University of Pittsburgh
Student Life

First Year Experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Are housing accommodations provided during the Orientation program?

Students living in the residence halls will stay in the residence halls and will be able to move in during the first few days of orientation.  For information about local accommodations, please click here.

When do I move-in?

Student’s move in date and time depends on many variables including if you are a student athlete, participating in the band, if you are an international student, and more.  The First Year Experience Office coordinates orientation programs, however, the Arrival Survival office coordinates moving in to the residence halls. For information relating to move-in, please go to  This site can provide you with information about what to pack, what paperwork to bring with you, move-in dates, parking instructions, directions to campus and more.

What is the difference between PittStart and Orientation?

Pittstart is a two day orientation that occurs over the summer prior to your arrival on campus.  There is one PittStart session offered in coordination with Orientation on August 24-30, 2015.  During PittStart you will be introduced to campus and important services such as web resources, billing and payment, panther central etc… You will also meet with your advisor to register for classes.

Orientation occurs during the week before classes start.  During this week, you will be able to attend many events that introduce you to new offices such as Study Abroad, Cross Cultural and Leadership Development, Career Development and Placement Assistance, and Residence Life, just to name a few.  Orientation is the first time that your entire class is together.  There are some required programs starting Wednesday, August 26 as well as many social program such as the Guinness World Record Attempt,  Ice Cream Social, Global Carnival, Discover Pittsburgh, Pre-Class Bash and more.  You will also be able to pre-register for events like a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game, community service day and DiscoverU field trips.

Both PittStart and Orientation are required for students.  Families are also welcome to attend these programs but are not required to do so. 

What is AlcoholEdu & Haven?

As part of our comprehensive alcohol prevention program, the University of Pittsburgh requires each new member of the community to complete AlcoholEdu for College – an online, non-opinionated, science-based course taken by hundreds of thousands of students each year. Whether you drink or not, AlcoholEdu will empower you to make well-informed decisions about alcohol and help you better cope with the drinking behavior of your peers. Go here for more information about AlcoholEdu.

What orientation programs are the most important to attend?

It is a good idea to review the orientation schedule before coming to campus. That way you and your family can decide which events are most important to you. We encourage you to go to as many programs as you can. You will be able to find detailed descriptions as well as dates and times for all programs in your New and Transfer Student Orientation schedule when it becomes available.

Where can I go if I need help during orientation?

Everyone at the University of Pittsburgh is here to help you; however, if you find yourself in need of some assistance, there are two main locations: The Tower's Lobby and the William Pitt Union. Both sites have staff and students who are ready to assist you.


Revised 01/21/15 | Copyright 2009 | Site by UMC Web Team