New Student and Family Orientation

Welcome to New Student and Family Orientation


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.

Registration for the summer 2024 in-person orientation sessions is open for students who have paid their non-refundable enrollment deposit. 

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. 

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 you pay your tuition bill for the upcoming semester.  

How to Register for Orientation  

You must have paid your non-refundable enrollment deposit 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, visit MyPortal. 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. You should follow the directions on the Admissions Next Steps website to set up your permanent MyPortal login. 

  2. Go to the top right of the MyPortal screen and click on the down arrow that looks like a V.

  3. Click on select profile, select College of Charleston member and then select the orientation profile.

  4. Click on the “orientation registration” box. Verify that your name and email address are displayed at the top of the form. 

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.

Know Your Student Type

Freshman. I have not taken any college classes. If I was dual enrolled in high school, I am still considered a freshman. 

Transfer. 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).

Additional Orientation Information

Please review the information for orientation program details.
  • Orientation Dates

    The in-person orientation sessions are for students who are starting classes in the fall 2024 semester can be found on the orientation dates page. New students who pay the non-refundable enrollment deposit to the Office of Admissions will begin to receive orientation information in the mail starting in March 2024.

    The first day of classes for the fall 2024 semester Tuesday, August 20, 2024. For additional semester dates, please refer to the academic calendar for each semester.

    View Orientation Dates
  • Registration Confirmation

    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. 

    Please do not make travel plans and/or lodging reservations until your assigned orientation date has been confirmed. 

    Check out the new student calendar to help you transition to CofC in the upcoming semester. 

    Note: We do not mail or email confirmations. This does not apply to iCharleston students.

  • Know Your College Credentials

    You should receive an email through the personal email account that you used on your application to the College about how to set up your permanent MyPortal login. You should follow the directions on the Admissions Next Step website to set up your permanent account.

    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 MyPortal account, contact or 843.953.3375. 

  • Course Registration Process

    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 MyPortal 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 MyPortal 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.

  • Students or Guests with Disabilities

    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.  The student and family orientation program does involve walking to different locations on campus. 

    College of Charleston does not have wheelchairs or scooters, so please plan to bring or rent your own for the orientation session. 

  • Orientation Date Change Requests

    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 Please include your name and CWID (Campus Wide Identification Number). If we can accommodate your request, we’ll confirm by email. 

  • Stay Connected

    Keep up with what’s happening through Instagram, at cofcorientation and the College of Charleston New Student Orientation Facebook page.

    As for your family, we suggest that they spend some time on the “family and parent
    resources” page ( These are all excellent resources that will have
    you and your family feeling comfortable with the College in no time flat.