We are pleased that you have decided to attend our campus, and we are looking forward to helping you to make a smooth transition to the University. At Penn State Altoona, orientation is a three-phased initiative coordinated by the Division of Undergraduate Studies and the Center for Student and Civic Engagement.

Summer on Campus

Phase One: New Student Orientation

All new first-year students to Penn State must participate in New Student Orientation (NSO) during the summer or in January. As part of NSO, first-year students meet with students, faculty, and staff; begin to develop academic and co-curricular goals; become familiar with campus resources; and schedule courses for your first semester to begin putting your academic plan into action. Family members are encouraged to attend NSO to participate in information sessions designed especially for them.

Current students welcome new students

Phase Two: Welcome Week

Welcome Week events will run throughout the first several weeks of the semester, but the campus tradition known as "Welcome Week" runs from the Sunday before classes begin through the first Sunday of the semester. Welcome Week events are designed for all students, regardless of where they live. Welcome Week offerings are designed as a "choose your own adventure" experience. Participate in the activities that interest you or that you are curious about.

Penn State Altoona students in a classroom

Phase Three: First-Year Seminar

First-Year Seminar (FYS) provides an opportunity for students to not only become acquainted with the college but to use their previous life and educational experience to begin achieving their own academic goals. FYS is a well-facilitated springboard to the scholarly community, increased workload, and Penn State culture and expectations. Adjusting to college life can be difficult, so FYS aims to acquaint students with faculty, students, and learning tools to meet students where they are and allow them opportunities to make college life work for them. Topics include self-awareness, health and wellness, financial literacy, and academic and career planning. FYS is a graduation requirement for all students starting at Penn State Altoona regardless of campus at the time of graduation.