Orientation and Advisement

New Sooner Orientation group

Orientation for New Students

Orientation for new students at the University of Oklahoma is a multi-step process designed to provide OU students with the knowledge, tools, and connections they need to succeed academically, personally, and socially. 

The first step in the process is New Sooner Orientation (NSO). New Sooner Orientation is a key part of every new student's successful transition to OU. Parents and families are invited to attend New Sooner Orientation with their students to learn more about resources we have at OU! Students will also have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor and enroll in their first semester of courses at OU.

The second step in the process is Camp Crimson. Camp Crimson is OU's premier orientation experience for all incoming students. Hosted during the eight days before fall classes begin, Camp Crimson helps students connect to other students and members of the OU community, engage in educational programs and events, complete mandatory first-year training, learn more about campus resources and traditions, and learn what it means to be a part of the OU family.

For incoming students who want to begin their journey with OU earlier, there is the Start Sooner program. Start Sooner allows incoming freshmen to get a head start on their college experience with a smaller cohort. Students will be able to move into the residence halls in July, take 6 hours of class, and explore Oklahoma.

Introductory Courses

New students also have the opportunity to participate in one of two types of introductory courses during their first year of enrollment. These include:

  • First-Year Foundations - OU's introduction to college course, assists students in the transition from high school to college. First-year students learn campus systems and policies, build essential academic skills (critical reading, time management, test-taking, etc.), explore major and career planning, and are introduced to campus resources. This course is an elective credit and doesn't count for major credit in any department.
  • University College Seminars—Each seminar is limited to 25 students and is taught by an individual faculty member who leads the students through an in-depth exploration of a specific intellectual topic.

Facilities and Resources


Knowing that academic advising is a key component to helping students graduate, our goal is to help students succeed academically so that they can fulfill their dreams and meet their potential. University College (UC) provides general advising for most first-year students. UC is a non-degree college that focuses on helping students make the transition to the University, provides them with academic advising, and a variety of coaching activities to help them to succeed. During the freshman year, the OU Scholars Program provides specialized advising services to scholarship recipients of the Award of Excellence, Distinguished Scholar, Regents Award, National Award, and National Merit scholarships. 

Once students earn 24 credit hours after two semesters at OU and move to a degree college, they will meet with an academic advisor before each term of enrollment. Students are advised either by academic counselors in the college office, professional advisors in the academic unit or by faculty advisers in their major. Academic advising is an integral part of the educational process and includes regular interaction and relationship-building during each transition as a student navigates their academic career.

The Academic Advising Resource Center (AARC) serves as a resource for students and academic advisors alike. The AARC advises students who are going into their third or later semester and would like extra time in deciding on their academic major while being declared Exploratory. The AARC also works with students who need support during a period of academic repair so that the student can meet degree college admission standards. The AARC was established in 2011 and houses the Pre-Law, Pre-Medical Professions, and Exploratory Academic Advisors. The AARC uses the services of a Triage Advisor to help students navigate the academic advising system and who maintains the advising@ou.edu account. The AARC is in Cate 1, Room 418, 308 Cate Center Drive Rm. 418, Norman, OK 73019-2180, (405) 325-1596.

In addition to formal academic advising, students may select from a wide variety of additional academic and support services. Examples include academic life coaching sessions with trained and certified academic life coaches, workshops offered by the Student Learning Center and the Center for Student Life; individual career advising by Career Services; and academic assistance through the Writing Center and several tutoring programs. 

Student Support Services

Student Support Services, also known as Project Threshold, is an academic support program established in 1970 to serve students who are first-generation college, economically disadvantaged, disabled. The primary goal of this program is to increase retention and graduation rates of program participants. 

To accomplish this goal, Project Threshold provides personal, academic, and financial aid counseling as well as academic tutoring. Small sections of freshman-level courses are offered to Threshold students to help ease the adjustment to larger college classes. The ethnic diversity of the staff further serves to provide the student with a sense of belonging. 

Inquiries should be directed to Project Threshold, 215 Wagner Hall, 1005 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73019-0315, (405) 325-6261, cpstell@ou.edu

Planning a Program

  • If you have selected a major, learn all the requirements for your chosen degree program.
  • If you are unsure of your major, make an appointment with a major exploration coach who can help you match your interests, skills and goals to possible majors
  • Prepare a plan of study showing the courses you will take each semester that will complete requirements for graduation.
  • The degree program should be designed according to the rules and regulations that govern enrollment and graduation. These rules and regulations can be found in the specific chapter of this catalog providing information about the college offering your major as well as the chapter, “Admission, Enrollment, and Graduation.”
  • Freshmen and sophomores who are unsure of a major should choose courses that will fulfill University-Wide General Education Requirements and provide exposure to disciplines that are of interest for selection of a major.
  • Utilize the University General Catalog, the Degree Navigator system and degree checksheets to plan your program.
  • Take basic required courses such as English composition and mathematics that provide a sound foundation for future successful enrollments early in the academic program.
  • Include courses early in the program that are required for admission to the degree college offering the chosen major.
  • Schedule upper-division courses for the junior and senior years with few exceptions in your schedule.
  • Look into programs that will enhance your individual program such as study abroad, internships, and research opportunities.
  • Balance enrollments to avoid including too many heavy reading courses, too many laboratory courses, or too many credit hours in one semester or term.
  • Attempt to schedule all specifically required courses prior to the final enrollment.
  • Plan the final semester with fewer hours to allow for such activities as job interviews.
  • Plan an enrollment of 12-19 hours, according to academic ability and responsibilities outside of class, for the fall and spring semesters (6-9 hours are appropriate for the summer term). Most degree programs require 120 hours or more which averages out to 15 credit hours per semester to graduate in four years. Students should anticipate that each credit hour taken will normally require a minimum of two hours each week for study time outside of class.

Graduation Plan

The University of Oklahoma has instituted a graduation plan for many degree programs. This plan requires the student and the University to sign a contract that guarantees the student can graduate in a specified period of time based on certain conditions that can be detailed when the student talks with an academic adviser on campus.

University-Wide General Education 

In today’s global society, the most important contribution a university can make is to help prepare its students for a lifetime of change and a future as an educated and responsible citizen. OU’s university-wide general education core curriculum, which was implemented in fall 1990 and updated in fall 2021, meets this challenge by providing a curriculum of required courses designed to help students think creatively, reason and communicate clearly, and adapt quickly to a rapidly changing world. 

OU was the first college in the state — and among the pioneers nationally — to organize its general education requirements into a focused curriculum that emphasizes the key areas of knowledge essential in today’s society and life in the 21st century. 

In designing its general education curriculum, OU looked toward two new centuries-the 21st century, in which students will need to cope with global, societal and career changes — and OU’s second century, in which it will continue to produce leaders for the state, nation and world. OU’s general education curriculum is designed to help its students succeed after graduation, regardless of their field of endeavor. Because effective communication skills are essential, writing is emphasized across the general education curriculum. Courses also help students learn to express themselves orally, use mathematical analysis, examine and solve problems, explore the concepts and methodologies of the natural and social sciences, appreciate the creative arts, and better understand their own and others’ cultural heritages. Courses are designed to foster enthusiasm, curiosity and a desire to continue learning. 

General Education Requirements 

A minimum of 40 credit hours of general education courses is required for graduation. Some colleges or majors require students to complete additional hours of general education coursework or to take specific courses to fulfill general education requirements. The list of courses approved for general education credit is available in the Gen Ed Planner. Courses must be distributed among the following areas: 

I. SYMBOLIC AND ORAL COMMUNICATION (3-6 courses, 9-22 hours) 

  • English Composition (2 courses, 6 hours).
  • Language (2 courses, 6-10 hours). This requirement can be satisfied by successfully completing two semesters of the same language at the college level equivalent to two semesters at OU. It also may be satisfied by successfully completing two years of the same language in high school or by demonstrating an equivalent level of competence on an assessment test. (Note: the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of International Studies require students to complete three semesters of college-level language or pass an assessment test. The College of Arts & Sciences and College of International Studies requirement cannot be met by high school coursework. Some majors require a fourth semester of language.)
  • Mathematics (1 course, 3 hours). 
  • Other. Courses in this category are not required, but may be used when additional credit hours are needed to bring the total hours completed to 40. Approved courses in this area include communication, logic and public speaking. 

II. NATURAL SCIENCE (2 courses, 7-8 hours) 

  • At least two courses of three or more credit hours each and totaling a minimum of seven credit hours are required. The courses must be from different disciplines, and at least one course must include a laboratory component, denoted by [L] in the list of general education courses. (Note: the College of Arts and Sciences requires its students to complete one course in the Biological Sciences and one course in the Physical Sciences.)

III. SOCIAL SCIENCE (2 courses, 6 hours) 

  • One course must be P SC 1113 American Federal Government, (three hours)

IV. ARTS & HUMANITIES (4 courses, 12 hours) 

  • Artistic Forms (1 course, 3 hours) 
  • Western Culture (2 courses, 6 hours). One course must be HIST 1483 United States to 1865 or HIST 1493 United States, 1865 to the Present. The other course may not be History 1483 or History 1493. 
  • World Culture (1 course, 3 hours). Note: The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of International Studies require additional upper-division Arts & Humanities courses outside the major (2 courses, 6 hours). 

V. FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE (1 course, 3 hours)


  • At least one of the courses (minimum of 3 hours) used to satisfy the general education requirements must be at the upper-division level and outside of the student’s major.

Academic Major, Minor, and Certificates


The major is the emphasis of study that provides depth of learning within the degree program. It is composed of specific requirements determined by the department through which the major is offered. Although many majors are highly structured, some offer flexibility, allowing choice of courses within preset guidelines. Each major is fully described in the section of this catalog where information is provided about the unit offering the major. Major exploration coaches are available to help you decide on a major. 


The minor is a secondary and optional area of interest for depth of study. It can be closely related to the major to serve as a support area, or it can be unrelated. The department through which it is offered sets the requirements for the minor. Presently, the College of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, Price College of Business, College of Continuing Education (Aviation), Gallogly College of Engineering, Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, College of International Studies, Joe C and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College, and Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication offer approved minor programs. The minors are made available by the colleges to all students within the University, except for those in the College of Business that are for business majors only. The minor programs are described in the section of this catalog where information is provided about the unit through which they are offered. Upon graduation, the student’s official transcript will reflect completion of a minor if recommended by the student’s degree college.  

See the Minors page for the list of minors offered at OU.


Certificates are a separate credential and can be earned independently or in conjunction with a student's degree. The University of Oklahoma offers both undergraduate and graduate certificates. An undergraduate certificate represents a focused program of study on a specific topic that may be related or unrelated to the student's major. A graduate certificate represents completion of a set of courses that provides mastery of a specific area of knowledge and indicates an advanced, focused inquiry into an area of study.

See the Academic Majors page for an alphabetical list of majors, minors, and certificates offered at OU.

Preparing for Graduate and Professional Studies 

When preparing for your future, we encourage you to consider graduate and professional studies. Advanced study can provide more in-depth research and creative experiences in your chosen field of study. You will work closely with faculty on particular subjects to develop the skills necessary for research and independent thought. 

Graduate assistantships and internships provide additional opportunities to develop your skills and talents while working toward an advanced degree. Attendance at professional meetings can provide opportunities for valuable exchanges of information and ideas with colleagues in your discipline. 

Career options are greatly enhanced by completion of an advanced degree, and we hope you will avail yourself of the opportunities that are available at the University of Oklahoma.  

Special Programs

Academic Common Market

The Academic Common Market (ACM) is an interstate agreement coordinated by the Southern Regional Education Board for sharing some unique academic programs through an exchange of students across state lines wherein non-resident tuition charges are waived. Visit Academic Common Market for more information regarding the University's participation in the Academic Common Market.

Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth

Three Partners Place
201 David L. Boren Blvd, Suite 200 Norman, OK 73072-7264
Phone: (405) 325-2603

Formed in 2006, the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth provides an interdisciplinary environment for researchers, entrepreneurs and students to collaborate in growing, strengthening and diversifying Oklahoma’s economy through the nurturing of technology-based enterprises. The Center is a collaborative space that contributes to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Oklahoma with numerous college-supported programs that encourage innovation in the University and the broader Oklahoma business community, with locations in both Norman and Tulsa.

Administered by the University Vice President for Strategic Planning and Technology Development, the CCEW internship program offers student interns exposure to a variety of authentic business situations and distinguished executives. Additionally, CCEW interns engage in career development opportunities designed to propel their careers following graduation. The internship program has opportunities in technology commercialization, software development, social entrepreneurship, and product design and development.

Expository Writing Program

The Edith Kinney Gaylord Expository Writing Program

Catherine Mintler, Interim Director
Bizzell Memorial Library, Room 4
Norman, OK 73019-6030
Phone: (405) 325-3583
FAX: (405) 325-3678

The Expository Writing Program offers students the opportunity to sharpen their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills through the intensive examination of a particular topic. The defining feature of an Expo course is students’ collaboration with their instructors.

All Expo courses feature

  • a guided investigation of a special topic
  • seminar-sized class of no more than 16 students
  • an emphasis on individual instruction and student/teacher collaboration
  • an open, interactive classroom atmosphere


Oklahoma Scholar-Leadership Enrichment Program

The Oklahoma Scholar-Leadership Enrichment Program - OSLEP - is an intercollegiate academic program sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education open to students at all the public and private universities in Oklahoma. Small groups of students selected from Oklahoma's four-year colleges and universities study with distinguished visiting scholars. Students tell us over and over again that being in an OSLEP class is one of the most rewarding experiences in their academic careers because of the unique learning environment, the time devoted to one subject, and the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with a world-famous scholar and make lasting friendships with students from around the state. Many of the visiting scholars present a free public lecture, open to the community. These programs always include a question & answer session and an opportunity to meet and talk with the scholar. Interested students can contact the OSLEP office or visit www.oslep.org for the current schedule of seminars and additional information. The OSLEP office is located in Monnet Hall, Room 559, 630 Parrington Oval, 325-4309; email oslep@oslep.org.


Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

Since 1949, students and faculty of the University of Oklahoma have benefitted from its membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). ORAU is a consortium of 91 colleges and universities and a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORAU works with its member institutions to help their students and faculty gain access to federal research facilities throughout the country; to keep its members informed about opportunities for fellowship, scholarship, and research appointments; and to organize research alliances among its members.

Undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates, as well as faculty enjoy access to a multitude of opportunities for study and research through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), the DOE facility that ORAU operates. Students can participate in programs covering a wide variety of disciplines, including business, earth sciences, epidemiology, engineering, physics, geological sciences, pharmacology, ocean sciences, biomedical sciences, nuclear chemistry, and mathematics. Appointment and program length range from one month to four years. Many of these programs are especially designed to increase the numbers of under-represented minority students pursuing degrees in science- and engineering-related disciplines.

ORAU’s Office of Partnership Development seeks opportunities for partnerships and alliances among ORAU’s members, private industry, and major federal facilities. Activities include faculty development programs, such as the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards, the Visiting Industrial Scholars Program, consortium research funding initiatives, faculty research, and support programs as well as services to chief research officers.

For more information about ORAU and its programs, contact Richard D. Elmore, Robert and Doris Klabzuba Professor of Geology and ORAU Councilor for the University of Oklahoma at (405) 325-3253; contact Monnie E. Champion, ORAU corporate secretary, at (865)576-3306; or visit the ORAU Home Page.

University of Oklahoma Press

2800 Venture Dr., Norman, OK 73069-8216
Phone: (405) 325-2000

Since 1928 the University of Oklahoma Press has published award-winning books that challenge readers to discover the past, contemplate the present, and shape the future. Committed to excellence, the Press publishes high-quality scholarly, regional, and general-interest books that offer readers valuable information, ideas, analysis, and research. During its long and distinguished history, OU Press has published more than 3,000 discrete titles, has over 1400 active titles, and maintains an inventory of approximately 750,000 books.

The OU Press publishes books in the humanities and social sciences and is the preeminent publisher of books on the American West and American Indians. the Press publishes approximately 80 books per year.

More than 1,500 University of Oklahoma Press titles are now available to libraries as electronic books (ebooks) through EBSCO host and ebrary, a division of Proquest. Many OU Press books are also available through Kindle, Nook, and Kobo ereaders and can also be read on personal computers, smart phones, iPads, and android tablets through a host of applications. The Press is committed to making its books available globally in the reader’s choice of format.

World Literature Today

630 Parrington Oval, Suite 110 Norman, OK 73019-4033
Phone: (405) 325-4531

World Literature Today, founded in 1927 as Books Abroad, is the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning bimonthly magazine of international literature and culture, now in its ninth decade of continuous publication. The magazine has been recognized by the Nobel Prize committee as one of the “best edited and most informative literary publications” in the world, and was recently called “an excellent source of writings from around the globe by authors who write as if their lives depend on it” (Utne Reader, 2005). WLT has received a dozen national publishing awards in the past ten years, including the Phoenix Award for Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals in 2002.

Neustadt International Prize for Literature

The Neustadt International Prize for Literature, sponsored by World Literature Today, is an award that honors outstanding achievement in fiction, poetry, or drama and is open to writers in any language. Often referred to as the “American Nobel” for the high quality of its laureates, candidates, and jurors, the Neustadt Prize is the first international literary award of such scope to originate in the United States and is one of the very few international prizes for which poets, fiction writers and dramatists are equally eligible. Founded in 1969, the prize bears the name of the Neustadt family of Ardmore, OK, whose 1972 endowment has ensured funding of the award in perpetuity. Recipients include such noted authors as Gabriel García Márquez, Elizabeth Bishop, Czeslaw Milosz, Octavio Paz, Adam Zagajewski, Claribel Alegría, and Patricia Grace.

The Puterbaugh Festivals

The Puterbaugh Festivals of World Literature & Culture are sponsored by World Literature Today in collaboration with the University of Oklahoma’s Departments of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics and English. Originally named the Oklahoma Conferences on Writers of the Hispanic World, the series was endowed in perpetuity by the Puterbaugh Foundation of McAlester, Okla., in 1978. A rich tradition in support of literary and international studies at OU, the Puterbaugh Conferences bring the world’s greatest authors to the OU campus for a course built around the writer’s work, an international symposium, a public talk, and various meetings with students. Since 1968, the Puterbaugh Festival series has furthered the literary and international studies education of thousands of OU students. The most recent Puterbaugh fellows have included Bei Dao, Orhan Pamuk, Nélida Piñon, and J.M. Coetzee.

NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature

The NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature is awarded every other year to a living writer or author-illustrator with significant achievement in children’s or young-adult literature. Made possible through the generosity of Nancy Barcelo, Susan Neustadt Schwartz, and Kathy Neustadt and sponsored by WLT, the NSK Prize celebrates literature that contributes to the quality of children’s lives. Candidates for the award are nominated by a jury of children’s literature experts, and the jury also selects the winner of each biennial prize. Laureates receive a check for $25,000, a silver medallion, and a certificate at a public ceremony at the University of Oklahoma and are featured in a subsequent issue of WLT. To date, the winners have included Mildred D. Taylor (2003), Brian Doyle (2005), Katherine Paterson (2007), Vera B. Williams (2009), Virginia Euwer Wolff (2011), and Naomi Shihab Nye (2013).

Combined Curriculum

  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Osteopathic Medicine
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Law

A student may qualify for the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science at the end of their first year in an approved school of law, dentistry, medicine, osteopathic medicine, or veterinary medicine by fulfilling the requirements listed below. Items A-1 through A-4 must be completed prior to entering the professional school.

  1. Combined Curriculum with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, or College of Law:
    1. Complete at least 98 semester credit hours before entering the College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, or College of Law.
    2. Earn at least 30 semester credit hours in residence at the University of Oklahoma.
    3. Earn at least 15 semester credit hours of upper-division major credit courses at the University of Oklahoma.
    4. Earn at least 15 of the last 30 semester credit hours before entering the College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, or College of Law in residence at the University of Oklahoma.
    5. Complete all other degree requirements of the College including the University’s general education requirements, the College requirements, and all the major and major support requirements of a regular degree program.
    6. Successfully complete the work of the first year in the College of Medicine, Dentistry, or Law.
  2. Combined Curriculum with other Approved Schools of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine:

A student enrolled in a medical school approved by the Association of American Medical Colleges, in an Osteopathic Medical School approved by the American Osteopathic Association, in a dental school approved by the American Dental Association, or in a school of veterinary medicine approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association may receive the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science upon the satisfactory completion of: Items A-2 through A-4 (above) and completion of at least 98 hours prior to entering the professional school and by satisfactory completion of the first year in the approved College of Dentistry, Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine or Veterinary Medicine.