New Student Checklist

You've registered for New Student Orientation. Now, it's time to check off a few to-do list items before attending!

What to do before orientation

Follow this step-by-step checklist to make sure you're ready for New Student Orientation.
  • 1. Access MyPortal

    MyPortal is where you will find valuable information and resources throughout your time at College of Charleston. In MyPortal, you can view financial aid awards, transcript evaluations, pay deposits, apply for housing and more!

    Need help? The Information Technology Service Desk is available to answer your questions related to MyPortal. 

  • 2. Submit a Cougar Card Photo

    Now that you are joining the College, you will need an official College of Charleston ID card, known as the Cougar Card. You will use your Cougar Card to access events, facilities and services across campus.

    To submit your photo, log into MyPortal and click the Cougar Card Portal tile.

    • Sign in using your student credentials.
    • Select "profile" and "click to submit a new photo."

    Your card will be available at Campus Services HQ during orientation. 

  • 3. Make sure your phone number and address are correct in MyPortal

    It is important that we have your cell phone number in the correct fields so you can receive updates and emergency information.

  • 4. Verify Lawful Presence Compliance

    Lawful Presence Compliance is required by June 1 for U.S. citizens who have not submitted the FAFSA. You must verify lawful presence before being permitted to register for classes during orientation.

  • 5. Review Information about Placement

    The College of Charleston does not do any placement testing. You will be placed in math and foreign language coursework based on your academic history. You can view your placement results in French, German, Latin, Spanish and math in your Degree Works account.

    To access Degree Works 

    1. Log in your MyPortal account. 
    2. Click on the "degree works" tile. 
    3. When your audit appears, you will see your scores at the top of the page.  
    4. You will see your placement based on years of high school credit earned.

  • 6. Submit your Transcript & AP/IB scores

    All freshman and transfer students should send their AP/IB scores and final transcripts for dual enrollment or transfer coursework before you attend orientation.

    If you are a freshman, don't forget to have your final high school transcript sent to the College. 

  • 7. Make plans on where you will stay for orientation

    If you are interested in staying on campus during the June or July orientation sessions, please check out the orientation on-campus housing information and sign up. Housing registration will be available in the Housing/Dining section of MyPortal in mid-April (updated 3/27/2024).  Housing is NOT included with your orientation registration and you will need to register for that separately. For off-campus options, please check out the travel section of the orientation website.

    For students attending the last orientation session who have on-campus housing for the upcoming school year, you will receive information later this summer regarding early move in for an additional fee.
  • 8. Upload immunization records

    Review required immunizations, complete and upload the immunization record form. 

    The immunization record form has valuable information that allows Health Services to provide students with the best possible care. Please review the website and make sure you are in compliance with immunizations and required dates.

    The form should be submitted by May 20 for summer orientation (fall admits - updated 5/1/2024) and December 31 for January orientation (spring admits). 

    The College of Charleston requires three vaccines.

    The MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) requires two doses at least 28 days apart for students born after 1956. Students typically receive their first dose on their first birthday or later the second dose is given 28 days after the first does or later. 

    The Quadrivalent Meningitis Vaccine is administered at 16 years of age or after (Meningitis Serogroup B vaccine not required). Students over the age of 24 are not required to get a meningitis vaccine if they do not already have one.

    The Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) must be administered within the last ten years. 

    New incoming students who are not in compliance with the College of Charleston immunization policy will have a registration hold placed on their account that prevents them from registering for classes at orientation.

  • 9. Prepare for On Campus Orientation Day
    • Set up your email on your phone. 

    • Make sure your official transcripts from all colleges you attended before (including dual enrollment) have been send to the College of Charleston as least two weeks before your orientation session.  Your course registration at orientation may be delayed if your transcripts are not submitted in time to be evaluated.
    • Check out the new student calendar for reminders about things to do before move in and the beginning of classes.  It is posted in February for summer orientations and in November for spring orientations.  

    • If you received an email adding you to an academic advising module, please complete it before your assigned session.  Students will begin to be loaded into the module on May 15 and will be added weekly after they register for orientation.  The module will help you learn more about the advising and registration process and you will more efficient during registration and less anxious after completing the module. 

    • Please check your College of Charleston email regarding any holds you might have on your MyPortal account that could prevent you from registering for classes during orientation. The orientation hold on your MyPortal account is the one hold that should be there and will be removed on your assigned orientation date. To view your holds in MyPortal, log in and select the "holds" tile.  

    • Check out the list of what you should bring to orientation and the sample schedules.    Students and families will receive their individualized schedule at check-in.  

    • You will receive an email to your CofC email account a week before your orientation with check-in instructions and other important information.  


  • 10. Register with Center for Disability Services

    If you need services from the Center for Disability Services (CDS), you should start the process before you attend orientation. 

    The staff works to ensure equal access to College of Charleston academic programs and services. Whether transitioning from high school, community college or another university, it's important to be aware of the process to request accommodations.  You can view the information about registering for accommodations on the Center for Disability Services website

Orientation helped ease my fears about coming to College of Charleston. Through my orientation intern, I was able to see a reflection of myself. I knew I was home.

Jeronimo O.

Additional Information & Resources

Your bags are packed and you're (almost) out the door. Before you arrive, check out these additional resources so you show up fully prepared.
  • Academic Advising

    At orientation, you will be choosing your classes for the upcoming semester. This process can be exciting, yet overwhelming for new students. 

  • Housing

    Housing is guaranteed for incoming first-year students who complete their housing application by 11:59 p.m. EST on May 1.

    Rates for on-campus housing are per person, per semester. The Housing Contract is a binding contract for the entire academic year (two semesters) from August to May. 

  • Laptop Requirement

    All students are required to have a laptop computer.

    Campus computer labs will be offered on a limited scale at the Addlestone Library. Providing an alternative to computer labs, IT will furnish students with the necessary software so that they can conduct their computer lab assignments on their personal computers.

    Financial aid may be available for this.

    Information Technology has a limited number of laptops and WiFi Hotspots available to loan to those students who cannot afford one.

    We do not recommend Chromebooks because they cannot run all of the software you may need and some models have issues connecting to our wireless network.

    Both Apple and Dell have established College of Charleston online stores where you can take advantage of reduced pricing when purchasing personal computers. Both sites include models recommended by Information Technology at various price point options. 

  • Dining & Meal Plans

    First-year students (regardless of credit hours) and transfer students classified as first-year students upon acceptance by Admissions, who live in campus housing, are required to purchase a College of Charleston First-Year Student Resident Meal Plan for the academic year.

    You will choose your meal plan when you apply for housing. Don’t worry, you will have the opportunity to make qualifying changes to your meal plan until Drop/Add, once you’ve had a chance to see how you use it.

  • Tuition Information

    You will need to access your eBill via MyPortal. It’s important to check this out because tuition is going to be individualized for each student. We recommend creating an "authorized user."

    By law, student financial records may not be shared with anyone without the student's written consent.  So, if people other than you (your parents or an employer, for example) need to view a student's account and make payments on that account, the student will need to set up each one as an authorized user in the ebill system.  

    For more information about your eBill, contact the Treasurer’s Office.

  • Veteran & Military Students

    If you are a military veteran, currently in the military or a dependent, the Veteran and Student Military Services office is a great resource. The office and student lounge is located in the lower level of the Lightsey Center. 

  • First-Year Experience Course Selection

    All freshman students are required to take a First-Year Experience (FYE) course during their first year at CofC.  The College of Charleston First-Year Experience academic program provides you with a smooth transition to college life and the academic, social and cultural community at the College of Charleston.

    If you are in the Honors College, you are pre registered for the Beyond George St. FYE course.  

    Other freshman students will receive an email a few weeks before their orientation regarding FYE course selection.  Students should complete the survey in the email before their orientation so they can be pre registered for their FYE course.