First-Year New Student Orientation

Welcome to the UM Family!

We are so excited you chose to become a Grizzly! Here's some information to help you get started with your transition to campus.

All first-year students beginning in the fall must complete Online Bear Tracks and attend New Student Orientation. 

The New Student Orientation experience extends far beyond course registration. It provides you an opportunity to become engaged with your classmates and your community, to gain the necessary tools to become a successful student and to understand your new responsibilities as a UM student, as well as gain insight into some of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Be sure to complete the Pre-Orientation Checklist!

Online Bear Tracks

Online Bear Tracks has closed for students entering in fall 2020.  Please contact your academic advisor as soon as possible to complete advising and course registration.  University of Montana students can find a list of academic advisors here, and Missoula College students can find a list of academic advisors here.


Student gather for orientation welcome in Washington Grizzly Stadium 2019 Student gather for orientation welcome in Washington Grizzly Stadium 2019
Pawsitive Print "You Matter" Pawsitive Print "You Matter"

Fall 2020 Arrival Information

This year, fall semester classes will start Wednesday, Aug. 19. 

Residence Hall Move-In

For safety reasons, we are implementing a staggered approach to student residence hall move-in that will allow smaller groups of students to arrive between Wednesday, Aug. 12, and Sunday, Aug. 16. If you have not already done so, please log into the myHousing portal to select your move-in date and time.

Freshman Wilderness Experience participants, students in marching band, student athletes and other special groups will follow different move-in procedures. Please contact your respective programs for additional information.

New Student Orientation

Registration for New Student Orientation is now closed - but that's ok!  Simply come to check in any day and we will get you squared away.

Check-in for New Student Orientation will run from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 12-16 in Parking Lot A located between the University Center and the Mansfield Library. Students living on campus should try to check-in for orientation the day they are scheduled to move in, while students living off-campus can check in any day Aug. 12-16.  At check-in, students will be assigned to a maroon or gray group, which will determine which orientation schedule they should follow Aug. 17-18.

New Student Orientation will take place in person Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 17-18. All first-year students are expected to attend this program in addition to completing Online Bear Tracks. There is not any family programming during these two days.

Students who are participating in the Freshman Wilderness Experience will select a move-in time for Tuesday, Aug. 11, and will participate in FWE from Wednesday to Sunday, Aug. 12-16. Please visit the FWE website for more information. FWE students are still expected to participate in New Student Orientation Aug. 16-17. Register for FWE here.

All other Big Sky Experience programs are postponed until a later date.

If you have concerns about arriving on time for residence hall move-in or New Student Orientation, please email Director of New Student Success Devin Carpenter at or call 406-243-2332. If you have concerns about arriving by the start of classes on Aug.19, please contact your academic adviser.

UM Advocate leads a Big Sky Experience at SpectrUM Discovery Area 2019 UM Advocate leads a Big Sky Experience at SpectrUM Discovery Area 2019
UM Advocate leads a small group activity 2019 UM Advocate leads a small group activity 2019

UM Mountain Campus First-Year Students

Fall Admission

Students beginning in the fall will attend both Bear Tracks and New Student Orientation. 

Spring Admission

New Student Orientation: Jan. 7-8, 2021

Spring Orientation is designed to serve students who are beginning their first semester in January. This is a two-day program that will allow you to get to know your peers, meet academic advisors and faculty, and familiarize yourself with campus resources and opportunities.

There is no formal family program during spring orientation. However, campus will be open, and staff will be available to speak with you and your family members to address any questions you may have.

Registration will open in fall 2020.

Missoula College First-Year Students 

Fall Admission

First-time students who are under the age of 21 will attend both Bear Tracks and New Student Orientation. 

If you have been out of high school a little longer, if you have dependents, or if there are other extenuating circumstances, you can complete your orientation online. Please contact Alberta Ramirez at if you would like to choose the online option. 

Spring Admission

All incoming Missoula College students for the spring term are encouraged to complete Online New Student Orientation. This is the quickest way you can be advised and register for courses. 

Registration will open in fall 2020

Optional On-Campus Session

Jan. 6, 2021

Students who would like some additional assistance are invited to join the Missoula College for a half-day orientation program to take care of any final business before the semester begins.

You do not need to attend an on-campus orientation if you complete the online module and advising ahead of time.

Registration will open in fall 2020.

Summer Start

Incoming first-year students who wish to take Summer Start courses should let their academic advisor know during Bear Tracks. Your advisor will work with you to determine which courses make the most sense for meeting your academic  goals. Students who attend Summer Start are required to attend New Student Orientation in the fall.

Non-Traditional First-Year Students

The University of Montana recognizes your transition to college may be a bit different. We encourage you to attend one of the Bear Tracks Registration Events so you are able to meet with an academic advisor and register for classes. You also will need to attend Bystander Intervention Training during your first semester of school. If you do not, you will have a registration hold on your account for the spring.

Non-traditional students do not need to participate in an on-campus orientation program as long as they complete Bear Tracks.

However, non-traditional students are invited to participate in New Student Orientation  if they would like. You can find more information and registration links above.

Transfer Students

To be considered a transfer student, you must have completed 12 semester credits at a college or university, post-high school graduation and earned at least a 2.0 GPA. College credits earned by students still in high school do not count toward this 12-credit requirement. If you are a transfer student, please visit our Transfer Orientation page. 

Post-Baccalaureate Students

Post-baccalaureate students are not required to complete an orientation program. You are able to register for classes on your own or contact an academic advisor for assistance.

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