Current Students

Orientation 2021

Meaningful Connections: Different perspectives make us stronger!

New Student Orientation

August 25, 2021 – View Orientation Recording

Orientation is a multi-step process that includes opportunities for you to build your awareness of resources, learn about your academic program, and begin to develop relationships with new peers and colleagues. In order to provide both new and returning students with flexibility, autonomy and the ability to personalize your experience, Orientation consists of the following four steps to ensure you have a successful transition to SPH. New students should engage with all four steps. Returning students are invited to engage with SPH Orientation and Engagement Opportunities.

Audience: New Incoming Students
Format: Asynchronous Canvas Course
SPH Online Orientation is a series of modules that introduce new students to SPH, the student experience, academic expectations, planning for success, and campus resources. It is hosted in Canvas, along with your fall courses, so you will gain practical experience navigating Canvas. You are able to complete the modules at your own pace, though it is highly recommended to do them prior to the start of the semester to save you time in the future.

Who completes online orientation?
New students are strongly encouraged to complete the online orientation course as it was designed to give you the flexibility and autonomy to engage with based on your personal needs and interests. It can serve as a resource for you well into your academic career.

How do I access online orientation?
New incoming students starting in Fall 2021 will be auto enrolled into SPH Online Orientation course in Canvas in mid-July. UMN Information Technology has instructions for how to access courses in Canvas as well as how to get the Canvas Mobile App.

When is online orientation due?
SPH Online Orientation should be completed prior to the start of the fall semester in order to ensure you are aware of the resources and support available to you.

Audience: New Incoming Students & Returning Students
Format: Hybrid Event – On Campus and Virtual
During SPH Orientation you will have the opportunity to get to know SPH, learn to navigate campus and begin to make connections within the SPH community. You can choose to come to campus for this event or join online. Registration is required for both formats.

What is the program schedule?
SPH Orientation is an on campus event that will be livestreamed for virtual engagement. The program schedule differs slightly based on format. Select the format that best meets your need. Note the on campus format will have limited capacity so be sure to register early.

How do I register for SPH Orientation?
Registration is required regardless of which schedule you decide to attend.

Where do I park if I attend the event on campus?
The closest parking to McNamara Alumni Center is the University Ave. Ramp.

How do I get to McNamara Alumni Center?
Use these directions to find your way to McNamara Alumni Center. You can park (additional, less expensive parking options are available in the Maroon Lot), take MetroTransit lightrail or bus, or even bike to campus.

What COVID safety guidelines will be followed if I attend on campus?
SPH follows University guidelines related to COVID safety. Under the current guidelines masks will be required for all attendees regardless of vaccination status. UMN masks will be provided for those attending. Additional precautions are planned as follows: spacing resource fair tables, individual box lunches instead of buffets, optional outdoor seating.

How do I access the virtual orientation virtually?
Access the virtual format for SPH Orientation.

Audience: New Incoming Students
Format: Determined by program
Each academic degree program will offer their own orientation to provide an in-depth overview of your academic experience. Dates for these sessions will be listed below as they become available. Check with your program coordinator for details in the meantime.

Biostatistics (MS, MPH & PhD)
August 25, 2021
Contact Sally Olander ( for additional information.

Environmental Health Sciences (MS, MPH & PhD)
August 31, 2021
Contact for additional details

Epidemiology and Community Health (MPH, MS, PhD)
September 2, 2021
Contact for additional details

Health Policy and Management (see below for information based on program):

MHA Residential
August 25 & 26, 2021
Contact for additional details

September 1, 2021
Contact for additional details

August 25, 2021
Contact for additional details

Audience: New Incoming Students & Returning Students
Format: Determined by event host
Between August 25 and September 6 you will be able to pick and choose additional on campus and virtual events that fit your needs and schedule to engage with SPH, student groups, and resources before the start of the semester.

Where is the schedule of events?
View this Engagement Opportunities schedule for the latest events and activities. Stay tuned to the schedule as events and links will continue to be added as the semester approaches.

SPH wants to ensure that students are able to fully participate in available programming. If you are diagnosed with a disability, health condition, or suspect that you have one, and would like to have a confidential discussion about accommodations during your time as a student, please contact Todd Helmer, the SPH contact with the Disability Resource Center, at to schedule an initial appointment or consultation.

What should I do if I cannot attend an orientation event?
If you cannot attend your academic program orientation, please contact your program coordinator. Other events throughout the week are optional. If you miss an event but would like to access the content or connect with the people presenting, please email with your contact information and the name of the event.

What should I do if I do not have access to the technology to be able to participate (unreliable internet, no computer, etc)?
You will need access to the internet in order to participate in any virtual events. If you have concerns about not having the technology necessary, please contact us right away at

Connect with other incoming students on the 2021 New Student Facebook page!

Explore what alumni are doing with their public health degree and join our expansive network by affiliating with the School of Public Health on your LinkedIn profile

Contact Us

Student Services
School of Public Health
Room A395, MMC 819
420 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0381
Maps & Info

612-626-3500 | 800-774-8636
Fax: 612-624-4498

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