Welcome to New Student and Family Orientation

orientation header


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.

For students starting in January 2023, we look forward to seeing you at the two-day orientation session on January 9 and 10.  

Registration for the spring 2023 in-person two-day orientation sessions is open for student who have paid their enrollment confirmation fee.  The summer 2023 dates are posted on the orientation dates page.  

During orientation, students will have the chance to:

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

January 2023

The following in-person orientation sessions are for students who are starting classes at the College of Charleston in spring 2023.  New students who pay the enrollment confirmation fee to the Office of Admissions will begin to receive orientation information in the mail starting in November.    

Session Day of the Week Date Notes Per Session 
Spring Monday and Tuesday January 9 and 10


The first day of classes for the spring semester is Wednesday, January 11, 2023. For additional semester dates, please refer to the academic calendar for each semester.  

Summer 2023

The in-person orientation sessions are for students who are starting classes at the College of Charleston in the fall 2023 semester can be found on the orientation dates page.  New students who pay the enrollment confirmation fee to the Office of Admissions will begin to receive orientation information in the mail starting in March 2023. 

We charge everyone a nonrefundable, $133, new-student program fee. It is used to cover the costs of processing your application, orientation materials, orientation programming and student staff wages.  This fee, plus any others related to orientation, will be due when your tuition bill for the upcoming semester.  


How to Register for Orientation 

You must have paid your enrollment confirmation fee to be able to register for orientation.  It can take up to one business day after your fee is processed for you to be able to register. 


  1. When you are ready, type myportal.cofc.edu into your browser. Use your permanent username to log into your MyPortal account and complete the online registration form. Your permanent username is made up of letters, not numbers. So if you are using your student ID number as your username, you will not be able to access the form. Check the email account you used on your application for an email titled  “Create Your MY.COFC.EDU Student Account” information for help.
  2. Go to the top right of the MyPortal screen and click on the down arrow 
  1. Click on select profile, select College of Charleston member and then select the orientation profile 
  1. Click on the “orientation registration” box. Verify that your name and email address are displayed.
  2. You will automatically be routed to the online registration form.
  3. Follow the instructions and complete the entire reservation form (it is multiple pages). Answer all the questions so we can plan the best orientation for you.

You will be able to see your confirmation in the orientation profile in MyPortal on the orientation confirmation tile one week after you submitted your reservation form. 

Note: We do not mail or email confirmations.

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. 

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 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. 


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 25+ 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.