A large group of students sit in the pews of a chapel listening to a speaker. Flags for The College and the Class of '22 are displayed.

Student Life

Orientation Week

Saturday, September 19 - Saturday, September 26, 2020

Orientation Week, or O-Week, began in 1934 as a way to introduce a new class of students to the traditions and community that has made the University of Chicago a unique destination for students from around the world. This eight-day series of events, programs, and meetings provides new students with an in-depth overview of how the College works. Important parts of O-Week include meeting your academic adviser, introductions to our campus community and standards, and meetings with faculty, career advisers, and fellow students. 

Quick Links

Orientation Week Overview & Resources

The schedule for Orientation can be found in the College Connection app, the official guide to Orientation Week in September. There will be a separate College Family Programs app for parents that will detail programs and events exclusively for families during the first two days of Orientation. Many students and families find it helpful to take a look at Orientation Week events in advance to help plan schedules before arriving on campus.

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College Student Programs App

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Opening Weekend Day 1: Sept. 19, 2020

O-Week kicks off with residence hall move-in on Saturday, September 19, 2020. Residence Halls open for move-in at 9 a.m. Students not involved in pre-orientation programs will not be able to move into their rooms prior to this time.

Opening Weekend Day 2: Sept. 20, 2020

The second day of O-Week is filled with UChicago traditions, including the Opening Convocation and bagpipe procession, the Class Photo, and Family Orientation, a special program designed exclusively for the parents and families of incoming UChicago students.

This day also marks the last day of events for both students and their families. After Opening Convocation, students will spend the rest of the week involved in a combination of required events, meetings, and fun activities.

To ensure the intellectual richness of research and education, the University of Chicago seeks to provide an environment conducive to learning, teaching, working, and conducting research that values the diversity of its community. The University strives to be supportive of the academic, personal, and work related needs of each individual and is committed to facilitating the full participation of students with a disability in the life of the University. The University is committed to complying with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Students seeking disability accommodations should meet with the Director or Associate Director for Student Disability Services to initiate the accommodation process. The director or associate director will acquaint you with the required documentation.  The process of determining eligibility and considering what is a reasonable modification or adjustment is an interactive and collaborative process.  First-year students with disabilities should begin the accommodation process as soon as they have submitted their enrollment deposits in order to ensure that appropriate accommodations are approved and in place before classes begin.  If a disability determination is made, the Office of the College Dean of Students will facilitate the implementation of approved auxiliary aids and services.

The Office of Spiritual Life offers connections with a wide variety of religious organizations on campus, in Hyde Park and throughout the city of Chicago. 


There are dedicated Kosher and Halal options available in Bartlett Dining Commons, Arley D. Cathey Dining Commons, and Baker Dining Commons. The Kosher stations are closed each week for the Sabbath and on all high holidays. Many students who are observant take advantage of the programs offered by UChicago Hillel and Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Life & Learning during these times.

Religious Observances During O-Week

It often happens that religious holidays occur during Orientation Week. It is our goal that students will be able to fully observe their holiday without missing important information. The College makes every effort to offer multiple sessions and provide information in a variety of formats to meet students' needs.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about religious conflicts or accommodations during O-Week, please contact College Programming and Orientation

Religious Accommodations During Move-In

The start of Orientation and Move-in Day is Saturday, September 19. In most circumstances, students will not be permitted to move into their residence hall early. However, in order to accommodate religious observances that occur on Saturdays, Housing & Residence Life may provide students the opportunity to move-in on Friday, September 18. First-year students may request a religious accommodation for early move-in through their housing application, available in early May and will be notified in mid-August if their request has been approved.

For questions about move-in, please contact Housing & Residence Life at housing@uchicago.edu or 773-702-7366.

There are many people and resources here to help make your transition into the College as smooth as possible. At the University of Chicago, there are two main offices that will help you with financial questions. Below you will find contact information and a short description of each office.

Financial Aid, Walker 309

The primary responsibilities of this office are to determine the eligibility of students for University and federal funds, as well as to award student funds like the Perkins/Stafford loans and Federal Work-Study allocations. They also handle questions about alternative, emergency, and parent loans. Finally, Financial Aid handles all outside scholarships including National Merit scholarships. Students will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Financial Aid during O-Week.

The Office of the Bursar, Edelstone Center, 2nd Floor

This office handles all accounts and payments receivable/payable for the University. These include tuition payments, phone bills, and paychecks for most student employees of the University.

There will be representatives from a few local banks to answer questions and help set up accounts at the Family Resources Fair in Bartlett Quad on Saturday, September 19 during Orientation Check-In. There will also be a list of local banks and some of the options they offer for students enclosed in the August mailings for both students and parents.

Some students find it helpful to start a bank account while still at home with one of the banks that serve Hyde Park: Chase, Citibank, or Maroon Financial Credit Union. Please be aware that some banks may offer special student accounts at branches around campus that are not available at branches closer to home.


Students can get cash from any ATM on or around campus. There are ATMs in the Reynolds Club, in the Citibank across from the University of Chicago Bookstore, and in several other banks near campus.

Two students stand with shovels while doing work in a community garden.

Engage Chicago

Get a first taste of the fun, diverse, and rewarding community service opportunities available year-round through the University Community Service Center.

During O-Week all incoming students will have the opportunity to Engage Chicago with your Housemates and upper-class students by participating in meaningful service projects in the neighborhoods surrounding the University, not just as students, but as active community members.