August Pre-Orientation Programs

Female student installing glass art piece

Brandeis' Department of Orientation offers 5 pre-orientation programs: Outdoor Leadership, Social Justice, Business, Science, and Creative Arts. Space is limited and fee waivers are available. The University Counseling Center also offers a RISE (Resilience, Information, Skills, and Experience) pre-orientation program. The RISE application can be found at the bottom of the page. Applications for all pre-orientation programs have closed, except for the RISE program. 

Most programs begin Friday, Aug. 24 and continue through Saturday, Aug. 25. 

Note: Students participating in International Student Pre-Orientation, the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program, the Student Support Services Program, as well as fall scholar-athletes, are not able to participate in pre-orientation programs due to time conflicts.

Pre-orientation Programs:

Outdoor Leadership

Be part of a small group of your peers that participate in a fun-filled and thoughtful experience in the woods of Massachusetts. Through different activities, you will explore group and personal process using the outdoors as a medium for learning. Ranging from orienteering and a ropes course to cooking shared meals and making a campfire, this program will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone to enhance the skills that you will need for a successful transition to college. You do not need to have any previous experience in the outdoors to apply.

International Pre-orientation

All new international undergraduate students are required to attend the International Pre-Orientation. You are automatically enrolled in the program as an international student, which means you do not need to apply. During the International Pre-Orientation, you will be able to explore the academic culture at Brandeis, get to know campus resources, and discuss topics surrounding student life beyond the classroom. 

Contact Jingwen Yan at or  781-736-8565 with questions.
Cost: Free
Visit for more information.

Social Justice

Social Justice pre-orientation is a comprehensive 2-day program where incoming first years can explore their social justice identity with their peers. Social Justice pre-orientation pushes its participants to think about how social justice is prevalent in their day to day lives, and the world we live in today. Students will explore topics related, but not limited to, gender, race, religion, sexuality, and sociology-economic privilege. In this 2-day pre-orientation, students will learn about themselves and their peers in a way that creates long-lasting bonds throughout their time at Brandeis.

Arts, Culture, and Media

This program is for students who not only love consuming media, but wish to analyze the ways art affects our own representation in society. This program consists of film screenings, improvisational movement class, creative writing, exploration of various musical genres, and discussions on diversity and social justice within media and the arts. This program provides new students a space to explore art on the Brandeis campus, and even create some of their own!


The Business Pre-Orientation program is, first and foremost, meant to pair creative and curious thinkers together to embrace the diversity of ideas and have a unified appreciation for business and entrepreneurship. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about business and entrepreneurship through a series of specific Ted Talks, all of which are designed to aid up-and-coming entrepreneurs with their plan to succeed, as well as hearing from Brandeis Alum and Forbes ‘30 under 30’ entrepreneur, Ohad Elhelo ’16, IBS MA ’17, about his own experiences with business. Over the course of two days, students will work in groups to design an exciting and innovative creation of their own, culminating in a final pitch and presentation of that product to a collection of their fellow peers. Through innovative discourse and the promotion of everyone’s ideas, each student will leave the program with a great sense of pride for Brandeis University and an even greater sense of community among their fellow students. Ultimately, this program will encourage teamwork and creativity, all while providing new students with the resources on campus to seek out their entrepreneurial dreams and make them into a reality.


Are you an aspiring scientist? Has science ever captivated your interest? The Brandeis Science Pre-Orientation program is for incoming new students who are passionate about science and want to discover everything Brandeis science has to offer. Students will partake in a two-day program filled with activities and events pertaining to a variety of science fields at Brandeis, including biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and more! Students will engage in team building and critical thinking with their peers, as well as tour Brandeis’ science facilities and interact with faculty and lab representatives. Students will also have the opportunity to talk with alumni who’ve gone down a variety of science career paths. Any student with an interest in science is encouraged to apply!

RISE (Resilience, Information, Skills, & Experience)

RISE is a pre-orientation program for students who would benefit from learning skills to help them thrive in college, supporting their mental wellbeing and academic success. This program is designed for students who have previously experienced depression and/or anxiety. Students will work in small groups with faculty and clinicians from the counseling center. Learning is primarily experiential with discussions and hands on opportunities to practice skills. In the evenings during pre-orientation, the group will participate in fun, relaxing activities, such as a picnic along the Charles River, mindfulness practices, making stress kits and watching a movie.

We will focus on skills for coping with and bouncing back from stress, and strategies for preventing stress by using effective study, test taking, time management and goal setting techniques. We will also work on strategies to navigate the social side of college life, connect with resources throughout the university, and develop strategies to support your own wellbeing. Unique to this program, students will continue meeting as a group once a week throughout the semester to support each other, continue to learn new skills, and practice the skills they learned in the pre-orientation program.