Virtual Orientation FAQs

Virtual Orientation

Michigan State University’s New Student Orientation (NSO) experiences will be held virtually, due to COVID-19. While we will miss seeing you in person, we have created an online and remote program that includes a lot of great information and so much more! We know you are excited to get started, and we are excited to help you transition to MSU.

Course Enrollment Instructions

Stay Informed and Connected


Information will been sent to you approximately four-six weeks out from your orientation experience to your MSU email account. Please continue to check your MSU email for updates. We will continue to keep students informed of NSO information as it becomes available. You can also follow us on Facebook (@MSUNSO) or monitor our website for information and updates.


Encourage your students to continue to check their MSU email for important updates. If you have signed up for the Family Orientation, you will receive information to your email account that you used to register. You can also follow us on Facebook (@MSUNSO) or monitor our website for information and updates.


For MSU updates on the Coronoavirus/COVID-19, please visit MSU’s page.

Virtual Orientation Frequently Asked Questions

Orientation Date Selection FAQs (for Fall 2021 admits)

What is my NSO Experience?

The New Student Orientation (NSO) experience looks very different this year – like never before!  We want to take a moment to share the process with you.

Starting May 17, you will have access to the NSO Experience in MSU’s learning management system, Desire2Learn (D2L).  You will use D2L throughout your time at MSU, so you will become very familiar with this platform, starting with the NSO experience.  You must complete the D2L modules in order to set up an advising appointment and enroll in courses.  The sooner you complete the modules, the sooner you can set up that appointment! The modules MUST be completed by July 2.


You will have an MSU student (a Spartan Leader) to guide you through the NSO process, as well as encourage your participation in synchronous webinars, online affinity groups, and in virtual social events to meet other incoming Spartans.  Some of those webinars will be topics we know will be important to your family and caregivers, as well, and hope you watch them with together.  You can find all of this webinar information, including dates, times, and topics, on our website.


Should I still sign up for an NSO date if I haven’t already?

Yes! Please sign up for an NSO date once if you haven’t already done so. This NSO date will still be part of your orientation experience. You can sign up for an NSO date here

What about the NSO programs offered in August?

All New Student Orientation (NSO) programs have moved online, which include our August dates. 

Why are we making this decision now?

Given the uncertainties about travel and the high likelihood that many students will not be able to come to campus for orientation, the University has made the decision to move orientation to a virtual experience. The health and safety of our students is the top priority of administration and all at MSU. Given that each NSO program has between 400-600 new students in attendance and up to 600 guests in each program, we could not put our students, staff, and guests at risk. Moving to this virtual format for all incoming students allows the NSO staff to focus our efforts with the first program occurring soon. We are excited to provide a strong foundation for the new students’ transition to MSU and their academic success.


Family Orientation FAQs (for families of Fall 2021 admits)

Should my family/caregiver(s) sign up for an NSO date if they haven’t already?

Yes! Please have your family/caregiver(s) register for a Family Orientation date if they haven’t done so already. By registering for the Family Orientation, your family/caregiver(s) will gain access to online content that would have been covered during the in-person orientation.

What will the virtual Family Orientation look like?

There will be synchronous webinars offered throughout the summer that we encourage you to attend.  Some of them are topics you will want to watch with family or caregiver(s) (like Financial Aid and Billing), while others are focused solely on you.  This is great information to get you off on the right foot, and there will be an opportunity after the webinar to connect virtually with other students.  Be sure to attend!


General FAQs (for Fall 2021 admits)

What is the difference between virtual NSO and the in-person NSO experience?

Our virtual orientation will resemble the in-person NSO experience in multiple ways. Almost all of the sessions you would have been able to attend in-person will be available as a recording. You can watch these recordings and have access to digital resources. You will also get the opportunity to meet with an Orientation Leader and other new students in a virtual small group format where you will be able to ask any questions on a regular basis. There will also be opportunities to attend weekly live webinars or watch the recorded versions with campus service representatives.  

How will the virtual orientation experience prepare me for my first year as a Spartan?

Your virtual orientation experience will take place through a series of steps that occur throughout the summer.

What if I have never been to campus before? When am I able to visit?

As the University continues to make decisions on when staff, students, and faculty are able to return to campus and assume normal operations, we will communicate that with you and share options for visiting campus. 

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