Incoming Freshmen - The University of Tulsa
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Incoming Freshmen

Get Ahead Early

Look around the TU website, current students, and the admitted student checklist. Many professors post their syllabi online through Harvey. If so, you could get books or begin doing readings over the summer.

Get organized early! Buy your backpack and supplies now. Label and organize your notebooks for each class—color code them for easy locating if your room gets messy. You will want a notebook for each class to keep your course syllabus and important papers/notes in one place. Schedule to enroll early to get the classes you need.


You will be completely on your own for time management in college, and we recommend everyone use a planner. Buy a planner now at the bookstore that is divided into days so you can make to-do lists and write your class schedule, important assignments, test dates, and other appointments in one location. You will also have access to a calendar with your TU email that can be used on your phone. Practice makes perfect: start using a planner this summer to record summer work hours, social time, etc.

Visit Campus

Come to campus and walk around if you can. Learn the buildings and browse the campus map online. Get a copy of your class schedule and walk the routes between classes now to figure out how much time you need to get from one class to another. Determine when you will have breaks for lunch and dinner and try some dining locations on campus. Locate services of interest to you now, such as the Chevron Multicultural Resource Center and Tutoring Services.

Find McFarlin Library and get acquainted with the different areas: books, computer labs, coffee shops, study areas, and media services. Get familiar with the library website and visit TU Copy.

Wellness and Safety

Visit the Health Center. This is where you will go for free help with minor injuries and illnesses, immunizations, and counseling services. Tour the Fitness Center and make plans for an exercise routine. Check with Dining about menus and nutrition and make plans to eat healthy. Sign up for emergency text alerts about weather or other emergencies.

Get Involved

If you know an upperclassman who has attended TU, take them to coffee and ask questions. How hard are classes? How are attendance policies enforced? What should I do if I get sick? What should I expect in the first few weeks? What should I know/do as a freshman?

Look for student clubs and organizations that you can join in Student Activities. Visit International Student Services if you are an international student. Talk to Veterans Affairs if you are a veteran. As a new student, you should connect with new student programs and sign up to participate in orientation. Parents can get helpful information here as well. Get the athletic events schedule and visit the various arenas.


Let your family and friends plan a party for you, or plan one yourself. Having people gather to “send you off” on this new adventure, even if you plan to live at home, gives them a chance to show their support and encouragement as you begin the transition to this new phase of life!

Make a plan with your family in advance about how often you will contact them, visit home, and what updates they will want from you. As a college student, you are beginning life as an adult and will be responsible for yourself. No one else will be checking to make sure you take care of things, so you will need to take charge of your new autonomy. You will be making decisions and need to show your family they can trust you. You no longer need to bring the family to campus events or meetings, but they will likely want to know how things are going. Keep in touch but start showing them you are consulting with them but not relying on them to do it for you.

Success Coaches offers success coaching to all students. These sessions focus on academic success and mentoring to help you have the best collegiate experience.

College is a really fun time in your life. Get excited and welcome to TU!

Know Procedures

Visit the current students page to find out how to set up email, buy your parking permit, search for campus jobs, buy textbooks, add funds to your Gold Card, and campus events.

Read the Academic Bulletin and Student Handbook. Make sure you understand academic honesty rules at the collegiate level. Contact Financial Aid to see if you qualify for any aid or scholarships or have GPA requirements. Visit the Bursar to check tuition costs and arrange for tuition insurance.

Visit Housing and Dining to learn about the housing lottery, meal plan options, and rules in housing units. Ask for a tour of where you will live and take pictures and measurements to plan for decorating and to make it home. Visit the Housing Website to find out what to bring.

Proactive Academic Tips

You should plan to study at least 3 hours for every hour spent in class. Mark study times in your planner for each class and hold yourself accountable for putting in the time. It is easier not to overbook yourself if you have study time planned. Make plans now to not miss class. Attendance is important to earning good grades and some classes have attendance policies.

Learn how GPA works in student access and determine what grades you want to make. Set goals ahead of time for each class or visit CSAS to make goals in Success Coaching. Tutoring is free at TU. Make plans to use it early and often. If you have a disability, register for accommodations with Student Access now.

If you plan to work, do not work more than 20 hours per week so you have adequate time to devote to your academics.

Other Tips

Your TU email is the main mode of communication on campus. Start checking it every day.

Learn to manage your finances and set up a local checking account now. Create a budget and stick to it (start with

Work now on developing a healthy sleep routine—go to bed and get up at the same time every day for the best results.