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Home / Incoming Freshman / Welcome Week

What You Need to Know

Click through the drop down menus below to get answers to some of the commonly asked questions about Welcome Week.

Your Welcome Week Experience

  • At RecWell Open House you'll have a chance to see all the RecWell has to offer. Try a group fitness class or check out the miles of exercise equipment - plus you'll enjoy free food, fun, tshirts, and more!
  • Hear from the inspirational Jermaine Davis and kick off the week at Welcome to Welcome Week!
  • Enjoy Pride & Spirit where you will learn about Gopher athletics traditions and and be part of the giant M photo!
  • Participate in one of the university's oldest traditions at New Student Convocation to be formally welcomed to the university along with about 6000 new classmates.
  • Cheer for your team at the first Gopher Football Game of the year!
  • Check out the Student Events & Entertainment Showcase where students take over the Union for amazing performances, activities, and giveaways
  • Sign up for student groups and pick up some freebies from local vendors at Explore U.
  • Join your new classmates as we close down Mall of America exclusively for you and the rest of the new U of M students with unlimited rides at Nick Universe and behind the scenes tours of the Sea Life aquarium.


You will learn about these events as you design your Welcome Week Event Selection starting in Mid-July and can get a head start by downloading the U Minnesota App and exploring the Class of 2024 Guide.

When you come to the University, you'll be part of many communities, both on and off of campus. During Welcome Week, you'll have the opportunity to connect with them each in different ways.

Welcome Week Small Group Community

During Welcome Week you will be assigned to a small group with other new students led be a Welcome Week Leader. If you are living on campus, you will be assigned to a small group with other new students based on where you live. If you live off-campus, you can choose to be grouped with people who have things in common with you like your college of enrollment or another interest. Welcome Week Leaders will assist you and your small group in navigating the program. You will have opportunities to connect with other Welcome Week groups throughout the program.

College Community

You will spend a full day with your college of enrollment meeting faculty, staff members, and other peers. If you are in CEHD, CLA, CFANS or CSE you will attend the first day of class for your required first-year course. CBS freshman students are required to participate as part of their Nature of Life course.

U of M Community

You will explore the U of M campus in its entirety by learning to use the Campus Connector to navigate East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul campus.  There are some events during Welcome Week where the Class of 2024 and new Transfer students will be together in one space, for example you will take an entering class photo in the shape of the “M” at Pride & Spirit.

Twin Cities Community

Your U of M Community extends into the local businesses and non-profit organizations throughout the Twin Cities. You will explore areas off-campus so you can learn to take advantage of all the Twin Cities has to offer throughout the academic year.

By the end of the week you’ll have all the tools you need to start your first semester and make the University of Minnesota your own!

The short answer: Yes.

Welcome Week is the University’s way of ensuring you have a purposeful start to your college journey.  It is required for the Class of 2024 and attendance is integral to your transition to the University. 

The choice to attend is similar to the decisions you’ll be making every day of your undergraduate career—whether to attend class or not, whether to meet with your academic adviser or not, or whether to get involved in student activities. To help you balance your self-care during Welcome Week while maximizing your experience, your Welcome Week Leader can help you identify down times during Welcome Week when you can step away from the program to recharge. You will want to make a plan with them that fits your needs and incorporates the campus traditions that you won't want to miss! 

Keep in mind for freshmen students in CSE, CFANS, CLA or CEHD you will be enrolled in a required class that includes Welcome Week activities and it is a required component of the Nature of Life course for CBS students.

Not convinced? How about this research…

Based on over 10 years of assessment data, we know that students who attend Welcome Week have a greater sense of belonging on campus, and higher fall & spring GPAs than students who did not participate in Welcome Week.

Do you have a conflict?

We understand students may have conflicts during parts of Welcome Week and may wish to be excused from some programming. On occasion, Orientation & Transition Experiences may grant permission to miss certain parts of Welcome Week if it is arranged ahead of time. Please fill out this form to explain your conflict and Orientation & Transition Experiences staff will be in touch with you to help you navigate participating in Welcome Week (submit no later than August 28). Some examples of approved absences in the past have included religious obligation, active military duty, medical need, dependent child care, family wedding, or certain State Fair obligations. Otherwise, your Welcome Week Leader (WWL) will be expecting to you to meet up with them at each event so it is important to communicate with us and not leaving them waiting for you.

Any student granted an approved absence will still be required to participate in certain Welcome Week activities, including Convocation, college-specific programming, and other U of M events.

Note: If you are in Marching Band or a fall competing sport, you do not need to request an excused absence and you will automatically have an adjusted Welcome Week schedule when you arrive at Check-In.

PSEO students

Former PSEO students who are enrolled as freshmen for Fall 2020 are required to participate in Welcome Week.

Welcome Week Accommodations

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 with a parking voucher you may pick up in 315 Coffman Union each day during Welcome Week.
  • Biking - Be sure you have a secure bike lock and helmet ready for your ride.  Click here to find bicycle parking and bike maps.

Learn more about commuting to campus and updates on construction at Parking & Transportation’s website.

If you apply for housing by the May 1 deadline and select to live on campus for the Fall, you will receive a letter by the end of July informing you of your Fall housing assignment, move in date and time. You will be assigned a specific Move-In time slot on Monday, August 31 or Tuesday, September 1.  More information can be found at Housing & Residential Life's web site.

If you’re not living in on-campus housing, you will need to ensure you can move in to your apartment/house prior to August 31 as housing is not provided during Welcome Week. More specific information for students living off campus will be mailed in August.

If you live in an on-campus residence hall or apartment and have a meal plan, meals are provided during Welcome Week beginning with Lunch on Wednesday, September 2 through dinner Friday, September 4. University Dining Services contracts begin with brunch on Saturday, September 5. If you have a meal plan, you can utilize Flexdine for meals prior to Welcome Week meals starting. Please visit University Dining Services for specific locations and hours .

If you are a first year student living off-campus and do not have a University Dining Plan, meals are provided for you at no cost during Welcome Week from Wednesday, September 2-Sunday, September 6.

You will let us know about your dietary restrictions when you complete the Welcome Week Event Selection.  Details can be found within Welcome Week Event Selection as well as the U Minnesota Mobile App to help with your planning.


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 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 on Welcome Week Event Selection.

Dietary Accommodations

Vegetarian options are available during all meals. Dietary accommodations for Welcome Week beyond vegetarian can be indicated on Welcome Week Event Selection. If you have any questions, contact our office at (800) 234-1979 or (612) 624-1979 at least two weeks prior to Welcome Week.

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