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Frequently Asked Questions for Orientation:

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Do I have to attend orientation?
Yes. All first-time and transfer students are required to attend orientation. Students will meet with academic advisers and register for courses at this program. If you have questions, please visit our Web site or contact Orientation and New Student Programs at (248) 370-GOLD.  
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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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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 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 do I become an Orientation Group Leader?
Undergraduate students interested in becoming an Orientation Group Leader must go through a three-tiered selection process beginning in November. For more information, please contact Orientation and New Student Programs at
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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 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 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 does OU’s numerical grading system translate to letter grades?
OU’s grading system is numerical and is graduated by tenths with passing grades from 1.0 to 4.0 to a no credit/nopassing grade of 0.0.

The numerical grading scale conversion is:

3.6 to 4.0 = A
3.0 to 3.5 = B
2.0 to 2.9 = C
1.0 to 1.9 = D
0.0 = no credit

The following grade may also be assigned to you for a class. Please check the undergraduate catalog for specific conditions.

S = Satisfactory
I = Incomplete
P = Progress
W = Official Withdrawal
Z = Audit
U = Unsatisfactory
R = Temporary mark assigned by the Registrar in absence of a grade from the instructor

Please refer to the Office of the Registrar’s Web site for additional information.

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How much does New Student Orientation cost?
The orientation fee (along with other non-mandatory fees like application, graduation and transcript fees) will be rolled into your tuition.  You do not need to pay a separate fee for orientation.
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How will I know when to attend an orientation program?
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.  You will then be sent a link to the Orientation Guide, which includes information regarding check-in, a campus map, a list of items to bring to orientation, and a description of placement tests (if necessary).  For more information, call Orientation and New Student Programs at (248) 370-GOLD. 
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If I am a transfer student, should I bring my transcripts to orientation?
Yes. Transfer students should bring transcripts to orientation. There are occasions when a student's preliminary transfer credit evaluation (TCE) is not available during the orientation program. For this reason, we encourage all students to bring an unofficial copy of their transcripts. In the event your TCE is not available, academic advisers can then work with the student copy of the transcript. If you are currently enrolled in courses, upon their completion it will be your responsibility to have a final copy of your transcript sent to the Academic Records Office, 102 O'Dowd Hall, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4401.
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If I am an international student, do I need to attend an orientation program?
Yes. The Office of International Students and Scholars coordinates a special program to meet your needs. They will send you information regarding your orientation program.
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If I am an undecided student, am I required to meet with my academic adviser?
If you are a first-time undecided freshman, you are required to meet with your academic adviser at new student orientation and at least once during your first and once during your second semesters of attendance. If you fail to meet this requirement, you will follow the process outlined in the Advising Resource Center advising policy.

All students are encouraged to meet with their adviser at least once a semester particularly during registration time.

Each school/college at Oakland University has its own adviser. To meet with an adviser for a particular program you will need to contact that school/college.
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If I am a student traveling from far away, can I stay on campus before or after my orientation program?
If you are traveling from a distance and need to arrive on campus before orientation, contact University Housing at (248) 370-3570. Housing typically needs one week notice prior to your arrival. There is a nominal charge for the night's lodging. Also, there are hotels conveniently located near campus for family members.
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Is there a formula I can use to calculate my grade point average?
Through the First Year Advising Center, OU offers a calculator that will help you estimate your grade point average.
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May I bring guests with me to an orientation program?
No, please do not bring guests to orientation. While we recognize that the support of family and friends is critical to a student's success, we regret that we do not have space to accommodate guests during the student program. This is an important time for new students to experience their growing independence. Additionally, there is a separate orientation program for parents.
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What if I cannot attend a regularly scheduled orientation program?
Please contact Orientation and New Student Programs at (248) 370-GOLD.  The staff will work with you to accommodate your needs.
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What is a SpiritCard?
Think of your SpiritCard as your passport to Oakland University. Whether you are grabbing a bite to eat, checking out a book, going to the Rec Center or cheering for the Golden Grizzlies, your SpiritCard makes it happen. The SpiritCard is also your:
  • meal plan and dining card
  • library card
  • after-hours access to campus residence halls and computers
  • Recreation Center membership card
  • ticket to discounts on select campus activities and services
  • access to your SpiritCash funds

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What is SpiritCash?
SpiritCash is a fast and easy alternative to carrying cash on campus. With SpiritCash, your SpiritCard becomes a pre-paid debit card. When you make a purchase, your SpiritCash account is debited. No need to fumble with cash. A monthly electronic activity statement shows where you used your SpiritCash to help keep track of your spending. With the SpiritCash feature, you also can take advantage of periodic promotions and discounts.

You can use SpiritCash at:
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Who should attend an orientation program?
All new undergraduate students are required to attend an orientation program prior to their first registration. First-year students attend a New Student Orientation program and Transfer Students attend a Transfer Orientation program. For more information about either orientation program, contact Orientation and New Student Programs at (248) 370-GOLD.  

International students are required to attend an orientation program as well.  Please contact the International Students and Scholars Office for more information.
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Why should I attend new student orientation?
All first-time and transfer students are required to attend an orientation program where students will register for their first year courses. The orientation program facilitates your academic and personal transition and is designed to use your time as efficiently as possible. During orientation you will: meet with an academic adviser, schedule first year classes, become acquainted with university policies and resources, and meet other new students. For more information, please contact Orientation and New Student Programs.
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