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Student Orientation

New Student Orientation is a two-day program designed to help new students make a smooth transition to the College. All new students are expected to participate in orientation before classes begin. Check-in for orientation occurs in the Cougar Mall near the center of campus. Additional information will be included in the informational booklet mailed to students after they register.

During orientation, students will have the chance to:

  • meet other incoming students
  • meet an academic advisor
  • register for classes
  • meet faculty from various programs om campus
  • learn about the campus and the services that are offered

For summer orientation, students and their families should plan for activities to start at check-in between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. and last until 5:00 p.m. on the first day. On the second day, activities will begin between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. and end between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. depending upon the student's individualized schedule. Students will have separate activities from their families for the majority of the program.

A sample schedule is available on the orientation schedules page

Orientation Sessions

Summer 2018 Orientation Dates

The following sessions are for students who are starting classes at the College of Charleston in fall 2018.  Orientation is a two-day experience and students are expected to attend all programming both days.

New students who pay the enrollment confirmation fee to the Office of Admissions will begin to receive orientation information in the mail at the beginning of March.  Students may complete their orientation registration online through MyCharleston starting March 7, 2018.    

Session 1 Monday and Tuesday June 18 and 19             honors preferred; also open to all students Session Closed
Session 2 Thursday and Friday June 21 and 22

honors preferred; also open to all students

Session Closed
Session 3 Monday and Tuesday June 25 and 26

transfer preferred & military student preferred;
also open to all students

Session Closed
Session 4 Thursday and Friday June 28 and 29

honors preferred; also open to all students 

Session Closed
Session 5 Monday and Tuesday July 9 and 10

honors preferred; also open to all students

Session Closed
Session 6 Thursday and Friday July 12 and 13

transfer preferred; also open to all students

Session 7 Monday and Tuesday July 16 and 17

military student preferred also open to all students

Session 8 Wednesday and Thursday July 18 and 19
Charleston Bridge Friday July 20
Session 9* Monday and Tuesday August 13 and 14 Transfer students only
Session 10** Thursday and Friday August 16 and 17 Freshman students only

*Session 9 is for transfer students only. Transfer students are welcome to attend any of the first eight sessions. You may not register for session 10.  Please note: There are a limited number of seats available that we will reserve on a first-come, first-served basis.

**Session 10 is for freshmen only who live FARTHER than 700 miles away from Charleston. You are welcome to attend any of the first eight sessions. Please note: There are a limited number of seats available that we will reserve on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are participating in sorority recruitment or Cougar Excursion, you will not be able to attend Session 10 on August 16-17.

How to Register for Orientation
  1. Go to, use your Cougars account information to log in, and select the “academic services” tab. **Use your permanent log-in. It'll be letters not numbers.**
  2. Scroll down and locate the “orientation” box.
  3. Click on the “orientation registration” link in the “orientation” box.
  4. You will automatically be routed to the online registration form.
  5. Verify that your name and email address are displayed and continue to the registration form.

Student Holds

All students have an orientation hold on their file until they attend orientation. It does not affect the ability to register for orientation.

Notification of Confirmation

Please do not make travel plans and/or lodging reservations until your assigned orientation date has been confirmed. One week after you have submitted your online registration form, you’ll be able to see your confirmation online. (We do not mail or email confirmations.) Log onto, select the “academic services” tab, locate the “orientation” box and click on “orientation session confirmation.”

Before Orientation Information!

**Remember to bring your Student ID number and cougars account user name and password (information you use to log in to MyCharleston) with you as you will be expected to use it several times during orientation.**

You may find more information about the schedules at

Directions to campus are under “driving directions” at

Maps of the campus are available at

The closest parking garages to campus are:

  1. St. Philip St. Garage (89 St. Philips St.): located on St. Philip St. between Vanderhorst and Calhoun streets
  2. George St. Garage (34 St. Philips St.): located on St. Philip St. between George and Liberty streets
  3. Wentworth St. Garage (81 Wentworth St.): located at the corner of Wentworth and St. Philip streets

The approximate fee for all-day parking is between $10.00 and $16.00. If you have a valid South Carolina state-issued handicapped placard, you can park in a garage free of charge. Upon exiting, you must present your driver’s license for verification. Note: Do not park in College of Charleston student or faculty/staff lots because you will be ticketed. The Office of New Student Programs does not validate parking.

Course Registration Process at the College

At the College of Charleston, course options will be available at each orientation session since seats are held open for each of the orientation session. Courses that may appear closed on MyCharleston may have seats open when new students register on the second day of orientation. This allows new students to have a chance to select the courses they may want.

The "perfect" schedule may not be available, but all students will be able to register for a full load of classes that will help them fulfill their core curriculum and degree requirements. New students should be prepared to be flexible and should not rule out registering for classes that begin as early as 8:00 a.m. or late in the afternoon.

After students attend New Student Orientation, they may make changes to their semester schedule through MyCharleston during designated open registration periods.  It is recommended that students consult with their academic advisor about schedule changes.

If you have questions, please e-mail or call 843.953.2017.