First Year Students

Register For Orientation

Congratulations on becoming an Otter! You will able to register for orientation later in March. Please keep in mind that the first year orientation dates are listed below so that you can plan accordingly. See you at orientation!

Welcome to California State University Monterey Bay! We are excited to welcome you to our campus where over 7,500 students combine to form an amazingly involved and diverse Otter family. CSUMB is a great place to be and we can't wait to tell and show you more about our university at New Student Otter Orientation!

New Student Otter Orientation - First Year Students

It is expected that all new students attend New Student Otter Orientation prior to beginning their first semester at CSUMB. During New Student Otter Orientation you will learn about CSUMB-specific policies, programs and services to assist your involvement and academics, as well as meet fellow new classmates. You will also have an orientation leader assigned to you to help you acclimate to campus. You will have an opportunity to speak with advisors from your major. Attending orientation allows you priority course registration. You will register for courses from home after orientation is over. You will meet campus leaders and get to know the resources that are available to you.

Orientation leaders and students
Monte getting ID card

Fall 2018 New Student Otter Orientation Information

All of our First-Year orientation programs begin promptly at 8:30am and end around 4:45pm. Plan to arrive between 7:30am - 8am in order to have enough time to Park, Check-In to our program, and be seated by our ushers before the program begins at 8:30am. Student must register for orientation in advance in order to attend. Students will not be permitted to leave early.

Please note, there are a limited number of spaces for each major during each orientation and they are reserved on a first come first served basis. As a result, your preferred date may not be available. Please plan accordingly. Signing up early is the best way to ensure you can attend on your preferred date:

  • June 15, 2018
  • June 16, 2018
  • June 18, 2018
  • June 19, 2018
  • August 2018 - Otter Wilderness Orientation Workshop

How To Prepare for Orientation

As a new student, you are now able to upload your own photo for your OtterID Card. Your OtterID Card is your student identification card and will allow you to receive a wide range of services. Please be sure to upload your photo by 5 pm, on December 7, 2017. To upload your photo, please go to the OtterID card website.

Reservation information

Students may register for orientation after their Enrollment Confirmation, which includes the $100 Enrollment Fee, is processed (this may take up to 3 business days). Please note, the Enrollment Deposit Fee is separate from the Orientation Fee.

Beginning 6-8 weeks before the orientation, you will need to register for New Student Otter Orientation by clicking on the green button at the top of this page (if there is not a button present, registration is not yet available). You can do this after receiving an email from our Office of Admissions letting you know you are eligible to begin your orientation registration process. Keep in mind you will not be fully registered for orientation until you have fully paid your orientation fee through your CMS portal.

Students must pre-register, walk-ins will not be allowed. Registration will be limited and open on a first come, first served basis. There is no waiting list.

Orientation Leader and students 2016

Who's invited? Our guest policy

Parents, guardians, and supporters are invited to attend the concurrent Supporter Orientation while their student attends New Student Otter Orientation at an additional fee of $40 per Supporter. Although up to 5 family members and guests per student are invited to participate in the separate Supporter Program, please note that this program is designed specifically for the parents and guardians of our incoming freshman. See our Supporter page!

Spanish Speaking Supporter Orientation

In addition to our Supporter Orientation, we are happy to offer an additional program to our Spanish Speaking Family and Guests. This program takes place during our Freshman Orientation Program and is offered exclusively in Spanish. Students who have interested family and guests, be sure to ask about this feature upon check-in. See our Spanish Supporter page for more info!

How to prepare yourself for Orientation

As a new student, you are now able to upload your own photo for your OtterID Card. Your OtterID Card is your student identification card and will allow you to receive a wide range of services. Please be sure to upload your photo by 5 pm, on December 7, 2017. To upload your photo, please go to the OtterID card website.

In order to enhance your Orientation experience and better prepare yourself for our advising session, you will want to review our Center for Academic, Career & Student Success videos that will show you how navigate your CMS/Student Center, view available classes, create your Schedule Planner, and finally, how to put your classes in your shopping cart. You can start using these features about a week before your orientation begins.

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes for walking around campus
  • Sweatshirt/light jacket as our weather is unpredictable
  • Photo ID (School or State-issued)
  • A great attitude!

Parking and Check-in Information

Directional signs will be placed on campus to assist you with getting to our designated parking lot. Parking is being directed to Parking Lot 71, here you will find Orientation Leaders with parking permits and helpful instructions. If you are able to print a parking pass when completing your Orientation reservation, please do so and bring it with you the day of your orientation. If not, a pass will be provided to you upon arrival to Lot 71.

Please be aware that your Orientation Parking permit is only valid in Parking Lot 71 and you will receive a parking citation if you park elsewhere on the day of orientation without paying for an additional permit.

Check-In will be held in the Lobby of the University Center (Building 29). Please arrive no later than 8am on the day of your orientation session in order to ensure you have enough time to park and check in before the program begins.

Fee Information

Our New Student Otter Orientation fee for first year students is $100. This fee covers program materials, facilities, staffing, parking, staff salaries, and lunch. Please note that orientation fees are nonrefundable. All supporter fees are $40 per supporter.

If your FAFSA indicates that you have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0, you may be eligible for a partial orientation fee waiver that will reduce your student Orientation fee to $70. You will automatically receive this partial fee waiver when registering for orientation if you qualify. If you would like to check the status of your EFC, contact our Financial Aid Advisors.

Payment Methods

You are able to make online payment through your CMS portal by using a credit/debit card or e-check. You will be prompted to make payment during your reservation process. We recommend the e-check payment to avoid paying processing fees.

Refund Policy

For those students with extenuating circumstances who wish to request a refund, an Orientation Fee Refund Petition must be completed. The following are examples of circumstances that will not be considered for refund including but not limited to:administrative withdrawal, no longer eligible, student decides not to attend the university, and missing or not attending orientation.

Please note if you and/or a guest register for an orientation session and do not attend or cancel, refunds will not be issued. All cancellations and refund requests must be made by June 1st, 2017 at 5:00pm. If a refund or cancellation request is made after June 1st it will not be considered for reimbursement. All refund requests will be reviewed after all orientation sessions are complete for the academic term.

OLs summer 2015

Early Start

Visit Early Start for information regarding the Early Start program.


For disability accommodations, to request sign language interpreters, or for any questions, etc., please inform us at least one month prior to your orientation session by calling us at (831) 582-4693 or by emailing

Please note, there is a short up-hill walk from our designated parking lot (Lot 71) to our check-in location in the University Center. If you will need assistance in this area, please let the parking lot Orientation Team know upon arrival.

Campus Map

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact us at 831-582-4693 or