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Preparing for New Student Orientation (NSO)

All new first-year students to Penn State must participate in New Student Orientation (NSO). At NSO, you will meet with faculty and staff, begin to develop goals for your time at Penn State, learn about campus resources, and schedule courses for your first semester. Before proceeding with your required NSO steps, you must activate your Access Account (email from identity [at] psu.edu). This is different from the Friends of Penn State (FPS) account you created to apply to Penn State.

Once you activate your Access Account, NSO is a four step process:


Preparing for New Student Orientation (NSO)

Step 1: Complete ALEKS Math Assessment

After you complete your Educational Planning Survey, your next step will be to take your ALEKS Math Assessment (available March 1 if you were admitted for the Summer or Fall 2015 semesters). The results from the ALEKS Math Assessment are used to determine your appropriate starting level in mathematics and chemistry. To determine your placement in English, we use the scores from your SAT-Writing exam.

Visit these webpages to learn more:

Step 2: Complete your Educational Planning Survey

After you take your ALEKS Math Assessment, your next step is to complete your Educational Planning Survey. This survey is conducted to help academic advisers prepare to discuss your educational plans with you during NSO. The survey should only take about 15-20 minutes to complete.

The Educational Planning Survey consists of multiple-choice questions about:

  • your main reason for attending college;
  • your reasons for choosing Penn State;
  • your choice of major;
  • your estimated grade-point average at the end of your first year at Penn State; and
  • the number of hours a week you expect to study at Penn State.

Note: An active Access Account is required for the Educational Planning Survey. Instructions were sent via email from identity [at] psu.edu for you to activate your account. A Friends of Penn State (FPS) account will not work.

Complete your Educational Planning Survey (access via LionPATH) >>

Steps within LionPath to access your Educational Planning Survey:

  • Log into LionPath with your Penn State Access Account
  • From the Main Menu, click on Self Service
  • Click on Student Center
  • Under Academics on the Student Center webpage, click on Educational Planning Survey

Helpful tip: To submit your Educational Planning Survey, please fill in all responses and then click "okay." You will not see a confirmation message of submission, but as long as all questions have a response and "okay" is clicked, your Educational Planning Survey has been successfully submitted.

Step 3: Register for New Student Orientation (open in April 2016)

Within one week of completing your ALEKS Math Assessment and Educational Planning Survey, you will receive an email invitation to make your reservation for New Student Orientation. You will not be eligible to access our Penn State Orientation Reservation System until you receive this email from our office with the subject "Make Your Reservation for NSO."

This email will come directly to you at your PSU email and the personal email you provided on your application to Penn State.

When prompted, you should follow the directions for logging in to our Penn State Orientation Reservation System sent via email. In order to create your account, you will need:

  • your PSU ID (nine-digit number beginning with 9);
  • your birthdate; and
  • either the e-mail address you used on your application to Penn State or your PSU email

If you require any special accommodations during NSO, you will have the opportunity to provide us with this information along with your reservation.

NSO programs will be listed based your Penn State campus, semester of entry (Summer or Fall), and college of admission. Not every NSO program will be an option for every student. Please select the NSO program that best meets your schedule. You will need to be available for the entirety of the program. If you are not able to commit to the entire program (listed in the details of the reservation page), you should select a different one.

After selecting your preferred NSO program, you can elect to add information for any parents or family members ("Guests") who may be attending NSO with you. By providing us with their contact information, they will also receive a confirmation of your selected NSO program.

Review your reservation. Be sure to click "Submit" at the top or bottom of the page to reserve your seat at NSO. Your reservation is not guaranteed until you click "Submit".

You and your guests should receive a confirmation email to the email address you entered with your reservation.

Return to the reservation system at any time to adjust the information you provided or to change your NSO program (if permitted by your campus).

Did you receive the NSO reservation email? Make your reservation for NSO >>

Step 4: Complete your pre-NSO Homework (available in May 2016)

Pre-NSO Homework will be available for download in May 2016.

Additional Information

Still have questions about getting started at Penn State Lehigh Valley? Please feel free to reach out to the parties below and they will assist you.

  • For help with Admission, PA residency, or for a change in your offer/campus of admission, contact Michael Damweber at 610-285-5046 or via email (mjd914@psu.edu).
  • For help with advising or New Student Orientation, contact Marta Dasilva at 610-285-5238 or via email (mip110@psu.edu ).
  • For questions about financial aid or VA benefits, please reach out to Maryann Hubick at 610-285-5033 or via email (mxh61@psu.edu).
  • Undergraduate students interested in receiving credit for Advanced Placement (AP) Exams should arrange for their official grade reports to be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to Penn State. Penn State's ETS code is 2660. Additional information can be found by visiting our website.You must earn a C or better for credits to be transferred. The credits are added to your Penn State Transcript, but the grades are not transferred and will not affect your PSU cumulative GPA. For Dual Enrollment credits, please send official transcripts from the college awarding credits to:

    Penn State University
    Undergraduate Admissions
    201 Shields Building
    University Park, PA 16802