Orientation and Advisement 

 

Orientation for new students

Orientation

ORIENTATION FOR NEW STUDENTS

Advising and orientation of students at the University of Oklahoma is a continuous process designed to provide OU students with the knowledge they need to succeed academically and socially. For many students, the process begins while they are still in high school during Sooner Saturday, an on-campus introduction to the university for prospective students and their parents. 

Initial academic advising for new students is provided through several activities that present information to new students and their parents about academic and non-academic programs of the university, along with individualized academic advising and the opportunity to pre-enroll in classes for the fall semester. These include: 

  • New Sooner Enrollment Program—University College’s summer orientation and advance enrollment program for new freshmen in every major, or undecided and pre-health transfer students who have been admitted to the university. Parents of students are encouraged to attend.  
  • Transfer Day—an orientation, advisement, and advance enrollment program for new transfer students held during the spring semester. 

PRE-SEMESTER ORIENTATION 

Additional orientation programs are provided for new students prior to the beginning of classes. These include: 

  • Sooner Orientation Weekend — a weekend of activities designed to get you settled into your new home at OU. Beginning on the Thursday before classes start, this event includes residence hall check-in, find-your-class tours, information booths, social events, entertainment and much more. The featured event, New Sooner Convocation, is the students’ formal induction into the University community and an event not to be missed. For more information, contact Student Life, Oklahoma Memorial Union, at (405) 325-3163. 
  • Camp Crimson — Camp Crimson is OU's premier orientation camp. It is a three day, two night crash course on what it means to be a Sooner. Students get the opportunity to meet other new students, student leaders and faculty and staff members. More information is available on the Camp Crimson website.
  • Orientation for Graduate Teaching Assistants —The Center for Teaching Excellence offers training programs for all teaching assistants prior to the beginning of each fall semester. For more information, contact the Center for Teaching Excellence, Wallace Old Science Hall 224, (405) 325-2323.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES 

New students also have the opportunity to participate in one of two types of introductory courses during their first year of enrollment. These include: 

  • Gateway to College Learning—Each section is limited to a maximum of 28 students and is taught either by experienced and specially-trained faculty or senior staff members. The course deals with a variety of topics designed to introduce students to the university community and to help them make a successful transition from high school to college. 
  • University College Seminars—Each seminar is limited to 25 students and is taught by an individual faculty member who leads the students through an in-depth exploration of a specific intellectual topic. 

advisement

Advisement 

General advising for most freshmen and many sophomores is provided by University College, a non-degree college that focuses on helping students make the transition to the university and provides them with academic advising and a variety of coaching activities to help them to select a major and to be successful academically. During the freshman year, the OU Scholars Program provides specialized advising services to OU Scholars, National Merit, National Award and Conoco Phillips Scholars. 

Once students are admitted to a degree college, they are advised either by academic counselors in the college office or by faculty advisers in the department in which they are majoring. 

In addition to formal academic advising, students may select from a wide variety of additional academic and support services, including workshops offered by the Student Learning Center and the Center for Student Life; individual career advising by Career Services; and academic assistance through the Writing Center and several tutoring programs. 

Student Support Services

Student Support Services, also known as Project Threshold, is an academic support program established in 1970 to serve students who are first generation college, economically disadvantaged, disabled. The primary goal of this program is to increase retention and graduation rates of program participants. 

To accomplish this goal, Project Threshold provides personal, academic, and financial aid counseling as well as academic tutoring. In addition, small sections of freshman-level courses are offered to Threshold students to help ease the adjustment to larger college classes. The ethnic diversity of the staff further serves to provide the student a sense of belonging. 

Inquiries should be directed to Project Threshold, 215 Wagner Hall, 1005 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73019-0315, (405) 325-6261, scady@ou.edu

planning a program

Planning a Program 

  • If you have selected a major, learn all the requirements for your chosen degree program.
  • If you are unsure of your major, make an appointment with a major exploration coach who can help you match your interests, skills and goals to possible majors
  • Prepare a plan of study showing the courses you will take each semester that will complete requirements for graduation. 
  • The degree program should be designed according to the rules and regulations that govern enrollment and graduation. These rules and regulations can be found in the specific chapter of this catalog providing information about the college offering your major as well as the chapter, “Admission, Enrollment, and Graduation.” 
  • Freshmen and sophomores who are unsure of a major should choose courses that will fulfill University-Wide General Education Requirements and provide exposure to disciplines that are of interest for selection of a major. 
  • Utilize the University General Catalog, the Degree Navigator system and degree checksheets to plan your program. 
  • Take basic required courses such as English composition and mathematics that provide a sound foundation for future successful enrollments early in the academic program. 
  • Include courses early in the program that are required for admission to the degree college offering the chosen major. 
  • Schedule upper-division courses for the junior and senior years with few exceptions in your schedule. 
  • Look into programs that will enhance your individual program such as study abroad, internships, and research opportunities. 
  • Balance enrollments to avoid including too many heavy reading courses, too many laboratory courses, or too many credit hours in one semester or term. 
  • Attempt to schedule all specifically required courses prior to the final enrollment. 
  • Plan the final semester with fewer hours to allow for such activities as job interviews. 
  • Plan an enrollment of 12-19 hours, according to academic ability and responsibilities outside of class, for the fall and spring semesters (6-9 hours are appropriate for the summer term). Students should anticipate that each credit hour taken will normally require a minimum of two hours each week for study time outside of class. 

GRADUATION PLAN 

The University of Oklahoma has instituted a graduation plan for many degree programs. This plan requires the student and the university to sign a contract that guarantees the student can graduate in a specified period of time based on certain conditions that can be detailed when the student talks with an academic adviser on campus. 

academic major and minor

Academic Major and Minor

Major 

The major is the emphasis of study that provides depth of learning within the degree program. It is composed of specific requirements determined by the department through which the major is offered. Although many majors are highly structured, some offer flexibility, allowing choice of courses within preset guidelines. Each major is fully described in the section of this catalog where information is provided about the unit offering the major. Major exploration coaches are available to help you decide on a major. 

Minor 

The minor is a secondary and optional area of interest for depth of study. It can be closely related to the major to serve as a support area, or it can be unrelated. The department through which it is offered sets the requirements for the minor. Presently, the College of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, Price College of Business, College of Continuing Education (Aviation), Gallogly College of Engineering, Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, College of International Studies, Joe C and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College, and Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication offer approved minor programs. The minors are made available by the colleges to all students within the university, except for those in the College of Business that are for business majors only. The minor programs are described in the section of this catalog where information is provided about the unit through which they are offered. Upon graduation, the student’s official transcript will reflect completion of a minor if recommended by the student’s degree college. 

graduate and professional studies

Preparing for Graduate and Professional Studies 

When preparing for your future, we encourage you to consider graduate and professional studies. Advanced study can provide more in-depth research and creative experiences in your chosen field of study. You will work closely with faculty on particular subjects to develop the skills necessary for research and independent thought. 

Graduate assistantships and internships provide additional opportunities to develop your skills and talents while working toward an advanced degree. Attendance at professional meetings can provide opportunities for valuable exchanges of information and ideas with colleagues in your discipline. 

Career options are greatly enhanced by completion of an advanced degree, and we hope you will avail yourself of the opportunities that are available at the University of Oklahoma.