The orientation program will help you meet friends, find your way around campus, and get ready for your classes at WSU.

Orientation, Tutorial, and Placement

All incoming international students are required to attend New Coug Orientation and the International Student Tutorial on campus to register for classes.

Orientation and tutorial

You must attend orientation to register for classes. Orientation programs are offered on several dates throughout the summer and fall. All international students are also required to attend an international tutorial program presented by International Programs.

Orientation and the International Tutorial program are usually held just prior to the start of the fall and spring terms. Please remember you must sign up for New Coug Orientation. You are automatically registered for the Tutorial after you have paid your deposit. Make sure your travel arrangements allow you to attend the sessions.

  • Mandatory International Undergraduate Tutorial — All international students must attend the tutorial associated with their first semester at WSU.
  • Mandatory Graduate Student Tutorial — All new graduate and International Master’s students must attend the tutorial.
  • Spring New Coug Orientation — Held in January for all students starting spring semester.
  • Summer New Coug Orientation — 12 orientation sessions are offered in June and July.
  • Fall New Coug Orientation — Most international students attend fall orientation, as it fits within the arrival window specified by U.S. visa regulations.

All international undergraduate and graduate students will be charged a nonrefundable $50 international student orientation/tutorial fee after course registration. The fee will be charged to your WSU account and can be paid along with your tuition through myWSU.

Non-degree/exchange students

This orientation is offered by International Programs International Student and Scholar Services department.

Orientation and tutorial mandatory for international students

A crowd of smiling WSU students cheer on something out of camera range

Placement exams


The writing placement exam will enable your advisor to place you in the first-year writing course most appropriate for your ability.

If you have received equivalent credit for English 101 through college transfer or the Advanced Placement (AP) test in English, you do not need to take the writing placement exam. Honors College students do not need to take the exam.

The writing placement exam is offered online and must be completed at least 1 week before your orientation date.


The math placement assessment is an online exam designed to place you in an appropriate-level mathematics course.

All new students are required to take the test. (Students with college-level math credit may be exempt.)

The testing fee includes a 6-week review module, access to the exam, and up to 4 retakes. If you take the test more than once, WSU will use your best score.

Transfer students

If you are transferring from another U.S. college or university to WSU you can attend any orientation program that is convenient for you.

University writing portfolio

All WSU students are required to submit 3 samples of their college writing or complete a timed write once they complete 60 semester credits.

Writing samples can come from any college course—so keep your papers!

The university writing portfolio evaluates your readiness for the demands of writing-intensive upper-division courses in your major. And if your writing skills need more work, it helps your advisors connect you with the help you need.

Transfer credit

If you have attended college or university outside the United States, we recommend that you bring course descriptions and syllabi (translated into English) with you. This will help us identify equivalent WSU courses for transfer credit.

If you have attended college in the United States

Use our transfer equivalency database to find WSU courses that are equivalent to your transfer courses.

If you have earned an associate’s degree in the United States, you may be able to transfer to WSU with credit for the University Common Core (UCORE) general education requirements. Some degrees can transfer directly into junior standing at WSU.

College credit earned in Washington

If you have attended college in the state of Washington, or if you plan to do so, the “Washington 45” agreement makes it easy for you to transfer pre-approved first-year courses from one college to another in the state of Washington.

Sponsored students

Your sponsor should provide a Financial Guarantee Letter outlining the sponsorship conditions and financial coverage. Bring a copy of this letter with you to your orientation session.

If your sponsor or home country will be providing health insurance, bring your insurance card (or equivalent) to your orientation.

If you did not submit your Financial Guarantee to International Programs during your orientation then you will need to contact the Office of International Programs fiscal services to make an appointment to submit your Financial Guarantee to WSU.