Pitt Starts And Orientation

Fall 2018 New and Transfer Students should monitor their Pitt email account to receive the most up-to-date information.  Both student and family Pitt Start agendas and the New and Transfer Student Orientation schedule are helpful ways to know what we have planned for everyone.  Parents and families are welcome to attend informative, but optional programs at all Pitt Starts and Orientation.  This year’s New Student Convocation is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, August 22, 2018 at 3 pm.  It is the official “launching” of students’ Pitt journey.  We welcome all parents and families to attend Convocation as their schedules permit.  

Past webinars, which include these general topics and more, may help you to get a better understanding of this important time in your student’s life, and how you can support them through the process. If students have questions about move-in or dining plans, they should contact Panther Central at 412-648-1100, pc@pc.pitt.edu or access their Chat Line.  If students have questions about Orientation, they should contact First Year Experience at fye@pitt.edu or 412-648-2172.  For questions from a parental perspective, you can always contact Parent and Family Resources at parents@pitt.edu or 412-624-8548 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F.

To help you get a better understanding, below are some descriptions of the processes:

PittStart: The Academic Orientation

During the summer months, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid provides an academic orientation called PittStart so that incoming students can meet with academic advisors and finalize fall term courses. Parent sessions are offered at both PittStarts and Fall Orientation, but parent participation is optional. To learn more about the differences between PittStarts and Fall Orientation, please view the webinar on that topic.

Arrival Survival 

Arrival Survival (move-in process each fall) occurs concurrently with the final PittStart in August and New and Transfer Student Orientation.  Don’t let the name scare you!  Panther Central has this move-in process down to a science!  Students historically receive their unique move-in date and information in mid-to-late July for fall term via their Pitt email account.  Be sure to bring photo ID with you for residential housing wrist-banding/access.

New Student Orientation

The final fall Pitt Start overlaps Arrival Survival and Orientation optional sessions.  Not to worry!  Required student Orientation sessions do not begin until New Student Convocation – midweek.  During fall Orientation, students and parents can stop at Orientation Station in the William Pitt Union lobby to answer any last minute questions and pick up information material. The final session for parents is generally on Wednesday evening of Orientation week.  A modified New Student Orientation is provided for spring term.


Some parents and families choose to stay for Orientation sessions and, for a variety of reasons, some choose to move their student in, get that all-important hug, and return home.  The choice is totally an individual/family decision.  We recommend that you look at the schedule, have a conversation with your student, and make an informed choice.  Parents and families should be sure to sign up for the monthly newsletter for advance information on this as well as news throughout the years.