New Student Orientation
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Exploring Your Options

We’re so glad that you have chosen the University of Memphis, and we would like to get you started on how to best maximize your experience at our institution. Below are a few tips and tricks on how to become a true blue tiger.

Choosing a Major
Taking General Education
Participating in Special Opportunities
University of Memphis Traditions & Fight Song

Choosing a Major:

  • The Undergraduate Catalog gives details about each major available.Army ROTC
  • In the section of the Catalog titled “Colleges and Degree Programs,” look for majors that interest you.
  • Choose the one or two majors to read more carefully. 
  • Check the 4 year plan for each major to see what courses are suggested for the first semester.
    Each course in the 4 year plan has a certain number of hours listed beside it.  Twelve hours is considered full time; however, many first year students take 15-18 hours of coursework.  Taking 15 hours per semester for 8 semesters allows a student to graduate in 4 years.
  • If you are not sure what major you want to pursue, you have the option of beginning your college career as “undecided,” which gives you time to explore the majors of greatest interest to you.  “Undecided” students are advised in the Academic Counseling Center by professional advisors who will assist you with seeking a major and a career.
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook offers valuable information:
  • Focus 2 is a program designed to help students learn about careers and majors that fit their interests and strengths.  You will need to create your account according to the instructions.

Taking General Education

Many of the courses in the first semester are General Education courses, often referred to as “Gen Ed” courses.  Look over the Catalog information regardingUniversity General Education Program.”

  • Be prepared to tell your advisor which courses in these categories sound interesting to you.
  • Social/Behavioral Science (6 hours required)
  • Humanities and Fine Arts (one literature course plus 6 hours required)
  • Natural Science (8 hours required)

When you meet with your advisor, you should tell him or her about any of the following items that pertain to you.

  • Dual Enrollment:  Any college level courses during high school. You will need to ask the COLLEGE or UNIVERSITY through which you took these courses to have a transcript sent to The University of Memphis.  (If you took them through The University of Memphis, your transcript is here already.)
  • AP Credit:  Any AP courses for which you took or will take the AP Test. Check the AP table to see what score you need to place out of courses at The University of Memphis. If you place out of a course by earning AP credit, you receive an S for the course, and you are allowed to take any subsequent courses in that area. 
  • ACT Proficiency Exam Program: Students scoring 29 or higher on the ACT English Sub Score or 650 or higher on the SAT Verbal Score will be awarded 3 hours credit for ENGL 1010.
  • CLEP Tests:  Students have the option of taking a test to determine if they have the knowledge required in some college courses through a nationally recognized battery of tests referred to as CLEP Tests.  If a test is successfully completed, the student will receive course credit for the appropriate class. 
  • Foreign Language: Some majors/degrees require students to complete courses in a foreign language.  For a new language, or if you know your skills are weak, you will begin with the 1010 level of the foreign language.  If you want to continue with the same foreign language from high school and feel you have a solid background, you should take a placement test in the Language Media Center in Jones 220 to determine which course you are ready to take.  Beginning May 21, you may take a placement test in French, German, Japanese and Spanish from 9:00-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-2:00 p.m. If you need to make an appointment for testing in Italian or in Latin, or if you have any questions about anything else, please email Mr. Tanner at .


Participation in Special Opportunities

Several programs have been designed to support students as they make their adjustment to college studies and campus life. 

  • ACAD 1100-Academic Strategies:  This program is designed to teach the academic strategies and self-management skills necessary to be a successful college student.
  • Fresh Connections:  Learning Communities consist of courses tied together with a specific theme or academic major.  Students in a Fresh Connections Learning Community make connections on many levels - with other students in the community, with the specially-chosen faculty who teach and serve as mentors, and with the courses that revolve around the theme/major. 
  • Frosh Camp: Frosh Camp is a four day camp at NaCoMe Conference Center located between Pleasantville and Centerville, TN, exclusively for incoming freshmen. Frosh Camp gives new students an upper hand on their first year by teaching what to expect inside and outside of class, introducing them to all that the University of Memphis has to offer, tons of Tiger spirit, connections with upperclassman and 250 fellow freshmen, fun, memories, and lots of new friends!
  • Honors Program: High ability students are eligible to enroll in the Honors Program at The University of Memphis. 
  • Living Learning Communities: The LLC has several advantages that make it the best choice for certain students. The LLC is the only residence hall that requires that you belong to a learning community in order to be a resident. The living learning communities include the Emerging Leaders program, the Honors program, Music Scholars, and ROTC. The benefit of this is that you will be around some of the same students that you will not only be living with, but also be sharing the classroom with and this allows you to make connections with students that have the same area of focus. The facility is state of the art and provides amenities that not all the buildings have, such as the ability to control the heating and AC units for each room, exclusive access to private practice rooms for music students, and it’s centrally located on campus close to the new University Center, dining areas, and other buildings in the center of campus.
  • Nursing:  All students interested in an undergraduate major in nursing are advised in the Academic Counseling Center. 
  • Pre-Health:  Students interested in pursuing a career in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physician assistant studies or in one of the allied health professions (including cytotechnology, dental hygiene, health informatics and information management, medical technology, occupational therapy, physical therapy) should take advantage of the information found on the Pre-Health website. 
  • Pre-Law: Students interested in going to law school after completing their four-year degree should explore the Pre-Law website.
  • Trio Classic Program:  This program provides support services to first-generation, low-income students and/or students with disabilities needing support services during their university years.
  • Trio STEM Program:  This program is designed specifically for 120 eligible students who are enrolled in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) majors at the U of M.  Students must meet the eligibility requirements to become TRIO STEM Participants. 

University of Memphis Traditions & Fight Song

Fight Song
To prepare for the next Tiger Athletics game or celebrate a victory, you can download the U of M Fight Song here

Learn more about the University of Memphis History & Traditions through our Alumni Association’s website!
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Last Updated: 3/16/15