Welcome Week

Welcome Week

Welcome Week community graphic

Thank you to everyone who helped make Welcome Week 2018 a major success!

Details about Welcome Week 2019 will be posted here later this fall.

Welcome Week is the second step (after New Student Orientation) in your transition to the University of Minnesota. Welcome Week is required for the Class of 2022 attending the U of M, Twin Cities and strongly recommended for new transfer students.

Welcome Week is a six-day experience directly before fall classes begin. You will meet fellow new students, spend time with your college of enrollment, learn more about U of M, and explore the Twin Cities community. Welcome Week will help you feel more comfortable and confident as you start your experience at the U and begin classes, not to mention it is a lot of fun! You will get to participate in key campus traditions including Pride & Spirit (featuring the annual “M” photo on the football field) and more! 

We know that students who attend Welcome Week are more confident when they start classes because they have had time to meet friends, navigate campus and get settled. Welcome Week introduces and builds upon various communities within the University of Minnesota. Keep reading to find out how Welcome Week will build on your Orientation experience. Plan family vacations, work schedules, and housing leases (if living off campus) accordingly. Some colleges include class participation during Welcome Week, so be mindful of this when planning your time! 

Your Welcome Week Experience

Welcome Week Overview

Welcome week is the time for new students on campus to get comfortable navigating campus while connecting with their new classmates and peers. Students will learn about campus traditions while exploring campus and participating in signature campus events such as:

  • The RecWell Open House gives new students a chance to see all the RecWell has to offer in terms of group fitness classes, exercise equipment. There will be free food, fun, tshirts, a silent disco, and more!
  • A Mall of America trip exclusively for U of M students with unlimited rides at Nick Universe and behind the scenes tours of the Sea Life aquarium.
  • The Program Board Event Showcase where students take over the Union for amazing performances, activities, and giveaways.
  • Pride & Spirit where students learn about Gopher traditions and the giant M photo is taken each year! 

You can learn about these events and many more including a detailed schedule starting in August within the U Minnesota App. On the tabs below, you can learn more about events that are aimed at the Class of 2022 and those exclusively for new Transfer students!

Class of 2022 Track

Keep in mind, some of the signature events will be open to any new student, including transfers, such as Pride & Spirit and a trip to Mall of America, however there are several events designed specifically for new First Year students that you won’t want to miss:

  • Welcome to Welcome Week with Jermaine Davis
  • Small Group Meeting
  • New Student Convocation
  • College Specific Programming

Check the Class of 2022 guide on the U Minnesota mobile app for more information about these events! The Welcome Week schedule for the Class of 2022 can be found here.

Transfer Student Track

Transfer Welcome Days has been rebranded as a transfer track within Welcome Week. This is an exciting change as it means new incoming transfer students are now able to participate in key campus traditions including Pride & Spirit!

Welcome Week is strongly recommended. We know as transfer students it is especially important for you to jump into your new community with intention. We want you to be successful and we know that you are more likely to feel comfortable on campus after attending Welcome Week.

It is strongly recommended to attend as many events and programs as possible during Welcome Week as there is content designed specifically for you. It is also a great opportunity to meet other incoming transfer students and start to build your community at the U.

Some colleges of enrollment may have required components of Welcome Week for new transfer students.

For Fall 2019, incoming transfer students should visit the Welcome Week page to view the program schedule and event information as well as download the U Minnesota app.

Keep in mind, there are several events designed specifically for Transfer students that you won’t want to miss:

  • Transfer Check-In
  • Transfer Touch Point
  • Tailgate Dinner
  • Transfer Student Welcome
  • College Programming
  • Transfer Student Leader Personal Tours & Dinner on the Town
  • Transfer Hangout
  • University Transfer Student Board (UTSB) Slice & Advice

Check the New Transfer Student guide on the U Minnesota mobile app (coming May 2019) for more information about these events! The Welcome Week schedule for transfer students can be found here (May 2019).

Your U of M communities

When you come to the University, you'll be part of many communities, both on and off of campus. During Welcome Week, you'll have the opportunity to connect with them each in different ways.

Welcome Week Small Group Community

If you lare a first year student living on campus, you will be assigned to a small group with other new students based on where you live. If you live off-campus, you can preference to be grouped with people who have things in common with you like your college of enrollment or those who are interested in student groups as part of Welcome Week Event Selection. Welcome Week Leaders will assist you and your small group in navigating the program. New transfer students will be accompanied by the Transfer Student Leaders. You will have opportunities to connect with other Welcome Week groups throughout the program.

College Community

You will spend a full day with your college of enrollment meeting faculty, staff members, and other peers. If you are in CEHD, CLA, CFANS or CSE you will attend the first day of class for your required first-year course. CBS freshman students are required to participate as part of their Nature of Life course.

U of M Community

You will explore the U of M campus in its entirety by learning to navigate East Bank, West Bank and St. Paul campus. This includes utilizing the Campus Connector in order to reach scheduled events. There are many events during Welcome Week where the Class of 2022 and new Transfer students will be together in one space, for example you will take an entering class photo in the shape of the “M” at Pride & Spirit.

Twin Cities Community

Your U of M Community extends into the local businesses and non-profit organizations throughout the Twin Cities. You will explore areas off-campus so you can learn to take advantage of all the Twin Cities has to offer throughout the academic year.

By the end of the week you’ll have all the tools you need to start your first semester and make the University of Minnesota your own.

Is Welcome Week required?

The short answer: Yes.

Welcome Week is required for the Class of 2022 and attendance is integral to your transition to the University. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to attend events in the transfer track in addition to events designed for all new students.

The choice to attend is similar to the decisions you’ll be making every day of your undergraduate career—whether to attend class or not, whether to meet with your academic adviser or not, or whether to get involved in student activities. To help you balance your self-care during Welcome Week while maximizing your experience, your Welcome Week Leader can help you identify down times during Welcome Week when you can recharge.

Just like regular class attendance has a positive impact on academic success, attending Welcome Week will enhance your academic experience by helping you get acquainted with the U and build a sense of community…before your first semester starts. Welcome Week is the University’s way of ensuring you have a purposeful start to your college journey.

Keep in mind for freshmen students in CSE, CFANS, CLA or CEHD you will be enrolled in a required class that includes Welcome Week activities and it is a required component of the Nature of Life course for CBS students.

Not convinced? How about this research…

We know that students who attend Welcome Week have a greater sense of belonging and higher fall & spring gpas than students who did not have Welcome Week.

Do you have a conflict?

We understand students may have conflicts during parts of Welcome Week and may wish to be excused from some programming. On occasion, Orientation & Transition Experiences may grant permission to miss certain parts of Welcome Week if it is arranged ahead of time. Please fill out this form to explain your conflict and Orientation & Transition Experiences staff will be in touch with you to help you navigate participating in Welcome Week (submit no later than August 22). Some examples of approved absences in the past have included religious obligation, active military duty, medical need, dependent child care, family wedding,  or certain State Fair obligations. Otherwise, your Welcome Week Leader (WWL) will be expecting to you to meet up with them at each event so it is important to communicate with us.

Any student granted an approved absence will still be required to participate in certain Welcome Week activities, including Convocation, college-specific  programming, and U of M events.

Note: If you are in Marching Band or a fall competing sport, you do not need to request an excused absence and you will automatically have an adjusted Welcome Week schedule.

PSEO students

Former PSEO students who are enrolled as freshmen for Fall 2018 are required to participate in Welcome Week.

Welcome Week Accommodations


Welcome Week Leaders will assist you to events once you are on campus, but you are responsible for getting yourself to campus.

  • Walking - You will be walking a lot during Welcome Week (see Special Accommodations if you need assistance) be sure to wear appropriate footwear.
  • Busing/Light Rail - If you’re purchasing a U-Pass for the semester, you’ll find it comes in handy during Welcome Week.
  • Driving - If you drive to campus you can park for free in the East River Road Garage with a parking voucher you may pick up in 315 Coffman Union every day.
  • Biking - Be sure you have a secure bike lock and helmet ready for your ride.  Click here to find bicycle parking and bike maps.

Learn more about commuting to campus and updates on construction at Parking & Transportation’s website.


If you apply for housing by the May 1 deadline and select to live on campus for the Fall, you will receive a letter by the end of July informing you of your Fall housing assignment, move in date and time. You will be able to move into your residence hall/residential apartment before Welcome Week.  More information can be found at Housing & Residential Life's web site.

If you’re not living in on-campus housing, you will need to ensure you can move in to your apartment/house prior to August 29 as housing is not provided during Welcome Week. More specific information for students living off campus will be mailed in August.


If you live in an on-campus residence hall or apartment and have a meal plan, meals are provided during Welcome Week beginning with brunch on Wednesday, August 29 through dinner Friday, August 30. University Dining Services contracts begin with brunch on Saturday, September 1. Flexdine will be available for students who have meal plans prior to Welcome Week meals starting. There are dining options available in some Residential Restaurants prior to the start of Welcome Week. Please visit University Dining Services for specific locations and hours.

If you are a first year student living off-campus and do not have a University Dining Services, meals are provided for you at no cost during Welcome Week from Wednesday, August 29-Sunday, September 2 and you will let us know about your dietary restrictions when you complete the Welcome Week Event Selection. You will have a chance to eat in the Residential Dining Halls, enjoy campus catering, and explore some of the local campus restaurants. 

If you are a transfer student living off-campus and do not have a University Dining Services contract, some meals will be provided to you at no cost through Welcome Week and you should also plan on providing some of your own meals. Details can be found within Welcome Week Event Selection as well as the U Minnesota Mobile App to help with your planning.

Personal Accommodations


We value disability as an aspect of diversity and want to ensure that you are able to fully participate in all programming available to you. If you have a disability or health condition, or suspect you have one, and would like have a confidential discussion about accommodations, please contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 612-626-1333 or drc@umn.edu as soon as possible. Some accommodations may take a few weeks to arrange.

You are also welcome to visit the DRC (180 McNamara) at the end of Day 2 of orientation for a brief informational meeting.  However, if you would like to register with the DRC to arrange formal accommodations, you would need to schedule an initial appointment in advance.

Mobility Issues

If you have a short-term disability (i.e. broken leg) and would have difficulty walking long distances during Orientation, please contact the Orientation & Transition Experiences office for accommodations at 800-234-1979.

Mobility accommodations for Welcome Week can be indicated on Welcome Week Event Selection.

Dietary Accommodations

Vegetarian options are available. If you are in need of additional dietary accommodations besides vegetarian, please contact our office at (800) 234-1979 or (612) 624-1979 two weeks prior to your orientation date.

Dietary accommodations for Welcome Week can be indicated on Welcome Week Event Selection.


Will you be observing Ramadan during your Orientation? If so, please contact Orientation & Transition Experiences at (800) 234-1979 or (612) 624-1979 to schedule your meals and request any golf cart accommodations.

Prepare for Your Arrival

Parking for students living off-campus
If you drive to campus during Welcome Week, please park in the East River Road Parking Garage. Make sure you pick up your coupon for free parking from Orientation & Transition Experiences, 315 Coffman Memorial Union.