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Welcome to Salem State! First year summer orientation sessions are two-day programs with a required overnight component. All new day first year students must attend an orientation session before starting classes. Students are able to choose the session they would like to attend by signing up via Navigator

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 and follow the “What’s My User ID?” and “What’s My Password?” links to retrieve your login information.

You will also have the opportunity to sign up for your required First Year Seminar when you attend orientation. Sign up 

Learn more about First Year Seminars.

Orientation Dates

Orientation sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you sign up, the greater your chance of getting your top choice. Confirmations will be sent approximately one week prior to the session you choose. Check-in begins promptly at 11:30 am. Choose from among the First Year student orientation dates below: 

  • June 5-6*
  • June 7-8* 

  • June 12-13**
  • June 14-15
  • June 19-20
  • June 22-23

Please make every effort to attend one of the June orientation sessions. If you are from out of state or cannot attend one of the June orientations, the last orientation session is:

  • August 31-September 1**

*Honors Students are encouraged to sign up for either June 5-6 or June 7-8.

**Music Majors are encouraged to sign up for either the June 12-13 or August 31-September 1 session.

Pre-college transition (Summer Bridge Academy) students are encouraged to sign up for any session except June 22-23 or August 31 – September 1.

The first year student orientation schedule begins at 12 pm on the first day and concludes by 5:15 pm on the second day. Check-in on the first day and check-out at the end of the second day is at Marsh Hall on Central Campus at 71 Loring Avenue. Following the last session in the Ellison Campus Center, students will return to check out of Marsh Hall. 

First Year Seminar

All first year students will take a first year seminar as part of their fall 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. Since there are over 60 seminars to choose from, students will review the options and select their seminar between March and June via Navigator. Once students select an orientation session in Navigator, they will be directed to the first year seminar selection process. After June 1, students will only be able to select their seminar at orientation with the rest of their classes. If you have questions, contact the first year experience office at 978.542.2618 or email

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.

What to Bring

  • Completed health and immunization forms for health services. If you are not able to locate the forms that were mailed to you, visit
  • A state or government issued photo ID to get your ClipperCard, the Salem State student ID. 

If you wish to apply for an on-campus job, visit to learn more about the process.

First Year Orientation Schedule Overview

The two-day first year program addresses these important topics:

Day 1

Afternoon Welcome: Dean of Students and Orientation Leaders

Community Building





Downtown Salem

Human Action Theater

Day 2


First Year Experience


Faculty Engagement




Business of Being a Student



First Year Orientation 2017 Portal

Visit the First Year Orientation 2017 Portal to get ready! Review the first year pre-orientation and post-orientation checklists in Canvas, our online learning portal, to prepare for orientation and the start of the year!

Residence Hall Students

These items are required before you can move into the residence hall:

  1. Pay your balance in full or be on an approved payment plan and/or have sufficient financial aid to cover your balance (includes completing all aid related items on your to-do list on your navigator account).
  2. Submit a fully completed health form to counseling and health services. Access the requirements and forms here. Make sure the documentation has been received by checking the student health portal.

Special Services

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

For More Information

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

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

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