Group of students sitting on the floor during a class discussion
Students walking into caf
Telegraph Hill
Downtown Train

First Year Student Services: FAQ from Orientation Attendees

Below are some of the questions students who attended Spring 2010 New Student Orientation asked, and here are the responses from campus community members!

Did we miss anything? Let us know: or tweet us:@itweetusf

General Questions about USF

What is the biggest advantage of studying at USF?
Getting to know your faculty
City of San Francisco
Public transportation
Learning & Writing Center
What are some disadvantages, what should we be careful about?

You are in a City ... do not go out alone, especially at night.

Be safe, period. Let people know where you're going, when you'll be back, how to reach you, etc. Don't forget that if you're within a 6 block radius, and you don't feel safe and need a Public Safety escort, please give them a call: 415-422-4222. 

What is the population of the school?

Fall 2009 total students was 9,036. 

What is there to do on weekends?

Eat, movies, clubs, museums, shop, sports

Events on campus such as dances, concerts, cultural performances, lectures, etc.

A really cool website, designed by USF seniors in Media Studies, provides a great look at favorite pubs, restuarants, hangouts, and cool places in general around San Francisco. Titled "Get Lost," it's their invitation to you to get stated exploring the City. You can access it here:

What is the graduation percentage?

Most recent percentage was 67%. 

When do we get a meal plan?

Check out the Flexi website; it depends on which hall you are living in!

What is a Don?

Spanish nobleman ... harkens back to early settlement of CA by the Spanish.

What software does the school prefer to use?

USF supports both PC and Macintosh platforms. E-mail, Calendar and online Documents are provided in DonsApps, USF's branding of Google Apps, available in the USFconnect portal at Many classes use the Microsoft Office Suite, and students taking classes that use Microsoft Excel must have the Windows 2007 version. Please see for more information. 

The Online Support Knowledgebase provided answers to hundreds of USF-specific computer questions and thousands of general application topics. Access the knowledge from the Online Support Service Desk at, or the Online Support tab in USFconnect. Click on the Search for Help link in the left-side navigation or the promotional graphic on the right.

Where do I go for computer support?

The ITS Help Desk provides support in person, on the phone, and via e-mail. You can create your own service tickets 24 hours a day using the Online Support Service Desk at or the Online Support tab in USFconnect. The primary Help Desk location is in Lone Mountain North, 2nd Floor West. A satellite location in the Gleeson Library is usually open evenings and weekends. For the latest hours and service locations, please see

What special event should we not miss out on? 
Homecoming concert/dance, Nobel Peace Prize Winners Campus Visits. The Luau! 
Athletic home games - they're FREE!
Late Nights at Crossroads
Learning & Writing Center Open House, 9-March 2010. Food, Games, and Fun! 
What is the difference between Blackboard and USF Connect?

Blackboard is the learning software faculty use to put course ware, assignments, and assessment materials on line

What is the best place to study and socialize daily?

Gleeson Library, UC Crossroads. 

The library Atrium is the most scenic! The library Atrium is also open 24/7 during spring and fall semesters. 

The Ricci Institute Library (known by students as the 'Chinese Library') is a great place to study because so few people frequent it. It is located in LM 280.

Parina Lounge is a popular hangout, and great group-meeting place. 

Learning & Writing Center, Cowell Hall 227. There is ample table space, computers, sofas to relax on, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. 

When do we get our books?

As soon as you register for classes in the bookstore or online.After you register for classes, you can go online to USFconnect to find your books. Log into USFconnect, click on the Student tab, click on the 'Click 'Here button, click on the Student tab, click on Registration, and then click on Buy Books Online. This link will show you what books you need for the classes you are in. You can either buy the books online (they can ship to you or be picked up in the bookstore) or you can print out the list and browse for them in the bookstore in Phelan Hall, Lower Level. 

What are the Library hours? 
Spring Semester 2010
January 25, 2010 – May 13, 2010

Monday – Thursday: 8 AM – 12 Midnight
Friday: 8 AM – 8 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday: 12 Noon – 12 Midnight
The Gleeson Library Atrium is open for study 24/7 (valid student ID required) from the first week of the term through the end of finals. Library hours will vary silghtly during the semester (finals, holidays etc.).
Check the library website for updates! and

You can view library hours and check the library catalog on your mobile as well --

Where/when do we get our student ID cards?

At One Card office LM 130 regular office hours M-F

Can we get a photo taken at the OneCard office?


What is part two of alcohol awareness?

Check out the My Student Body website for up to date details:

What are office hours for professors?

Professors typically put their office hours in their syllabi and on their on-line profileYou can usually call any department and ask for the office hours as well!

Where would I find details about what the student health plan covers?

Health Promotion office: 


When are we assigned advisors?

You are assigned an advisor when you declare your major. 

How do you find your advisor and how does advising work?

Visit your school or college deans' offices.
You can view who your assigned advisor is online through USFconnect (log in, click on the Student tab, click on the 'Click 'Here button, click on the Student tab, click on Registration, and then click on Registration Status & Advisor Information. If you don't have an advisor assigned to you, contact the Dean's Office of your school/college. 
This is the campus resources website url:

What resources are available to nursing students?

What resources are available to business students?

What resources are available to politics students?

How do I sign up for classes?

via WebTrack online

When do I sign up for classes?

Check out the Next Steps the Webtrack video and you're only a few clicks away!
A good resource for registration information is the One Stop website: You can visit there to view registration dates/times, find the class schedule and the final exam schedule, and view your access time for Continuing Student Registration (coming up in April!).

Are there opportunities for double majors?
Yes, talk with your faculty advisor and/or deans' office staff member to discuss this possibility ... can also add a minor. 
On average how long does it take a double major to graduate?

Depends on how many units you bring to USF and which 2 majors are chosen ... might add another year to graduation. 

Is it hard to switch majors?

Yes, sometimes it is, especially if going from one school to another. Yes, talk with your faculty advisor and/or deans' office staff member to discuss this possibility. 

What graduate programs are available?

This is a link a list of all graduate programs:

How do I ensure that I am taking the right classes as a transfer student?

Talk with your faculty advisor and/or deans' office staff member to discuss this question.
It's also good idea to check your Degree Evaluation frequently. Your Degree Evaluation will show you what classes you have taken, how they count towards your declared major, what classes you are missing, and more. To see your Degree Evaluation, log into USFconnect, click on the Student tab, click on the 'Click 'Here button, click on the Student tab, click on Student Records, and then click on Degree Evaluation. 

How do I get into a closed class?

Check with your faculty advisor and/or deans' office staff member to discuss this possibility ... you will need permission from faculty teaching course and Deans' Office staff.

If I were to take a semester at a community college would it be possible for me to take a semester off and not pay tuition?

Yes, but you will want to complete a PEAI (Petition to Enroll in Another Institution to make sure the courses taken elsewhere will transfer back to USF.


How does financial aid work?

Financial Aid applicants must file a timely Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year at Information on our early filing deadlines and the types of funds available can be located at

How do you access student loans?

To apply for Federal student loans, you must file a FAFSA application each year. Information on Federal loans, as well as private loan programs available through major banks and lenders can be found in the loan section of our web site

What do I do if I have a hold on my account?

Check online through USF Connect or with One Stop 422-2020 to find out what kind of hold you have and how to get it removed. 

How do I access a degree evaluation in terms of transfer credit?

Check online through USF Connect for your degree audit ... it should have your transfer credit defined. You can also check with the admission evaluators in the Transfer Center

What do you do if you forgot to put the $250 deposit in the mail?

Check with One Stop at LM 251. 

What scholarships are available to transfer students?

Transfer students are eligible to apply for Federal, State, and University grants and scholarships by filing a timely FAFSA application each year. For more information visit the "How to Apply" section of the Financial Aid web site at

Who should I talk with to find out about loans?

One Stop at LM 251 or 422-2020. 
How much is my tuition bill?
Check online through USF Connect or with One Stop 422-2020. 
When can I speak to a financial advisor?
Make an appointment at One Stop, 422-2020. 
What is the tuition payment deadline?
If you early register, deadline is typically the first Monday of the month when the term begins, so for Spring 2010 it was 1-4-10.

Jobs and Internships

Where do you go to find an on-campus job?

Student Employment at One Stop, LM 251, 422-2020 or online at

How does USF help students prepare after college (internships, jobs, etc)?

Ask your faculty advisor or Deans' Office staff member for assistance with internships. Visit the Career Services Center, UC 403, for complete career development and planning services. We have many resources available for students, including 2 databases - Internship Exchange and DonsCareers - exclusively for students and alumni. Also, please visit Career Services Center's website:, for complete information, including our daily Drop-In hours.

What resources are available to track down internships?

Check with Career Services Center in UC, 4th Floor in addition to Deans Office.
The Career Services Center internship database is Internship Exchange ( Also, it would be helpful to meet with a career counselor to discuss your internship plans and have your resume and cover letter approved before applying for an opening. 

Are there advisors available during summer?

Typically yes!

After graduation what resources are available beyond a letter of recommendation?

Check with Career Services Center in UC, 4th Floor.
All graduating students have free access to all services of the Career Services Center for 1 year after graduation. Career counselors can help you with job search strategies, interviewing skills, graduate school resources, career planning and exploration. 

What percentage of students get a job right after USF?

Check with Alan Ziakja, Office of Institutional Assessment, for Exit Survey results. 

What percentage of students get a job within their major?

Check with Alan Ziakja, Office of Institutional Assessment, for Exit Survey results. 


We want to learn about campus clubs!

Check with Student Leadership & Engagement Office:

Visit the SLE Club Database at Within the database you can search for a description, as well as office location, for each club and organization at USF. They are separated by interest area categories at the bottom of the page, if you're not sure what exactly you're looking for. You can also stop by Student Leadership and Engagement in UC 115 for more information. 

How do I start an organization on campus?

Check with Student Leadership & Engagement Office:

Want to start a new club?

If you have yet to register your new club, you must first begin the petition process. The next deadline to Petition to Start a New Club/Organization on campus is Monday, February 8, 2010 at 5PM. You can access the Petition form here. After petitioning, you must meet with a Peer Advising Team member to discuss your new club or organization idea. To make an appointment, stop by SLE in UC 115 or email

New clubs should have the following information: A faculty or staff advisor, a constitution, and a membership roster with at least five members, including name, contact information, and student ID #'s. 

How do I access information on Greek life?

Check with Student Leadership & Engagement Office: You can get a description of each social Fraternity and Sorority at USF by clicking on the "Social Fraternities/Sororities" tab of the SLE Club Search database at You can also contact Greek Council for more information, the governing body of all social Greek life on campus, at

How do you get involved with student council?
Check with Student Leadership & Engagement Office: ASUSF Senate is USF's student government. Official elections, run by the Electoral Governing Board, take place each Fall and Spring to elect campaigning students into one of 26 open Senate seats. Any open seats after Fall elections are open to interested students through an interview process with the Vice President of Internal Affairs. To get more information about Senate, visit, email, or stop by their office in UC 100 between 10am - 5pm. To help with the election process and get more information of the Electoral Governing Board, email, or stop by UC 100. 

Study Abroad

How can I find out more info on study abroad?

Please visit the Center for Global Education website to learn more about eligibility requirements and study abroad opportunities: 

Can Transfer Students participate in study abroad programs?

Yes, transfer students must first establish an academic record at USF by completing two semesters or at least 24 units prior to studying abroad. Under special circumstances, the Dean might approve study abroad after one semester at USF. Students must also be in good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA) to apply. 

Can Nursing students participate in study abroad programs?

Nursing students are only able to participate in study abroad programs that take place during the Intersession (Winter) and Summer periods. 

What is the latest we can do study abroad?

Generally students study abroad during their Junior year. However, with your respective Dean's Office approval, it may be possible to study abroad during your 1st term Senior year. 


What is the popular winter sport?

Men's Basketball is our most popular winter sport. The games are played in Memorial Gym and are FREE to students

When and where are soccer try-outs?

Contact the soccer coaches directly. Their information can be found on

What are our good sports teams?

Traditionally we are known for our men's basketball teams. We won back-to-back national chamionships in 1955 and 1956 with Bill Russell and KC Jones. Then beginning in the 1960's through 1980, men's soccer won 6 national championships and has continued to play at a high level. Most recently our men's soccer, women's volleyball, and baseball have made the NCAA tournament in the last few years.

Where do you sign up for club water polo?

Koret Health & Recreation Center:


How does parking around and on campus work?

To park on campus, students must have a USF parking permit. There is also limited street parking available around campus, but most of it is limited to 2 hours. 

Are there parking permits?

Because of the limited parking on campus, only a limited number of student parking permits are available for purchase each year. In order to get a permit, students must enter the Student Parking Lottery. For complete information, visit:

How much are the permits?

Permit fees are available at

Where can I get information on public transportation?

Public transportation information is available at

Is there a student discount for BART?

There is no student discount for BART. However, BART has two programs that gives a small discount when you buy rides in bulk. Check out and BART Blue High Value Ticket; A 6.25% discount in two denominations: a $48 ticket for $45; a $64 ticket for $60 Blue Ticket

What is a BART EZ Rider Card?

A "smart card" that's safer and more convenient than regular BART tickets. 


Are there resources on campus to help find housing?

The Office of Residence Life maintains a list of off-campus housing:

How do we learn who our roommate is?

When you go through USF Rooms, you can view profiles of other students and see who best matches you. For more information on this, contact


Which café is better?

The Grove is a great place to study or just hang out. It has two locations: Fillmore and Marina ( and The downside is that it's hard to get a table (it's that popular!) and you have to pay for wi-fi. A good cafe that has free wi-fi is Crepes on Cole (

People like Starbucks because it's nearby (on Fulton and Masonic), but the Starbucks on California and Spruce is open 24 hours. 

What is the best pizza delivery?

Nizarios Pizza on Geary ( is great. Good pizza and open until 2:00 am. For pizza earlier in the day, Bella Pizza ( is really good and opens at 10:30. Both of these offer free delivery. 

Is there a pool on campus?

Yes, an Olympic sized indoor one. Check it out at the Koret Health and Recreation Center

Is there musical theatre available at this school?

Yes, the student theatre group, the College Players, host a musical every Fall semester. For more information on other theatrical opportunities hosted by the College Players, email, or stop by their office located near the Bookstore in Lower Level Phelan. 

What is the size of the Jewish community on campus?

In our 2008 Fact Book, 2.0% of our student population identified as Jewish.