Two students working together

Express Orientation for Transfer and Non-Traditional Students

SVSU has recently modified our orientation program for transfer students and non-traditional freshmen. Instead of a half-day, traditional on-campus event, students complete an online orientation module through Canvas, snd then schedule an individual advising and registration appointment on campus. We are hopeful that this change will provide more flexibility and convenience to our new Cardinal transfer students, as you will no longer be limited to only a few orientation dates and will have more options for registration.

Special Note: We understand that these are unique and unprecedented times, and empathize with any concern and uncertainty you may be feeling around plans in the upcoming weeks and months. At this time, we are continuing to hold transfer registration appointments events as scheduled, but we have shifted these to online appointments via Microsoft Teams. (You will be emailed an appointment with a link to join this meeting.) We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we continue to monitor the situation and consider your safety above all else. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, you can also contact us anytime at

Step 1: Login and Complete your Online Express Orientation Module

  • Login to the mySVSU portal at using your SVSU username and password
  • Select “Canvas” from the Applications Menu (if promoted, login using your SVSU username and password)
  • Click the Courses button, and select 21/WI Express Orientation
  • Select the first module “Introduction” to get started!
  • When you have completed all the modules, please complete step 2 and submit your orientation fee to continue forward. 

Step 2: Submit your $50 Orientation Fee

  •  To pay online, in the MySVSU portal, select "Students" under the Self Service (Cardinal Direct) Menu.
  • From there, select "My Financial Account" and then "Account Summary-Make a Payment-Payment Plans"

  • And then "Make a Payment"

  • Then, click the  "Make a Payment" button from the left column, and select "View All Items" to expand the list.
  • And then choose the "Orientation Fee" and enter the $50.00 amount for the Transfer fee and complete the steps to submit payment. 

Step 3: Register for your Advising Session

  • Once you have submitted your payment, return to the "Students" tab and select the "New Students Next Steps" tab. Then select "Orientation Registration".

  • Select your preferred date and time from the available options, and click Submit! You will receive a confirmation email with full details to both your SVSU email and the email provided on your application approximately one week in advance of your scheduled appointment.
  • Please note that due to COVID-19 and continued social distancing efforts, we are not able to offer in-person appointments at this time. All Orientation Registration appointments will be virtual until further notice. 

Please contact us at 989-964-4070 or with questions or if you need assistance. See you on campus soon!

Reading, Writing & Math Course Placement

‌Each student must satisfy basic skills course requirements for mathematics, reading and writing. Placement into or exemption from the required courses in mathematics, reading and writing will be determined by results of the ACT, Transfer Evaluation Report (TER), and/or course placement tests.


Transfer students will be placed in basic skills reading courses based on the following placement methods:

  1. Students with a transfer GPA of 2.0 or higher, who have completed 25 or more transfer credits will be granted a reading waiver.
  2. If students have completed fewer than 25 transfer credits, the freshmen reading placement scale will be utilized for initial placement:

    Freshmen Reading Placement

    2.99 or lower High School GPA with Reading ACT subscore of 21 or Lower = ENGL 103

    2.99 or lower High School GPA with Reading ACT subscore of 22-23 = ENGL 104

    Reading ACT subscore of 24 or Higher (regardless of High School GPA) = Waiver

    3.0 or higher High School GPA (regardless of Reading ACT subscore) = Waiver

  3. Transfer students who do not qualify for a waiver by one of the above criteria will complete the ACCUPLACER Reading Test through SVSU's Testing Center. For further information regarding testing for incoming transfer students, please contact us at 989-964-4070 or


Students will be placed into Writing courses by equivalent transfer credit or utilizing the Freshmen Placement Scale using ACT score, if available.

Freshmen Placement

ACT English Subscore:

Course Placement:

15 or Lower

ENGL 080


ENGL 111

32 or Higher

ENGL 111 Waived

Students without transferable credit or ACT scores must complete a writing sample through the SVSU Testing Center.


Students will be placed in math courses by equivalent transfer credit or utilizing the ACT Placement scale below if scores are available.

Math Placement

ACT Math Subscore:

Course Placement:

16 or Lower

MATH 081


MATH 082


MATH 082 Waived


MATH 103 Waived


MATH 140

28 or Higher

MATH 161

**Please consult with your Academic Advisor before selecting a Math course, as course requirements vary by major. 

Students may try to improve their initial placement by taking a mathematics placement test through the SVSU Testing Center. Students may take this placement test no more than 2 times and may schedule an appointment by contacting

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is an orientation for transfer and non-traditional students necessary?

At SVSU, we feel it is important for all students to become familiar with academic requirements, important deadlines, and the University calendar. We also want to offer opportunities for students to learn their way around campus and introduce them to academic support services and extracurricular opportunities. We felt this flexibility to meet individual student needs and interests would be best facilitated by a hybrid model featuring both online and in-person orientation components.

Through the online modules, students will be provided with a wide variety of important information and a foundation of understanding before scheduling courses. Then, at an individual registration appointment, students will complete mandatory placement testing requirements (if needed), review their transfer credit evaluation, receive academic advising, schedule classes, and have the opportunity to meet with financial aid advisors. Other opportunities, such as a campus tour or meeting with other campus offices will also be offered to those who are interested. 

Is Express Orientation mandatory?

Yes, students must complete both the online module and an in-person registration appointment prior to enrolling at SVSU. 

When will I receive information about Express Orientation?

After you have applied and been accepted to SVSU, you should receive more information about completing Express Orientation. This mailing will also include detailed instructions on how to complete your Express Orientation online and schedule an in-person registration appointment. 

How do I set up a registration appointment?

After completing your online orientation module, you will fill out a poll with your preferred dates for a registration appointment. When we receive that information, we will contact you to schedule your appointment.

Please note: Individual registration appointments will be offered beginning on September 30th and must be scheduled at least 10-14 days in advance to allow time for transfer credits and financial aid to be processed prior to your arrival on campus. Appointments will be available from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm Monday-Friday. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule, but appointments are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Should I bring my parents with me?

Parents are welcome to attend with their students. However, parents and guests will not be permitted into testing at any time, and students will have to complete a FERPA waiver in order to allow others to accompany them into the advising and registration session. 

What accommodations are made for those with special needs?

If you will need services to fully participate in an orientation such as large print, interpreting services, braille, extended time for placement testing, assistance filling out forms or assistance reading forms, please call the Office of Orientation Programs at 989-964-4070 or email SVSU is committed to providing equal access to all university services, programs, and activities. See information on policies, procedures, resources, and forms available to current students.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any questions, please call the Office of Orientation Programs at 989-964-4070 or email

Accessibility and Special Needs

If you believe you will need services to fully participate in orientation, please contact the Orientation Office by calling (989) 964-4070 or email

  • Large print
  • Interpreting services
  • Braille
  • Extended time for placement testing
  • Assistance filling out forms
  • Assistance reading forms

For more information on accessibility services offered to students, please see Accessibility Resources and Accommodations.

Important Financial Aid Information

All students are strongly encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ASAP for the 2020-21 academic year. SVSU has no deadline for applying for aid, but we encourage students to apply as early as possible. You can complete the FAFSA online at The FAFSA must be completed every year to determine a student's eligibility for aid.

Apply for U.S. Department of Education personal identification number (PIN) by visiting Both you and your parents can apply for a PIN and use it to electronically sign your FAFSA form, thus making the application process simpler and faster. These PIN numbers can be used every year and your parents only need one PIN for all their children.

When completing your FAFSA, be sure to include SVSU's federal institutional code: 002314. In order to have your FAFSA information sent to Saginaw Valley you will need to list our code in the first line of Step 6 on the FAFSA form.

For more information regarding the financial aid process, scholarship opportunities, and cost of attendance information please visit our web site at

Students will have an opportunity to meet with financial aid advisors when you are on campus for your registration appointment, but we encourage students to plan ahead and make an appointment with a financial aid advisor by calling 989.964.4900.


Wickes 117
(989) 964-4070

International Programs
Wickes 230
(989) 964-4473