Preparing for Orientation

This page is updated each year as we approach summer orientation programs, so students are encouraged to check back after May 1 for final preparation information.

All incoming students should complete the following steps before participating in Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO) programs at Ohio University. Each step is important, so please review this website regularly to ensure you have completed all elements. 

Major Changes

If you want to change your major from your initial application to Ohio University, it’s important to do so before attending orientation, since our orientation program is designed to connect you with other students in your major or college. To change your major, contact Undergraduate Admissions at admissions@ohio.edu. Please include your full name, PID, and intended major [PDF]

Major changes should be done at least one week before your scheduled orientation date to make sure we have prepared your orientation materials for your new major. However, major changes can be requested while you are at orientation. If you change your major after you have signed up for an orientation program the orientation staff may reach out to discuss potential date changes if the new major wasn't previously scheduled to participate in that program date. 

Complete Pre-BSO Modules

All students must complete online modules before their BSO program. Students must log in to the modules using their OHIO ID and password. Your OHIO ID includes the first letter of your first and last name followed by six digits (example: aa000000). Family members and guests are also encouraged to view the modules by following directions on the Families and Guests web page.

Link to complete Pre-BSO Modules will be made available on May 1st. 

Placement Tests

An important part of preparing for your orientation program is taking placement tests. The tests you need to take are determined by your selected major. Placement tests are necessary to make sure you enroll in the appropriate first course in certain subject areas for the first semester in your major. 

Placement tests must be completed before your scheduled orientation program, and the available tests are as follows:

  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Language
  • Music Theory

Placement Testing Information

Protect Your Information with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) protects you against lost or stolen passwords by adding a verification step to your OHIO login. New students are required to enroll in MFA before participating in their BSO program. This step is important to ensure students can access their MyOHIO Student Center during course registration at BSO. Failure to enroll in MFA may result in delays in course registration during BSO.

Enroll in Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) 

Parking for In-Person Programs

Parking for 1.5-day programs will be in Lots 127 and 128 (around the Convocation Center), which can be found on the Campus Parking Map. Participants can use the entrances on West Green Drive and South Shafer Street. Accessible parking will be available near the parking lot entrance via West Green Drive. If you are using a GPS or other map service, please use the following address to find this parking location: 95 Richland Avenue, Athens, OH 45701. When you arrive at the lot, our staff will give you a permit for you to place on your dashboard. This parking permit will only be valid for the duration of your program.

Parking for one-day programs will be in Lot 132 (next to Peden Stadium), which can be found on the Campus Parking Map. Participants can use the entrance on South Green Drive and accessible parking will be available near the parking lot entrance. If you are using a GPS or other map service, please use the following address to find this parking location: 100 Richland Avenue, Athens, OH 45701. When you arrive at the lot, our staff will give you a permit for you to place on your dashboard. This parking permit will only be valid for the duration of your program.

Things to Bring to In-Person BSO

Bring the following with you for your in-person BSO program:

  • Photo ID (needed for check-in)
  • Laptop or tablet for course registration, if possible
    • We will have limited computers available during course registration at orientation. If you can bring your laptop, iPad, or Tablet with internet access, please do so for a quicker registration process.  This does not need to be the technology you will have as a new student, so you do not need to worry about getting that at this time. If possible, consider borrowing technology from someone to bring with you. Given the format of the advising sessions, a smartphone is difficult to use for registration purposes. We recommend bringing different technology, if possible.
    • Don't forget chargers for your devices. 
  • Items for the Overnight Stay (1.5-day programs in summer only)
    • Linens are not provided for students staying overnight. Students should bring towels, pillows, and sheets/blankets for a Twin XL (or a sleeping bag if that is preferred). If a student is traveling from out-of-state and is unable to bring linens or if a student forgets to bring theirs, we will have linens available as needed. 
    • Bring any additional items to make the overnight stay more comfortable, as well as toiletries, personal hygiene items, and medications. 
    • Please note the residence hall is a traditional style hall and does include community bathrooms. 
    • You may also want to bring snacks for during the program and board games/cards to use during the evening social programming. 
  • Attire
    • Bring an umbrella and wear comfy shoes. It is a long (but fun!) program and we want you to be prepared. We also recommend bringing a jacket for use in some of our indoor session locations, as they tend to be very cold during the summer months. We also travel around campus during the program, so be prepared for cold weather during the winter months.
  • Unofficial college transcripts and test scores
    • If your official transcripts (indicating any college credit you may receive) and test scores have not been received or processed in time for your orientation, you’re welcome (but not required) to bring an unofficial copy for academic advising and course registration purposes.
  • Refillable water bottle
    • Most water fountains on campus have been converted to bottle refilling stations. You will be traveling around campus a lot, so it will be important to stay hydrated!

Prepare to Get Your OHIO ID Card

New students will take an ID picture and get their OHIO ID card during their in-person orientation program. For students completing BSO virtually, you’ll be able to go to Bobcat Depot when you get to campus to have your picture taken and get your OHIO ID card.

Update Preferred Name and Pronouns

Students can update their preferred names and/or pronouns in MyOHIO Student Center. After logging in, click the "Names" link in the Personal Information section to review and update, or to enter your preferred name and pronouns. The preferred name you enter will be displayed in most University systems and services, such as your ID card, Catmail, the online directory, Blackboard, grading rosters, etc. Visit the preferred names FAQ page for more information.

During in-person BSO programs, students and guests have the option to pick up a button to identify their pronouns. 

Complete Steps in Your MyOHIO Student Center

Students are encouraged to review their MyOHIO Student Center to view the following:

  • Holds and To-Do List Items
    • Students are encouraged to review holds and follow instructions to clear any holds prior to their BSO program to avoid course registration delays. Additionally, students should try to complete any to-do list items before attending a program. 
  • Transfer Credit Report
    • Before attending BSO, make sure to review your Transfer Credit Report information before attending BSO to ensure all of your anticipated external credit is included. If there is credit missing, double check to ensure that you've requested your official transcripts and test scores be sent to Ohio University.

Request Transcripts and Test Scores Be Sent to OHIO

Prior to attending BSO, request that official transcripts and test scores be sent to Ohio University. Eligible college credits from another institution, exam credit or other transferable credit will only be applied once official documents have been received from the institution or testing agency. As a reminder, your high school will not send college-level transcripts or test score reports on your behalf; you must request these directly from the institution or testing agency.  

Official transcripts, exam credits or other credits should be sent electronically as a secure PDF to admissions@ohio.edu or by postal mail to: Undergraduate Admissions, Chubb Hall 120, 1 Ohio University Dr., Athens, OH 45701.

Have additional questions about transfer credit? Check out the Undergraduate Admissions website for transferring your credit.

Check Your Tech

In-Person Programs

We will have limited computers available during course registration at orientation. If you can bring your own laptop or tablet with internet access, please do so for a quicker registration process. (Given the format of the advising sessions, a smartphone is difficult to use for registration purposes.) Microsoft Teams may be used during our in-person programs, so we recommend downloading the Teams app for Windows or Mac on your computer/tablet before your BSO program. 

Virtual Programs

You will need a computer with an internet connection to participate in the virtual BSO program. All of our virtual sessions will be facilitated through Microsoft Teams. We strongly recommend downloading the Teams app for Windows or Mac on your computer before the BSO program. On the day of your BSO program, you’ll need to log in to Microsoft Teams with your OHIO ID and password, but please note that you may not be able to log in to Teams until the day before your BSO program. You can still download the software and encourage family members or guests joining you for BSO to download the software on their devices as well. 

Students with concerns about their ability to access technology for either program can contact BSO staff at orientation@ohio.edu or 740.593.1951 to discuss accommodations or alternate arrangements for participating in person or virtually.

Selective Service Registration

Male, Ohio residents, between the ages of 18 and 26 are required to register with Selective Service in order to be considered in-state residents to attend Ohio public colleges and universities. This is required via the Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.32. For more information, please visit the website.

Get to Know Your Orientation Leaders

Orientation Leaders are the undergraduate student staff who work with BSO, sharing first-hand knowledge about the student experience and providing support to program participants. Orientation Leaders are informed student leaders who value diversity and inclusion, embody the OHIO spirit and demonstrate a genuine passion for helping their fellow Bobcats. They are critical to BSO’s mission: ensuring all students belong to the OHIO community, succeed as a new student and own their unique experiences. Before participating in your BSO program, we encourage you to get to know our team by checking out their profiles.

Orientation Schedules

General orientation schedules can be found below. These schedules will be updated as the program dates approach, so student are encouraged to check back regularly to see the most up-to-date version of the schedule. Remember, students are required to participate in all sessions that are part of the program in order to register for classes at orientation, so be sure to clear your schedule and plan to fully participate in all elements of the program.

January BSO ProgramsSummer (May, June and July) BSO ProgramsAugust BSO Programs
First-Year Student ScheduleFirst-Year Student ScheduleFirst-Year Student Schedule
First-Year Guest ScheduleFirst-Year Guest ScheduleFirst-Year Guest Schedule
Transfer Student ScheduleTransfer Student ScheduleTransfer Student Schedule
Transfer Guest ScheduleTransfer Guest ScheduleTransfer Guest Schedule
 Virtual Program Student ScheduleVirtual Program Student Schedule
 Virtual Program Guest ScheduleVirtual Program Guest Schedule