Frequently Asked Questions

When should I attend an orientation if I'm a new first-year or transfer student?

If you are a new first-year or transfer student starting a FALL semester, you will attend a SUMMER Orientation session during June, July or August. 
If you are a new first-year or transfer student starting a SPRING semester, you will attend WINTER or SPRING Orientation session during January. 

    What will my Orientation schedule of the day look like?

    • Due to the current COVID-19 shelter-in-place order for San Francisco, all Summer 2020 New Student Orientation sessions will be facilitated online. New Student Programs is currently developing the schedule of the day for all online orientation sessions. We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation. Please continue to check our website for more updates.


    Is New Student Orientation mandatory?

    • New Student Orientation is not a mandatory program in order for you to enroll for classes.  However, attending New Student Orientation is highly encouraged.


    What does the $50 online orientation fee cover?

    • Due to COVID-19, we have reduced the current $70 in-person orientation fee to $50 for online orientation. The $50 online orientation fee covers the cost of the design and development of the online orientation program and future extended orientation programming and services provided in the Fall. In order to provide a comprehensive online orientation program, we employ current SF State students as Orientation Leaders (30-40 on an annual basis) during the summer, who support all new students in their orientation experience and on-going peer mentoring. We also involve staff to create an online program that is meaningful and comprehensive of a successful transition to San Francisco State and college life. Further, this fee supports the cost of technology that is used to support the orientation registration process, communication systems, and various publications, resources, events, and promotional items that are provided to students (many such items will be provided in-person to students once they arrive to campus in Fall 2020). Additionally, when students come to campus in Fall 2020, we will provide extended in-person orientation programming, workshops, and SF State-related materials. Finally, your $50 fee helps with future new student programming, events, and a holistic first-year experience, all while maintaining our team of staff and student orientation leaders for the future cohort of students and their student supporters.


    Where can I go if I am looking for information about how to use remote learning tools or software?


    What is the quickest way to get my questions answered about orientation?


    What if I'm not able to attend a New Student Orientation session this summer?

    • If you are not able to attend a New Student Orientation session, you will be given access to online information about academic advising, tips on how to register for courses, and resources and tools about academic success. You will also be able to register for your fall courses, after orientation, when Open Registration for all students is available (this is typically in late July or early August).  Information about Student Life and campus resources will also be made available during the Fall 2020 GatorFest! program. More information will be sent later during the summer for those who did not attend a New Student Orientation session during the 2020 season.

    Are the New Student Orientation fees refundable?

    • Orientation fees are non-refundable.

    Is On-Campus Housing available during my visit for Orientation?

    • Yes!  Please click on the link to the left for Overnight Accommodations for more information!

    Are there wait-lists for New Student Orientation sessions that are closed?

    • Once a session has reached full capacity, it is considered closed.  We do not maintain waiting lists.  Please contact our office should you have any questions about your reservation. Please note that our registration system is live.

    What is the guest policy for New Student Orientation sessions?

    • Each student is allowed to bring up to two guests. We offer a very specific program for parents of new students aimed at developing a collaborative partnership between parents and the University dedicated to student success.

    Can my significant other attend New Student Orientation?

    • Yes. However, all guests should be registered and will be asked to follow the parent/guest program during New Student Orientation. They will not be able to participate in the student program.

    What should I bring to New Student Orientation?

    • An open mind, patience and excitement!  
    • Comfortable clothing and shoes.  We will be moving around a lot!
    • Dress in layers! Someone once said that, "The coldest winter I ever spent, was a summer in San Francisco." It gets chilly! Northern California, especially around The Bay, can have a diversity of micro-climates. Be prepared for cooler weather, sunny then to cloudy skies, and Karl the Fog (usually in the afternoon)!
    • Paper and something to write with, in case you'd like to take notes!
    • Your mobile device, fully charged, free-up space for new apps and new photos!
    • Download the San Francisco State App and San Francisco State Gator Guides App!
    • Money for snacks or souvenirs.
    • Questions and excitement! 


    Go Gators!