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About Bobcat Student Orientation

As a unit of the Office of First-Year & Student Transitions (FYrST), Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO) is responsible for the successful orientation of all new undergraduate students at Ohio University, Athens campus. Our programs are designed to ensure all students and their families/guests are welcomed, comfortable in their transitions, connected to campus resources, and confident in their academic schedules before beginning their first semester on the Athens campus of Ohio University.

We strive to create a welcoming environment where students have a sense of belonging and can easily connect to peers, faculty, and staff to establish a network of support. We accomplish this through intentional program design and assessment focused primarily on the student experience, by eliminating stress in the transition process and maintaining a service-oriented mindset.

Can I change my orientation session after I have signed up?

Yes. You can use the link in the confirmation email you received when you originally signed up to edit your BSO date. If you have any issues or are unable to find that email, please contact our office.

What happens if I need to cancel my orientation session?

If you need to cancel your orientation, you may do so using the link in the confirmation email you received when you originally signed up.  If you have any issues or are unable to find that email, please contact us. Please note that cancelling your orientation session does not withdraw your application to the university and you will need to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions if you intend to do that.

When I go to the system to sign up for my program, I don't see all of the program dates. Why is that?

Some majors have a smaller number of students entering in a semester and have fewer dates available as options so students are able to connect with a larger group of peers in their major during the program. Also, the system is set up to close sessions as the available seats fill for each program, so it is also possible that the program dates you do not see are because the available seats for your major are all full. In some instances, exceptions may be made to accommodate you on dates you do not see available in the system to sign up. If that is the case, please contact us to discuss your options. 

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 to discuss your situation. 

What are the fees for orientation? 

Student orientation fees are included in The OHIO Guarantee™. There are fees for family members and guests participating in orientation programs in-person. Full details about our orientation fees can be found on our Fees page. 

How do I pay the fees for orientation?

Fees will be automatically charged to your student account after you check-in for orientation.  You can pay these fees along with your tuition charges as accepted by the Bursar's Office.  No payments need to be made before or during your orientation program.

Are orientation fees refundable? 

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

If I choose a later BSO date, will I still have classes to choose from?

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 entering as a first-year student in the fall semester, we encourage you to apply for a Learning Community in advance of attending BSO as you will be pre-enrolled in those courses.  

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 have a copy of your AP scores available when you participate in orientation, as it will aid in your scheduling process. If you are still awaiting scores when you participate in orientation, it will be helpful to inform your academic advisor about the AP exams you have taken to make sure your schedule is planned properly.  

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 have an unofficial copy of your most current transcript available when you participate in 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 contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

What if I want to change my major?

If you wish to change your major, we recommend doing so as soon as possible.  Since our orientation program is designed to connect you with other students in your major and specific information is shared about your major or college, it is important to make any major changes prior to participating in orientation. To change your major, please contact Undergraduate Admissions via email at admissions@ohio.edu. You should do this at least one week prior to your scheduled orientation date to make sure we have prepared your orientation materials for your new major. 

Do families and guests participate in 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. Additional information about the program can be found on our Family and Guest Orientation page. 

Do families or guests need to participate in orientation?

Family members and guests are encouraged to participate in 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. Additional information about the program can be found on our Family and Guest Orientation page. 

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 during BSO programs. 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.

Do students and their guests stay on campus overnight during the BSO program?

For our programs in June 2021, students and their guests will have the option to stay on campus in a residence hall the night before their orientation program. Please note the residence hall is a traditional style hall and does include community bathrooms. There will be no sessions or programmatic elements during the stay. This is simply to provide another option for students and their guests to arrive early and stay in Athens the night before their BSO program. There are fees for guests who choose to do this. Full details about our orientation fees can be found on our Fees page. 

What are the check-in and check-out times for students and guests choosing to stay on campus in a residence hall the night before their BSO programs in June?

The check-in window is from 5:00pm-9:00pm the day prior to your orientation date. Check out will take place from 7:00am-8:30am on the day of your scheduled Orientation. This will allow you plenty of time to get to the BSO check-in prior to it ending at 8:45am. 

Will linens be provided for students and guests staying on campus the night before their BSO program in June?

Yes a linens package will be provided to all guests staying on campus.

Who will students and guests staying on campus room with during their stay?

Due to COVID protocols, students and guests will be staying in residence hall rooms with their own family members. If students are coming to orientation without guests, they will stay in single occupancy rooms.  

How do I change my BSO registration to include an overnight stay on campus if I have already signed up for the program?

You can use the link in the confirmation email you received when you originally signed up to edit your BSO sign-up information. If you have any issues or are unable to find that email, please contact our office and we will help you to add the overnight stay. 

Who do we contact with other questions about staying on campus the night before the BSO program?

Students and guests can email conferences@ohio.edu with any additional questions or concerns. 

Where will students park for BSO and how will they get a parking pass?

Students will park in Lot 129 on the campus parking map (next to Peden Stadium) on the morning of their BSO program and will receive their parking pass as they enter the lot.


Athens Campus


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Orientation Staff

photo of Abbey Cliffel
Abbey Cliffel
Graduate Assistant, Office of First-Year and Student Transitions
060 Chubb Hall
Photo of Vincent Prior
Vincent Prior
Director, Undergraduate Orientation Programs
060 Chubb Hall