Jump-start Your Colgate Experience with Pre-orientation

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Jump start your Colgate experience by participating in a pre-orientation program. Colgate offers a variety of pre-orientation programs prior to your arrival for the new academic year. These optional programs are designed to help you become familiar with Colgate, engage with student leaders, have fun, learn, and of course, meet some of your new classmates. Learn more below and by visiting the pre-orientation webpage

To reserve a spot for one of our pre-orientation programs, please complete the registration by Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Limited space is available and reservations will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note there are required pre-orientation programs for our international students and undergraduate scholars.

If you have any questions regarding pre-orientation programs, please email newstudents@colgate.edu.

2024 Pre-Orientation Programs

The Colgate Maroon-News

Unlock the power of your voice through collegiate level student journalism. Through hands-on workshops, interactive sessions and mentorship opportunities with upper-level student leaders, you will hone your journalistic skills and gain a deep understanding of the pivotal role student journalism plays in fostering community engagement. Join an eager group of student journalists to discover the pulse of campus life and immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of university culture. At the forefront of campus news, events and opinions, you will learn how to craft compelling narratives that resonate with your fellow students. Embark on the exciting world of journalism with us — no previous experience required, just a passion for storytelling and a bit of curiosity!


Community Outreach

Make friends through community outreach and service, and learn about the local community in which you will live for the next four years. You will travel off campus in small groups with upper-level student leaders and mentors, immersing yourself in community settings. Serve with and learn from residents and nonprofit agencies in the local and regional area. Through service and reflection on its definition, purpose, and efficacy, this experience invites you to begin your time at Colgate acting on and thinking about engaged citizenship and the public good. Learn how to connect individual acts of service to long-term social change; join a group of students on a service journey and see what answers you find.


First@Colgate and QuestBridge Scholars

Build community and familiarize yourself with campus resources that will help you thrive at Colgate. This program provides QuestBridge Scholars and first-generation students early access to opportunities to network with faculty and staff, get acquainted with key University offices, hear from upper-level students, and bond with fellow first-year students. Join this pre-orientation program and make the most of your Colgate experience right out of the 'gate.


Student Activities Association

Join the Student Activities Association (SAA) for some event planning, skill development, and local adventures! SAA is Colgate’s primary event planning student organization, and SAA student leaders want to teach you about their process. In this pre-orientation program, incoming students will be working together to plan an event of their choosing that will be brought to life for the student body within the first few weeks of the fall semester. In between planning sessions, students will visit the village of Hamilton, tour event spaces and secret locations on campus, learn problem solving and decision making skills, and take a trip to Syracuse. By joining this pre-orientation experience, you won’t just be taking part in a program, you’ll also become part of an organization that makes students’ Colgate experience one to remember.


Sustainability of the North Country

You will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into sustainability in New York’s North Country on a three-day excursion from the Tug Hill Plateau to the expansive Adirondack Park. After a primer in sustainability at Colgate in the on-campus Community Garden, our outings will take us to the state's largest wind farm, on a hike in the Adirondack High Peaks, and to a working sustainable farm. Connect with other incoming students as we bond over personal climate experiences, hike in unique habitats, eat sustainable foods, and practice zero-waste habits. All are welcome, whether you consider yourself a novice in sustainability or a long-time sustainability champion. After returning to campus, you will start off on a more sustainable path with a crew of like-minded friends as you embark on your first year at Colgate.


Wilderness Adventure

For over 30 years, around 25% of first year students have started their Colgate careers with a Wilderness Adventure. Alongside 7–9 other incoming first years and two experienced Outdoor Education student leaders, you will experience upstate New York and the Adirondack Park by backpacking, canoeing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, day hiking, or a combo of these activities. Whether you’re an experienced outdoors person or you have never been camping before, we have a trip that is right for you (besides a range of activities, trips also come in a variety of difficulty levels). Along the way, you’ll make new friends and create unforgettable memories to set you up for the rest of your time at Colgate. No previous outdoor experience is needed for any of our trips — just a willingness to have fun, learn, and meet new people. We will take care of the rest.

More Info & Registration

WRCU-FM 90.1 Radio

Gain real-world broadcast radio experience with the largest student-run organization at Colgate, WRCU-FM 90.1. Come discuss your favorite musicians and pick up skills in audio production and storytelling all while exploring our extensive music library. Join this pre-orientation program to explore Colgate’s campus, the local music scene, and the broader Hamilton community. WRCU Pre-Orientation DJs are guaranteed a show slot on the official programming schedule once the semester begins. No prior experience is necessary.


Required Pre-Orientation Programs for the Following Groups

Tuesday, August 20–Sunday, August 25

Join the international orientation team for a week filled with sun, fun activities, and community building as we immerse you in American culture and prepare you for your journey ahead. Dual citizens, students on J-1 visas, and folks who grew up in international locations are also welcome to attend international student orientation. All international students are required to maintain valid F-1 status in order to attend Colgate University. During International Student Orientation, we will be completing the initial immigration registration as well as discussing topics specific to the international student experience.

Tuesday, August 20–Sunday, August 25

For 200 years, Colgate students and graduates have explored the world through scholarship, research, and discovery. All Alumni Memorial Scholars (AMS) begin their Colgate experience participating in a pre-orientation program. Fostering community and a shared commitment for the pursuit of knowledge, the AMS pre-orientation program is designed to introduce participants to the very best that Colgate has to offer. Learn about the unique resources and opportunities available to the AMS community. Join your fellow scholars on a fascinating and fun-filled pre-orientation adventure.