer term do not need to complete a formal Orientation/Class Registration program to register for their summer courses. These students can contact the Academic Advising Center at (406) 994-3532 to discuss their summer course schedule and register for classes. Please note that if you decide to continue taking classes at MSU during the fall semester, you will be required to complete a formal Orientation/Class Registration program.
Please see our Orientation/Class Registration Frequently Asked Questions for additional questions.
Incoming freshman students who are active duty or former active duty veterans, national guard members or reserve members can register for a specialized Veteran Orientation through their Undergraduate Admissions Checklist on MyInfo. Contact the Veteran Support Center at (406) 994-3661 or [email protected] for more information.
Non-Traditional Student Orientation/Class Registration
The Non-Traditional Student Orientation/Class Registration Program is designed to meet the needs of incoming non-traditionally aged students who are attending college for the first time. This program is by invitation only. Eligible students will be notified.
Non-Degree Seeking Students
Incoming non-degree seeking students are not required to complete a formal Orientation/Class Registration session before registering for their semester courses. Please note that if you decide to pursue a degree at MSU, you will be required to complete a formal Orientation/Class Registration program.
Questions? We're here to help.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! You can email our
staff at [email protected], or call us Monday - Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm MT at 1-888-MSU-CATS.