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

Please register for spring orientation here.

Spring 2024 Orientation

Welcome to the University of Dubuque family! We are excited to have you join us for Spartan Start on Friday, January 5, 2024, with Residence Hall Check-In on January 4, 2024. We've put together a great schedule for the program. If you are a spring sport student-athlete, please check with your sport coach, as your check-in date may be different.

Spring 2024 Spartan Start Schedule | Friday, January 5

Time Session Topic & Description Location
8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Check-In & Breakfast
Pick up your Spartan Start materials and get ready for the day.
Light breakfast items will be available in the Straatmeyer Room.
A.Y. McDonald Lobby and Straatmeyer Room,
Heritage Center
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. University Welcome
Join us for an official welcome to the University of Dubuque. Review your materials and the schedule for the day. Meet the Spartan Start staff and other new students.
Straatmeyer Room,
Heritage Center
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Academic Sessions
Did you know that University of Dubuque offers lots of great, free resources and services to support your academic success in college? During these three sessions, you'll learn about the Academic Success Center, Charles C. Myers Library, and Academic Advising.
Room 381,
Charles C. Myers Library
11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center
Join the Smeltzer-Kelly Health Center staff to learn more about ways to maintain physical and mental health during college. Get more information about the on-campus services that are covered by your student fees, including primary health care and counseling.
Departing from Charles C. Myers Library to Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Out and About on Campus
Still have a few last-minute errands to take care of? Not sure where to find your classes? Choose one of three out-and-about sessions to help you be ready to go on Monday!
Departing from Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center
Locations vary by session
12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch and Campus Safety & Security Session
Enjoy a complimentary lunch and learn about what you can do to help us make the University of Dubuque campus a safe and comfortable place for everyone to live and learn.
Straatmeyer Room,
Heritage Center
1:40 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. Breakout Session 1 Locations vary by session
2:20 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Breakout Session 2 Locations vary by session
3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. Technology Workshop
The University of Dubuque uses various software to enhance your educational experience. You'll need to be familiar with our email client (Microsoft Outlook), campus portal (MyUD), and learning management system (Moodle). You'll also get information about storing your documents and printing on campus.
Room 106,
Charles C. Myers Library
4:00 p.m. Wrap up and Questions
Wrap up the day with a closing message and an opportunity to get answers to any questions you may have before departing.
Straatmeyer Room,
Heritage Center

Breakout Session Descriptions

Out and About on Campus:

Sessions depart from Smeltzer-Kelly Health Center. Look for a Spartan Start Peer Leader holding a sign with the session title of your choice.

  • Find Your Classes Tour - Bring your schedule and join a Spartan Start Peer Leader for a guided personalized walk around campus to locate your classrooms.
  • Parking Pass, Student ID, and Bookstore Visit - Join a Spartan Start Peer Leader for a guided walk to Campus Security to get your student ID and/or parking pass and then swing by the bookstore to purchase your textbooks.
  • Financial Aid Visit - Do you still have questions about how to cover the cost of your tuition? Need to turn in some final paperwork or find out about your financial aid award? Join a Spartan Start Peer Leader for a guided walk to the Office of Student Financial Planning, where staff will be available to assist you.

Breakout Session 1:

  • Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC) - Meet the CRWC staff and get information about recreation options like group fitness, the fitness center, intramural sports and even student employment opportunities. Tour the state-of-the-art CRWC facility.
  • Heritage Center (Butler Hall) - Learn more about how you can navigate Heritage Center and engage in the arts and cultures surrounding you! Preview the spring season and find out how you can cast your vote for the performances you'd like to see in the future.
  • TRIO Student Support Services - 2nd Floor, Charles C. Myers Library - Discover TRIO, our academic and personal support program designed to help students overcome obstacles and provide opportunities and guidance throughout the college journey. TRIO works with students who identify as first-generation, low income, or living with a disability. Join us to experience the fun and excitement that comes with being a TRIO scholar!

Breakout Session 2:

  • Say Hello to Handshake - Room 206, Heritage Center - Let the Office of Vocation, Career Services, & Community Engagement introduce you to Handshake, the #1 way college students find jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities online. Eye contact, a firm handshake, and a smile go a long way in making a first impression! Get started today in setting goals for your future career.
  • Office of Student Activities - Room 204, Heritage Center - From Student Government to student clubs or organizations, and events, find out how you can meet other students, develop leadership skills, and get the most out of your college experience.
  • Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) - Room 208, Heritage Center - Stop in to learn how you can develop leadership skills and qualify for scholarships through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

What to Expect

Attending UD will be a brand new experience for you. While starting at a new college 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 a lot of other new students who, like you, don't know a lot of people on campus and are feeling a bit nervous. It is possible that you may even feel overwhelmed at times. That's normal; just reach out to a peer leader or Spartan Start staff member, and they can help.
  • 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!
  • 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)

Can I move in early?

We're glad you are ready to join us on campus! Our staff needs time to make sure everything is just right for you when you arrive, so unfortunately, we cannot allow early move-ins. If you have extenuating circumstances that you need to discuss, you may contact Residence Life at 563.589.3519 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 have worked hard to build a fun and useful program you will not want to miss.