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New Student Orientation (NSO) is a comprehensive program designed to assist new first-year students in planning their Penn State education. First-year students must attend NSO in order to register for classes.

(Please note: For all aspects of Orientation, students will need their Penn State ID number. This is a nine-digit number that starts with a 9 located at the bottom of the student's acceptance letter. If unable to locate it, students should contact Stephanie Andaloro at 570-675-9233 or sja11@psu.edu, or Jean Pall at 570-675-9238 or jpp14@psu.edu.)

New Student Orientation consists of five steps:

 1) FILL OUT THE EDUCATIONAL PLANNING SURVEY (online; allow 30-45 minutes)

Once you have paid your acceptance fee, you will receive an email from University Park directing you to complete an Educational Planning Survey and Mathematics Placement Test before a designated deadline. The primary purpose of the Educational Planning Survey (EPS) is to help your Orientation adviser prepare to discuss your educational plans with you during your Orientation day. Remember that you must complete the survey before the deadline date specified in your email.

Learn more about the Educational Planning Survey.

2) TAKE THE ALEKS MATH ASSESSMENT (online; allow 2-3 hours)

The testing component of New Student Orientation determines your appropriate starting level in mathematics and chemistry.  All students are required to take the ALEKS mathematics assessment. The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. You should plan to complete the assessment in one 2-3 hour sitting. If you do not complete the assessment in one sitting, you will have 48 hours to complete it before the assessment is reset. This test must be completed before the deadline date on the postcard from University Park (see above).

If for any reason you do not complete the test by your deadline date, you will need to contact University Park at 814-865-4178 to request an extension.

Learn more about the ALEKS Math Assessment.

3) REGISTER FOR AN NSO ADVISING DAY at Penn State Wilkes-Barre

After you have completed the online placement test and Educational Planning Survey, Penn State Wilkes-Barre will send you a postcard about registering for your NSO Advising Day. These advising days will be held throughout the summer. You can register for an Advising Day beginning 3 business days after you complete your test and survey.


Complete your homework before attending your NSO Advising Day. The homework consists of watching three videos and filling out a few forms, one of which you will need to bring with you to Advising Day. This will help you begin to plan your first-semester schedule.

Learn more about the required homework assignments.


The Advising Day provides you with:

  • an understanding of your academic preparation and abilities.
  • an overview of the wide range of degree programs available at Penn State.
  • an overview of your Financial Aid package.
  • information about housing options.
  • information about participating in athletics, clubs, and other extracurricular activities.
  • an individual interview with an academic adviser to discuss your educational plans.
  • a schedule of courses for your first semester of study.

In addition, on your designated Advising Day, you will get your university photo ID. Please be sure to bring a driver’s license or passport with you.

Your family is welcome to attend Advising Day with you.


Advising Center
Walteen Grady Truely
DUS Coordinator
Murphy Center 104
(570) 675-9217

Taking Responsibility (Windows Media File)

Taking Responsibility (Quicktime)