Virtual Orientation FAQs

Virtual Orientation

Michigan State University’s New Student Orientation (NSO) programs for summer 2020 are moving online, due to COVID-19. While we will miss seeing you in person, we have created an online and remote program for this summer that includes all of the information you would have received in-person and so much more! We know you are excited to get started, and we are excited to help you transition to MSU. We know that this is not the NSO experience you thought you would have, but we promise to make the most of it!

Check out our latest newsletter sent to all students on June 10th!

Stay Informed and Connected


Information has been sent to you about your orientation. Please continue to check your MSU email for updates throughout the summer. 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.

Families & Supporters

Encourage your students to continue to check their 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

UGS 100: Introduction to MSU FAQs

What is this course about?

MSU designed this course to enhance your New Student Orientation experience by organizing activities to help you begin your academic and personal journey at MSU. Through this course, you will explore your college and career goals, interact with peer leaders and advisors, and learn about relevant MSU systems and resources. You will complete most of the course this summer through online engagement and activities, with opportunities to explore campus and its resources when you arrive on campus.

When will this course be available for me to access?

Students should have received a Welcome message from our office on May 1st. The first part of the online Spartan Experience: Pre-New Student Orientation is now live. Please check your MSU email account for information on how to access your Pre-Orientation materials. 

Students will gain access to their UGS 100 course based on their orientation date. Students who have an orientation date between June 15 – July 2 will gain access in early June. Students who have an orientation date between July 6 – July 31 will gain access in late June. Students who have an orientation date in August will gain access in late July.

Do I get a credit for this class? 

Yes, you will earn one credit for UGS 100: Introduction to MSU. This credit will count toward the total credits you need to graduate and fulfill elective credits, but it does not fulfill any major or college requirements.

Do I pay for this course? 

No, this course is offered to you as part of your attendance at MSU. You will not be billed for the cost of this credit.

Do I get a grade for this course?

UGS 100 is designed as a credit/no credit course. If you complete this course as outlined in the syllabus, then you will earn one MSU credit. If you do not complete this course, then you will not earn this credit. This class will not affect your grade point average (GPA).

How do I get enrolled in this course?

MSU will pre-enroll you for the class based on your orientation advising appointment, and it will be on your schedule when you enroll for classes.

Is attendance required at specific dates and times?

Although most of the class is asynchronous, meaning it does not have to happen at the same time and place, some of the meetings between you, your orientation leaders and peers, and your academic advisor will happen at specific, scheduled times. These times will be scheduled and sent to students as their orientation date approaches.

What is the time commitment of this course?

We estimate the course will require about 28 hours of time to engage with the material and attend the required sessions. This time does not include any preparation you may need to do for a meeting. Some students may spend more or less time depending on how they engage with the material. The modules are designed to help you transition to and start your MSU journey, so we encourage you to explore, take your time, and make the most of this experience.

Why is this course scheduled for fall semester when I do most of the work in the summer?

Typically, students who are admitted to MSU cannot take a course until the semester of admission. For summer experiences that MSU offers credit for, we have the course stretch from summer into fall for technical and administrative reasons.


Orientation Date Selection FAQs

What is my NSO Date?

Your NSO date will be the same as your originally scheduled orientation date. You are able to change your NSO date through Your Account as long as dates are available. Once you log in, your current NSO date will appear hyperlinked. By clicking that hyperlink, you will have access to the NSO calendar. 

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

Why are we staying in specific dates for NSO?

Your scheduled NSO date will still be part of your virtual orientation experience. Some of your orientation activities will take place during your scheduled NSO date while other components will take place throughout the summer in an online format. This will also help our office and your academic advisors ensure that everyone will have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor and enroll in their courses. 

When will I meet with my advisor?

Students will meet with their academic advisor at some point during their originally scheduled NSO date. Details for signing up for an advising appointment will be distributed to all students at a later date. You will be able to enroll for the classes you discuss with your advisor following your advising appointment. 

What about the NSO programs offered in August?

All New Student Orientation (NSO) programs have moved online, which include our August dates. We recognize that students want to have an on-campus experience. We are currently working on options to allow students to do so in August prior to the start of classes. 

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

Should my family members/supporters sign up for an NSO date if they haven’t already?

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

What will the virtual Family Orientation look like?

All families/supporters registered for the Family Orientation will receive an introductory email that will explain how to gain access to their own version of virtual orientation content. Families/Supporters will also participate in various Q&A sessions with campus service representatives, current students, and staff. There will also be opportunities to connect with other new family/supporters in various affinity group spaces.


General FAQs

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. The first part is a Pre-Orientation that will be available on May 11 that we recommend you complete prior to your scheduled NSO date. Your UGS 100 (orientation) content will be available depending on your scheduled NSO date. Around this time, you will also get information about your orientation group and orientation leader that you have been assigned. You will meet with your academic advisor and enroll in your classes during your scheduled NSO date. Before your scheduled NSO date, you will have academic content that you will need to review in order to prepare for your advising appointment and course enrollment. Information about fall engagement and activities will be available soon.

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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