Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education

New Student Orientation and Transitions

New Student Orientation and Transitions Process

New undergraduate students engage in a comprehensive orientation process designed to support and guide them as they transition to MSU. Because of MSU’s commitment to student success, as a condition of course enrollment, all new undergraduate students are required to participate in New Student Orientation (NSO), an early step in the academic orientation and transitions process. 

NSO for new students who enter MSU fall semester takes place primarily in May, June, July, and August. All first year, transfer and international students who enter fall semester are required to complete an online NSO experience course through MSU’s Desire2Learn (D2L) online learning platform and are expected to participate in an in-person Fall Welcome program experience that occurs right before the semester begins. There is a program in late August for students who are not able to participate in NSO during the summer.  All undergraduate first-year and transfer students who enter spring or summer semester will also participate in a NSO experience preceding the first day of classes.  

New Student Orientation takes place through a series of five checkpoints: 1) completion of one or more online placement assessments and survey tools; 2) an online NSO D2L experience course; 3) academic advising and course enrollment; 4) online engagement opportunities such as listening to NSO’s ‘Spartan Orientation Station’ podcast series and attending optional virtual Help Rooms; and 5) participation in MSU’s Fall Welcome program. 

During NSO, students build a strong foundation of support and resources. Students are introduced to the MSU community, connect with key campus resources, and academically prepare for the upcoming semester. Students will learn more about their academic programs and be able to explore majors, learn more about MSU departments and resources, become familiar with academic, financial, health, safety, and wellness resources, the diversity of the University, what life is like on and off campus, and how to get involved at MSU. During the orientation experience, students will also have opportunities to engage with current and other new MSU students through both the virtual and in-person NSO program elements. 

First year and transfers students are required to participate in the New Student Orientation experience. Students who do not participate in NSO will not be able to enroll in classes and may have their admission to the University revoked. 

For additional information or questions about the New Student Orientation program at MSU, please visit, call 1-517-355-8490, or email