Frequently Asked Questions about Orientation


What is Orientation?
Orientation is registration for all new degree-seeking students at Southern Miss. You will meet with an academic advisor to create your class schedule in addition to learning other essential information about becoming a student at Southern Miss.


Is Orientation mandatory?
Yes. Orientation is mandatory for all new degree-seeking students at Southern Miss. You must attend an Orientation session in order to register for classes. If you can't attend Orientation due to an extenuating circumstance, please contact New Student and Retention Programs.


How long will Orientation last?
Freshman Orientation on the Hattiesburg campus is a two-day (overnight) event. Students and families should plan to check-in for Freshman Orientation between 8:30-10 a.m. on Day One and will stay on campus through mid-afternoon on Day Two. Transfer Orientation, Spring Orientation, and Transfer Summer Orientation are one-day events, and students should plan to be on campus for approximately 4-5 hours after check-in.


Will I meet with an academic adviser during Orientation?
Due to the large group of students participating in each Orientation event, the primary focus during orientation is to create your class schedule for the upcoming semester. You may be advised as a part of a group or one-on-one; experiences vary by department. However, please be reassured that as you continue here at Southern Miss, you will have many opportunities to receive individual attention from faculty in your academic department and obtain advice and guidance on your academics and career plans.


What if I haven’t been admitted yet to Southern Miss? Can I still attend Orientation?
While you can certainly register to attend Orientation and reserve your spot, you do have to be admitted to Southern Miss prior to attending Orientation. The Office of Admissions can assist you with getting admitted to Southern Miss prior to your Orientation session. Students not admitted on the day of their scheduled Orientation will not be allowed to participate in Orientation.


What if I can't attend any of the scheduled Orientation sessions?
If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled Orientation sessions, please contact New Student and Retention Programs as soon as possible for guidance and instructions. Please note that students can only be excused from Orientation due to an extenuating circumstance.


I have been readmitted to Southern Miss or am seeking my second bachelor’s degree. Do I have to attend Orientation?
No. New Student and Retention Programs will instruct you on advisement and registration.


I will be a fully online student. Do I have to attend Orientation?
No. Please contact the Office of Online Learning about next steps.


I am transferring from another college, but I am classified as a freshman. Do I attend a Freshman Orientation session or a Transfer Orientation session?
Although you may be classified as a freshman, you are transferring from another college and are thus technically considered a transfer student. You should register to attend a Transfer Orientation session.


Is it possible to change my Orientation date?
You may change your Orientation date provided that space at another Orientation session is still available. There is no charge for making this change. You can change your Orientation reservation online by clicking “Sign up for Orientation” and logging back into the Orientation reservation form.


I need an accommodation during Orientation. How should I proceed?
If special assistance or auxiliary aids are needed to accommodate a disability, please contact New Student and Retention Programs to discuss accommodations at least one week prior to your Orientation session.


I have difficulty walking long distances. Will I be able to fully participate in Orientation?
Yes. Please contact New Student and Retention Programs to discuss accommodations at least one week prior to Orientation in order to ensure full participation with no inconvenience.


My parents/family can't come with me to orientation. Can I bring a friend?
You should only bring a friend in place of your parent/family member if the friend plans on participating in parent and family activities during Orientation (while you are engaged in student activities). If a friend attends Orientation with you, that friend would have to pay the guest fee and would be expected to attend parent/family activities during Orientation. Please also note any parents, family members and friends accompanying you will not be allowed to participate in student activities during Orientation.


My friend and I are signed up for the same Orientation session. Can we be in the same group?
Each student is assigned to a small group so that you will make new friends. It is in your best interest to stay with the small group that you are placed in at check-in. You will have plenty of opportunities to connect with your friend throughout the event.


What can I expect during my academic advisement session?
You will receive individual attention from a faculty or staff member in your major area of study. Academic advisement will prepare you to choose courses and to create a class schedule that first into your academic plan at Southern Miss.


Can my parents/family go with me to academic advisement?
Orientation is meant to be an independent experience for students. It is important that you understand the requirements of your academic major since your success is ultimately up to you. For that reason, you will go to your academic advisement session on your own. Your parents/family will have opportunities to have any questions about your academics answered during Orientation activities and are not permitted at academic advisement.


Will I be able to meet with Financial Aid during Orientation?
Yes. Representatives from Financial Aid will be available to answer individual questions at each Orientation session.


Can I tour a residence hall during orientation?
Yes. Residence hall tours are offered during Orientation. If you are unable to take a tour during your Orientation session or would like to schedule a separate tour, contact Admissions.


When will I be notified of my housing assignment?
Students generally receive their housing assignment in July prior to the start of the fall semester. You should not assume that you will find out your housing assignment at Orientation. If you have any questions or concern about your housing assignment, you will have an opportunity to speak with representatives from Housing and Residence Life during your Orientation session.  For further information and details about your housing assignment, please contact Housing and Residence Life.


I don’t know my SOAR login or password. Who can help me?
Your SOAR login is a lower-case “w” and your 6-or 8-digit Southern Miss ID number (ex: w123456). If you can't locate the temporary SOAR password that was assigned to you when you applied for admission or if you need to reset your password, you can do so; or contact the iTech Help Desk at 601.266.HELP for assistance.


What is UNV 100?
UNV 100 is a required 1-hour course for all new students at Southern Miss. It is an online pass/fail course administered through Canvas during the first eight weeks of the semester. The Office of New Student and Retention Programs will contact you about this course at the beginning of next semester.