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Welcome Week

Wednesday, September 1 - Monday, September 6, 2021

Welcome Week is your second step (after New Student Orientation) in your transition to the University of Minnesota. This week-long event is required for the Class of 2025.

Welcome Week Pillars

  • Plan. Welcome Week takes place directly before fall classes begin, so plan accordingly. Plan family vacations, work schedules, and housing leases (if living off campus) with Welcome Week in mind. Many colleges include class participation during Welcome Week, so be mindful of this when planning your time! 
  • Community. You will meet fellow new students, spend time with your college of enrollment, learn more about U of M, and explore the Twin Cities community. 
  • Navigate. Welcome Week will help you feel more comfortable as you start your experience at the U and begin classes, not to mention it is a lot of fun! We know that students who attend Welcome Week are more confident when they start classes because they have had time to meet friends, navigate campus and get settled. 
  • Tradition. You will get to participate in several key campus traditions including Pride & Spirit (featuring the annual “M” photo on the football field) and more!

Welcome Week Information & Logistics

Students in the Class of 2025 will be divided into small groups of 18-25 students led by a Welcome Week Leader. This Welcome Week Leader (WWL) is a volunteer upper-class student who is trained to help support new students throughout Welcome Week and lead group discussions. 

Required Sessions

For students in the Class of 2025, Welcome Week is required. If you have an absence request, be sure to submit it ahead of time utilizing the absence request process. If you have a disability or require accommodations to allow you to participate, please utilize the accommodations process.

All of Welcome Week is required and attendance is taken at specific events; these are specific components where attendance will be taken:

  • Wednesday: Small Group Meeting and Welcome to Welcome Week
  • Thursday: New Student Convocation and College Day*
  • Friday: Small Group Meeting and Campus Engagement Sessions
  • Saturday: Small Group Meeting and Explore U

*Please note, College Day is considered the first day of class for many colleges


Attendance at Welcome Week is expected, with the exception of pre-approved absences. Approved absences for Welcome Week include:

  • Illness
  • Caring for Dependents
  • Military Training or Service
  • Some State Fair-Related Involvements
  • Family Occasions (Wedding or Funeral)

Please plan work and other activities so they do not conflict with your ability to participate during Welcome Week.

If you will miss parts of Welcome Week for any reason, please contact your Welcome Week Leader.  If you are missing any programming on Thursday, you must contact your College.

Welcome Week Registration is an online inventory to help introduce you to your Welcome Week schedule. Throughout the inventory, you will be asked a series of questions about your preferences for specific events during Welcome Week. Your responses will allow us to create the personalized schedule that you will receive at Welcome Week Check-in.

Check your email for your personal Welcome Week Registration. If you do not complete your registration a Welcome Week schedule will be created for you. If you have questions about what you selected, ask your Welcome Week Leaders when you meet them at your first small group meeting on Wednesday, September 1. If you experience technical difficulties with the Welcome Week Registration please contact OTE during regular office hours.

If you are living on campus, you will move in prior to the start of Welcome Week sessions and events.  All on-campus moving and housing information can be found on the Housing and Residence Life webpage.

If you’re not living in on-campus housing, you will need to ensure you can move in to your apartment/house prior to September 1 as housing is not provided during Welcome Week. More specific information for students living off-campus will be sent in August.

If you live in an on-campus residence hall, meals are provided during Welcome Week beginning with brunch on Wednesday, September 1 through dinner Friday, September 3. University Dining Services contracts begin with brunch on Saturday, September 4. Flexdine will be available for students who have meal plans prior to Welcome Week meals starting.

If you live off-campus and do not have a University Dining Services contract, you will have the opportunity to pre-register for meals offered on Wednesday, September 1-Sunday, September 4 when you complete the Welcome Week Registration. You can also use this online tool to indicate dietary needs.

There are dining options available in some Residential Restaurants prior to the start of Welcome Week. Please visit M Dining for specific locations and hours.

Welcome Week Leaders will assist you to events once you are on campus, but you are responsible for getting yourself to campus.

  • Walking - You will be walking a lot during Welcome Week (see Special Accommodations if you need assistance) be sure to wear appropriate footwear.
  • Busing/Light Rail - If you’re purchasing a U-Pass for the semester, you’ll find it comes in handy during Welcome Week.
  • Driving - If you drive to campus you can park for free in the East River Road Garage. Bring your parking ticket to the Welcome Week Info Booth on the ground floor of Coffman Memorial Union (CMU) between 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Biking - Be sure you have a secure bike lock and helmet ready for your ride.  Utilize bicycle parking and bike maps to bike around campus safely.

Learn more about commuting to campus and updates on construction from Parking & Transportation.


We value disability as an aspect of diversity and want to ensure that you are able to fully participate in all programming available to you. If you have a disability or health condition, or suspect you have one, and would like to have a confidential discussion about accommodations, please contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 612-626-1333 or drc@umn.edu as soon as possible. Some accommodations may take a few weeks to arrange.

Mobility Issues

If you have a short-term disability (i.e. broken leg) and would have difficulty walking long distances during Orientation, please contact the Orientation & Transition Experiences office for accommodations at 800-234-1979.

Mobility accommodations for Welcome Week can be indicated through Welcome Week Registration (available mid-July).

Dietary Accommodations

Vegetarian options will be available through all provided meals.

Dietary accommodations for Welcome Week can be indicated through Welcome Week Registration (available mid-July).

Sensory Guide

We have created a sensory guide that helps understand what you may experience during Welcome Week 2021. This covers the number of people at events, lights, sounds, and more.

View the Sensory Guide

At this point in time, Welcome Week 2021 is planned to be an in-person experience. New students should plan to participate in Welcome Week September 1-6, 2021. As the University of Minnesota, State, and Federal guidelines are updated as part of Covid-19 response, we will adjust the Welcome Week program. We will keep incoming students informed of any changes to the program. Welcome Week is a critical component in each students' transition, and it is full of useful content to help you as you are beginning your time at the U of M Twin Cities.

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