First Year Student Checklist

Step 1 – You Have Made your Deposit to Attend McDaniel, What’s Next?

  1. When does this happen? Typically March-June!
  2. ASAP: Read the “Welcome” Email you will receive from Admissions
    • This email will come to your personal email account (the one you used when applying). In this email, you will be given directions on how to log into the admissions website and access your McDaniel username and ID.
  3. ASAP after you receive your welcome email from Admissions - Activate your Account
  4. Need more information about McDaniel’s technology resources?

Step 2 – Begin Your McDaniel Story!

  1. When does this happen? As soon as you deposit, these are some of first steps you should be taking - typically March-June!
  2. ASAP: Review your personalized Financial Aid Self Service Page to ensure timely financial aid processing to meet deadlines for fall invoices.
  3. ASAP: Complete the Authorization for Release of Student Information. This authorization allows McDaniel College to share education records with your parents or others. The student must return completed form to the Registrar’s Office in person, or scan/photograph and email to from the student’s McDaniel email account.
  4. ASAP: Request to join the 2021 Facebook group so you can ask questions, meet other students and get to know the McDaniel staff, students and faculty!
  5. DUE JUNE 15: Complete your Housing/Roommate form if you will be living here. Contact Michael Robbins at 410-857-2240 or with any questions about the form
  6. ASAP: Connect with our Student Academic Support Services (SASS) Office - If you are a student with a documented disability, please complete the Student Academic Support Services (SASS) registration form ASAP so SASS can help to support your needs this summer as you get ready to arrive!
  7. Make an appointment with your doctor to get a physical! You will need to turn in an updated health form to the College by July 15! 
    • If you have any questions, please refer to the Health Form FAQ's or call the Wellness Center at 410-857-2243.

Step 3 – Academic First Steps!

  1. When does this happen? Academic steps begin after you deposit and run through July when you register for classes! The first very important steps include choosing your First Year Seminar (FYS) course (which is required) & taking your placement exams so we can help you choose the right courses!
  2. DUE JUNE 14: Rate your First Year Seminar (FYS) Course so we can assign you to one that interests YOU!
    • First Year Seminar (FYS) is a required 4-credit course that all students take in their first semester. Use this rating form to tell us which ones MOST interest you so we can assign you to one that fits you best!
    • Click here to complete your FYS selection form. Please review ALL the FYS course descriptions before you submit your selection/rating form.
    • Once FYS classes are assigned, they cannot be changed. Please review carefully when rating your selections.
  3. DUE JUNE 14: Take Your Required Placement Exams
    • Log into BlackBoard and complete the following placement exams. These are a required part of the new student process. If you have questions about AP/IB or transfer credit work affecting your placement exams, please contact the appropriate department contact (see below) for clarification/information.
    • As you start your placement exams, take a look at the these FAQs to help you with your questions!
      1. English – REQUIRED (contact is Professor Nida:
      2. Math – REQUIRED (contact is Dr. Hamblen at for students who plan to major/minor in Math OR will need quantitative reasoning courses in any discipline for their first year. Others are strongly encouraged to also take the placement exam now while skills are fresh in your mind.
      3. Second Language – REQUIRED (contact is Dr. Motard-Noar at
        1. Spanish, German or French — test is online in Blackboard (you may test in more than one language)
        2. If you need to take a placement exam in ASL, Chinese, Latin, or Arabic, please email your request to the First Year Team.
    • When your results become available in June (after the deadline of June 14) you can find the course placement results under "Test Summary" in Archway. Once you have located those placement courses, click here to find out what your scores mean.
    • Want to brush up on your skills before you take the Math placement exam? Click here for practice tests in Arithmetic and Algebra, or visit (see "Preliminary Topics" and "Beginning Algebra Topics").

    For those students who wish to "re-take" the algebra or arithmetic portions of the math placement exam, there will be a re-take period available from June 30-July 14.

    Students can participate in the re-take exam on Blackboard.

    Students will see a NEW testing course/shell titles "MATH RETAKE". If you have any question, please contact the First Year Team at

Step 4 – Advising and Registering Online for Classes!

  1. When does this happen? Once you submit your FYS rating form and take your placement exams, FYS courses are assigned at the end of June. The professor of your assigned FYS class becomes YOUR advisor! Next steps include talking with your FYS professor/NOW ADVISOR for advising and then registering for classes online!
  2. JULY 10 – JULY 21: First - Talk with your Advisor
    • Get in touch with your FYS Advisor for advising and permission to register for classes. You can talk with your FYS advisor by email, phone, Skype, or in person – your choice!
    • Check out the advising process, the McDaniel Plan, and videos on how to register! All at:
    • If you took an AP, IB or other, this is important information for your advisor to know. Please make sure your official reports have also been sent to McDaniel College for review and posting to your record (2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157)
  3. STARTING JULY 20: Register for Classes Online
    • After getting permission from your advisor, go ONLINE into the Archway and register for your classes (Archway opens for class registration on July 20, 2017. You will have an assigned time to start registering and can register from that point forward). You can find your assigned time in “Authorizations and Restrictions” in the student menu in Archway.
    • All students must register for at least 12 credits to be considered full-time status HOWEVER students are strongly encouraged to carry 16 credits to stay on track for a 4-year graduation. Total credits needed to graduate is 128. Waitlists do NOT count toward the credit count.
    • REMINDER: Classes can be added, dropped, and changed through the first week of classes in August. You have time to make changes if desired!
  4. ASAP: Reach out to and get to know your Peer Mentor!
    • Each student will have a Peer Mentor who will be with you in your FYS class! You will receive an email from your Peer Mentor sometime in July. If you are an honors or international student, you will have an additional Peer Mentor.

Step 5 - Prepare to be here!

  1. ASAP: Take a look at the overview for move in day (August 23) and orientation. Please review the orientation schedule carefully for events that are mandatory/required for all students. Please make travel and work arrangements ahead of time so that you may attend mandatory events.
  2. ASAP: Complete Information Technology Related Items
  3. DUE ASAP: Visit the Emergency Information page in Self-Service, add the information for any emergency contacts you wish to designate, and click to confirm at the top of the page.
  4. MID-JULY: Watch for an email from Campus Safety regarding a parking lottery for FY students! Questions? Call Campus Safety at 410-857-2202
  5. DUE JULY 15: Submit the health form to the Wellness Center! You will need to turn in an updated health form to the College by July 15! Please Call the Wellness Center with questions at 410-857-2243.
    • If you have any questions, please refer to the Health Form FAQ's or call the Wellness Center at 410-857-2243.
  6. DUE AUGUST 1: Parent/Family Form
  7. DUE AUGUST 1: Traitify Career Personality Assessment - Complete your career and personality assessment!
  8. STARTING AUGUST 1: Start Part 1 of the Alcohol EDU and Haven Online Courses (Required for all new students by the first day of orientation).
  9. Make a plan to visit "First Stop" this summer or when you arrive – the first year experience office for all your first year needs. Hoover Library – 2nd floor - 410-857-2790.
  10. Visit the Bookstore to buy McDaniel Swag and books for your classes
  11. Review the dining plan/mealplan so you know how it works when you arrive!
  12. Take a look at the pictures online of the residence hall rooms and also the “FY FAQs” from residence life about measurements, etc.
  13. Arrive on Wednesday, August 23 to move in (if a resident) and start orientation (for all resident and commuter students).