For information about the list of our 2013 programs, see below.
Fees | Arrival and Move-In Information | Registration | Parent & Family Members
Pre-Orientation programs require a separate fee that is charged to your tuition account. The fees are different based on the program you choose and range from $215 to $400. The Pre-Orientation fee related to each program includes meals, the early arrival into Residential Life housing and all program related costs.
Pre-Orientation program participants will arrive on Sunday, August 18, 2013 and move into their assigned Residence Hall room for the year (*Except Wilderness Project, see below).
If you are arriving by plane, a free shuttle from St. Louis Lambert Airport will be provided every 30 minutes from 8:30am - 4:00pm. First Year Center staff will be at the airport assisting with arrival.
If you are arriving by car, First Year Center staff will greet you on Shepley Drive on the South 40 and give you directions for check-in, parking and unloading.
Pre-Orientation programs will begin between 4:00pm and 6:00pm on Sunday, August 18, 2013 and will conclude on Wednesday evening. Please allow enough travel time for you to arrive on campus and settle into your residence hall room before you meet your counselors for welcome activities. The mail room will be open on Sunday from 12:00pm - 4:00pm if you wish to ship your belongings ahead of time and UTrucking will be available that day as well.
*Wilderness Project participants will arrive on August 15, 2013. Students participating in Wilderness Project will not move into their assigned rooms that day. They will need to ship their belongings or have someone bring them on Move-In Day, August 22, 2013.
Registration is now available until August 1, 2013 and fill on a first-come, first-served basis. There are programs that will fill quickly, so register as soon as possible. Students may request to be on a waiting list for any program, but may not be registered for a second program at the same time.
International students who are participating in the Explore program are expected to attend a Pre-Orientation program. You will register for your preferred program through the International Office when you register for the Explore Program for International Students. Please do not submit an application through the First Year Center. For more information, visit the Office for International Students and Scholars website.
Students will be incredibly busy during the Pre-Orientation program. We encourage students to arrive with what they will need for the 3 1/2 day program and have family members bring everything else on Thursday, August 22, 2013. Parent & Family Orientation is scheduled for Thursday, August 22 - Saturday, August 24, 2013.
Campus Comedy, a performing arts-based program, is an interactive, improvisational comedy experience designed to introduce incoming students to the performing arts culture at Wash U and to the greater University. Working in teams, students attend improvisational theatre workshops, learn about and practice either short-form improvisation, long-form improvisation, or sketch comedy. Incoming students will interact with upper-class students from each of the three comedy groups on campus, learn about and experience the performing arts groups on campus, and perform in a show on the final night, allowing them to showcase their talents. Campus Comedy helps prepare students for performing arts group auditions, which take place at the beginning of the semester. The program also includes several opportunities to explore St. Louis.
Campus Comedy is perfect for anyone interested in performing comedy on campus, anyone interested in the performing arts, or anyone interested in getting to know Wash U in a fun and relaxed atmosphere with totally awesome people! Students do not need any prior experience with improvisation, theatre, or anything, really—just a desire to have fun!Cost
Come be a part of EnDesign, the engineering pre-orientation program offering practical, hands-on experience solving engineering problems. Students will learn all the steps of the design process: assessing an engineering problem, proposing solutions, creating a budget for the project, and building the project itself. Throughout the program, students will meet with professors from the various engineering disciplines who will provide insight and advice regarding the design process.
EnDesign will revolve around finding solutions to a number of engineering problems. Students will divide into small groups, select a problem to address, and generate possible design solutions. They will then figure out how to make their idea a reality. What materials do they need? Do they need equipment to build it? Can they buy all of the materials within a given budget? Can it be built in the short time period offered? Can they actually build it? During their time at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University, these are exactly the steps students will need to learn to create fully functional projects. This experience becomes extremely invaluable when working with professors and clubs who require proposal submissions to get approval and funding. It is vital for engineers to be able to create and defend a proposal’s cost and design decisions.
EnDesign will also give new students the opportunity to meet some of their future classmates and work with upperclassmen advisors. The program stresses collaborative skills through the completion of small build projects and teambuilding exercises. The students will learn the ins and outs of the engineering school and be given an informal introduction to the campus as a whole. Cost
Whether you love to write, edit, take pictures, draw cartoons or work with multimedia, Freshman Press is the Pre-O that allows you to explore the multifaceted and rapidly evolving world of college journalism. It does not matter if you were the editor-in-chief of your high school paper or if you have never lifted up a copy of the New York Times, this is your opportunity to learn what it’s like to be part of the media!
Freshman Press is an opportunity for new first year student to become part of the niche student journalist community, bond with other incoming classmates, and explore both the campus and the larger St. Louis area before the influx of students and programming at fall orientation. The Student Life family is one of the oldest college newspapers in the country and was named one of the nation’s top student papers by the Associated Collegiate Press last year. First year students will interact with students who currently write for the paper, as well as alumni who work as professional journalists.
Activities in the past have included trips to the St. Louis City Museum, scavenger hunts downtown, competitions against other Pre-O groups and jaunts to the Delmar Loop for dinner.
Student Life is the primary source undergraduates seek out to discover everything happening at Wash. U. It’s printed every Monday and Thursday, with special issues for convocation, commencement, Valentine’s Day and April Fools’ Day.
Check out Student Life’s website to see what the organization’s about, at www.studlife.com
(575) 635-5529Visit the Freshman Press website
Wash U’s campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity offers an opportunity for students interested in learning more about substandard housing in St. Louis to meet a small but passionate groups of students and to get hands-on volunteering experience! Students will spend four days exploring campus and St. Louis City while learning about community, homelessness, affordable housing, and poverty. From learning about the daily life and struggles of the homeless in St. Louis to building homes with the St. Louis affiliate of Habitat for Humanity in North city, we cannot wait to develop and expand our passion to reach out and be a part of the St. Louis community.
No matter how experienced or inexperienced you are with Habitat, this pre-orientation program is a perfect opportunity to learn about construction and homebuilding. If you have any interest in the issues that we will be learning about, we encourage you to attend our program! We will be volunteering with many Habitat programs, including one day on a build site (must be able to work outdoors for an extended period of time). In addition to our learning experiences with social and economic issues, students will also get a chance to spend time on and around campus, learning about what college life is like for students at Wash U. This program gives students interested in service work and Habitat for Humanity a great opportunity to get involved on campus and in the community even before you have your first class as a student at Wash U!
IDEA: Innovation, Discovery, Experience, Action
IDEA will bring out the inner innovator and entrepreneur in you! Whether you are interested in art, business, engineering, or the sciences, you’ll explore questions like:
I have this great idea, now what?
How can I start my own business?
How can I help change the world?
Entrepreneurship activities at Washington University help students from all disciplines start commercial and social ventures that have meaning for them and the people they serve. Students not only learn the tools of entrepreneurship, they have the opportunity to experience it every day in an interdisciplinary setting.
If you participate in IDEA, you can get a head start before you arrive in St. Louis! IDEA will have its own website where students in the program can post an idea, and start to connect with each other and with current upper classmen in the Skandalaris summer internship program.
Once you arrive in St. Louis, you’ll get to know members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem right away. You’ll hear from entrepreneurship faculty and Skandalaris Center staff who can tell you about courses available to students interested in developing their entrepreneurial skills. You’ll participate in panel discussions from social and commercial entrepreneurs from the campus and community, some of whom have participated in Skandalaris programs. You’ll take a field trip to an entrepreneurial venture, and also race around St. Louis with your team in a “Bear Hunt” where you’ll learn more about St. Louis than many of your classmates may ever learn.
You’ll also work with a team to select an idea that your team will “bounce” before a panel of friendly judges, then celebrate all your accomplishments with your new Wash U friends on the last night of the program.
In short, you’ll have a blast meeting and working with other creative people like you!
Students from all Schools and Colleges (Arts & Sciences, Social Work, Business, Engineering & Applied Science, Design and Visual Arts, Law, and Medicine) are encouraged to apply.
“I met numerous new students and formed bonds with upperclassmen and faculty. I enjoyed all of the activities and panel sessions because they gave me the opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs."
"It was not only a very educational experience where you learned a lot of relevant information and met a lot of industry experts, but also you could get to know a group of students you might not otherwise meet. As somebody in the engineering school it was nice to meet a lot of non-engineers."
"If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, then I would recommend IDEA because it gives a thorough introduction to entrepreneurship at Wash U, including types and aspects that the “uninitiated” might not think about."
"It was a lot of fun, and I got to meet a lot of other students and get to know St. Louis early on."
KWUR: Adventures in Radioland
KWUR 90.3 FM is the University’s completely student-run, freeform, non-commercial radio station. KWUR's program immerses new students in the alternative St. Louis and campus music communities in addition to the KWUR community. Participants will receive all the necessary training to be eligible for their own radio show in the fall semester; they will not need to go through the normal semester-long training process. The program will also include music-related trips around the greater St. Louis area.
There is no previous radio experience necessary and all are welcome to apply. The only requirements are a hearty enthusiasm for music and a genuine interest in opening oneself up to new sounds of all sorts. This program is intended for students who are serious about becoming DJs and participating in radio throughout college.
KWUR prides itself on being a freeform, alternative radio station. That means that our DJ’s spin every genre under the sun, but we don’t play anything that can be heard on other stations on the FM dial. To get a better a sense of what we do, we encourage you to listen to our online stream at www.kwur.com. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions that you may have about the program, and we look forward to meeting in the fall.Cost
Laurel Morrislaurel.email@example.comVisit the KWUR website
Leaving home for college can be a challenging experience. You may be anticipating how you will fit in, have fun, and make the transition to a new community. What better way to ease your anxieties than by enjoying a few days of relaxation and fun before the rush of fall semester?
Come join us on LAUNCH (Learning And Understanding New Challenging Horizons) in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. This is a great opportunity to meet over 100 other incoming first-year students in a program led by 20+ enthusiastic upperclassmen. Not only is LAUNCH the largest pre-orientation program, it also boasts the longest history of any pre-orientation program at Washington University. Learning, Experiencing, Having Fun
There is always something to do at LAUNCH. While at LAUNCH, you will participate in group activities, interactive workshops, team building activities, and a community service project. Plus, you’ll have free time to enjoy the amenities at Camp Lakewood. The interactive workshops deal with many issues that you might encounter at college. Topics include maintaining a healthy self, learning about the St. Louis community, information about campus resources, leadership development, extra-curricular opportunities, and team building. We will also have a talent show for you to showcase your special talents!
At LAUNCH, you will also have the opportunity to take advantage of Sunnen Lake by canoeing, riding in paddleboats, swimming, and enjoying other outdoor activities, such as basketball, volleyball, hiking, miniature golf, and much, much more! We will spend 3 days and 2 nights at this beautiful location. Join us for this fun-filled jump start to the next 4 years of your life!The Details
Once you are registered, you will receive information including arrival times, directions, what to bring, and much more. You will be staying in your dorm room for the first night and then air-conditioned cabins while at Camp Lakewood. Please note there will be an additional fee if you have special dietary needs, such as Kosher and gluten-free meals, since those needs cannot be accommodated by Camp Lakewood. Cost: $375
Kathy Budde, Program Director
WU Impact: Exploring Leadership for Women
Are you interested in becoming an effective leader? Do you have a passion you are eager to expand? Want to get connected to a network of peers, upperclassmen, and university staff committed to helping you find and develop your passions at WashU? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then WU Impact is for you!
WU Impact is a program developed by the Women’s Leadership Experience Program by women and for women. The program covers three main areas: self-knowledge, leadership at Washington University, and leadership in St. Louis. By first learning about personal strengths and values and seeing how leaders on and off campus are empowered by this knowledge, participants will gain skills for leadership and a network of support that will go far and beyond their time in the program. Participants will learn about how to further explore their personal interests and passions while at WashU, opportunities for leadership within the St. Louis community, and also have a lot of fun exploring great St. Louis attractions such as the Loop and Forest Park!
As a participant of this program, you will be provided with a solid mixture of resources, skill development, and relationship building opportunities all while learning more about this campus and your new home, St. Louis. Let current women leaders show you the ropes of how to succeed at Wash U and learn about yourself, all while making new friends and having a great time before school starts!
Visit the Woman's Leadership Experience website
Leadership Through Service
What is Leadership Through Service? When we asked past LTS participants how they would describe the program to you, here’s a sampling of what they had to say:
"An incredible and life-changing experience that everyone with the opportunity should take advantage of."
"A jam-packed, hilarious, and eye-opening three days of community service in and around campus."
"A fun-filled way to get involved at WU early and see the city in a new light."
“I met some incredible people and had amazing experiences. I don’t think that my first few weeks at WU would have been the same if I hadn’t done LTS."
“I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
You’ve learned all about WU, but what is St. Louis about? LTS offers a rare opportunity to explore and serve the St. Louis community while acclimating to college life.
LTS includes daily community service projects, St. Louis excursions, fascinating speakers and discussions, and amazing memories. The schedule is full and at the end of the day you will feel accomplished, inspired, and eager for another day of fun, powerful conversations, and memorable experiences. 80 new students join a student staff of sophomores and juniors who loved LTS so much they decided to come back and pave the way for the next generation of participants. The counselors are eager to support your transition to WU with a perfect combination of eye-opening experiences and pure fun!
By the end of LTS, you’ll have seen the “real” St. Louis, broadened and deepened your understanding of pressing social justice issues, built a network of like-minded friends, and gained a solid connection to the Community Service Office and opportunities for continued involvement throughout the year.
If you choose to join us for the LTS adventure, plan to bring grubby clothes because you might be doing gardening, painting, or other community service projects that require you to get your hands dirty! As the schedule notes, you should also plan to bring spending money for two “pay your own way” meals with your small group – dinner on the Delmar Loop and lunch on South Grand (we recommend planning for $15 per meal). Also, be sure to sign up for your U-Pass
, as we'll be travelling via MetroLink on the last day of the program!
Be sure to visit the LTS website (www.communityservice.wustl.edu/lts) to view the tentative schedule, photos, and thoughts on LTS from past participants.
Join the fun as the city becomes your classroom!
Slam Poetry: Louder than a Grenada
What’s Louder than a Grenada?
Louder than a Grenada:Spoken Word Poetry is a program run by WU-SLam focused on writing, performance, exploration, and community. The program is designed for about 15 participants and is open to all experience levels.What’s WU-SLam?
You need to see it to understand…http://www.youtube.com/WashUSlam
WU-SLam, Wash U's premier spoken word poetry group, is a student group dedicated to the art of writing and performing poetry. We host a weekly writing workshop called INKLINGS, a biweekly general writing editing workshop called WUrkshop, and during the fall, we host four monthly slams that all lead up to our top ten poets competing in our Grand Slam in the spring.
This year, our Grand Slam packed out Edison Theater with over 600 people and has been viewed online by an additional 150 people worldwide.Why participate in Louder than a Grenada?
If you’ve ever wanted to be part of something big simply by being yourself, slam poetry is for you. The slam poetry movement is growing rapidly on campus and throughout the world because it is an art form that highlights the individual and builds close communities at the same time. A slam team is like a superhero team –each member has a unique style and personality that is valuable to the whole team and together they have the power to change the world. With Grenada, WU-SLam invites you to join our team; contribute your voice and listen to the stories of others. If you have a story to tell, a cause you are passionate about, or anything to say, this is the place to say it.What Will You Be Doing?
- Participate in writing and performance workshops to increase your volume of work and improve the skills you will need to perform
- With a group of no more than 15 other participants, you will receive individual attention from coaches to improve your writing and performance skills as well as make some lasting friendships with upper-classmen.
- Exploring the city of Saint Louis and some of the hidden gems of WashU’s campus
- Learn about and become a part of the global slam poetry movement
For more information, check out these links
Medicine and Research Connections (FULL)
Medicine and Research Connections is a unique program designed to expose you to cutting-edge medicine and research being conducted in your field of interest at Washington University and in the greater St. Louis area. Connections consists of a combination of advanced lectures, tours of research facilities, memorable field trips, medical school admission information, and fun teambuilding exercises. Connections will also introduce you to new academic and career possibilities.
You will meet and hear from physicians and scientists at the WU School of Medicine, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Missouri Botanical Gardens, WU Biomedical Engineering Program, and Departments of Chemistry and Biology. You will also attend The Mini-Medical School, which will provide information about current developments in medical research and practice – from high tech surgical techniques to cochlear implants. You will observe how the Deep Brain Stimulator can dramatically change the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease, learn how physicians work up patients and review actual Emergency Medicine cases, speak with a representative of the Washington University Medical School Admissions Committee, Dr. Greg Polites, and meet the Medical School Dean, Dr. Larry Shapiro.
You will also tour a variety of medical facilities. Past tours have included the School of Medicine, Center for Advanced Medicine, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Surgical Vivarium and Genome Sequencing Center, where over 25% of the human genome was sequenced. In addition to programs offered at the School of Medicine, life science program advisors will be available to answer questions about the WU Life Sciences and pre-med curricula. Enrollment in the program is limited and will be offered to the first 75 incoming first year students who apply. The $400 program fee covers the cost of housing, the opening banquet and all other meals, transportation to all programs, and reading materials.Cost
Student Union: Leading Wash U Style
Join Student Union, Wash U's undergraduate student government, for this great program! Alongside current SU leaders, you will have the opportunity to hone your leadership skills and learn all about the different opportunities in which you may become a leader both on campus and within the St. Louis community.
This isn't your typical leadership training. The Leading Wash U Style program is a full immersion experience into Wash U’s community. Throughout the week, you’ll get to explore the campus and city of St. Louis—meeting with representatives from various student groups, planning your own programming event which may be implemented into Student Union’s agenda, and exploring the inner-workings of SU’s Senate and Treasury. We’ll also be participating in SU’s very own service program and taking trips to the incredible St. Louis Zoo and City Museum.
Finally, you'll have a chance to meet your peers, leaders already established within the Wash U community, and campus administrators in a fun and extremely energetic atmosphere. All in all, being involved with Student Union allows students the chance to have a broad and lasting impact throughout their undergraduate experience.
The Wilderness Project (FULL)
So, you’ve decided to spend the next four years of your life in the Midwest? Get out there and explore it! The Wilderness Project exposes you to the natural beauty of Missouri and allows you to share this experience with other outdoor lovers. During the course of Wilderness Project you will build team and leadership skills, make close friends, and learn the skills you need to have fun in the woods. Experience the Southern Missouri backcountry while backpacking along the Ozark Trail, or spend a few days at a climbing ranch. After an amazing week outdoors, getting to know your fellow Wash U students and either backpacking or rock climbing, everyone will be treated to some Midwest R&R with a leisurely float trip on the final day.
Visit the The Wilderness Project website
The Wilderness Project is one of the first entirely student-run outdoor pre-orientation programs in the nation. Your leaders are extensively trained in outdoor education and safety and are chosen because of their passion and dedication to the philosophy of our program. The Wilderness Project is not just a one-time trip; you will be joining one of the most unique and tight-knit communities at Washington University. Once students arrive back on campus they will have the opportunity to stay in the Wilderness Project community through periodic events such as pot-lucks and community service opportunities.
The Wilderness Project was founded on the philosophy that the natural environment provides a neutral space for facilitating life's transitions, promoting personal growth, and discussing pressing social issues. Outside the context of our everyday routines, we gain powerful perspectives on our lives, the communities in which we live, and how we fit into the larger global community. The Project is designed to challenge students to be effective and socially conscious leaders. Visit http://outing.wustl.edu/wp/index.html to learn more about the Wilderness Project and see photos of past trips!
No previous backpacking or climbing experience is necessary; however, participants should be capable of carrying a 30-40 lb. pack for 4-6 miles per day throughout the week-long program. Financial assistance is available.
**PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately, due to the communal nature of WP, we are unable to accommodate those with nut allergies.
What is the Burning Kumquat?
Visit the The Burning Kumquat website
Founded in the fall of 2007 by students, the Burning Kumquat is Wash U’s organic urban garden. The purpose of the Burning Kumquat is to commune and self-educate through the shared experience of practicing sustainable urban agriculture. Through the work and joy of growing food, we hope to inspire responsible food practices and to provide local produce for our community. Ours is the only space on campus made and cared for by students. What will the program be like?
The Burning Kumquat Pre-Orientation gives new students the opportunity to experience St. Louis and Wash U in a way many students never do. We believe strongly in the importance of knowing where our food comes from, because a tomato from the grocery store will never be as rich or flavorful as the one you grow with your own hands. Attendees need not have prior farming experience, but they will work hard, get their hands dirty, and learn about agriculture from seed to plate. By engaging in the basic act of growing food, Kumquats develop respect for the Earth, strong community ties, and sensitivity to the social injustices in our food systems. Participants can look forward to eating many of the delicious crops they help harvest, visiting some of St. Louis’ best urban gardens, touring dining services, and much more. The program offers a unique opportunity to learn about some of St. Louis’ most useful resources and become a part of the community that is changing the landscape of agriculture in the city.
St. Louis has many neighborhoods, called “food deserts,” with no access to fresh, healthy produce. It also has many grassroots initiatives and urban farming organizations working to counteract these problems. We will visit other urban farms and sell produce at farmers’ markets in the St. Louis area and travel exclusively by public transportation or bicycle (bicycles will be available for rent, but students must bring their own helmets.) Participants will become part of the vibrant community of environmentally conscious students on campus. After the program, new students will know how to get around St. Louis without a car and will have the knowledge to make informed decisions about their food. Many students arrive at school and immediately get sucked into the “Wash U bubble.” Break out of that bubble and learn about the amazing, hidden resources St. Louis has to offer.
The farm is a community for Wash U and the surrounding area, and we want to welcome you to it. Peas and love!
No previous experience is necessary; however, participants should be physically fit and capable of riding a bicycle 10-20 miles on city streets.Cost
Ready to explore political issues during your time at Wash U.? Start your freshman year right with World of Politics! Meet other budding politicos and discover the many ways to pursue your passions on-campus and around St. Louis.
• Gain first-hand experience writing for the Washington University Political Review, Wash U’s multi-partisan, student-run political magazine (www.wupr.org
). Experienced editors will guide you through the process of creating an article from initial brainstorming to final polishing. Your piece will be published online, and you’ll be fully prepared to write for future issues of the publication.
• Try your hand at Model United Nations, a great way to learn about global politics and sharpen your rhetorical skills. You’ll be assigned a topic, take on the role of a foreign country, and fight to have your agenda adopted by a committee of your peers in a formal debate. At the same time you’ll learn more about how to get involved in Washington University’s traveling Model UN team and its WUMUNS conference (www.wumuns.com
• Meet representatives from on-campus organizations such as the Gephardt Institute for Public Service and the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, members of the Washington University faculty, and local political experts.
• Meet upper-classmen eager to share their insight into life as a Wash U student, and get a head start on other freshmen by arriving on campus early!
• Have a fantastic time exploring the city of St. Louis and meeting your new classmates!
The participation fee is all-inclusive and covers housing and meals, including several meals at restaurants in St. Louis’s most vibrant neighborhoods.