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New Student Orientation



Welcome to Salem State! All new day first year students must attend an orientation session before starting classes.

Summer Orientation Dates

First-year students may register for any of the following orientation dates:

  • August 28-29

Transfer students may register for orientation on August 8 or August 27. 

Check-in for first-year students will take place at 11 am on the first day of each session. Check-out will take place at 5 pm on the second day of each session. First-year students who will live on campus may check-in to their residence hall for the fall at 9 am on August 28, before checking in to their orientation session at 11 am.

Orientation Registration

Orientation registration is now open!

Important to do: before attending this session, please verify that you can access your Navigator account. Navigator is your personal Salem State homepage and allows access to many of the web-based resources. To log in to Navigator for the first time: go to Navigator and follow the “What’s My User ID?” and “What’s My Password?” links to retrieve your login information.

 If you need assistance, contact the ITS helpdesk at 978.542.2036, option 3.

Writing Self Placement

Prior to attending orientation, please review your options to decide which writing class you will take next semester. The username and password for this process are the same as your Navigator account. Once logged in, please read all of the instructions, complete the steps listed, and submit your writing self-placement. If you are not able to complete the process to select your writing course prior to attending orientation you will need to spend additional time at orientation completing this requirement.

Prior to and at orientation, all incoming freshman take a series of diagnostic tests. The results of these tests will not affect your acceptance but will assist in placing you in the appropriate courses and providing the proper guidance to enable you to develop your full academic potential. Learn more about student testing.

Some students may have an exemption from first year writing. Please see the Exemption Policy for First-Year Writing to determine if you need to complete writing self placement. If you don’t have an exemption or are ineligible to submit an exemption portfolio, you need to complete writing self placement.

You do not need to complete writing self placement if:

  • You have committed to the honors program at Salem State University
  • You have scored 4 or higher on the AP exam or scored a 3 and plan to submit a portfolio for review
  • You have an SAT score of 33 or higher on the current SAT exam for Writing and Literature
  • You have an SAT score of 600 or higher on the pre 2016 SAT Writing test

First Year Seminar

All first year students will take a first year seminar as part of their spring academic course load. This three-credit required seminar offers students an opportunity to study an interesting and engaging topic with one of Salem State University’s outstanding faculty members. Once students register for an orientation session in Navigator, they will be directed to the first year seminar selection process. If you have questions, contact the first year experience office at 978.542.2618 or email

What to Bring

  • Completed health and immunization forms for health services. 2018-19 forms will be posted this spring.
  • A state or government issued photo ID to get your ClipperCard, the Salem State student ID.
  • For your overnight orientation session please bring a pillow, bed sheets or sleeping bag, bath linens, pajamas, change of clothes, toiletries, etc. Dress comfortably as your orientation experience will provide you the opportunity to engage in activities, connect with others, and explore U at SSU.

Special Services

To request special accommodations, please contact disability services at 978.542.6217 or TTY 978.542.7146.

Parking and Directions

Parking is available on Central Campus next to building 29 on the map in the Commuter Spaces marked with a ‘C’. Central Campus Classroom Building/Bertolon School of Business is building 15 on the map. Parking will also be available on Central Campus in the parking lot adjacent to Atlantic Hall, building 21 on the map, in the Atlantic student spaces marked with signs that read ‘A’. 

Find parking and directions. If using GPS, enter 71 Loring Avenue in Salem.

Need a ride to campus? Learn more about your alternative transportation options! 

For More Information

Questions about orientation may be directed to enrollment management at 978.542.7455 or at

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