New Student Orientation (NSO)
NSO is conducted by Penn State's Division of Undergraduate Studies. NSO assists new first-year students in evaluating their educational plans by providing them with a comprehensive program of testing and individualized educational planning and academic advising. This program is the first stage of academic advising, and provides students with an understanding of their scholastic preparation, academic ability, and educational and professional interests. The program also introduces them to the academic structure and degree programs of the University.
Preparing for New Student Orientation (NSO)
Step 1: Complete your Educational Planning Survey
Your first step in preparing for New Student Orientation (NSO) 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
The number of hours a week you expect to study at Penn State
Step 2: 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 3: Complete your pre-NSO Homework
Before registering and attending New Student Orientation, students are asked to complete and submit the Pre-NSO Homework. The goals of the homework are as follows:
- Clarify areas of interest
- Determine foreign language placement options
- Inform advisers of advance placement examinations and/or any college courses for credit taken previously
- Give student an opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns prior to the advising appointment
Step 4: Register and attend your New Student Orientation
Once you complete steps 1, 2, and 3 (Educational Planning Survey, your ALEKS Math Assessment, and your Pre-NSO Advising Homework) you may register here for one of the NSO dates. Please note that the sooner you make your appointment, the better class selection you will have. Be proactive!
If you cannot attend your assigned day, our staff will work with you to select a later NSO date. Canceling or changing your appointment may result in your not being able to schedule critical classes your first semester. If there is an unforeseen emergency that prevents you from making your NSO day, please contact the Academic Advising at 610-285-5075.New Student Orientation typically involves:
- Learning about the academic structure of Penn State
- Gaining a better understanding of your academic preparation and the expectations Penn State has for you as a new member of our community
- Learning about support resources and services available to you at Penn State
- Networking with other new students, current students, faculty and staff and
- Taking care of some of the business of being a student (such as obtaining your id+ card and Penn State Access Account). Please bring a valid photo ID to your meeting.
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 (email@example.com).
- For help with advising or New Student Orientation, contact Marta Dasilva at 610-285-5238 or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
- For questions about financial aid or VA benefits, please reach out to Maryann Hubick at 610-285-5033 or via email (email@example.com).
- 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
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802
Other Student Service Links
- Current Students