Future International Students

Orientation & Advising

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

All incoming students are required to attend an orientation program on campus to register for classes.

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.

Orientation signup

You must attend orientation in order to register for classes. Orientation programs are offered on several dates throughout the summer and fall. Choose the event and date that fit you best. Make sure your travel arrangements allow you to attend an orientation session.

  • Spring Alive! — Held in January for all students starting spring semester.
  • Transfer Alive! — Early registration for students who are transferring from another U.S. college or university to WSU.
  • Alive! Orientation — Twelve orientation sessions are offered in June and July.
  • Fall Alive! Orientation — Most international students attend fall orientation, as it fits within the arrival window specified by U.S. visa regulations.

Transfer students

If you are transferring from another U.S. college or university to WSU, we recommend attending Transfer Registration Days.

While you can attend any orientation program that is convenient for you, Transfer Registration Days will allow you to register for classes before anyone else.

Junior writing portfolio

All WSU students are required to submit 3 samples of their college writing from 3 different courses once they complete 60 semester credits.

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

The junior 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.

Transferring an associate’s degree to 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 1 college to another in the state of Washington.