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New Students

Frequently Asked Questions for New Students:


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Are there any fees for parking?
Parking on campus is free for all students, faculty, staff and guests.
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Are there fraternities and sororities on OU's campus?
Yes. Oakland University has a number of Greek Organizations.
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As a transfer student, can I get a scholarship if I attend Oakland University in the winter or summer?
Currently, Oakland only offers scholarships to students entering in the fall semester.
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Can I join the Alumni Association if I have not graduated from Oakland University?
You must be an OU graduate to become a member of the alumni association. We will continue to honor “friends of the alumni association” and “grandfather” their member status to reward their past support and commitment to the association.
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Do I need to set up an appointment with an academic adviser prior to orientation?
No. Meeting with an adviser and registering for classes is included as part of the orientation program for undergraduate students. Graduate students should make an appointment with their adviser upon admission.
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Do I need to take a placement exam before I register for classes at orientation?

Some general courses at Oakland, including Mathematics, Modern Language and Writing and Rhetoric, require students to take placement exams or to meet certain criteria. New students are strongly encouraged to complete necessary placement exams prior to attending orientation.  For more information about course placement and testing, visit the Course Placement Web site.

It is also important that you forward your most current ACT scores to Undergraduate Admissions, 101 North Foundation Hall, Rochester, MI 48309-4401 and your Advanced Placement (AP) scores and/or transcripts to Academic Records, 102 O'Dowd Hall, Rochester, MI  48309-4401. Some academic departments use these scores to suggest beginning placements.


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Do you offer campus tours?  What days and times are they offered?
Yes, Oakland University invites you to take a closer look at its 1,441-acre campus. Come take a walking tour, led by a student ambassador. Tours are held Monday through Friday. Space is limited and reservations are required. To schedule a campus tour, click here, or contact Undergraduate Admissions at (248) 370-3360 or (800) OAK-UNIV. Admissions presentations and campus tours are held on specific Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The tour includes the residence halls.
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For what courses is tutoring available?
The Tutoring Center provides tutoring for most 100- and 200-level courses. See the Tutoring By Appointment or Walk-In Tutoring Web page for a list of available subjects, days and times.
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How can I apply for an Oakland University Credit Union checking account?
Visit the OU Spirit Card Plus Web site and click on “Open My Oakland University Credit Union Account.” Or, you can visit any Oakland University Credit Union branch. To locate the branch nearest you, visit the Oakland University Credit Union website.”
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How can I find out what courses transfer to OU?
After you are admitted, you will receive an official transfer credit evaluation. All coursework completed with a “C” or better grade is evaluated. You may use transferred courses for general education and major requirements. Academic departments will review transcripts for credits to be used toward major requirements by the end of your first semester at OU.

If you have attended a Michigan community college, you can view our course equivalencies online.

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How can I make sure I am taking the correct courses?
  • Attend your new student orientation program.
  • Meet with your academic adviser prior to registering for classes.
  • Read the course descriptions in your course catalog to ensure you have taken the prerequisites for each course.
Always check the requirements for your major.

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How can I obtain my transcripts from other schools?
To get your transcripts from other schools, contact the Registrar's Office at your prior college or university.
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How can I see my academic adviser?
All first-year students, as well as undecided and re-deciding upperclassmen will meet with their assigned academic adviser in the First Year Advising Center in 121 North Foundation Hall. For undergraduate students who have earned 28 or more credits and have selected a major, you will meet with your academic adviser in the school/college of the selected major. Please remember that every new student will their academic adviser during their orientation program. You can identify your adviser by going to oakland.edu/advising. Graduate student advising is handled at the department level. 
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How do I apply for a scholarship?
Oakland does not have a separate scholarship application for academic merit scholarships. Visit the scholarships website for current deadlines. 
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How do I declare a major or change majors?
Undergraduate students who want to declare or change majors must fill out a Change of Major form in the college or school with which you are planning to pursue a program of study. For example, if you switch from Undecided to Psychology, you start the paperwork in the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Advising Office. You will receive more detailed instructions when you start the process. Just remember that some programs impose additional restrictions and/or criteria for admission.  All first-year students should schedule an appointment with their assigned adviser in the First Year Advising Center to change their major.  Graduate students should file a Request for Program Transfer in the Office of Graduate Study in 520 O'Dowd Hall. The policy and form are also available online.
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How do I get a SpiritCard (student ID) and how long does it take?
You can get your SpiritCard at OU’s ID Card Office, 112 Oakland Center, adjacent to the Fireside Lounge, in about five minutes. New undergraduate students will receive their SpiritCards during orientation. Graduate students may go directly to the ID Card office.
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How do I join a student organization?
Find out about OU's student and Greek organizations by visiting the Center for Student Activities Office, through the Involvement Fair after New Student Convocation, Student and Greek Organization Days held during Welcome Week in the Oakland Center, and attending the meetings and programs sponsored by student and Greek organizations.
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How do I sign up for New Student Orientation?
Orientations are scheduled throughout the academic year for newly admitted undergraduate students. Orientation and New Student Programs will send you a brochure about orientation shortly after you are admitted to the university. The brochure will answer questions about your orientation program and direct you to the Orientation  Reservations Web site where you will select your orientation date.  For more information, call Orientation and New Student Programs at (248) 370-GOLD.
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How do I transfer my F-1 visa at another school to Oakland?
First you must complete either an undergraduate or graduate application and meet all the requirements for the issue of a new I-20. Students wishing to obtain an I-20 from Oakland University for graduate coursework should also review our international student requirements.
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How do you activate your SpiritCash account?
Activating your SpiritCash debit account is as simple as making a deposit. Just deposit any amount into your SpiritCash account by visiting the ID Card Office or a value transfer station (VTS) on campus, or mailing in a deposit envelope. You’ll be on your way to cash-free spending on campus.
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How do you get your SpiritCard?
Get your card from the ID Card Office located in the Oakland Center. The ID Card Office is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and extended hours during the first week of the fall and winter semesters. The first SpiritCard is free for registered students, faculty and staff. There is a nominal charge for replacement cards.
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How many classes are taught by graduate assistants?
Less than one percent of classes are taught by graduate assistants.Oakland University is committed to teaching. Senior faculty teach all levels of classes, including introductory courses.
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How many credit hours do I have to take to be are considered full time?
You typically need twelve credit hours as an undergraduate student to be considered full time. (Graduate students are considered full time at 8 credit hours for fall/winter semesters.) If you have specific concerns related to insurance, financial aid or housing however, you should consult with the appropriate office for details. Policies and individual situations can vary. Beyond your official status as a full-time student, undergraduate students normally take anywhere between twelve and sixteen credit hours each semester. If you are thinking about taking more or less than that, consider talking to your adviser. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons. Please refer to the Office of the Registrar's Web site for additional information.
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How many credits can I transfer from a community college or four-year college?
A student may transfer half the credits required for the degree from a community college (i.e. if the degree requires 128 credits, you may transfer 64 credits that apply to your degree).  If the student has credit from a community college and a four-year college, the rule applies to the community college credit, but full credit is given from the four-year college courses in which you earn a grade of 2.0 or better.  Even though full credit is given, 32 credits must be taken at Oakland University to obtain a degree.
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How many residence hall rooms are on campus?

Building

Room Type

Total Beds by Building

Fitzgerald

Doubles

96

Hamlin

Suite-Style Doubles

614

Hill

Doubles

198

Van Wagoner

Doubles

198

Vandenberg

Suite-Style Doubles

479

Matthews Court

Apartments

48

USA Apartments

Apartments

459

Total Beds

2,092


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