Fall Pre-Orientation Programs

​​Pre-Orientation programs are a great start to your WUSTL experience. It is your opportunity to work closely with a campus organization, gain valuable leadership skills, get a jump start on getting involved on campus, and meet other students with similar interests. You also will be able to move in early and begin to learn the ins and outs of Washington University’s campus before Bear Beginnings.​​​

Program List | Registration | Fees & Scholarships |  Arrival & Move-In Information |  Parent & Family Members

2016 Program List

There are 17 different Pre-Orientation Programs.

  • The Burning Kumquat: St. Louis Urban Farms by Bike THIS PROGRAM IS FULL​
  • Campus Y: L.A.U.N.C.H.: Learning and Understanding New Challenging Horizons
  • Connect 4
  • Connections in Research & Health THIS PROGRAM IS FULL
  • Freshmen Press
  • Gateway to Global Citizenship
  • Habitat for Humanity THIS PROGRAM IS FULL
  • Innovation Nation: Social Impact through Design
  • ​​KWUR: Adventures in Radioland
  • Lead Strong
  • Leadership Through Service THIS PROGRAM IS FULL
  • Raise Your Voice: Poetry and Comedy
  • Start Up (W)U
  • Student Union: Lead WashU
  • Wilderness Project Climbing THIS PROGRAM IS FULL
  • Wilderness Project Hiking THIS PROGRAM IS FULL
  • World of Politics THIS PROGRAM IS FULL
Click here for detailed information about each program including a detailed description and cost. 


Pre-Orientation registration for fall 2016 opened on May 2, 2016 at 3:00 PM CST.

Registration for fall 2016 will close on Monday, August 1, 2016 at 3:00 PM CST.

The Pre-O registration link will be available on WUSTL Pathway on the Next Steps screen. Please make sure you have your login information handy. If you need assistance accessing your WUSTL Pathway, please visit the help page.

Before you register, please have the following available:

  • your WUSTL Pathway login information
  • an email address
    • We strongly encourage you to avoid registering with a high school email account as they frequently expire between your high school graduation date and your SOAR date. We will send all communication regarding SOAR to the email address you provide on your registration.
  • a secondary email address (optional)
    • When you register for SOAR, you will have the ability to send a copy of your confirmation email to another person such as a family member or a secondary email account.

There are programs that will fill quickly, so register as soon as possible. Some popular programs will fill within the first hour.  Please do not make travel arrangements to campus until you have received a confirmation that you have registered for a program.  

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. 


Cancellations & Refunds

imageFees & Scholarships

Pre-Orientation programs require a separate fee that is charged directly to your tuition account. The fees vary based on the program you choose and range from $235 to $400. 

The Pre-Orientation fee related to each program includes the early arrival into Residential Life housing, meals, and all other program-related costs.


Scholarships are available to students with demonstrated financial need. Scholarships cover the entire program fee including housing, meals, and all other program-related costs. We are not able to cover the cost of travel to the Washington University in St. Louis campus. 

All students are automatically considered for a scholarship upon registration for Pre-Orientation. There is no additional application or information needed for scholarship eligibility. The First Year Center works closely with the Office of Student Financial Services to communicate about scholarship eligibility. To this end, if you are eligible for a Pre-Orientation scholarship, you would have received an email from Student Financial Services on Friday, April 22nd informing you of your eligibility.

imageCancellations & Refunds

If you need to cancel your Pre-Orientation registration, you must send a written message to the First Year Center at firstyearcenter@wustl.edu by July 15, 2016 in order to receive a refund. If you choose to cancel after July 15, 2016,or do not attend Pre-Orientation, your student account will be assessed the full fee.


imageArrival & Move-In Information
Pre-Orientation program participants will arrive on Sunday, August 21, 2016 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 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM.  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 at the entrance to the South 40, on Shepley Drive, and give you directions for check-in, unloading and long-term parking.

Pre-Orientation programs will begin between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM on Sunday, August 21, 2016* 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 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM if you wish to ship your belongings ahead of time and UTrucking will be available that day as well.

Click for detailed, printable information about arrival to campus, including GPS information. ​

*Wilderness Project participants will arrive on Thursday, August 18, 2016.  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, Thursday, August 25, 2016.


imageParent & Family Member Information
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 or ship everything else to arrive on Thursday, August 25, 2016. You may choose to bring all of your belongings on August 21 if you are able; please note, there will be limited move-in assistance on this date. Parent & Family Orientation is scheduled for Thursday, August 25 - Friday, August 26, 2016.