New students and their families to participate in virtual orientation experience

Penn State's orientation programs provide incoming students and their families with an introduction to the Penn State undergraduate experience. Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — This summer’s orientation programs, designed for incoming first-year and transfer students across all campuses, will be delivered virtually due to the continued need for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These orientation programs provide incoming students and their families with an introduction to the Penn State undergraduate experience.

“Orientation plays a critical role in preparing first-year and transfer students to begin their Penn State careers,” said Dan Murphy, director for Student Orientation and Transition Programs. “Over the course of the summer we are committed to providing new students and their families with a virtual orientation experience that continues to deliver the important messages associated with joining the Penn State community.”

Orientation typically enables students to meet with an academic adviser to discuss their academic plans, register for courses, gain access to critical Penn State systems, including LionPATH, and begin to make connections with fellow students, and this year’s orientation will include these critical elements. The virtual orientation will combine opportunities for real-time engagement with Penn State staff, orientation leaders and academic advisers with self-paced online modules. Parents and family members will also have a menu of live and pre-recorded presentations available for them.

New international students will have the opportunity to meet and connect with staff in the Office of Global Programs as they navigate the transition to Penn State — for some their first experience studying in the United States.

“It is with the utmost enthusiasm and gratitude that Global Programs welcomes our new incoming international student class,” said Jennifer Campbell, director of Global Operations and Learning. “We know that international students have made an impressive decision to study abroad. Penn State is delighted to support this important decision by providing specific online orientation programming to ensure a successful beginning for our new international cohort.”

Students can begin making reservations the week of April 20 and will be able to select a date to begin their virtual orientation experience based upon their starting semester, campus of enrollment and college of enrollment. First-year students who have accepted their offer of admission and completed the ALEKS Math Assessment will be invited via email to make their reservation for orientation. Transfer students will receive an email to make a reservation for orientation after they accept their offer of admission to Penn State. While orientation is not required for incoming transfer students, transfer students are strongly encouraged to participate.

Once students are able to physically return to campus, Penn State staff will plan a robust and expanded Welcome Experience to help new students continue to acclimate to the University.

For more information, visit or contact orientation staff at or at 814-865-4178, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. EDT.

Student Orientation and Transition Programs is part of Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at

Penn State’s Office of Global Programs manages education abroad programs; hosts international students and scholars; and facilitates the University's many international partnerships around the world.

Last Updated April 17, 2020