Student Transitions & Orientation

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First-Year AARO

Welcome to Southern Methodist University! 

AARO is the first part of the orientation process designed to assist you in making a comfortable transition to University life at SMU. It is a two-day program for First-Year students who will be enrolling in the fall at SMU.  Sessions are designed to offer information to assist you in your transition to Southern Methodist University.  Programs provide information on academic requirements and expectations, campus resources, involvement opportunities and the chance to meet current students.  During your AARO session, you will also meet one-on-one with an academic advisor and register for fall classes. 

Prior to AARO

  • You cannot register for orientation until your admission deposit is paid, and your final transcript from previous colleges and universities has been received and processed by the Division of Enrollment Services.  This process takes a minimum of two weeks.
  • Once this process is complete, you can register for AARO!
  • Please DO NOT make travel arrangements until you have registered for orientation and received a confirmation email for your AARO session.  
  • Confirmation of your assigned date will be emailed to your SMU email address upon receipt of your orientation registration. Please verify this information carefully. Students who arrive late, or arrive on an incorrect session date, cannot be accommodated.
  • After receiving a confirmation email, make your travel arrangements. Activities will conclude at 5 p.m. on the second day, so please make travel plans accordingly.
  • Students you will be staying on campus, but if you are bringing your parents or families they will need to make lodging arrangements

Your AARO Session

  • Check-in for AARO will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center on the first day of each session
  • Each of the AARO sessions will accommodate approximately 140 new students and their family members.  
  • All new students, including those from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, are required to stay overnight in the designated residence hall in order to participate in all the planned activities. See Accommodations for the residence hall details. Staying on campus provides an opportunity to experience residence hall living at SMU and to interact with the upperclassman orientation student leaders also staying in the same residence hall. 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided on the first day and brunch on the second day. 
  • Check out this video to get a little preview of AARO!