The First Steps in your Hilltop Journey

All freshmen, including international freshman students, are required to participate in one of the six Orientation sessions. We encourage you to sign-up and attend the earliest possible Orientation session. There is an optional separate, but concurrent Parent and Family Orientation.

Sign up for Orientation

Online sign-up for Orientation begins April 1. To sign-up, log in to myHilltop and access the form through CollegiateLink.

Before you can sign-up for Orientation, you must pay your nonrefundable $150 enrollment deposit. If you pay your enrollment deposit online, please allow one business day before signing-up for Orientation. This ensures that your deposit is processed and that you can successfully access the online Orientation sign-up form.

Once your Orientation sign-up is confirmed, you will receive an invitation to Hillstart, the online pre-orientation, to your St. Edward's email account.

Orientation groups running   Orientation Group Circle Chat

Orientation and Other Important Dates Summer 2016


  • Freshman Session 1: Thursday, June 9–Friday, June 10
  • Freshman Session 2: Thursday, June 16–Friday, June 17
  • Freshman Session 3: Thursday, June 23–Friday, June 24
  • Freshman Session 4: Thursday, July 14–Friday, July 15
  • Freshman Session 5: Thursday, July 21–Friday, July 22
  • Freshman Session 6: Wednesday, Aug. 24–Friday, Aug. 26
    • Note: Session 6 will take place over 2.5 days to accommodate additional advising appointments. There will be built-in free time to accomodate the change. Session 6 attendees will move in Tuesday, Aug. 23.
    • Session 6 is generally reserved for out-of-state, international and CAMP students. All other students should register for Sessions 1–5, or contact the Orientation office for an exemption.
    • If you have been accepted to the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), you will sign-up for and attend Orientation 6 as a part of CAMP Enrichment Week. If you have questions, please contact Esther Q. Yacono, the CAMP director, at 512-448-8625 or esthery [at]

International Student Check-inTuesday, Aug. 23

Move-in Weekend Events: Friday, Aug. 26–Sunday, Aug. 28

School Starts: Monday, Aug. 29

Orientation Check-in and Schedule

You may check in from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on day one of your Orientation session. Parent and Family Orientation check-in will occur in the same location and time.

Orientation check-in will take place in the following locations:

  • Sessions 1–5: Dujarié Hall
  • Session 6: Ragsdale Center, second floor

Student check-out is on day two at 4 p.m. for Sessions 1–5.

Be prepared to stay at all of Orientation. 

Schedules will be available through the mobile app closer to the Orientation session.

Advising and Course Registration

All freshmen will meet individually with an academic counselor. The counselor will discuss individual degree requirements, course options and major selection.

You will register for fall classes during this individual session.

Placement Testing

Placement testing gives the university the information needed to place you into the appropriate writing and math courses. All incoming students will take math placement, and some students may need additional writing testing. Discuss your specific placement and any required testing with your academic counselor.

Math Placement

The ALEKS math placement test is a part of Hillstart, the online pre-orientation, and should be completed by Friday, July 1, or one week prior to orientation, whichever date comes first.

The ALEKS math placement test is an opportunity to ensure that you are placed into an appropriate first math course and to brush up on skills, if necessary, to achieve the best placement. Along with your initial placement, this assessment will create an individualized study plan, provide targeted tutorials, and allow you to retest to place into a higher-level course, if desired.

Learn more about the ALEKS

Writing Placement

The exam is an opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills, including your understanding of thesis statements (or controlling ideas), paragraphing, sentence structure, use of personal experience as evidence, and revision and proofreading techniques. Preparing for the writing placement exam may lead to a better performance and more class options.  Your score will determine placement in a college credit writing course or a course that does not count for college credit and is considered developmental.

Modern Language Placement

You will have the opportunity to take a free placement exam for Chinese, French, German, or Spanish during your scheduled orientation.

All students who have previous experience in any of the languages above should take this exam, which will determine the appropriate class and level for you. There is no preparation required for this exam. It is in your best interest to take the placement exam as it may decrease the number of credits you need for the general education language requirement or for a major or minor in a language.

Contact natacham [at] (subject: Modern%20Language%20Placement) (Natacha Martin), Assistant to the Dean, School of Humanities, with questions about Modern Language Placement.

The university also accepts Credit by Exam for CLEP (French, German, Spanish), AP, IB.​

Learn more about and register for CLEP

What to Bring to Orientation

For Sessions 1–5, you should bring:

  • extra-long twin sheets and a blanket or a sleeping bag
  • a pillow
  • towels
  • casual clothing (blue and gold, preferably!)
  • an alarm clock
  • any other medications or personal items needed for the one-night stay
  • picture ID
  • SEU username and password
  • proof of health insurance
  • immunization records, including your bacterial meningitis vaccination (if not already submitted)

For Session 6, you should bring (not including items for living on campus):

  • picture ID
  • SEU username and password
  • proof of health insurance
  • immunization records, including your bacterial meningitis vaccination (if not already submitted)

Orientation Fees

There is an Orientation fee of $250 that covers all Orientation costs, including meals, student housing and other services.

There is fee of $50 for each guest, ages 15 and older, who attend Parent and Family Orientation.

All fees will be added to your student account following Orientation attendance. 

If you have received enough in financial aid to cover all expenses in full, your aid can be used to cover these fees as long as you have allowed your aid to be applied toward non-direct expenses.  For other students, these fees will be folded into your remaining balance for the term where they can be paid in full or financed using the university’s monthly payment plan.

Orientation Housing

Students participating in Orientation Sessions 1–5 are required to stay on campus for the one night of Orientation. If you are registered for Session 6, you will move into your permanent residence hall on Tuesday, Aug. 23 between 9 and 4 p.m. or commute to Orientation if living off campus.

Parents who wish to join their student for Orientation are encouraged to make reservations at an Austin-area hotel. View a list of nearby hotels (PDF).

Orientation Transportation

Airport shuttle service can be provided at 8 and 9 a.m. the morning of check-in.

Return transportation can be provided at 4 and 5 p.m. on day two of Orientation Sessions 1–5.

Please email your flight information at least 48 hours in advance to orientme [at] or call 512-448-8584 to arrange your shuttle service.

Taxi service is available at the airport. Estimated taxi fare ranges  $25–$42, depending on traffic.

Students are not permitted to leave campus during Orientation, so no additional transportation is needed.