Skip to contentSkip to site navigation

First-Year Students

Pre-Arrival Checklist


For answers to frequently asked questions, visit New Student FAQs, or call the Dean of First-Year Students Office at (845) 437-5258.


In mid-May, the Office of Admission mailed a matriculation packet to you. This packet will contain paper copies of certain forms (though all forms included in the packet are available on this website as downloadable PDFs), as well as instructions for how to activate your Vassar account. You will need your login credentials to complete many of the tasks listed below.


The Office of the Dean of First-Year Students will mail a packet with information about the pre-registration process, pre-major advisors, etc. Information about tuition payments and student finances will also be mailed in June.

  • Submit a photo for your Vassar ID Card. The photo must be an accurate representation of what you currently look like. A full-color, shoulders-and-above photo is required, and hats, sunglasses, or anything obscuring your face is prohibited.
    Deadline: June 30.
  • Fill out your Housing Application. Complete the housing form thoughtfully and honestly so that the staff in the Residential Life Office can select the most appropriate housing arrangement and roommate for you.
    Deadline: June 10.
  • Final High School Transcripts should be sent to the Office of Admission. Transcripts can be submitted via the Common App website, email (, or mail (optional form online). You must confirm with your high school that the guidance office has forwarded your final transcript to us. You will need it on file at Vassar to finalize registration for first-semester courses.
    Deadline: July 15.
  • Pre-register for classes. Pre-registration begins on June 24 and ends on July 19. To start the pre-registration process, use The First-Year Student Handbook, the Vassar College Catalogue, and the First-Year Schedule of Classes to plan your course schedule for the fall semester. Pay special attention to the descriptions of the First-Year Writing Seminars in the First-Year Handbook, as you will be required to complete one of these courses during your first year. Refer to “Registration for Courses” in The First-Year Handbook for instructions on registering.
    Deadline: July 19.


  • Complete the Statement of Academic Interests worksheet. Your thoughtful answers to these questions will help the dean place you with a pre-major academic advisor with expertise in your areas of interest.
    Available in June. Deadline: July 19.
  • Finish pre-registering for your fall semester classes.
    Available in June. Deadline: July 19
  • Complete the Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates and AlcoholEdu for College online courses that you received in your email on July 12, 2019. These courses will provide critical information and resources about alcohol/substance use or misuse and sexual assault/interpersonal violence. Deadline: July 31
  • Fill out the Religious Interest Form. Whether or not you consider yourself to be religious, please fill out the form as it helps the college better serve the needs of our students.
    Available in June. Deadline: July 31
  • Deposit funds to your VCash Account.


  • Post your response and replies to two other responses on the First-Year Common Reading Assignment (details provided in June) by August 26.
  • Arrive for New Student Orientation on August 26, 2019.

Arrival Information

First-year students are expected to arrive on campus on Monday, August 26, 2019. See also, New Student Orientation.

Arrival Schedule

8:00am–1:00pm: Move-In & Check-In

The residential houses will be open for move-in starting at 8am, and all students are expected to have completed the check-in process by around 1pm. It can take several hours to move in and check in, so plan accordingly.Here you will receive your room key, Vassar ID card, and mailbox key.

There will be parking at each house and security officers stationed across campus to point people in the right direction. To keep traffic moving, we ask that you drop off your belongings in front of your house and then have the driver of your vehicle move to the parking area. There will be many enthusiastic volunteers on hand to help you carry your things to your room.

If you shipped your belongings to campus, you can pick them up at the Central Receiving warehouse between 8:30am and 4:30pm. The warehouse is located in the Facilities Operations Services Center in the South Parking Lot.

After you have moved all of your belongings into your room, you will come to the Aula in Ely Hall for the check-in process. Here you will receive your Orientation folder (including the name of your pre-major advisor). If you have any problems or questions about financial aid, residential life, student accounts, or anything else, the check-in staff will be happy to assist you.

2:00–3:00pm: Student Fellow Group Meeting & President’s Welcome

After check-in has concluded, you will return to your house to meet your Student Fellows, House Advisors, and House Teams. Your families and friends are invited to attend a 2pm reception in the Chapel where they will be welcomed by Vassar administrators and deans, including Elizabeth Bradley, the president of the college.

3:00–4:00pm: Reception for Students, Family, and Friends

Families, friends, and students are invited to an outdoor reception on the library lawn.

4:00–4:30pm: Class Photo

Official group photograph of the Class of 2023 and new transfer students on the chapel lawn.

4:30–5:30pm: Family & Friends Farewell

Students and families say goodbye at the residential houses, and New Student Orientation begins.

Pre-Matriculation Credit

Vassar may award a maximum of 6 units of pre-matriculation credit of any type.

Students may not apply for these credits until after they matriculate and are active students at Vassar.

Credit for Pre-Vassar College Work

To apply for credit for a course or courses you completed at another institution, you must present an official transcript sent from the registrar of the institution to the dean of studies, Vassar College.

Not all courses are eligible for transfer credit. See The First-Year Handbook section on “Pre-Matriculation Credit” for eligibility requirements.

AP and IB Credit

You may not apply for AP or IB credit until after you matriculate and are an active student at Vassar. AP and IB credit will be issued only upon receipt of the original testing service transcript. Scores of 4 or 5 on AP exams are eligible for 1 unit of credit, and scores of 5, 6, or 7 on Higher-Level International Baccalaureate exams are awarded 1 unit of credit, subject to the maximum of 2.0 units of exam-based pre-matriculation credit.

If you wish to request a transcript, please write to:

Advanced Placement Services
Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
(609) 771-7300 or (888) 225-5427
CEEB code: 2956

IB Americas Global Centre
7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 200 West
Bethesda, MD 20814
United States
Attn: Transcript Officer
(301) 202-3000

For more information on pre-matriculation credits, see The First-Year Handbook section on “Pre-Matriculation Credit.”

Registration and Advising

Before arriving at Vassar, you will begin to plan your course of study by exploring the Vassar College Catalogue, reading the “Academic Information” section of The First-Year Handbook, pre-registering for the fall semester, and filling out and returning your Statement of Academic Interests (available in June.)

Statement of Academic Interests

Once you declare your major (usually at the end of sophomore year), you will choose an advisor from the program or department you are majoring in. Until that time, you will be assigned a pre-major advisor by the dean of first-year students. The only tool the dean has to match you with an appropriate advisor is your Statement of Academic Interests. Fill out this online form, which will be available starting on June 24, 2019, no later than July 19, 2019. During New Student Orientation, you will meet with your pre-major advisor to finalize your fall schedule.


The pre-registration period opens on June 24, 2019, and closes on July 19, 2019. During that time, you will plan and submit your tentative schedule for the fall semester. You will find a great deal of helpful information about course selection in The First-Year Handbook, and you will need to consult the First-Year Schedule of Classes (link to be provided prior to pre-registration.)

Once you are ready to pre-register, log into the First-Year Pre-registration website (opens June 24) and follow the instructions provided there.