FAQs

The following FAQs are specific to students that are admitted for Fall 2023 only.

▼   How does an incoming student register for Fall 2023 Southbound New Student Orientation?
Incoming undergraduate students who have been admitted to USA for Fall 2023 must register for orientation to enroll at South. An email will be sent to all students admitted for Fall 2023 with information about the registration process. Select the appropriate navigation tab (on the left of the screen, Freshmen or Transfer & Adult) for details.
▼   How will Southbound Orientation work?

Admitted students who have registered for Southbound Orientation will be added to an online course that should be completed before their scheduled orientation session. Students will be given access to the online course via Canvas/USAOnline 7-10 days before their session. Canvas/USAOnline is the university’s Learning Management System and is vital to student success at USA. Incoming students should check their JagMail (student email account) regularly, as they will need to accept the invitation to the online orientation course in order to participate. 


Orientation will be offered in various formats to accommodate different student needs and preferences. Please note that orientation offerings are on a first come, first serve basis, so the sooner a student registers, the more options they will have. Freshman students will have the option to select a 1-day or 2-day on-campus orientation session, or a 90-minute virtual orientation session. Transfer students will have the option to choose a one-day on-campus orientation session or a 90-minute virtual orientation. Regardless of which option a student chooses, they will still have access to the pre-orientation course and Week of Welcome in-person opportunities. Click the tab below to learn more about each orientation format option.

▼   When will new students be advised and register for fall semester courses?

Starting April 25, students who have signed up for orientation will be contacted by their academic advisor via JagMail to schedule an appointment to register for classes. Students will receive an invitation to join the Canvas AATS Advising course. This course must be completed before the advising appointment and all students must attend their appointment in order to register for the upcoming semester. For most students, this advising appointment will take place prior to the student's scheduled orientation, but depending on availability, it could also take place after.

Students that do not have ACT/SAT scores and are pursuing a STEM or business major will need to take the math placement exam before they meet with their advisor. Instructions on signing up for the math placement exam can be found here: https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/artsandsci/mathstat/placementinfo.html

▼   What will be offered at the on-campus orientation?

Students have the option of a 1-day or 2-day on-campus orientation experience, as well as a virtual session if they so choose. Regardless of the selected orientation session, students will still be required to complete the online course pre-orientation and meet with their academic advisor. All students must report to their orientation session at their scheduled start time (see confirmation email) to check-in, as orientation attendance for the duration of the program is required.


Students who register for and attend an in-person orientation will meet their Orientation Leaders at the USA Student Center on their scheduled orientation date, where they will have the opportunity to:

  • Connect with student organizations and current Jags
  • Secure their Jag ID
  • Visit the USA Bookstore to purchase textbooks and supplies
  • Attend information sessions about campus safety, Title IX, academic success, financial services, and student life
  • Connect with other new students
  • Chat with faculty from the colleges and staff from departments to learn more about South and ask questions
  • Enjoy lunch at the Student Center
  • Participate in campus and community fairs
  • Pick up their Jaguar Welcome Pack...and more.

One-day sessions will start at 9am and end around 4pm CST.

Freshman students may select a two-day on-campus session as available. Overnight sessions start day one around 8am CST will end on day two around 2pm CST. A two-day orientation session includes an overnight stay in one of our newest freshman residence halls. Students will have the opportunity to choose a roommate (must be a student that is signed up for the same session) or pairs of students will be assigned to each room based on academic major and gender. Students must bring their own bed linens and remain on campus for the duration of the session unless they are escorted by their parent or guardian. 


Attendance for the duration of the program is required for students, but optional for parents. Parents must be registered for Parent Orientation to attend. See the parent tab below for additional details regarding Parent Orientation.

▼   Will a virtual orientation be offered?

There will be a few virtual orientation options available for students who need it. Regardless of the selected orientation session, students will still be required to complete the online course pre-orientation and meet with their academic advisor. All students must report to their orientation session at their scheduled start time (see confirmation email) to check-in, as orientation attendance for the duration of the program is required.


Students who attend a virtual orientation will meet with their Orientation Leader via Zoom on their scheduled orientation day to learn more about South and ask questions. Additionally, all students will have the option to attend our Southbound Open House during the Week of Welcome when they arrive on campus for in-person guidance.

▼   Will there be a Parent Orientation for the parents/guardians of first-time freshmen?

Yes. Incoming freshmen that select an in-person orientation session (one-day or two-day options) will have the opportunity to register their parents/guardians for the Parent Orientation program. The Parent Orientation program is only for in-person sessions and will run concurrently with the student sessions. Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to attend orientation with other parents, while students attend orientation with other students. Activities will run from about 8am to 5pm. Parent Orientation is not required, but it is encouraged! There will be food, panel discussions, giveaways, and much more. The orientation fee for parents is $40 each and parents must be registered for orientation on their student's orientation registration form to attend orientation.

Please check the For Parents tab for more information.

▼   What should admitted students be doing to prepare for orientation?
  1. Double-check registration and confirmation for their scheduled orientation session.
  2. Check both personal email and JagMail accounts for communications from the university regarding advising, orientation, and next steps for successful enrollment and transition to USA.
  3. Complete the Admitted Student Checklist, located in the Pre-Orientation course that students will have access to prior to their scheduled orientation session.
▼   Can I be refunded my orientation fee? 

Orientation is a requirement for all new, undergraduate students and the orientation fee is a university fee that should be paid prior to orientation registration. Formal requests for refunds must be emailed to southbound@southalabama.edu by May 1, 2023, if the student no longer plans to enroll in Fall 2023. Regardless of admission or registration date, this fee is non-refundable following the May 1, 2023 deadline.

▼   How can I get connected to campus virtually?

 Visit southalabama.edu/orientation and click the Engagement tab for a list of events and to view recordings from previous orientation seasons.

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