Spartan Start

Spartan Start is UD's orientation and welcome program for new students. During the program, you’ll get connected with other students, learn your way around campus, discover ways to get involved, and a lot more! Spartan Start provides the perfect start to a successful UD college experience.

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Spring 2021 New Students

Welcome to the University of Dubuque family! We are excited to have you join us for Spartan Start on Friday, January 8, 2021. Please help us prepare for your arrival by completing the Spartan Start Sign-up form.

We've put together a great schedule for the program. Here are some highlights of what we have planned for you:

Spring 2021 Spartan Start Schedule*

Friday, January 8, 2021

TimeSession TitleLocation
8:00 - 8:45 a.m.     Check-In
Arrive any time between 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Pick up your orientation materials and enjoy breakfast.
Heritage Center, A.Y. McDonald Lobby
8:45 - 9:30 a.m. University Welcome
Review your schedule for the day. Meet the orientation staff and other new students.
Heritage Center, Babka Black Box Theatre
9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Heritage Center Session
Learn more about how you can navigate Heritage Center and engage in the arts and cultures surrounding you.
Heritage Center, Babka Black Box Theatre
9:55 - 11:05 a.m. Academic Success Sessions
Rotate through three sessions to learn about services including the Academic Success Center, Charles C. Myers Library, and Academic Advising.
Charles C. Myers Library
11:15 - 11:35 a.m.  Campus Ministry Session
Meet the Campus Ministry staff and get information about worship options like chapel services, IMPACT Sunday evening services, Bilbe studies, and more.
Blades Chapel, Blades Hall
11:35 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.                      Out and About On Campus
Choose one of three sessions to take care of last-minute errands or find your classroom locations.
Locations vary by session
12:15 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
Enjoy a complimentary lunch.
Heritage Center, Straatmeyer Rehearsal Room
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Safety and Security Session
Learn about what you can do to help make the University of Dubuque campus a safe and comfortable place for everyone to live and learn.
Heritage Center, Straatmeyer Rehearsal Room
1:40 - 2:10 p.m. Breakout Session 1: Health and Wellness
Choose one of two sessions to learn more about how you can stay well during college.
Location varies by session choice
2:20 - 2:50 p.m.  Breakout Session 2: Involvement and Activities
Choose one of two sessions to learn more about how you can get involved and grow your skills outside of the classroom.
Location varies by session choice
3:00 - 3:50 p.m. Technology Workshop
Get to know the different software systems that UD students use, including MyUD, Moodle, and WCOnline.
Room 262, Smith Welcome Center
4:00 - 4:30 p.m. Wrap up and Questions
We'll wrap up the day with a closing message and an opportunity to get answers to any questions you may have before departing.  We'll also conduct a drawing for some great prizes!
Heritage Center, Babka Black Box Theatre

 *Please note: Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

What to Expect

Attending UD will be a brand new experience for you. While this is exciting, it can also be a little stressful. Spartan Start is designed to help you settle in and get comfortable with campus life. During the program you can expect to:

  • Meet other new students who, like you, don’t know a lot of people on campus and are feeling a bit nervous. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.
  • Work with a peer leader. Your peer leader, an upper-level UD student, will share information and guide you through the program schedule.
  • Be busy! We fit a lot of sessions and activities into the day. We want to make the most of every moment!
  • Learn about a lot of resources and opportunities. There are tons of ways to get involved on campus, and a lot of helpful, free services you can utilize. Even if you think something may not be of interest to you, keep an open mind. You may find that you need the information later. Plus, college is a great time to try something new!
  • Begin to take responsibility for your education. How you participate and what and how much you learn is up to you. As a college student, you’ll need to make decisions about what classes to take, how often to study, when to ask for help, and more. Spartan Start will give you a chance to learn and practice those skills, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity by being fully engaged and asking lots of questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When can I move in?
We’re glad you’re ready to join us on campus! Spring 2021 new students can move in on Thursday, January 7th. To make arrangements, please contact Residence Life at 563.589.3438 or

Do I have to attend Spartan Start?
Yes! Studies show that orientation programs contribute to a positive transition to college. Because we care about your success and want you to have every advantage possible, Spartan Start is a required component of your first week at UD. We’ve worked hard to build a fun and useful program you won’t want to miss!

What precautions are you taking to reduce spread of COVID-19 during Spartan Start?
While being together and building connections is important, so is staying safe and healthy! We're confident that if we all follow UD's mantra - practice common sense - good hygiene, social distancing, and wear a face covering for yourself and others - we can achieve both of these goals. Face coverings will be worn indoors at all times, and outdoors when a minimum of six feet of distance cannot be maintained. We ask that you not invite any guests to join you at Spartan Start. This will allow us to keep the number of attendees within safe limits.

Spartan Start has a few key goals to help students and families prepare for success in their college experience:

  1. Create a welcoming environment that builds a sense of community for new students.
  2. Foster and develop valuable connections for new students on campus.
  3. Provide opportunities for new students to become acquainted with campus resources.
  4. Build confidence of families of incoming students through encouragement and support.

How will we meet these goals together? We offer a robust and welcoming program that will give new students the chance to build initial relationships, as well as ample opportunities to meet many other new students through social events. New students will benefit from upper class peer leaders who will guide and advise them, helping them to acclimate to new surroundings and connect to resources and friends. New students who commit to participating in all of Spartan Start are choosing success in their first days on campus and are setting up great habits that will lead to class attendance, involvement in leadership opportunities, and building relationships that last a lifetime.