Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that you may have several questions about the orientation programs. Below is a list of frequently asked questions we receive. If after going through this list you don't see the question or answer you seek, please contact us and we'll be more than happy to answer your question.


Why is Orientation Mandatory?

  • Attending orientation is mandatory because students that attend a new student orientation program are more successful and more apt to stay on track for graduation. 
  • We provide students with information that we as a university are legally obligated to provide as well as opportunities to network with other students to feel at home on campus.
  • Returning Students: If you have completed Orientation within the last 18 months you do not have to retake it. 18 months and beyond, you are required to retake Orientation.

Do I need to RSVP?

  • Yes – through our reservation system which can be accessed via
  • Each program will only accept a limited number of participants. The sessions are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. 
  • Travel arrangements? If students are attending Freshman Sessions 1-9, overnight accommodations will be part of Orientation for the student. Sessions 11 &12 do not provide overnight accommodations. Transfer sessions do not provide overnight accommodations.

How do I reserve my spot for Orientation?

  • Visit 
  • You will need your UNM NetiID
  • The email address that you regularly check
  • Available dates you would like to participate.

My parents or a guest(s) want to come with me to orientation. How do they sign up and will I be with them?

  • Summer Orientation
    • You can add Guests to your reservation via the NSO reservation website you used to create your own reservation. 
    • Important: Guests, parents, and family members are not allowed to go to the advisement component with students because of FERPA regulations
    • FIRST-YEAR ORIENTATION -  students and guests attend concurrent but different programs at orientation.  While your paths might cross throughout the day, you will be separated throughout most of the program.
    • TRANSFER ORIENTATION - does not have a guest portion. 
  • Spring Orientation
    • Important: Guests, parents, and family members are not allowed to go to the advisement component with students because of FERPA regulations
    • SPRING ORIENTATIONS have a brief guest portion concurrent with the student program.

What do I need to bring with me?

  • Summer Orientation:
    • Your Net ID and password
    • UNM ID number (the 9-digit number that came in your Admissions Letter, sometimes referred to as Banner ID)
    • A government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport) for obtaining your Lobo ID Card
    • A parking permit code will be provided via confirmation e-mail two weeks prior to your session 
    • Comfortable clothes and walking shoes
    • A sweater, or light jacket (you will be in air-conditioned buildings)
    • Rain or shine, Freshmen orientation sessions will be held. Keep an eye out for weather changes! 
    • Extra clothes
    • Toiletries
    • Alarm clock 
  • Spring Orientation:
    • Bring notes and something to write with to jot down information about presentations and information regarding resources and UNM. 

Is there anything I CAN’T do or isn’t included in Orientation? 

  • Individual meeting times with departments
  • Financial aid
  • Bursars
  • Scholarships
  • Housing
  • Meal plans

 **You will need to schedule these appointments outside of New Student Orientation

What is the Cancellation Policy for Orientation?

  • The New Student Orientation Program works with a number of departments that require us to guarantee your space prior to your arrival at orientation. The three business day notice allows us sufficient time to contact these departments and notify them of any changes.
  • You MUST call the New Student Orientation program at (505)277-3096 by 5:00 pm three business days prior to your scheduled sessions if:
    • You are unable to attend the session or program you have signed up for.
    • You are signed up for a session or program and decide not to attend the University of New Mexico for the upcoming semester.
  • The No-Show fee is an additional charge in the same amount as the program cost (Ex: TNT Express A: $50.00, “No-Show”: $50.00)
  • The No-Show fee is the result of a student not attending the registered session or not canceling before the identified deadline.
  • Contacting another University Office about your decision not to attend UNM does not count as canceling your commitment to attend orientation, you need to cancel by calling 505-277-5321

I have to work and cannot take time off to attend Orientation.  What should I do?

  • There is information provided during Orientation that is mandatory for us to provide to incoming students. If you do not attend this mandatory Orientation you will have outstanding requirements on your account that can prevent you from registering for your classes or functions at the university.

I attended UNM before and just got readmitted. Do I have to attend orientation?

  • If you are a returning student that has been away for more than 3 semesters or 18 months you may complete your Orientation online. 
  • If you are a person who took ‘dual enrollment’ classes, this doesn’t qualify you as somebody who has “already attended”. You are still required to attend a Freshman Orientation Program.

I attended orientation a few years ago. Do I have to attend again?

  • Returning Students: If you have completed Orientation within the last 3 semesters or 18 months you do not have to retake it. Three (3) semesters or 18 months and beyond, you are required to retake Orientation.

Should I take a Placement exam before Orientation?

  • Yes, all students are required to take a course placement tool called LOBO COURSE PLACEMENT, if you have other test scores such as ACT or SAT or any AP or IB classes please send those test scores over to the UNM admissions office. UNM will honor the highest test score on file.  

If you would like to challenge your ACT/SAT scores for course placement contact the UNM Testing Center. 

  •  Incoming students at the University of New Mexico will have the opportunity to take a course placement tool called LOBO COURSE PLACEMENT prior to orientation, UNM will honor the highest test score for each subject. Should you decide to seek out advisement pertaining to course placement before orientation, you will still need to meet with your advisor during orientation to register.

Can I retake my Placement exams?

  • Yes, you are able to retake your placement exams. Please contact your academic advisor for instructions.

Can I register for classes before I attend orientation?

  • Freshman Student
    • No. You may only register for classes at Orientation but rest assured that we provide ample support for the registration process and closely monitor course availability throughout the summer.
  • Transfer Student?
    • No. Attending Orientation is required for all new undergraduates and registration occurs at the end of the Orientation program.  See information about visiting an advisor before orientation.

When will my orientation hold be removed so I can register for classes?

  • The orientation hold will be removed after you completed the orientation.  If you are seeing an advisor during the orientation session, your hold will be lifted before seeing an advisor. 

Can I see an academic advisor before I complete my orientation?

  • Freshman Student?
    • Yes.  You are welcome to visit an advisor by appointment.  Keep in mind that advisement is a significant component of your orientation session, plus your advisor will be contacting you by phone or email immediately prior to your orientation session therefore an in-person meeting with your advisor beforehand is optional. 
  • Transfer Student? 
    • Transfer students are encouraged to visit with their advisor before orientation since individual meetings allow advisors to spend more time with students.  Students unable to travel to Albuquerque may request an appointment by phone or Skype. Advisors will be available at the end of transfer orientations for students that are unable to meet prior to Orientation.  You may schedule an appointment through LoboAchieve and may find your advisor based on your major by clicking here.
  • Online Orientation Student?
    • Online or distance students should schedule an appointment through LoboAchieve and do so independently of the online orientation as advising is required of all new students. There is also a 24-hour turnaround for hold removal due to our automated hold removal process of the Orientation registration hold.

What is a Language Evaluation?

  • If you are planning on taking language classes, you need to take a language placement exam called an evaluation.  
  • The evaluations are administered for the foreign languages Spanish, French, and German.  
  • More information can be found on the “placement test page” on the website.
  • Students taking Spanish are required to take the Spanish Evaluation with the Spanish and Portuguese Department (you may be exempt if you transfer Spanish credit).

I’m a UNM Branch Student. Do I have to complete orientation?

  • Yes even though you're a UNM student at one of our branch campuses, orientation at the main campus will give you the information necessary for you to be successful in matriculating in the Albuquerque campus. As a branch campus student, you have the opportunity to pick from several orientations. We understand that as a branch campus student, you already have a lot of information about UNM but we also recognize that there are students with different levels of expertise about Albuquerque's main campus. Branch campus students have the choice of picking from the following orientations: branch transfer orientation (gives you access to register during UNM registration week), any transfer orientation program both in person and virtual, and the ability to do a self-paced online orientation. 

I'm a UNM Staff Member.  Do I have to go to orientation?

  • In-person Orientation can be supplemented with an Online Orientation.

What occurs during advising at orientation?

  • Freshman Student

    • Students spend time with the advisor(s) of their major learning about their degree program requirements and will see how their course placement fits within those requirements.  They will get support and guidance in searching and registering for their courses, plus learn about the many academic advising resources available to them.
  • Transfer Students

    • Advisors will review degree requirements, and demonstrate tools for how transfer work applies to degree requirements.  Advisors prefer to see transfer students individually by appointment prior to Orientation but will have walk-in hours at the end of the Orientation program.