Welcome to New Student and Family Orientation

orientation cofc

⚠ COFC COVID-19: Your health and safety is our priority. This summer (2021), orientation will be virtual, but we are offering optional on-campus visit days. On-campus visit days do not replace orientation.


We are excited that you’ll be joining CougarNation. Each year, the Office of New Student Programs introduces incoming students and their families to the College of Charleston experience through orientation.

You’ll be able to choose from a number of mandatory, one-day, online orientation sessions that will help you make a smooth transition to the College. 

There are a limited number of seats available for each orientation session (that runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST), and the sessions fill up quickly. Sign up as soon as possible in order to get the session you want. 

Registration is open. The summer 2021 virtual orientation dates are available. You will complete your registration for the summer 2021 virtual orientation through MyCharleston.

During orientation, students will have the chance to:

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


STEP 1: Access the Registration Form

A. Use your permanent username to log into your MyCharleston account and complete the online registration form. Refer to Create Your MY.COFC.EDU Student Account for help.

B.  Go to the Academic Services tab.

C. Scroll down and locate the "orientation" box.

D. Click on the "orientation registration" link.

E. You will automatically be routed to the online registration form.  Verify that your name and email address are displayed and continue on to the registration form.

F. Follow the instructions and complete the entire reservation form. Answer all questions so we can plan the best orientation for you.

STEP 2: Select an Orientation Session

One week after you’ve submitted your request, you will be able to see the session to which you’ve been assigned by looking at MyCharleston. We do not mail or email confirmations.    

Virtual Orientation Dates 

STEP 3: Choose Your Academic Major Preference

Explore the College of Charleston’s majors and minors. If you really have no preference, select “undeclared.”

STEP 4: List Any AP or IB Tests You Have Taken

This information will help your academic advisor prepare for your meeting.

STEP 5: Make Your Foreign Language Choices

Incoming students will not take placement tests. Students are placed in foreign language classes based on various criteria. See Placement Information for more information.

Please note: there is a $100, nonrefundable student services fee for orientation that will be due with your tuition bill in August.

How to view your confirmed Virtual Orientation date

You can view your session confirmation by visiting my.cofc.edu and logging into your MyCharleston account.  Click on the “academic services” tab, look for the orientation box and click on “orientation registration confirmation"

Note for Students Attending Summer School

If you will attend College of Charleston summer school, you should choose an orientation session that does not conflict with that schedule.

Special Programs

Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS)

If you have been accepted into the Bachelor of Professional Studies program, you do not have to complete the registration form for regular orientation. The BPS program staff will send you information regarding the orientation.

Bachelor of General Studies (BGS)

If you are interested in the Bachelor of General Studies, please indicate that on your orientation registration form. If you are a transfer student, the BGS program staff will advise you during your orientation session.

How to create your MY.COFC.EDU student account

You should have received an email through the personal email account that you used on your application to the College. In this email there will be a link, a new username and password, and instructions for setting up your permanent student account. Click on the link and log in to activate your permanent student account with a new username and password.

From this point on, you will use this permanent account for all business you conduct with the College, such as registering for orientation, signing up for a meal plan, changing an address, checking space availability in a class and registering for a class, or reviewing account charges and balance information, and viewing your student email.

If you have not received an email with instructions on how to set up your permanent MyCharleston account, contact ITservicesdesk@cofc.edu or 843.953.3375. 

Orientation Schedule

Before your virtual orientation, we will mail you a packet of information. Please review the information and go through the checklist included in the folder. If you have moved, please update your address in MyCharleston. You can update your address by following the steps below:

  • Log on to my.cofc.edu
  • Click on the "academic services" tab
  • Click on "banner self-service"
  • Click on "personal information"
  • Update address(es), phones and emergency contact information

One week before your virtual orientation 

  1. Your online orientation module in OAKS will open in MyCharleston and must be completed before you can participate in orientation. It should take you about an hour to complete the module. All students will need to complete this module.
  2. If you receive an email about an advising module in OAKS, you must also complete that module before you can participate in orientation. It will take two hours to complete that module. Please note that not all students have to complete that module. 

One day before your virtual orientation

You will receive two emails to your CofC email address.

  1. The first email will include your schedule for your virtual orientation day and the Zoom links for each session. You are expected to be online from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  2. The second email will be from your orientation intern. The intern will be your guide through your virtual orientation day. The email will contain their contact information and tips to prepare for your orientation day.

Orientation Day

You will meet with your orientation intern in the morning from 9 - 10:15 a.m. in Zoom. After the meeting, you will work with your orientation academic advisor for the remainder of the morning. After a lunch break from 12 - 1 p.m., you will have a meeting with the Office of Academic Affairs from 1-1:30 p.m. This is your chance to learn about the programs they have to offer.

You will receive an email with the links to your meetings.

After the academic major meeting, you will meet with your orientation academic advisor in Zoom and register for your courses. Note: All students have a course registration hold, listed as an orientation hold, in their file until they attend orientation.

All students have a course registration hold, listed as an orientation hold, in their file until they attend orientation. It does not affect your ability to register for orientation.

You will register for your courses during orientation. Courses that may appear closed on MyCharleston may have seats open when new students register during 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 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 email or call 843.953.2017.

If you have a disability and need special arrangements for orientation, contact the Office of New Student Programs at 843.953.2017 as soon as possible.

If you have an emergency and must make a change to your online orientation registration form after you have submitted it, email your requested change to orientat@cofc.edu. Please include your name and CWID (Campus Wide Identification Number). If we can accommodate your request, we’ll confirm by email. 

In order to participate in virtual new student orientation, we recommend that you have access to a laptop or desktop with a webcam and a strong Internet connection. Mobile and tablet devices may be used if necessary.

Please make sure to set up your College of Charleston Zoom account in advance so that you can easily access it the day of your orientation session.

If you’re not able to access the recommended technology on your assigned orientation date, please complete this survey so we can work on alternate plans.  We will contact you at your CofC email address in five business days.

If you have problems the day of your virtual orientation

If you are having technical problems the day of your virtual orientation, you should take the following steps.

  1. Contact your orientation intern or interns. Their information was sent to your CofC email.
  2. Email orientat@cofc.edu with your problem.
  3. Call the Office of New Student programs at 843.953.2017 



I have not taken any college classes. If I was dual enrolled in high school, I am still considered a freshman.

Transfer Student

I have taken college classes at a community or technical college, trade school, two-year or four-year college, and/or have military service credit with a Joint Services Transcript (JST).

Adult/Nontraditional Student

I am 23+ years old and/or am taking courses in the Bachelor of Professional Studies program.

Family Members

I am a family member interested in learning more about the services the College of Charleston offers.