Undergraduate Orientation

Welcome to the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan!

Our faculty, staff, and students are glad that you have chosen to join us. We hope your undergraduate experience will pave the way for an exciting future.

After you paid your enrollment deposit, you should have received information about orientation from the Office of New Student Programs (ONSP) including how to register for orientation, directions to campus, and information about where you will stay. You will spend Day 1 and the morning of Day 2 in ONSP programming with students enrolling in schools across campus.

We will see you the afternoon of Day 2 of your orientation. We, along with your Peer Advisors, will be here to work with you as you learn more about our school and U-M. You will also meet individually with your Kinesiology advisor both Day 2 before you plan your schedule, and Day 3 before and after you register for classes.

Congratulations! We look forward to seeing you soon.


The Office of Undergraduate Student Affairs (OUSA)

Before You Arrive

Complete these steps before you come to Orientation:

  1. Take the academic integrity quiz
  2. Take the Math Placement Test and the Sweetland Writing Center Assessment (instructions are in your orientation materials from ONSP)
  3. Visit the following sections of the Kinesiology website, where you can learn about:

Orientation Itinerary

Day 1

On Day 1 you will attend a campus-wide Orientation Program.

Day 2

After attending morning programming with campus-wide Orientation, you will be directed to Kinesiology’s OUSA offices at 555 S. Forest (ground floor).

1:00pm: Attend your Kinesiology presentation at the new OUSA offices at 555 S. Forest (ground floor). In a group setting, you will meet your academic advisors and learn about Kinesiology degree requirements and basic college policies and procedures. You will also get to know other Kinesiology students at the same orientation.

2:30-5:00pm: During this timeframe you will have a 20-minute scheduled appointment with your academic advisor. You will have a conversation about courses for the fall term, including your goals, interests, and level of preparation. You will be given a list of courses or course types to take during fall term.

You'll also receive your placement exam results. (If you have taken any Advanced Placement exams, even if you have not yet received the results, please let your advisor know.)

Once finished with activities at OUSA, you will be directed back to the larger Orientation program to rejoin other students for dinner and other activities prior to Peer Advising.

7:30pm: Meet with your Peer Advisors at the Central Campus Rec Building (CCRB). CCRB south entrance Your Orientation Leaders will guide you to the CCRB south (Geddes) entrance where you will wait in the lobby. You will spend time in the computer lab with your Peer Advisors learning how to use Wolverine Access and the LSA Online Course Guide, and planning your tentative fall schedule. You will also be able to ask your Peer Advisors questions about academics at Michigan.

When you register the next morning, you may find that some courses on your list are closed or require some additional preparation. Should that happen, you will want to be ready to substitute another course that is equally satisfying. This evening session with your Peer Advisors is an ideal time to explore new subject areas or pursue topics that interest you.

Day 3

8:00am-Noon: Registration. Go to 555 S. Forest (ground floor) — make sure you pay attention to your assigned time for this morning! You will meet again with your academic advisor at their office to check in before registering. As you make a final selection of fall courses, your OUSA advisor and your Peer Advisors will be there to guide you. Before leaving, you will need to check your schedule with an advisor, and fill out the Orientation exit survey.

NOTE: While most students finish registering for classes by noon, actual ending time varies. Contact the Office of New Student Programs (734-764-6413) for instruction on scheduling return flights – typically you should never schedule a flight prior to 4:00pm to ensure you have enough time to finish registration and return to the airport. If you are auditioning for Marching Band, schedule your flight for after 7:00pm. Contact the Office of New Student Programs for more information in this regard.

Orientation FAQs

Can I use AP credit for distribution?


How do I try out for Marching Band?

Marching Band auditions are held on the third day of Orientation. For more information, contact Maggie St. Clair at mstclair@umich.edu or (734) 764-0582.

Can I take an art class or a music class?

Yes, you can. Some classes in the Stamps School of Art and Design or the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are actually set aside for non-art or non-music students.

What’s an average course load for first-year students?

12-18 credits is considered full-time and costs the same amount of money. Most first-year students take 12-15 credits. Don’t be afraid to take fewer credits first semester as you make the transition to college.

Can I take back-to-back classes?

Yes, you can. At Michigan classes finish on the hour and begin at ten minutes past the hour, so you have a ten-minute passing time. Classroom buildings that are on central campus are all within this walking distance. If you are going to a class on North Campus you will need to leave more room in your schedule.

What are the advantages of a First-Year Seminar?

First-Year Seminars are small (about 20 students per class) classes that are discussion based and are taught by professors. This is a chance to get to know a faculty member well and to study something in depth from the very beginning of your college education.

Do I have to take math?

You do not necessarily have to take a math class. Some majors require it or you might want to. Our Natural Science requirement can be fulfilled with other types of classes, astronomy or statistics for example.

What’s the difference between English 124 and 125?

The biggest difference is that English 124 is literature based and English 125 is non-fiction based. Both are writing courses but if you enjoy writing about literature you should pick 124. Some other course options for your first-year writing class are:

  • Classical Civilization 101 (The Ancient Greek World – honors section only)
  • Comparative Literature 122 ( The Writing of World Literature)
  • Great Books 191
  • History 195 (The Writing of History)
  • LHSP 125 (College Writing)
  • RCCORE 100 (First Year Seminar)
  • SLAVIC 151 (First Year Seminar)

What is the Transition to College Writing?

The Transition to College Writing (Writing 100) is a 3-credit course that is not graded. It is offered for credit or no-credit. It is a very small class with a lot of one-on-one time with an instructor. You will do a lot of revising of your writing. If you elect Writing 100 you still need to take a First-Year Writing course the following semester.

Does my AP English credit meet the First-Year Writing requirement?

No, AP credit does not meet this requirement.

What if I can’t take First-Year Writing during the Fall semester?

If you can’t take your writing class during the fall then you will register for the class during the Winter term.

Do I have to take the General Chemistry Lab (Chem 125/126) with the General Chemistry class (Chem 130)?

You do not have to take these classes together although it is preferable to do so. You may split them up and take the lab in a subsequent term. If you are a pre-med student, then you are required to take the lab at some point.

What should I take if I’m pre-med?

Most pre-med students start the fall term with General Chemistry (Chem 130) and the General Chem Lab (Chem 125/126). You do need to take the lab for medical school. If you have AP credit for General Chemistry or test out on the placement exam, then you might take an introductory Biology course (Bio 171 which focuses on Ecology and Evolutionary Biology or Biology 172 which focuses on Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology) or Organic Chemistry (Chem 210/211). Another science you could consider would be Physics. Visit the LSA pre-health website for more details, and be sure to discuss your options with your advisor at Orientation.

What are the pre-law requirements?

There are none. You may take whatever you like and still apply to law school, however you should take courses that improve your writing and critical thinking skills.

What’s the difference between a 100-level class and a 300-level class?

Most of the time 100 level classes are introductory, 200 level are intermediate, and 300 and 400 level are upper level. Always check the prerequisites and descriptions of courses you are interested in before registering for the course.

Which classes do I take?

If you know what you want to study, you can find your degree requirements on the Kinesiology website under your chosen major. The courses required for the major are listed. We encourage you to know your degree requirements but also encourage you to meet with your Office of Undergraduate Student Affairs (OUSA) or Faculty Mentor who can assist you in selecting courses for the semester. Your advisor will work with you to choose courses that make the most sense for you to take. Please be aware that this doesn’t mean that you will get the courses you choose. Also, please come to your advising session prepared and have a plan of courses you’re considering for the term. You should always have a back-up option, in case the courses that you want fill up or are for some reason are unavailable to you.

Who is my advisor?

You will have an Office of Undergraduate Student Affairs (OUSA) advisor assigned to you at orientation. In addition, once you declare your major you will be alphabetically assigned a Faculty Mentor. Athletic Training students begin meeting with faculty mentors during their freshman year, Sport Management during their junior year, and Movement Science and Health and Fitness when they declare.

What are the requirements for my major?

Your major requirements are listed on the Kinesiology website in several locations:

It’s your responsibility to know and meet your requirements; however, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their faculty or Office of Undergraduate Student Affairs (OUSA) advisor each term to plan an individualized curriculum and monitor progress toward a degree. Beyond the approval of course elections, the relationship between advisor and student can be a valuable aspect of the educational experience.

Which Kinesiology Bulletin do I follow?

Your degree requirements are in the Kinesiology Bulletin in effect when you entered the program. If the requirements change before you graduate, you have the option of following the original degree program or meeting the new requirements. If you select a future bulletin’s requirements, you must adhere to all requirements for that bulletin year -– you may not follow requirements from multiple years.

Where can I find descriptions for Kinesiology courses?

You can find course descriptions for each major in the Course Catalog.

What is waitlisting?

If a course you want to register for is closed in web registration, you will want to get on the waitlist. Different departments have different procedures, but doing one or more of the following may be required:

  • Get on the waitlist through web registration, then attend the first class meeting
  • Go to the department office to get on the waitlist, then attend the first class meeting
  • Email the instructor about getting an override for the course

Policies and procedures for issuing overrides will be explained by each department or instructor. A waitlist may not be available for some courses; in this case you will need to select another course.

When do I declare my major?

Many students declare a major at the time of enrollment and all are encouraged to choose a program of study by the end of their first year. You can download the declaration form or obtain one from your OUSA advisor.

How do I get involved in Kinesiology student groups?

Check out the Student Groups page and contact the appropriate representative for more information.

What do I do if I’m having academic difficulty with a course?

If you are having difficulty in a course, you should see the instructor and/or graduate student instructor (GSI), immediately. It is important to talk with them about your performance in the course and request assistance or determine what options are available to you. Once you talk with your instructor, see an Office of Undergraduate Student Affairs (OUSA) advisor to discuss your options IMMEDIATELY, especially if you’re considering dropping the course.

  • OUSA determines if a drop will be allowed; therefore, the sooner you address the issue with them, the better.
  • There are deadlines you must meet when you want to drop a course therefore, DO NOT wait until late in the semester or at the end of the semester to decide you want to drop a course.
  • Take appropriate action immediately in order to prevent dealing with a difficult situation down the road.

Who can I talk to if I’m having personal issues?

If you feel comfortable, talk to a faculty member, Office of Undergraduate Student Affairs (OUSA) advisor, or graduate student instructor (GSI). There are other resources on campus such as:

The important thing for you to remember is that unresolved personal issues can interfere with your academic performance. There are many resources available to you and there are people here who want to help you, but you need to take the initiative and ask for assistance.