OrientationBear Beginnings 2020
August 15 – 23, 2020

First Year Students

View the full Bear Beginnings 2019 Full Schedule!

The Bear Beginnings 2020 Schedule will be available in late spring 2020.

Bear Beginnings is a nine-day orientation program that assists new students with their academic, personal, social, and cultural transition into the Washington University and St. Louis community.


Fall classes begin on Monday, August 24th, 2020. More details will be provided closer to Bear Beginnings.

International Student Move-In and Orientation

All international undergraduate students are required to arrive on campus early for International Student Orientation. More information can be found here.

Move-In Day and Family Programming

August 15

  • Students move into residence halls during their assigned move-in time between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Students attend a mandatory Residential Community meeting at 5:30 p.m. followed by Convocation, the official academic welcome to the university in the evening.

August 16

  • Students will become more acquainted with their residential college.
  • Parents and families are invited to attend alternate programs designed for them.

Academic Division Orientation

August 17 – 19

Students will connect with their peers in their academic colleges, get oriented with degree requirements and resources, and explore exciting opportunities.  In the evening, all-Class traditions and programs will take place.

Immersive Experiences

August 20 – 22

Students will participate in one of several Immersive Experiences with a group of their peers.  Some of the Immersive Experience program topics include arts & culture, civic and community engagement, innovation and entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Get Ready for Classes

August 23

Take time to prepare for classes tomorrow morning!

First Day of Classes

August 24

Kick off your WashU career by heading out to your classes.  Be sure to stop by the Underpass to participate in a First Day tradition.