Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions after reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions, please email

New Student and Family Orientation

The following are questions and answers about orientation
  • Am I required to attend orientation

    Yes. For freshman, attendance is expected from approximately 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on the first day and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the second day.  For transfer students, attendance is expected from approximately 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. during their one day orientation program.

    Incoming students who are not able to attend orientation must register after orientation ends, during the late registration period.

  • What is the New Student Fee

    The new student fee of $133.00 is required and charged to all newly admitted, degree-seeking and readmitted students and due with your tuition in August (students starting in the fall) or December or January (students starting in the spring). The New Student Program fee is nonrefundable. This fee covers the costs associated with processing your orientation reservation, student staff salary, course registration, printed materials, mailing costs and orientation programming.

    For freshman orientation, the orientation program will provide lunch on one of the two days of orientation and a grab and go breakfast on the second day of orientation.  For transfer student orientation, the orientation program will provide grab and go breakfast and lunch.  

    Students participating in a fall semester iCharleston program and admitted to College of Charleston pay the new student fee in the spring. 

  • When does the orientation day start and end?

    The freshman orientation is a two-day program. Schedule details for first year students and their families will be posted in early June.  The first day of orientation starts with check-in between 7:30 and 8:15 am and ends around 6 pm. The second day of orientation ends between 2:00 and 3:00 pm.  

    Transfer student orientation is a one-day program that starts with check-in between 7:30 and 8:15 am and ends around 4 pm.

  • What should I bring to orientation?

    For on campus orientation

    • pen and paper
    • valid driver's license or some other form of government issued picture ID
    • College wide ID number
    • spending money
    • reusable water bottle
    • alarm clock and bedding (if staying in the residence hall)
    • MyPortal log in and password (letters not numbers)
    • e-mail sign in and password
    • umbrella
    • comfortable clothes/shoes
    • sweater or sweatshirt (sometimes the classrooms can be chilly)

  • May family members participate in orientation?

    For on campus orientation
    There is a separate orientation program for adult family members that runs concurrently with the new student orientation sessions. Information will be sent to the CofC issued email to all new students. See Family Orientation webpage for additional details.

    During the Family Orientation Program, there are information sessions designed especially for family members, as well as sessions that families may attend with their students. However, because of space limitations and other concerns, several of the student sessions such as academic advising and registration must be attended by students only.

  • How should I submit my required immunization information before orientation?

    You should upload it to the medcat portal.  You can find the forms, deadlines and information about how to upload on the immunization section of the Student Health website.

    Please do not send any health or immunization information to the Office of New Student Programs.

    Visit the Student Health Services website or call 843.953.5520 for immunization requirements.

  • How should I prepare for advising and course registration at orientation?

    Visit the Academic Advising and Planning Center website. Review the list of general education requirements and undergraduate catalog for information regarding major requirements. 

    This will give you an idea of the type of coursework needed to meet graduation requirements and help you begin to develop an academic plan. The advising process is most effective when you have an academic plan before meeting with an advisor, and when you play an active role in making decisions about course selection.

    To view a list of the current available courses, visit the Course Listing online provided by the Office of the Registrar. This link gives an accurate listing of courses and seats available, along with dates, times and locations of class meetings. You will not need to sign in with a password to view this listing, and you will not be able to register for classes before Orientation.

  • Does the Office of New Student Programs provide campus tours?

    The Office of New Student Programs provides tours for participants during orientation only. Prospective students and others interested in campus tours should contact the Office of Admissions at 843.953.5670 (select option #5) to schedule an appointment for a tour.

  • When do classes start?

    To view the academic calendars, visit the academic calendar section of the Registrar's Office website.

Academic Life

The following are questions and answers regarding academic life.
  • What AP, IB and CLEP tests are accepted at the College?

    The list of AP, IB and CLEP tests accepted at the College can be found on the Office of Admissions website.

  • What should I know about transfer credits?

    Official transcripts from all previous colleges and universities should be sent to:

    The Office of Admissions
    The College of Charleston
    66 George St.
    Charleston, SC 29424-0001

    New students accepted to the College of Charleston may use Degree Works via the MyPortal to view a list of awarded and pending transfer credit.  For more information and a list of common evaluation abbreviations you will see on Degree Works, visit the Credit Evaluations page.

  • When do classes begin?

    To view the academic calendars, visit the Registrar's Office calendar and important dates web page.

  • When do I pay tuition?

    Paper bills are not mailed to students or parents. All billing will be done electronically. You can view the semester billing due dates here. E-Bill notification will be sent to all student e-mail accounts and any e-mail accounts authorized by the student.

    It is the student's responsibility to set-up the authorized users for their account or to forward the billing statement to the responsible payer.

    A payment plan may be arranged through the treasurer's office. Bills will vary from student to student depending on individual course selection, housing arrangements, labs, participation in various activities and other factors.

    For information regarding tuition and fees and payment plans, visit the Office of the Treasurer or call 843.953.5572.

Placement Testing

The following are questions and answers regarding placement testing.
  • How am I placed in Math?

    Students do not take a math placement test.  You can find information about the placement process at the mathematics department website

  • How am I placed in French?

    You do not take a placement test. Instead, you are placed according to the number of years of high school French you have taken. You can find more information about placement testing at the Department of French and Francophone studies website.

  • How am I placed in Spanish?

    You do not take a placement test. Instead, you are placed according to the number of years of high school Spanish you have taken. You can find more information about placement testing at the Department of Hispanic Studies website.

  • How am I placed in German?

    You do not take a placement test. Instead, you are placed according to the number of years of high school German you have taken. You can find more information about placement testing at the Department of German and Russian Studies website.

  • How am I placed in Latin?

    You do not take a placement test. Instead, you are placed according to the number of years of high school Latin you have taken and the last year you completed the class. You can find more information about placement testing at the Department of Classics website.

  • If I'm a transfer student, how am I placed in a foreign language?

    Transfer students who are transferring fewer than 12 credit hours in a single foreign language (the College foreign language minimum requirement) will continue taking that language at the next level. For example, a student transfers credit to the College for French 101, so he registers for French 102.

    Transfer students who transfer foreign language credit hours to the College from another institution, but wish to begin a different language at the College that they did not take in high school or college, will not need to take a foreign language placement test. They will begin in the language of their choice at the 101 level.

  • What if I took a foreign language other than the ones listed above?

    Arrangements can also be made for individual assessment in Arabic, Chinese, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian. These arrangements often need to wait until students and faculty are back on campus during the school year. 

    Students are required to complete the 202 level, or its equivalent, of an approved foreign language course for the foreign language general education graduation requirement. 

    If you are a freshman with dual enrollment credit or a transfer student who has language credit, you will be placed in the next language course in the sequence.

    Students are placed in most common languages according to the number of years of high school language taken. View the scoring guidelines.

    To understand your foreign language placement in Spanish, French, German and Latin, please visit the department pages

    You can also make arrangements for individual assessment in Arabic, Chinese, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian. For placement evaluation in one of these languages, please contact:

    Please note that placement scores taken at other colleges do not transfer to the College of Charleston.  

    If you are a speaker of a language other than English who wants to waive the College of Charleston language requirement (for a language we offer at CofC or another language), please contact Dr. Shawn Morrison, Associate Dean of the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs at  

    For clarification on foreign language placement policies, please consult the College of Charleston catalog or contact the Office of the Registrar.

Campus Life

The following are questions and answers regarding campus life including campus housing and meal plans.
  • How to I apply for on-campus housing?

    After you complete the enrollment confirmation process with the Office of Admissions information about on-campus housing will be emailed to you. Complete the online application and pay fees to the Campus Housing office as soon as possible. Space is limited and a room assignment cannot be guaranteed. Visit the  Campus Housing website or call 843.953.2015 for further details.

  • How do I apply for an on-campus parking space?

    College of Charleston parking spaces are assigned and paid for one semester in advance. Student parking lot selection priority is based on the student's cumulative credit hours earned and on file in the Office of the Registrar.

    *Due to the limited availability of parking spaces, students living in campus housing with less than 60 cumulative credit hours earned and on file in the Office of the Registrar are not eligible to apply for on-campus parking. You may review a listing of alternative, privately owned parking spaces leased to students, but we strongly encourage you to try out a semester or two without a car.

    Contact Campus Services HQ at 843.953.1100 for additional details.

  • What meal plans does the College of Charleston offer?

    View the Office of Dining Services website for information on semester meal plan options.

  • How do I get my College of Charleston ID (Cougar Card)?

    Students who submit their photo online prior to orientation will get their Cougar Card on the first day of orientation. Students staying in orientation housing will get their card during their housing check-in. All other students will go to Campus Services HQ, located at 162 Calhoun St. next to Chick-fil-A, to pick up their card. Students who do not submit their photo prior to orientation should visit Campus Services HQ to have their ID made. You may do this in your free time during orientation.

    Contact Campus Services HQ at or 843.953.1100 for additional questions.

  • How do I get my campus mailing address?

    The Office of Mail Services will email all students living on campus their mailing address a few weeks before classes start.  If you need your mailing address before you receive the email, contact the Office of Mail Services at  or 843.953.5534.  Their office is located on the first floor of the parking garage on St. Philip St. just across from McAlister Hall.

Campus IT

The following are questions and answers regarding campus IT.
  • How do I set up an e-mail account through the College of Charleston?

    All College of Charleston applicants who have been accepted have an e-mail account that is accessible through Microsoft Outlook.  You will sent an email to the email address you used on your application after you pay your enrollment confirmation fee with your CofC email and new MyPortal login.

    Learn more about accessing and managing your e-mail account on the IT 

  • Why should I use my College of Charleston e-mail account?

    You will be sent important information regarding the College through your College of Charleston e-mail account only. In addition, some professors e-mail course assignments and other information only to students' College accounts.

  • Am I required to have a computer as a CofC student?

    All students are required to have a laptop computer.

    Eduroam is the secure wireless network used by College of Charleston students, staff, and faculty. Using this network gives campus community members access to the Internet, internal network resources and wireless service at more than 4,000 other eduroam institutions globally.  Students living in a College residence hall have access to Campus ResNet, a highspeed Internet service, at no charge. 

    Visit the IT laptop information webpage for details on system requirements, discount programs and free Office 365 software.  

Student Life

The following are questions and answers regarding campus life outside the classroom.
  • What athletic and recreational facilities/services are available?

    The F. Mitchell Johnson Physical Education Center and the Willard Silcox Physical Education and Health Center (both located near the corner of George and Meeting Sts.) feature basketball, volleyball, badminton and racquetball courts, as well as dance and weight-training rooms, an indoor running track, classrooms, performance laboratories, and departmental offices.

    The George Street Fitness Center (located on the 1st floor of Campus Center Apartments) includes dumbbells, more than 10,000 lbs. of weight plates, 28 weight machines, 50 cardio machines, including treadmills, bikes and elliptical steppers, 8 power racks and 4 bench press benches, Group exercise room and fitness classes and programs such as Zumba and CougarFit.

    The John Kresse Court in the TD Arena offers seating for 5,000 spectators in intercollegiate contests and other College functions.

    Soccer, softball, and baseball teams practice and compete at the Patriots Point Athletics Complex in Mount Pleasant.

    The Campus Recreation Services program is designed to provide a variety of activities that contribute to the overall health and well-being of the College community. Intramural sports, sports clubs, open recreation and fitness and instructional programs are offered.

  • What student organizations and clubs are offered by the College?

    There are over 200 special interest clubs and organizations on campus. Visit Cougar Connect offered by the Office of Student Life to view a complete listing. If you have an interest that is not represented by one of our organizations, you may request to start your own organization by contacting the Office of Student Life at 843.953.5726.