Your Hilltop Journey Begins this Spring

On behalf of the Orientation staff and the entire university, we welcome you to St. Edward’s University. We are pleased you will join us this spring and are confident you will make a significant contribution to our campus community. Our international academic community will challenge and inspire you to fulfill your potential — and empower you to make a difference in your world.

Spring freshmen and transfer students (domestic and international) must attend Orientation. Freshmen and international students will have advising and course registration at Orientation, while transfer students will have the option of early advising and course registration.

To sign up for Spring New Undergraduate Orientation, you must have an enrollment deposit on file in the Undergraduate Admission Office, and then log in to myHilltop for Orientation sign up starting in November.

There is an optional, concurrent Parent and Family Orientation.

Orientation Check-in and Schedule

Spring 2017 Orientation is Thursday, Jan. 12.

Students and guests should check in from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Ragsdale Center, second floor.

Orientation is 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. The exact ending time will vary depending on the student's classification, testing needs and advising appointment time (if needed).

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

Transfer Student Advising, Testing and Course Registration

Advising and Course Registration

Transfer students who wish to enroll in classes prior to the Transfer Orientation sessions may do so by calling one of the numbers listed below, based on major or status. To take advantage of this earlier registration opportunity, transfer students must first complete the steps for enrollment outlined in their acceptance packet. Most of these steps can also be completed on myHilltop. Upon completion, students can call to schedule their advising and registration appointment. If you are not sure what school your major is in, please contact your Admission Counselor or visit Undergraduate Majors and Minors.

Transfer students who are unable to participate in the early registration period must come to Orientation on Jan. 12 in order to meet with an advisor and register for classes. Note: there are other topics covered at Orientation, so transfer students who are already registered should still sign up and attend.

IMPORTANT: Advising and evaluation of credit will be based on the official transcripts received. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm the arrival of transcripts prior to advising and registration.

Placement Testing

Math Placement

Your advisor will determine whether the math placement test is required or recommended during the transfer credit evaluation, prior to your meeting to pre-register.  You will receive instructions about the placement test when setting up the pre-registration appointment, and will need to have completed their initial ALEKS assessment online in order to keep their advising appointment. 

  • Transfer students are required to take the assessment if they have not yet satisfied the general education math requirement. 
  • Transfer students are recommended to take the assessment if they have satisfied the general education math requirement but do not have credit for Calculus I, even if they have satisfied the math requirement of their current, intended major. 
  • Transfer students are exempted from the assessment if they have credit for Calculus I or higher.

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, including how to prepare.

Writing Placement

Placement testing before classes begin may be required for students with no prior college-level credit in English. Discuss your specific placement and any required testing with your advisor.

Modern Language Placement

You will have the opportunity to take a free placement exam for Chinese, French, German, or Spanish during your scheduled orientation. Additionally, you can sign up for an testing time directly with the School of Humanities.

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] stedwards.edu (subject: Modern%20Language%20Placement) (Natacha Martin), Assistant to the Dean, School of Humanities, with questions about Modern Language Placement or to sign up for a testing time outside of your scheduled orientation.

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

Learn more about and register for CLEP

Freshmen Advising, Testing and Course Registration

Advising and Course Registration

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

You will register for fall classes during this individual session.

Placement Testing

Some students will be required to complete placement tests in English or math to finalize course placement. Students who must take these tests will be notified prior to course registration. Discuss your specific placement and any required testing with your advisor.

Students with Advanced Placement test scores or dual enrollment coursework should discuss their placement and credits with your academic counselor.

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 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] stedwards.edu (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

International Student Advising, Testing and Course Registration

Advising and Course Registration

International Freshman will be advised and registered at Orientation.

Note: Exchange students will be registered by the Office of International Education.

International Transfer students already in the U.S. who wish to enroll in classes prior to Orientation may do so by contacting Academic Counseling and Exploration (ACE) at ace [at] stedwards.edu or 512-448-8660. To take advantage of this earlier registration opportunity, transfer students must first complete the steps for enrollment outlined in their acceptance packet. Most of these steps can also be completed on myHilltop. Upon completion, students can call to schedule their advising and registration appointment.

International Transfer Students who are unable to participate in the early registration period must come to Orientation in order to meet with an advisor and register for classes. Note: there are other topics covered at Orientation, so transfer students should still sign up and attend.

IMPORTANT: Advising and evaluation of credit will be based on the official transcripts received. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm the arrival of transcripts prior to advising and registration.

Placement Testing

Placement testing before classes begin may be required for students with no prior college-level credit in English or math. Discuss your specific placement and any required testing with your advisor.

Placement testing gives the university the information needed to place you into the appropriate writing and math courses. Determine if you need placement testing by referring to the International Check-in and Orientation postcard in your I-20 packet or contact 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, including how to prepare.

Writing Placement

The writing placement test will be offered at International Student Check-in, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017.

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.

To improve writing skills and prepare for the writing placement test:

  • Visit the Resources for Students and Teachers site developed by the St. Edward’s University Writing Center.
  • Practice timed writing: The Purdue OWL also has specific tips and strategies for writing a timed essay.
  • Immerse yourself in English, by reading, writing, and listening to a variety of resources—online magazines and newspapers, social media sites, books, music—to strengthen your English skills before testing.

Optional Testing

If your English proficiency score has placed you into a specific curriculum, you may choose to challenge this placement. If you would like to challenge this placement, you must take the required tests. This curriculum model was sent with your acceptance letter.

What to bring to Orientation

You should bring:

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

Orientation Fees

The following fees cover all Orientation costs, including meals and other services:

  • Freshmen: $250
  • Transfer and Exchange students: $50
  • Guests: $40 for each guest, ages 15 and older, who attend Orientation

All fees will be added to your account following Orientation attendance. Since Orientation is mandatory, the student fees will automatically be applied.

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

As spring Orientation is not overnight, housing is not provided. Students who will be living on campus may move-in prior to Orientation on Wednesday, Jan. 11 (Tuesday, Jan. 10 for International students).

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).