Ohio University

FAQs about OHIO's Orientation Programs

General Information

What does BSO stand for?

BSO stands for Bobcat Student Orientation. All students who attend Ohio University are required to participate in an orientation program.

How long is Orientation?

We offer two different programs. Our Fall Semester Entry program is a two-day program. We also offer one-day programs before the beginning of each semester, which includes Summer and Spring Semester Entry. Students must attend the entire program in order to register for classes. Please make your plans accordingly.

If I have questions, whom should I call?

Bobcat Student Orientation is open between the hours of 8:00am–5:00pm. Please call 740.593.1951 or email questions to orientation@ohio.edu. We encourage you to visit our website for more information.

Do families and guests attend the same sessions as students?

Families and guests have a separate Orientation experience from students. Student sessions are designed for the student to develop essential academic autonomy and an opportunity to meet future classmates. Our program sessions are designed to meet each groups' needs in this transitional experience.

What if I do not have a laptop or tablet?

Registration for classes will go more smoothly if you bring a laptop or tablet. If you do not own a laptop or tablet, and cannot borrow one, technology will be provided on a limited basis. Bringing your own technology will enable you to expedite your registration experience as all course information and registration is online.

What should I bring?

  • Your parking permit
  • Your completed Advising Worksheet
  • A picture ID in order to receive your OHIO ID
  • A transcript of any college course work taken during high school, in case your official college transcript hasn't arrived
  • A sweater or light jacket (some rooms are air-conditioned and may be chilly)
  • Inclement weather gear such as raincoats and umbrellas
  • Comfortable shoes and casual clothing as you will do extensive walking and there are many hills on campus
  • Orientation confirmation letter and parking permit
  • OHIO ID (this is the beginning of your OHIO email address) and password
  • Laptop or tablet for class registration during Orientation
  • Cell phone charger
  • Pen and paper for taking notes
  • Water bottle - campus has several bottle filling stations available
  • Toiletries and shower shoes
  • Alarm clock

Will I have access to the Wi-Fi network?

Yes. Once students arrive on campus they may login with their OHIO ID and password. Families and guests may use the guest Wi-Fi which does not require a login.

Why should I download the BSO App?

The OHIO BSO App will have valuable information including: the schedule of events for orientation and the ability to receive reminders for sessions, information about your Orientation Leaders (OLs), maps and directions, important phone numbers, and university resources. You can download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

What if I need to leave early or miss part of the program?

All sessions during your orientation are mandatory. Missing or skipping sessions prevents you from registering for classes. For extenuating circumstances, please contact our office in advance by calling 740.593.1951 or emailing orientation@ohio.edu.

Do families or guests need to attend Orientation?

Family members and guests are encouraged to attend orientation with their student. While the program is not required for family members or guests, it is an excellent time for you to get information and helpful hints on how to help your student through their college experience. It will also give you a chance to ask questions and get to know some of the students, staff, and faculty who will be working with your student throughout their college career.

Can I bring my family or a guest to Orientation?

Family members and guests are welcome to attend Orientation with you. There is an additional orientation fee per guest. Please see the page for your respective entry term for complete fee information.

How do I pay the fees for Orientation?

Fees will automatically be charged to your student account after you attend Orientation and register for your classes. You can pay these fees along with your tuition charges either online or at the Bursar Office. No payments need to be made before, during, or after Orientation.

Are Orientation fees refundable?

Fees are non-refundable. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Will we be given a campus tour during Orientation?

There is a campus tour during your orientation program. If you would like a more extensive tour, please contact Undergraduate Admissions at 740.593.4100 to schedule a campus tour.

Academic Information

Will I have a better chance of getting my preferred classes if I attend an earlier Orientation session?

Each Orientation session provides the same in-depth academic advising and fair access to course enrollments. No matter the program you attend, you will register for a complete and appropriate schedule for your major or intended major. If you are attending our summer program, we encourage you to register for a Learning Community in advance of attending BSO.

What should I do if I have taken AP exams?

Have your AP scores sent directly to Ohio University. Undergraduate Admissions only accepts scores submitted by the CollegeBoard. Any credit you are eligible for will be loaded to your university record before Orientation. We recommend you bring a copy of your AP scores when you come for Orientation, as it will aid in your scheduling process.

What should I do if I've taken courses at another university?

Have an official transcript sent directly to the Office of Admissions, Chubb Hall 120, Athens, OH 45701 as soon as possible. We would also suggest that you bring an unofficial copy of your most current transcript with you to Orientation to be used as a discussion point in the event your transcript has not been fully processed. If you would like to check if your transcript has been received, please call Undergraduate Admissions at 740.593.4100.

Will families and guests be able to help their student schedule?

Students will be assisted by an academic advisor and Orientation Leader (OL) throughout the registration process. Parents will be in a separate session during this time. The academic advisor is happy to answer any questions the parent may have after the student has registered. We appreciate your support in providing students the opportunity to make their own academic decisions.

Who should take a placement test before/at Orientation?

Language Placement Test: Any student who wishes to continue in a foreign language with which they have previous experience should take the foreign language placement test. This test is taken at Orientation.

Chemistry Placement Test: Students pursuing a selected major should complete the assessment prior to attending Orientation. This test is taken before Orientation. Note: in order to be placed in the higher chemistry series you must take the placement exam AND have a Math Placement Level of PL 2 or higher.

Math Placement: Students should take this test if they want to improve their current math placement status. This test is taken before Orientation.

What if I have never taken a foreign language before?

If you have never taken a foreign language before, you do not need to worry about taking a placement test. Your OL will provide you with a list of languages offered at Ohio University, and they will also assist you in explaining how many semesters of a foreign language may be required for your specific major.

What if I have taken a foreign language in high school and do not want to continue in that language?

Students are encouraged to make their own academic decisions and choose a language that interests them. If there is any possibility you have received enough background in a language at the high school level, you are still encouraged to take the placement test. This test will not inhibit you from taking a different language.

What if I want to change my major?

If you wish to change your major prior to attending Orientation, please contact Undergraduate Admissions via email at admissions@ohio.edu. If you would like to change your major at Orientation, please do so at check in.

Staying on Campus

Will I be able to see my residence hall room?

You will have the opportunity to see a typical room similar to the one assigned to you during the second morning of your Orientation session. Information on which residence halls are open will be available from Orientation Leaders, and at Bobcat Basics. You may also visit the Housing website regarding residence hall room floor plans and a list of furnishings.

Can I stay in a residence hall during my Orientation visit?

Yes, you have the option to indicate this when you register to attend BSO. If you did not indicate this during registration, please let our staff know when you check into Orientation. You will receive placement of overnight accommodations on the day you check-in for Orientation.

The fee for a student's overnight stay is included in The OHIO Guarantee. Any family or guests that would also like to stay overnight are welcome. More information regarding fees can be found on the page for your respective entry term. Anyone who does not wish to stay overnight is welcome to commute or to arrange plans with surrounding hotels.

Are linens provided in the residence halls during Orientation?

Yes. Towels, sheets, and pillows are provided for you during Orientation if you stay overnight in the residence halls. You are free to bring additional items that will help you feel comfortable during your stay.

What if I need to arrive early for Orientation?

We can provide housing accommodations for the night before your Orientation session if you are traveling from a long distance. There is a fee per guest and student for staying an extra night. To check-in for early arrival, you will go directly to the assigned residence hall when you get to campus. More information regarding fees can be found on the page for your respective entry term.


Do I get a confirmation that I registered for Orientation?

Yes. You will receive a confirmation email sent to your OHIO email address. In addition, a few days prior to your Orientation session, you will receive your parking permit instructions.

Can I change my Orientation session after I have registered?

Yes. Please log back into our registration system the same way you originally registered and select the "change the date" button to view the calendar of available dates for your major. If you have any issues, please call our office at 740.593.1951 or email orientation@ohio.edu.

What happens if I need to cancel my Orientation session?

If you need to cancel your orientation, you may do so online the same way that you originally registered for orientation up to 3 days prior to your register session. If you cannot cancel your registration yourself or it is within 3 days of your intended session, please call our office at 740.593.1951 or email orientation@ohio.edu.

Other Student Services

Where can I get health care questions answered?

For more information about health resources for incoming students, click here for OhioHealth Campus Care.

Will representatives be available from local banks so that we may set up accounts?

Yes. We invite representation to set up at the Resource Fair during Day 1 of Orientation from 8:00-10:00am. Please check the schedule for the location of the Resource Fair. Note: not all local banks will choose to attend.