Incoming Students

Incoming Students

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation (NSO), conducted by Penn State's Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), assists first-year students in evaluating their educational plans by providing them, prior to initial registration, with a comprehensive program of testing and individualized educational planning and academic advising. This program is the first stage of academic advising and provides students with an understanding of their scholastic preparation, academic abilities, educational and professional interests, and introduces them to the academic structure and degree programs of the University.


The testing component of NSO is used for educational planning and academic advising purposes, to determine a student's appropriate starting levels in mathematics and chemistry course sequences, and for basic skills purposes. The testing component involves approximately 2-3 hours or less of the student's time. For more information, visit the NSO site.

Consulting and Advising

The educational planning and academic advising component of the program provides students and families with an understanding of each student's academic preparation and abilities. The advising component of NSO also provides each student with an individual interview with a NSO advisor in order to discuss the student's educational plans. The program also familiarizes students and families with the wide range of degree programs available at Penn State, acquaints them with the campus and some of its procedures and helps students to select courses for their first semester of study.

For further information please review the Penn State Altoona NSO Web site.