We work hard to ensure the transition from high school to Holy Cross is smooth for accepted students. Our award-winning orientation programs provide a welcoming and informative introduction to the campus and community.
Orientations & Information for Incoming Students
The first few weeks of college are exciting, joyous and memorable — but they also have the potential to be stressful. The Office of Student Involvement assists incoming students with their transition to college life at Holy Cross through a series of nationally recognized orientation programs. Over the course of the programs, you’ll experience the residential and academic environment on campus, gain a greater appreciation for the Jesuit, Catholic mission of the College, learn about educational opportunities and responsibilities, and begin to build friendships with your classmates.
All our orientations involve the collaboration of student leaders, faculty and staff members, who provide authentic insight into what you should expect of your Holy Cross experience.
- Gateways Summer Orientation, which is typically held over the course of two days in June, is open to all students and their families. Faculty and staff members conduct workshops, lead discussions, answer questions and give you and your families an inside look at the academic, cocurricular and spiritual aspects of life on The Hill. At the same time, orientation leaders facilitate group activities that introduce you to your new classmates and answer questions you may have about life on the Hill.
- Gateways Fall Orientation picks up where the summer program leaves off, with a greater emphasis on the residential aspect of your college experience. This program extends from move-in day to the first day of classes, during which time orientation leaders welcome new students and help them foster connections with their peers. Residence halls open to first-year students early, meaning you and your classmates have the campus to yourself to adjust.
- Gateways International Student Orientation is a special orientation program offered free of charge for first-year international students. In addition to introducing them to residential and academic life at Holy Cross, this program helps with important personal matters that include everything from setting up a bank account and purchasing a cell phone to identifying campus support services and understanding U.S. immigration requirements. All first-year international students are expected to participate in this program.
- Gateways Transfer Student Orientation is a program for transfer students to meet their peers, meet faculty and staff, and become better acquainted with life at Holy Cross. Orientation Leaders will welcome new transfer students and through a variety of sessions and activities that are planned specifically to recognize previous educational experiences as a transfer student.
Additional Orientation Opportunities
- The Passport Program is designed to assist promising first-year students achieve their full potential during their transition to the educational experience at Holy Cross. Each year Admissions invites selected incoming students to participate in Passport. The program includes a summer four week residential program, a fall component consisting of 1:1 meetings and workshops, and a spring retreat.
- Odyssey is a one-week summer program for first-year students for students who are first generation to college, students of color, and/or eligible for the Pell Grant. Odyssey helps incoming students build relationships with fellow students, faculty and administrators, provides spaces to participate in identity workshops, and familiarizes them with campus resources and the local communities.
- The Mentor Programis open to support students in their transition from high school to Holy Cross, specifically first-year students of color, first-generation students, students eligible for the pell grant, International students, Passport and Odyssey students. Students will be matched with an upperclass peer mentor for ongoing conversation, advice, and friendship.
Holy Cross students are known for becoming — and staying — involved in campus life. The Co-Curricular Extravaganza is in early September, but you can get a head start by reading up on our more than 100 clubs and organizations. Once you arrive on campus, you might also want to think about running for a position on the Student Government Association; first-year elections are generally held in mid-September.
Parents should see our Recommended Reading Guide for College Parents (PDF) to learn more about handling their student’s transition to college.
One of the first choices you’ll make as a new Holy Cross student is your Montserrat seminar. Learn more about each of the available options.