First Year Experience

Orientation 2018

»» Freshman Orientation Overview and Dates

»» Accuplacer Placement Testing

»» Parent and Family Orientation

»» FAQs


Freshman Orientation


June 7-8     June 21-22     July 12-13     August 2-3


Freshman Orientation is an introduction to college life at Montana State University Billings. There are three components to our orientation program here at MSU Billings:

  • First there is The Virtual Hive program, which is a 90 minute program you complete online in Desire2Learn (D2L) prior to the overnight orientation (instructions on how to access this program are sent to you between the time you sign up for an orientation and before you arrive for the on-campus orientation program)
  • The second component is the On-Campus Orientation program, which is the two-day, overnight orientation here on campus.  This is an engaging orientation experience where you will meet with students, faculty, and staff.  You will also register for your fall courses while here for the on-campus orientation program.
  • The third component is The Virtual Hive Post-Orientation program, which is a continuation of the orientation program online in D2L.  You will receive access to complete the post-orientation online after you have attended the on-campus orientation program and registered for your fall classes.

The Orientation program provides an important campus experience including both academics and student life. In addition to academic advising, class registration, and workshops, you will meet and connect with other freshmen. All students are required to stay overnight in the residence halls during the On-Campus Orientation program. Meals are provided.  There is a $30 charge. 


The deadline for orientation registration is one week prior to the scheduled session. Orientation sessions have limited space. Reserve your orientation date now. Complete the registration form online by selecting the date you wish to sign up for:

June 7th - 8th

June 21st - 22nd

July 12th - 13th

August 2nd - 3rd


Parent and Family Orientation


June 7-8     June 21-22     July 12-13     August 2-3


Many parents and Yellowjacket supporters find it beneficial to attend orientation with their students. During orientation, parents and family members have the opportunity to attend workshops about academic advising, services on campus and financial aid. There is a $20 program fee per parent or guest, which includes meals.  Guests may stay on campus for an additional rate of $10 per night.  If Orientation guests want to stay on campus, they can make arrangements by calling the Office of Housing and Residential Life at (406) 657-2333.


Accuplacer Placement

Testing Details

All freshmen students must take the Accuplacer placement test at least two days prior to attending orientation. Results of this test are used to advise students into the most appropriate writing, mathematics, and reading courses. This test is self-paced. To take a sample test, visit and select Next-Generation Practice Tests.


Students who have scheduled their Accuplacer test will have priority when reserving their orientation date. To sign up, visit: and select your preferred testing and orientation dates.


**Please note if you have previously completed COMPASS or Accuplacer within the past three years, you do not need to take Accuplacer.  Please contact us to make sure we have your scores on file.


Choose from the following testing sessions:

Friday, March 23rd at 3 pm

Friday, April 20th at 3 pm

Tuesday, May 22nd at 3 pm

Friday, June 1st at 9 am

Tuesday, June 5th at 2 pm

Friday, June 15th at 9 am

Tuesday, June 19th at 2 pm

Tuesday, June 26th at 2 pm

Friday, July 6th at 9 am

Tuesday, July 10th at 2 pm

Friday, July 20th at 9 am

Tuesday, July 24th at 2 pm

Friday, July 27th at 9 am

Tuesday, July 31st at 2 pm


Accuplacer testing is also available by individual appointment or remote testing. For more information about these options, please contact City College Jacket Student Central at (406) 247-3019.


Frequently Asked Questions

(click on question to view answer)


Do I have to attend Freshman Orientation?


Yes, all new freshman are required to attend orientation.


Is there a charge for orientation?


Yes, there is a $30 charge for accommodations and meals.


Can I bring a friend?


Guests are permitted at orientation. There is a $20 program fee per parent or guest.  Guests may stay in the residence halls for an additional $10 per night.


Should parents come to orientation?


It is strongly encouraged, but not required. We will be offering a variety of workshops including information specifically for parents and families. You will have your fill of great food, fun times, and important information as well as have face-to-face meetings with key administrators, faculty, and staff who will be working for your student’s success every day. Please join us during the two-day orientation program and become a member of the Yellowjacket family! For more information about Parent and Family Orientation, please contact Aaron Like at or 406-657-2376.


Do I have to stay overnight?


Yes, all orientation attendees must stay overnight in the residence halls. This is a requirement of all students, including local students and students who are traveling here for orientation.  If you are not able to stay overnight due to extenuating circumstances, a written request needs to be submitted for review and approval prior to check-in at orientation.  Requests to be exempt from the overnight requirement can be sent to Tara Haupt at


I live out of state do I have to attend orientation?


We hope to see all students at orientation. However, if you live in a state that does not neighbor Montana, you are exempt from attending the summer Freshman Orientation.


What should I bring to orientation?


There will be a lot of walking so you will want to bring comfortable shoes. Also bring a photo ID, overnight bag (change of clothes, toiletries, etc.), and an alarm clock. Items provided in every room: sink, sheets, towels, pillows.


Do I have to take a placement exam?


All incoming freshman will need to take the Accuplacer placement test at least two days prior to orientation.  **Please note if you have previously completed COMPASS or Accuplacer within the past three years, you do not need to take Accuplacer.  Please contact us to make sure we have your scores on file.


I’ve registered for orientation, now what?


You will receive your confirmation via email. Make sure to look for updates in your inbox throughout the summer, and be sure to check your spam or junk folder in your email. You will also receive information on how to login to The Virtual Hive which is the online orientation program that you need to complete prior to checking in for the on-campus orientation program.


Do I need to stay for the whole orientation program?


Yes, the overnight orientation programming in its entirety is required.  If you are not able to attend all portions of the overnight orientation, we would encourage you select an orientation date that would work best with your schedule, allowing you to attend the whole program.  You will receive a detailed agenda upon arrival.  Overall the overnight orientation program begins with check-in at 10 am on the University Campus the Thursday of orientation and concludes around 1 pm on the Friday of orientation.


Are there on-campus housing accommodations for guests?


Yes. To reserve a room, contact the Housing Office at 406-657-2333.


When do I pay the orientation fees?


Payment for orientation fees will be arranged at check-in. Please do not send money before.


Do I have to pay for parking while attending the overnight orientation?


Parking permits are required to park on campus.  You will be able to park in the north student lot or parking garage without a permit on Thursday-Friday only during your orientation program.  You will be required to have a visitor or student parking permit for other days that you will be parking on campus.  For more information on parking permits, you may go to


I have some college credit earned. Where should I send my college transcript?


If you took classes at…


City College and MSU Billings: We have your records on file. You do not need to send a college transcript.


Another institution: Please send your transcript(s) to

City College

Attn: Admissions & Records

3803 Central Avenue

Billings, MT 59102


Please send a copy of your transcript before orientation so an advisor can evaluate your credits before you register for classes. If your grades have not posted yet, an unofficial transcript can be used in the meantime.