freshman learning about what USC Upstate has to offer on campus

First Time in College Orientation

Prepare yourself for your first semester at USC Upstate

All new students are considered freshman if you have not attended college after graduation from high school. Orientation dates are offered according to your intended major.  

Orientation is a great opportunity to learn everything you will need to prepare yourself for your first semester at USC Upstate, including information about campus services and organizations, financial aid and fee payment.


Freshman Orientation is a 2-day event with the day one program for all sessions will start at 10:00 a.m. Check in will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the University Readiness Center PDF icon  

College of Business:
Majors included in this area are: Accounting, Economics & Finance, Entrepreneurhship & Innovation, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Management, Marketing
June 12-13, 2023
June 26-27, 2023

College of Education, Human Performance & Health:
Majors included in this area are: Child Development & Family Studies, Community Health, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Exercise & Sport Science, Middle Level Education, Physical Education, Secondary Education, Special Education-Learning Disabilities
June 12-13, 2023
June 26-27, 2023

College of Nursing:
June 12-13, 2023
June 26-27, 2023

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Science / University College (Undeclared/Undecided):
Majors included in this area are: Art Education, Art Studio (Graphic Design), Commercial Music, Communication, Criminal Justice, English, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre
June 15-16, 2023
June 29-30, 2023

College of Science & Technology:
Majors included in this area are: Advanced Manufacturing Management, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Engineering Technology Management, Information Management & Systems, Health Informatics, Mathematics
June 15-16, 2023
June 29-30, 2023

All majors:
July 27-28, 2023
August 21-22, 2023

Note: Students will receive confirmation of registration, along with instructions on how to pay the $35 orientation fee (freshman only) before attending orientation.


Return Arrow Orientation info for all students

Freshman SOAR FAQ

Freshman SOAR FAQ

What is SOAR?
SOAR stands for Student Orientation Advisement R

 Is Orientation Mandatory? Yes, Orientation is mandatory for all freshman.  The information shared before, during and after the session is critical to you having a successful start at USC Upstate.

 How long is Orientation? Freshman Orientation is a two-day event; students must attend both days to register for classes. There is no program for parents/guest on day two.  Day one check in will begin at 9:00am and will conclude by 5:00pm.  Day two check in will begin with breakfast at 8:45am in the Campus Life Center Dining Hall.

Is there an overnight program? Yes, we offer an overnight program for students only. This program is not mandatory. Students should register for the overnight program when they register for orientation. Parents/family members are not allowed to stay on campus.  There are several hotels in the area for your parents/family members if you are from out of town. 

What is the cost to attend Orientation? The freshman orientation fee is $35. This fee is only for the student and is non-refundable.

What should I bring to Orientation?

Comfortable walking shoes
Driver’s License
Students participating in the overnight program should bring the following items:
Linens or sleeping bag
Change of clothes

How do I register for Orientation? Students should register for Orientation online through the Orientation  Orientation dates are scheduled by major, use the links below to register for the date that works best for you.

June 12-13 Business, Education and Nursing Majors
June 15-16 Arts of Humanities & Social Sciences, Science & Technology, and University College Majors
June 26-27 Business, Education and Nursing Majors
June 29-30 Arts of Humanities & Social Sciences, Science & Technology, and University College Majors
July 27-28 All Majors
August 21-22 All Majors

When should I complete the Pre-Orientation Module? Students should complete the Pre-Orientation Module before attending orientation to ensure you are prepared to register for your classes.  Please use your Upstate VIP ID and email address when you sign into the module.

When do I need to pay my tuition? Fall bills will be posted by July 14, 2023. Students attending Orientation in June or July your bills will be due August 16. Those attending Orientation in August your bills will be due August 28, 2023.  The fee payment process will be explained thoroughly during Orientation.

Where and when do I check-in for Orientation? Please plan to arrive on campus by 9:00am at the University Readiness Center (301 North Campus Blvd, Spartanburg, SC). 

Will I register for classes during orientation? Yes, all students will be advised on day one and will register for classes on day two.   Students must attend both days of Orientation to register for classes. 

Will I need to take placement test? To ensure you are placed into the appropriate courses, Upstate requires new students in certain majors to complete a set of online placement testing.  Please check the Orientation website to determine what Placement Testingyou must complete before attending your scheduled Orientation session.  If you have questions, please email

Should parents/family members have to come with me to Orientation? Parents/family members are welcome to attend orientation with students but are not required.  There will be separate programing on day one for parents/family members but day two is for students.   We encourage you to bring your parents/family members, however, due to space only two guests are allowed per student. 

 What if I or my guest require accommodations for a medical, physical, or disability related needs? If you or your guest require assistance during orientation, please contact our Disability Services Department at least five business days before your orientation at or 864-503-5199.

 How do I change my Orientation date? Once you have made a reservation and wish to change your session please email with your request.  Changes will be made based on space availability. 

 What are the required immunizations? All students are required to have a history of current immunizations on file prior to enrollment. Please visit the Health Services website for more information. 

Immunization Requirements
Immunization Form

Are freshman required to live on campus? All newly admitted, full-time, first-year students are required to live on campus during the fall and spring of their freshman year. A student may apply, through the Housing and Residential Life office, to be exempt from this policy if one of the following applies:

  • Student will be living with their parent or legal guardian and will be residing within 50 miles of the Housing and Residential Life office
  • Student is married
  • Student has dependent(s), is a parent or has legal guardianship of a sibling
  • Student is 20 years old or older by the date of fall opening
  • Any student requesting exemption from campus housing must complete a Freshman Campus Housing Exemption Form online to be exempted from housing as well as supply the required documentation. When you click the link, then click STUDENT LOG IN and then click the three white lines to access FORMS.

Research indicates that students who live on campus and become involved on campus tend to not only make better grades but also persist and graduate.

 How do I apply for on campus housing? Students should apply for campus housing online through your Self Service Carolina The Housing Application can be accessed by selecting "My Housing Portal" under the Personal Section.  Make sure you select the Upstate Campus.  Application Fee is $150. Questions? Contact Housing and Residential Life at or 864-503-5422.

How do I register my vehicle to park on campus? All vehicles are required to be registered online before classes begin. 

Where do I get my Student ID? The CarolinaCard is your official university ID card. Students must upload their photo at least 72 hours prior to picking up their ID at the Department of Public Safety.  Cards can be picked up between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday at 219 North Campus Boulevard, Spartanburg, SC 29303.

What dining options are available on campus?  Sodexo provides all food services for the Upstate campus.  Our main dining hall is in the Campus Life Center and there are several quick service locations around campus.  Visit our Dining Services website for more information about our meal plans and dining options.  If you have special dietary needs, please contact Jim Shector at  or 864-503-5515.