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First-Year Experience

Character U and Orientation

It's our pleasure to welcome you to DeSales University, Class of 2026 and transfer students. We are excited and honored for you to join the DeSales University community as you begin your Orientation Program.

DSU Preview Virtual Tour
Hello Class of 2026 and transfer students! Welcome to our Tour of Campus playlist, made specifically for YOU! In these videos, we will be highlighting a number of offices, programs, and events at DeSales University. If you have additional questions, please let us know at and we will make sure to connect you to the right person. Welcome Bulldogs!

Class of 2026 Orientation

This year’s Orientation begins Sunday, August 21 for the Class of 2026 at 8am and Monday, August 22 for Transfer Students. See "Class of 2026 August Program" and "Transfer Student Orientation" tabs below for more information.

Get started with these important items:

  • University Health Forms

    Welcome to the DeSales University Student Health Portal!

    All students are required to have a health record completed by their family physician to be officially registered for classes.  All health records are confidential and only health center staff have access to them

    Forms must be downloaded and/or printed for completion.  Once completed, you must submit them through the Medicat Connect Portal.

    Once logged into the Medicat Connect Portal:

    • Go to the Forms tab to view, print and download forms.
    • After completing forms, go to the Uploads tab to submit them to the Health Center.

    The following medical forms must be completed and returned to the Health Center:

    1. Two-sided Medical History and Immunization/Physical Examination form signed by you and your health care provider. 
    2. Meningitis Immunization/Waiver form required by Pennsylvania State law.
    3. Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Assessment form signed by your health care provider. 
      NOTE: If you are transferring from another institution, you may submit a copy of your records from that institution as long as the three previously stated criteria are included.
    4. Consent for Minor and Health Insurance Information.
    5. Acknowledgement of Receipt Notice and Consent to Use and Disclose Health Information.
    6. Patient Communication form.

    Please be sure all areas of the health forms are complete. Incomplete health forms will not be accepted and you will be required to submit again.  

    Resident students will not be permitted to move in unless all health forms are complete.

    Attention Student Athletes

    Student athletes must complete separate health forms for the athletic department.

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Health Center at 610.282.1100, ext. 1776, or

    Login to the DeSales Medicat Portal

Summer Preview

Class of 2026 and Transfer students:

To prepare for your arrival in August, please visit our online student involvement portal, ENGAGE, for a list of events and programs during the summer of 2022.   

Make sure to follow the Character U and Campus Activities Board (CAB) Instagram pages for additional updates and information!

In-Person Summer Information Sessions

Information and dates coming soon!

Orientation Zoom Check-In Sessions

Information and dates coming soon!

Outreach DeSales

The Community Service and Advocacy office will be hosting its annual pre-orientation program, Outreach DeSales. Outreach DeSales introduces first-year students to the university's campus and surrounding area through community service. During Outreach DeSales, students will participate in rewarding service projects, get to know the community, and meet other first-year students with similar interests.

Outreach DeSales is led by upper-class students who lead service programs throughout the year. The program allows students to move into their room early, feel comfortable on campus, and join in great events each evening. The cost of the program is $150, which will cover housing, food, transportation, and entertainment. First-year students will move onto campus, Wednesday, August 17th from 8:00am - 10:30am. Students will participate in all day community service activities on Thursday, August 18 and Friday, August 19, as well as leadership activities, and fun evening events to get to know their new community better!  On Saturday, August 20, the group will travel to the Jim Thorpe area for a day of whitewater rafting.  Parents, families, and supporters may return to campus on Sunday, August 21, to participate in the Orientation program.

Taking part in pre-orientation is a great way to start your time at DeSales! Please contact Jaime Gerhart, the Director of the Community Service and Advocacy Office at with any questions.

Please fill out the application on ENGAGE if you are interested in participating.

First-Year Checklist

Please make sure everything on the following checklist is completed by the deadlines to avoid delays at the check-in process during Orientation in August. 

Please note, your fall 2022 class schedule and academic advisor for the upcoming year will be available on August 1, 2022.

*You will soon notice a notification when you log into MyDSU that says that your Health Forms have not been received. This notification is used internally by the University to track Health Forms. When you send your Health Forms in, they are reviewed and processed, and the notification is then removed. Please be patient, as this can take several weeks depending on the volume of forms received. It is also advised that you make a copy of your forms before sending them in. This notification will not affect your ability to complete your other requirements such as housing, financial aid, etc. 

Questions? Call 610-282-1100 plus the extension shown.

As soon as possible:

  • Begin checking your DeSales University email every day and get familiar with MyDSU and Blackboard. If you have not received your DSU login information, please email
  • Complete the 2022-23 First Year Course Registration Survey.
    We would appreciate this questionnaire to be completed by June 1, 2022, but we will accept late submissions for students who deposit after June 1. For questions, email Ann Koefer or call 610-282-1100 x1294.
  • Once you have been assigned a roommate, be sure to get in contact with them.
  • If you require of any kind accommodation in the area of academics, dietary, or housing, please contact the Office of Student Accessibility at (x1453)

Additional checklist items coming soon!

Class of 2026 August Program

Welcome, Bulldogs! For three fun-filled days, new first-year DeSales undergrads experience an activities-packed schedule.

Sunday, August 21, 2022 Opening Day Schedule

All students should check in at Billera Hall at their designated time!

  • Third Floor Conmy and Tocik Hall – 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Second Floor Conmy, Tocik, and Aviat Hall – 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • First Floor Conmy, Tocik, and Aviat Hall – 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Commuter Students – 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

*Please note all fall athletes and participants in pre-orientation program Outreach DeSales who are on campus already will check in at the Dorothy Day Student Union from 10:30am – 12pm.  Parents, families, and supporters of these two groups are welcome back on campus for Opening Day!

Opening Day will include the following events for students, parents, families, and supporters:

  • Lunch
  • Prayer Service for the Class of 2026
  • Residence Life and Commuter Life meetings
  • Welcome Ceremony from the DeSales Community

The Orientation program for the Class of 2026 will continue in the evening of August 21, Monday, August 22, beginning at 8:00 a.m., and Tuesday, August 23, beginning at 8:00 a.m.  A full schedule will be emailed to students in August 2022.

All events are subject to change.  Any questions please email us at 

For a look at the full university academic schedule please visit our Academic Calendars.

To get a feel for what we have in store for you during orientation, check out these videos of previous years' orientation programs:





Transfer Student Orientation

There will be a mandatory orientation held on Monday, August 22 and Tuesday, August 23, 2022, for all incoming resident and commuter transfer students.

This program will guide you to a successful college experience. Over the two days, you will hear from members of our faculty and staff from both Academics and Student Life. You will have time to learn of the resources on campus, meet new people and start building connections.

Transfer students who are living on campus may move-in on Monday, August 22 from 10am to noon. Check in at the Dorothy Day Student Union. 

The Orientation for all transfer students will begin in the Labuda Theatre at 2pm. Your family or supporters are welcome to join you on Monday.

You will be receiving information regarding your DSU Student ID via your DeSales email later in the summer.

DeSales Main Phone Number: 610-282-1100,

followed by the extensions below:

Before Classes Begin:

  • Health Forms completed by your health care provider and returned to the Office of Student Life. (x1232)
  • Student Athletes must fill out additional forms. (x1848)
    The Athletic Medical Clearances form can be found at
  • Finalize any financing options needed to cover education expenses (i.e. establish loans and/or establish payment plan).
  • Payment of your bill and Balance Reconciliation Form completed and mailed to the Treasurer's Office. (610-282-3382)
  • Submit any final transcripts to the Admissions Office. (x1424)
  • If you are bringing a car to campus, please register your vehicle. (x1862)
  • Update your contact information through MyDSU:
    • Log into MyDSU
    • Click on WebAdvisor on the right side
    • Click on User Account to update your contact information and emergency contacts
  • Sign up for DeSales E2Campus emergency alerts.


  • Privacy Release information updated in MyDSU.               
    • Log into MyDSU
    • Click on WebAdvisor on the right side
    • Click on Communication
    • Complete Privacy Release Information
  • If receiving student loans, we recommend completing Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance counseling at

For Parents, Families, and Supporters

Parents, family and friends, thank you for supporting our Bulldogs as they venture into the next chapter of their lives. Below, you will find some important links, as well as information about our Parents Association. Know what's going on at DeSales through these groups designed specifically for parents. Check back regularly for updates, events, and important information. We look forward to you visiting us!

Important Links

DeSales University Parent & Family Council

The DeSales University Parent & Family Council is a special $1,965 giving society for both current and former parents and guardians.

Council members will get to enjoy the following:

  • An on-campus meeting twice a year with President Greenfield as well as DeSales University administrators, faculty, and staff. These meetings will consist of updates happening on campus, forums and open discussions with administrators, as well as networking with other parents.
  • Invitation to special events including Furphy and Marcon lectures, our Annual Winter Donor Dinner Lunch, reserved seating at Graduation as well as an additional four tickets.
  • Throughout the year, DeSales University will ask Parent Council Members to volunteer and help spread the mission of DSU. This could include writing solicitation letters to parents, working closely with our admissions team to host summer send offs, recruiting more members for Parent’s Council, as well as working closely with our Career Development Center.
  • Parent Association Membership Benefits (see below).

DeSales University Parents Association

The DeSales University Parents Association is a special membership based group. For a one-time fee of $50.00, parents will get to enjoy the following over the four years their student is enrolled at DeSales University:

  • Special invitations to exciting campus lectures and events, including the annual Furphy and Marcon lectures.
  • 10% discount* on select University Bookstore merchandise. Parents will receive discount when they present membership card in person at the bookstore. *excludes textbooks
  • 10% discount at Historic Hotel Bethlehem. Some restrictions apply, please call (800) 607-2384 for more information, and mention DeSales University Family Discount.
  • Discounted Pricing for Homecoming & Family Weekend – October 12 to 17, 2021
  • 10% discounts on ACT 1 and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival performances. Subject to availability. Only available via phone or in person at the Box Office. Members must present their ID at the box office to pick up tickets. For more information, call the Labuda Box Office at (610) 282-3192.
  • 10% off your DINE-IN bill at the Center Valley Red Robin.
  • Discounts on summer athletic camps hosted by DSU coaches. Discounts include $5 off camps fees of up to $50 and/or $10 off camps of $100 or more. When registering, Parents Association members must assign the proper discount and complete the application using their Parents Association membership ID number. In these cases, online registration cannot be accepted.
  • Free admission to all regular season home basketball games.
  • Special discounts on tickets to the annual DeSales University Dinner Dance. This event has been hosted by the University for more than 30 years.
  • Trexler Library privileges. Members can apply for a Trexler Library card free of charge.

Facebook Group for Parents

Follow our Facebook page to stay up to date on News, Events, and Information!

Hearts on Fire 

Save the date for our annual Hearts on Fire Day of Giving

This year's day of giving challenge will be held on February 14, 2022. Learn more about Hearts on Fire

What to Bring to Campus

The below lists are suggested items to bring to campus if you are a resident student.


  • Clothing appropriate for the season
  • Identification (license/photo ID)
  • Checkbook/debit/credit card
  • Insurance card
  • Room safe
  • Sports equipment/bicycle/bike lock

Academic (All items available in campus store)

  • Notebooks
  • Binder
  • Folder
  • Pens/pencils
  • Highlighters/markers
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Planner/calendar
  • Dictionary/Thesaurus

Bedding & Bath (most of these items are available for purchase through our Residence Hall Linens program)

  • Pillows/pillowcases
  • XL twin sheets
  • Comforter
  • Egg crate or mattress pad
  • Blanket
  • Bath towels
  • Washcloths
  • Shower caddy
  • Flip-flops
  • Bathrobe
  • First-aid kit/medication
  • Hygiene products as needed


  • Flashlight/batteries
  • Erasable message board
  • Desk lamp or approved torch lmp
  • Reusable dishes (microwave safe), glassware, utensils, storage containers
  • Refillable water filter pitcher
  • Can opener
  • Dishwashing liquid/sponge
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paper towels/napkins
  • Trash can
  • Fan
  • Umbrella
  • Storage crates
  • Snacks/beverages
  • Area rug (6' x 9' or 8' x 10' suggested)
  • Coffee pot (single brew w/ auto-shutoff only)
  • Refrigerator (4.7 cubic feet or less)**
  • Microwave (700 watts or less)**

** Energy efficient combination microwave/refrigerator units can be rented at


  • Laundry bag/hamper
  • Detergent/fabric softener
  • Drying rack
  • Clothes hangers
  • Iron w/ auto-shutoff (used only in laundry room)


  • Computer, charger, laptop lock (Please review the minimum technology requirements for online learning)
  • Ethernet cable (min. 25' in length)
  • Printer, paper, ink cartridges
  • Music player/speakers (Stereo/MP3)
  • TV/coaxial cable (min. 10' in length)—No Roku TVs
  • DVD/Blu-ray player
  • Video game system
  • Camera
  • Alarm clock
  • Cell phone/charger
  • Power strip(s) with surge protection
  • UL approved extension cord(s)


  • Photos/pictures/posters
  • Removable hanging strips/hooks (3M)
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Poster tack putty (White only)***

*** Nails, thumb tacks, hooks, and duct tape are discouraged. Students are responsible for holes/marks on walls at end of the year.


  • Pets (other than fish in 10-gallon or smaller tanks)
  • candles, incense, halogen lamps
  • hot plates, Foreman grills, toasters
  • space heaters, or any other appliances with exposed heating elements
  • bed risers, over-the-door hangers
  • alcohol and drugs
  • guns, weapons
  • drones, hoverboards
  • A full list of prohibited items is available at

Important Links

Instagram Accounts to Follow

group photo op at orientation

What is Orientation?

The Orientation program provides personal guidance to first year students in their transition to the DeSales University community. Students gain valuable information on the different academic, social, and spiritual opportunities on campus and are welcomed into the first year experience program, Character U. Transfer students are welcome to participate in Character U; Please contact the Orientation team for more information.

What is the Purpose of Orientation?

Orientation is a time for you, as a student, to build Character, a very important experience at DeSales in which you will be a part of the Character U program. This year long program is designed to help you in your transition into the DeSales community from the moment you step foot on campus with the help of our peer mentors.

During Orientation you will be placed in 1 of 8 Pods and compete for the coveted Dog Bowl.

Meet the 2021 Pod Captains and Mentors
Pod Games during Orientation
Ready for Anything
Stay up-to-date with DeSales, and learn how we are taking action against the spread of COVID-19.
MyDSU is our internal network where you can check email, find information, and sign up for classes.
You will use Blackboard throughout your four years at DeSales in the classroom, but for this summer, the Orientation Team is using it to connect with you!
DeSales Zoom
You will use Zoom a lot at DeSales, both in the classroom and out. Most of our Orientation Preview sessions are using Zoom!

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