What Is START? 

START is our orientation program for incoming students. During orientation, students learn about all of the different resources available at the University, from academic support to all of the different ways to get involved on campus. Students will also be able to connect with their academic college, and meet other incoming students. We also have programming for parents and families, so the whole family can learn more about Oregon State University and everyone feels prepared for the transition to OSU.

We've set up START to support and preference in-person meetings as much as possible. There is a second day that will contain your academic advising appointment, which is required for course registration. As such, when you choose to attend in-person START, we prefer that you stay to attend your advising appointment in person the day after. If this is not possible due to your circumstances, we will have phone and zoom advising appointments available that second day. If attending a second day remotely is not possible, please let us know so we can plan an alternative way to get you an advising appointment. 

For students who cannot attend in-person START, we will have three virtual START sessions available to complete asynchronously throughout the summer. Each Virtual START has a three-day period following the session during which students can meet with their advisor virtually to coordinate class schedules. 

In Person START 

In person orientation will take place over the course of one day on campus. The following day is Advising Day and students will be expected to meet with their advisor and register for classes on the day following their START day. 

In-person START is designed for students who learn best in community, those who are coming to Corvallis from another part of the state, US, or world, and/or those who aren't sure what they will need to get started here. It is a guided orientation and we find that students who are traditionally aged, coming to college from high school, as well as those coming to OSU after a year or two of community college are most successful in this START model. This is an engaging experience that relies on relationship building and foundational student engagement practices to help your transition to Oregon State.

START Content will include:
  • Small group with START Leaders
  • Introduction to academics at OSU
  • Lunch with START Leaders
  • Dollars and Sense presentation with Financial Aid and Student Accounts
  • College presentations and information on advising and registration
  • Information sessions for special programs
  • Resource fair
  • Computer lab time to complete ALEKS and Language assessments (optional)
  • Residence hall tours

Virtual START

Our virtual orientations will be largely asynchronous, with different tasks to complete throughout the 5-day window when virtual session takes place.

Virtual START is designed for self-motivated students who already have support and connections at OSU or in Corvallis. It is a streamlined version of START and we find that students who are older than traditional age, serving their communities in fire service or military, and those with the ability to create community in other ways are the most successful in this START model. This is a completely asynchronous START and while it contains lots of opportunities for engagement, it is up to the student to choose to participate in these.  Virtual START Sessions will also include:

  • Online modules and videos to complete in your own time
  • Office hours with START Leaders to answer any questions you may have
  • Socials with START Leaders and other incoming students
  • Virtual Campus tour
  • Dollars and sense with the Office of Financial Aid and Student Accounts
Session START Date Advising Date
Off-Site START in Hawai'i June 10 June 10
First-Year 1 June 27 June 28
First-Year 2 June 29 June 30
First-Year 3 and Bilingüe July 9 July 10
First-Year 4 July 11 July 12
First-Year 5 July 18 July 19
First-Year 6 July 20 July 21
First-Year 7 July 25 July 26
First-Year 8 July 27 July 28
First-Year 9 and Black & Indigenous START July 30 July 31
First-Year 10 August 3 August 4
First-Year 11 August 8 August 9
First-Year 12 August 10 August 11


START Date Advising Date
Off-Site START in Hawai'i June 10 June 10
Transfer 1 July 13 July 14
Transfer 2 August 1 August 2
Transfer 3 September 7 September 8
Session START Date Advising Date
Virtual 1 June 30 - July 4 July 5-7
Virtual 2 August 11-15 August 16-18
Virtual 3 September 8-12 September 13-15

Fees for START

While START is free for students in almost all cases, there are some additional fees for our parents and family guests, as well as if you choose to stay overnight with us in the residence halls.

New for 2023, we have a small pool of funding to partially offset the cost of START fees for high-financial need families. This funding is limited and we unfortunately will not be able to meet the needs of all families looking for START fee financial assistance. High financial need students will see a question on their START sign-up asking if they're interested in being considered for a partial fee waiver.

Once we reach the threshold for available waivers for each session, we will notify students individually via email with information on the fee waiver.  We will communicate with students and families who selected that they wanted to be considered for this partial-fee waiver, regardless of whether we are able to offer them a waiver or not.

In Person START

Parents and Families (16 or older): $65 per person

  • Includes meals, parent and family events during orientation, and informational materials

Family (under the age of 16): $15 per person

  • Includes catering and meals during orientation

Virtual START

Basic Parents and Families: $0

  • includes communication from our office and access to virtual parent and family informational panels

Off-Site START in Honolulu, HI

Students: $145

  • Includes meals, informational materials, and helps to off-set costs of staff traveling to Hawai'i

Parents and Families (16 or older): $55 per person

  • Includes meals, informational materials, and helps to off-set costs of staff traveling to Hawai'i

Family (under the age of 16): $15 per person

  • Includes catering and meals during orientation

Housing (for both students and families)

Students and guests will be able to choose to stay the night after their START session, before their Advising day.

Costs include: Housing, linen packet (to make your own bed), dinner on START day, evening activities on START day, as well as breakfast on Advising day.

  • Students will be paired with another student in a residence hall with a shared bathroom on the same floor: $60 per night
  • Guests will be housed with any additional family in a nearby residence hall with a shared bathroom in their suite: $70 per person per night

Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, we are able to offer a limited waitlist for each session that will automatically add students to "registered" status if space becomes available.  Important things to note about the waitlist:

  1. If you wish to utilize this function, you need to start with this process first, before registering for your back-up session. 
  2. All students signed up for a waitlist must also be registered for a back-up session, as there is no guarantee by being on the waitlist that a spot will open up. 
  3. If the waitlist is full, there is no "waitlist to be on the waitlist" and students should choose another session to attend. 
  4. If you've already signed up for a START session, you'll need to cancel you registration before seeing the option to join a waitlist.
  5. There is almost no benefit to attending an earlier START session over a later one.  All of the content is the same, course registrations will not fill up, and the later in the summer we are, the more practiced our staff will be in supporting your needs!

We ask that all students staying in person for Advising Day be prepared to stay until 5pm.  Each college will manage the process of advising a bit differently, with some being finished in the morning and others needing the full day to meet with all of their students.  If this is prohibitive for you, you can update your START registration and choose the virtual advising option instead.