New Student Experience

The New Student Experience at Baylor includes everything that impacts students during their first year. These factors incorporate not just the adjustment to academic coursework at the university level, but also the proper understanding and management of the many social, psychological, personal, and emotional changes that take place during the first year of college life.

Baylor has intentionally established a number of experiences, programs, and courses that are designed to help students transition to college and succeed academically. At Baylor, our commitments to integrate faith and learning and educate students within a Christian community only strengthen our dedication to helping students connect with our community and succeed while they are here.

For additional information on the materials that have been developed for new students at Baylor, visit our New Student Experience web page or contact Dr. Sinda Vanderpool.


All of the following programs and experiences are considered components of Baylor's new student experience:

Orientation takes place in June each year for freshmen. Transfer Students attend a separate Registration Day. We also offer a mid-August option for those unable to attend in June. The goals of Orientation and Registration Day are to welcome students to campus, communicate the goals we have for undergraduate education, familiarize students with campus, introduce students to the options available as far as majors and degrees are concerned, and assist students in registering for courses.

Line Camp
Line Camp is an optional experience that takes place during July. The goals of Line Camp are to build community, generate enthusiasm and excited on the part of incoming students, invest in longtime Baylor traditions, cultivate meaningful friendships, and explore the concept of personal calling.

Welcome Week
Welcome Week serves as the official beginning of students' lives at Baylor. It takes place just prior to the beginning of classes each year. The purposes of Welcome Week are to build relationships between students, assist students as they connect with faculty and staff, help students to become acclimated to campus, and celebrate the spirit and traditions of Baylor. The week includes four days of activities that introduce students to what it means to be a member of the Baylor community. The main components of Welcome Week are Move-In Day, participation in small groups led by upperclassmen, a faculty dinner held in a faculty member's home, and Academic Convocation.

Move-In Day and the On-Campus Housing Experience
Move-in Day takes place on the Wednesday and Thursday prior to the first day of classes each fall. All freshmen are required to live on campus unless they meet exemptions. The primary goal of the on-campus housing experience is to produce a quality living experience that promotes academic success and spiritual development while living in a relational and diverse community. Students who live on campus participate more often in campus events, interact more frequently with faculty and peers, and indicate that they are more satisfied with their college experience.

New Student Experience Courses
All students are required to take a New Student Experience (NSE) course. They come in many varieties, including credit-bearing courses such as BUS 1101, REL 1310, or selected FYS and FAS courses. Other examples include BU/University 1000 or BIC 1212. These courses are designed to help students transition to college life, assist students as they adapt to the level of academic rigor required for college success, lead students in discussions about the intellectual changes that take place during the first year in college, introduce students to peers who can help students connect to the Baylor community, and reflect on the spiritual dimension of life at Baylor.

Chapel is the oldest tradition in all of American higher education, as well as at Baylor. All students are required to take chapel every Monday and Wednesday for two semesters. Chapel fulfills the need for members of an academic community to come together to focus on God and the spiritual dimension of human existence.

Family Weekend
Family Weekend takes place during mid to late September each year. This weekend is an opportunity for parents and other family members of current Baylor students to experience the community and spirit that Baylor students experience each day. Family members are invited to campus to tour facilities, meet with faculty, attend a Saturday morning coffee/breakfast, and watch a football game.