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Admitted student START information

Admitted student START information

College of Science START Orientation

Hello future Beavers! We are very excited to welcome you to the College of Science. We would like to share some important information to help you get the best experience possible as you start your time here at OSU.

COS START Checklist

  1. Visit the OSU New Student Programs and Family Outreach website to confirm your enrollment and register for virtual START (orientation).
  2. As you finish step 1, you will be granted access to the COS START Experience through which you will learn more about the college, majors and experiential learning opportunities. The COS START Experience will be available December 3, 2021 - January 2, 2022 and is self-paced.
  3. Once you complete the COS START experience modules, you will be provided instructions about how to connect with your advisor. You’ll get a chance to meet with them remotely one-on-one, ask any questions, and plan out your fall term courses.
  4. Once you have completed your advising meeting, you’ll be able to sign up for a remote registration session with the Peer Advisors to register for Fall term classes.

Student Resources

We know that there are many uncertainties and challenges with the current situation with COVID-19 and remote learning. We anticipate some remote learning in the Fall term depending on the nature of the course. Here are a few resources that are available to all students

Frequently Asked Questions

While we may not have all of the answers, here are some of the most common questions that new OSU students have. If you have any additional questions that you would like to ask, please feel free to contact the Science Success Center.


How to keep up with communications?

There are a lot of platforms that instructional staff use during the term. Here are some of the most common programs that instructors use and ways you can to get the most out of it:

  • Canvas is a platform on which all instructors use to share course learning material, assignments, and grades to their students. Instructors will often share important information via Canvas announcements. You can view this community forum to see how you can change notifications.
  • Gmail is one of the most important ways that you can reach out to your instructors, academic advisors, and other staff at OSU. This is the official email the University will use to connect with you for important messages going forward, so it’s important to check your OSU email at least once a day and to stay connected. You can also forward this email to an email account you check more regularly.
  • Slack is a space where most of our virtual tutoring services are hosted. You can discuss course topics in a channel or privately message instructional staff to receive personalized help. Please review the COS START Experience to learn more about Slack and how to change notification settings.

Are First-Year students required to live on-campus? If so, can I have a room to myself? Can I change my room if I don’t like my roommate?

Students who meet the requirement for the live-on policy must comply with this process. Students can apply for and will be granted an exemption if they are living at an address that is on record for the fall. With that being said, students who have health concerns also have a process that would allow them to live in another location but not on campus. Visit the First-Year Experience Live-On Policy page for more information.

What kind of computer do I need? What are the minimum requirements?

Students will ideally want a computer with a microphone and perhaps video capabilities if their courses are virtual, but it is not a requirement. You should consider what kind of processing power the computer is capable of, ability for third-party applications, and storage space.

There are a few resources on campus that are available to students if they need a computer.

  • The BNC has computer loans available for students in addition to financial support, textbook loans, food assistance, and etc.
  • Computer software resources is a list of software licenses that are available to OSU students, faculty, and staff for academic use.
  • Milne computer center is a computer lab on-campus that is open for student use throughout the year. This center also has a small office where students can troubleshoot and fix their personal laptops. The center also has appropriate social distancing and public health guidelines set in place for all users that are available for viewing on their website.

What are the healthcare resources on campus? Will the Student Health Services be functioning as normal?

Student health services (SHS) is an on-campus clinic that now offers a full range of telehealth appointments including nutrition, primary care, psychiatry, reproductive health, and more. Call 541-737-9355 to schedule an appointment. The Plageman Clinic will be operating in the summer and in the fall. Please visit the SHS website for more information.

The Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is a resource that provides counseling, resources for managing stress and improving self-esteem, and mindfulness practices. CAPS is available remotely via Zoom in addition to providing other services. Please visit the COVID-19 CAPS Info page for more information.

What resources are available for students with special needs? How do students get accommodations for a disability?

Students with special needs and accommodations should reach out to the Disability Access Services office which provides accommodations, education, consultation, and advocacy for students with disabilities at OSU. If you need disability accommodations while at OSU, you can submit a DAS registration form and disability documentation as the first step. From there, the DAS office will connect with the student and will go through a DAS orientation.

How do I get extracurricular experiences during the pandemic?

The Student Experiences & Engagement office (SEE) is working remotely to provide support for clubs and Greek life organizations. While many events that would normally be held in the fall have been canceled or will be rescheduled, the SEE office has a resource that students can view all of the OSU recognized clubs and organizations that students can find and join an organization.

The Community Engagement & Leadership (CEL) office coordinates volunteer activities and efforts for the OSU campus and for our local Corvallis community. This office is currently looking for ways to engage the community virtually in interactive workshops, service projects, and in so many more ways. Please visit the CEL COVID-19 page for more information.

What modes of transportation are available for Corvallis campus OSU students? How much do they cost? When are they available?

Students have a lot of different options for transportation both on campus and within the Corvallis community. Be sure to check out the Transportation Services COVID-19 Updates and Resources for the most up-to-date information.

  • The Beaver Bus is a free campus shuttle service that is available to students. There are four buses that run on three different routes and there is also an online tracking system that is available for students. As of right now, Beaver Bus operations are suspended until further notice.
  • The Beaver Bike Rental Program provides bicycles for students to rent by the term. It comes with fenders, front and rear lights, a lock, and a helmet. Currently, all Beaver Bikes are currently reserved, and no new requests are being taken at this time.
  • The Corvallis Transit System is a fare-less public transit service for the city of Corvallis. Users can view where the buses are using the bus tracker. The CTS currently have limited buses running from Monday-Friday, and the Saturday and Sunday buses are operating as regularly scheduled. Passengers must wear face coverings when using CTS, must board and exit using the back door, and allow passengers to stay 3 feet away from each other. You can learn more about the updates here.
  • Saferide is a free, nightly taxi service that is run by Associated Students of OSU (ASOSU) and student drivers. It’s a service that transports students within the city limits of Corvallis and Philomath during the academic year. Currently, ASOSU Saferide is closed until further notice. Students are encouraged to utilize the Corvallis Transit System.


What are classes going to look like? How have things changed since the pandemic began?

Classes will be of a mixed modality – meaning that some classes may be remote, while others may be on campus, and a few may be a hybrid between the two. The spring 2020 term was completely remote where faculty and staff adapted quickly and very well to the online learning and teaching environment for their students. For the fall 2020 term, depending on the number of students enrolled in certain classes, labs, and recitations, classes may be remote or in-person. However, all classes after Thanksgiving (week 10 and finals week) will be remote across the entire university. OSU will be following appropriate public health guidelines, and all classes can be moved online if there is a need for it.

Please view the OSU COVID-19 page for the most up-to-date information.

How do I transfer my AP/IB/CLEP or college-level credits?

To receive college-level credit, the student will have to share their official transcript or score report to the Office of Admissions after the student has been admitted to the university. Please view this website to contact the Office of Admissions and here’s a link that has more information on credit articulation policies and requirements.

How many credits should I be taking?

We encourage students not to take too many credits during their first term as this is typically an adjustment period to get used to college-life, but you should have a discussion with your academic advisor about how many classes you should take.

OSU Scholarships require students to take 36 credits a year while others may have GPA requirements. Non-OSU scholarships may have different requirements so be sure to check all of the scholarship requirements.

How can I get help for classes, and what does that look like?

There are a lot of different resources that are available to students during this time. Most of the tutoring services that are available to students for science courses are mostly virtual and a few in-person. Additionally, many other resources and offices have shifted to focus serving virtually while they may have some in-person services in the fall.

We encourage that you visit the COS COVID-19 Resources for Students page for more information.

What do I do if I’m struggling in a class?

If you’re struggling in class, you can consider the following options:

  • Be sure to reach out to the Academic Success Center to learn about tips on how to effectively study and manage your time. You can also meet with a strategist or a coach to work one-on-one. Check out the Academic Success Center website for more information.
  • Consider reaching out to the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) if you’re struggling with mental health.
  • Reach out to your academic advisor or instructor to discuss any potential ways that they can support you.
  • You can consider withdrawing or to S/U a class. Withdrawal from a course means that you were enrolled in the course but instead receive a “W” as a grade. This does not affect your GPA. S/U is changing how the course is graded from a A-F grading scale to a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading basis. A grade of an S or a U has no grade point equivalent and is not used in GPA calculations. Check out this page that walks you through whether or not you should S/U or withdraw.