Student Transitions & Orientation

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First-Year AARO

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 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. 

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.

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. Parents and family members are encouraged to attend AARO with their students.  See the Parent and Family page for more details.

Check-in for AARO will be held at 8:00 a.m. on the first day of each session. Activities will conclude at 5 p.m. on the second day, so please make travel plans accordingly. 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.

An AARO Information Brochure will be mailed to each deposit-paid student when online orientation registration is live. Please read the entire brochure before attending AARO.

Please DO NOT make travel arrangements until you have registered for orientation and received a confirmation email for your AARO session. 

First-Year AARO Sessions 2015

The following dates are tentative.

Session 1: Tuesday, July 7 - Wednesday, July 8
Session 2: Friday, July 10 - Saturday, July 11
Session 3: Tuesday, July 14 - Wednesday, July 15
Session 4: Thursday, July 16 - Friday, July 17
Session 5: Monday, July 20 - Tuesday, July 21
Session 6: Wednesday, July 22 - Thursday, July 23
Session 7: Monday, July 27 - Tuesday, July 28
Session 8: Friday, July 31- Saturday, August 1
Session 9:

Monday, August 3 - Tuesday, August 4

Session 10:
Wednesday, August 5 - Thursday, August 6
Final AARO
Tuesday, August 18

International AARO

All students studying in secondary schools outside the United States, including U.S. citizens, are recommended to attend International AARO Sunday and Monday, August 16-17.  If you are unable to attend the International AARO, you may select any of the July sessions that is conducive to your travel arrangements.  Parents and family members are encouraged to attend AARO with their students.  See the Parent and Family page for more details.

International AARO Session


Sunday-Monday, August 16-17


Honor Students

All honors students receive an invitation to join the Honors Program.  Upon acceptance of the invitation, students are assigned an academic advisor who works specifically with honors students. This is the advisor you will meet with at your AARO session.