Large group of students standing on Dallas Hall Lawn

Welcome to Orientation at SMU!

Welcome to Orientation at SMU!

Orientation and Transition Programs

Welcome new students!

We're so excited to welcome you and your families to the Hilltop! We are thrilled that you have decided to join our vibrant community of scholars, innovators, and world changers. Orientation and Transition programs at SMU is a three-step process. Through Mustang StartUp, Stampede, and First 5, our mission is to prepare students for life at SMU!

As you embark on this exciting new chapter of your life, we want to ensure that your transition to SMU is as smooth and successful as possible. That's why we have created this website, specifically designed to provide you and your family with all the information you need to know about becoming a Mustang. From academic programs to campus resources to social activities, we've got you covered!

Our orientation program is a great way to get started. It's a time to meet new people, explore the campus, and learn about all the opportunities that await you at SMU. We'll guide you through the registration process, introduce you to academic advisors and faculty members, and help you get involved in student organizations.

But orientation is just the beginning. Our website is full of resources and information that will support you throughout your time at SMU. So, take some time to explore the pages within, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. We are here to help you succeed and make the most of your SMU experience.

Once again, welcome to the Hilltop! We can't wait to see all that you will achieve during your time here!

These experiences are both virtual and in-person. Below, you will find more information about each of the three steps for orientation. These pages will evolve as more information is added. We encourage you to check out everything fully and stay engaged! 

student in red shirt with glasses looking at orientation website on laptop

Step 1: Mustang StartUp

Mustang StartUp is your virtual orientation experience that guides you from choosing SMU through making your way to campus for Stampede! These experiences will help you learn more about SMU, register for coursework, take testing exams, and engage with other incoming students.

Opens December 1st

Step 2: Stampede

Stampede occurs the week prior to the start of the semester and includes everything from Kick Off to Convocation! This extended orientation experience is your ultimate in-person welcome to the Hilltop. Some students may arrive early for pre-Stampede programs.

Stampede is January 12-13, 2024


Step 3: First 5

The transition from high school students to university scholars is important to the success of college students. First5 guides you through your first five weeks at SMU and helps ensure you make a smooth transition into academic and social life as a Mustang.

First five weeks of the semester

Key Orientation Dates and Deadlines

Dates and deadlines for new students and transfers for spring 2024 are listed below.

  • Mid October

    Housing Portal opens

  • December 1

    Priority deadline for students seeking housing. Complete the application in the housing portal.

  • December 1

    Campus Life Modules Open

  • December 1

    The PACC (Pre-Advising Canvas Course) opens

  • December 15

    Photo ID Submission Deadline

  • Late December

    Housing assignments released for students who meet priority housing deadline.

  • January 8

    Deadline for Mustang StartUp completion

  • January 12

    Incoming student move-in

  • January 12-13

    Stampede in-person orientation events for all new students