Spartan Start

Spartan Start is UD's three-day orientation and welcome program for new students. During the program, you’ll get connected with other students, learn your way around campus, participate in UD traditions, experience your first UD college class, discover ways to get involved on campus and in the community, and lots more! With more than 50 sessions and activities, Spartan Start provides the perfect start to a successful college experience.

Student Resources  |  Parent Resources  |  Transfer Students  | Online Orientation

Fall 2020 New Students

Welcome to the University of Dubuque family! We are excited to have you join us for Spartan Start on August 24, 25, and 26, 2020. We're working on putting together a great schedule for the program. Please check back often as this page will be updated with additional details as they become available. Here are some highlights of what we have planned for you:

Fall 2020 Spartan Start Schedule*

Sunday, August 23, 2020

TimeSession TitleLocation
9:00 am - 4:00 pm   Residence Hall Check-In
Take care of required check-in tasks and pick up your keys.
Heritage Center, A.Y. McDonald Lobby
5:00 pm University Welcome
Families invited and encouraged to attend.
Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC)
7:00 pm Family Entertainment
Join us for family-friendly entertainment events.
Heritage Center

Monday, August 24, 2020

8:30 am     Breakfast and Program Overview Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC)
9:30 am Educational and Campus Resource Sessions      Various Locations
12:30 pm Lunch Smeltzer Dining Hall, Peters Commons
1:30 pm Educational and Campus Resource Sessions Various Locations
5:00 - 10:00 pm Dubuque Community Night
Includes dinner

Off-Campus Location
Shuttle transportation provided
Tuesday, August 25, 2020  
9:30 am Educational and Campus Resource Sessions  Various Locations
10:45 am World View Seminar I Class Various Locations
12:00 pm Lunch Smeltzer Dining Hall, Peters Commons
1:00 pm Guest Speaker McCormick Gym
2:00 pm Meet Your Major Various Locations
3:00 pm Educational and Campus Resource Sessions  Various Locations
5:00 pm Dinner Smeltzer Dining Hall, Peters Commons
6:00 - 10:00 pm Spartan Spirit Night Stoltz-McCormick & Chalmers Field

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
8:30 am In-Depth Interactive Session
Choose from several options for an experiential learning activity.
Various Locations
12:30 pm Lunch Smeltzer Dining Hall, Peters Commons
1:30 pm Campus Services Fair McCormick Gym
2:30 pm Select-a-Session
Choose a conference-style special interest session.
Various Locations
5:30 pm Dinner Smeltzer Dining Hall, Peters Commons
6:30 - 10:00 pm Evening Entertainment Heritage Center

*Please note: Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Online Orientation

New students have access to an online orientation in addition to the face-to-face program. Click here or log into UDOnline and select Online Orientation 2020 under My Courses. Students can complete Online Orientation 2020 before arriving on campus or use it as a continued resource as they transition to UD.


Spartan Start has a few key goals to help students and families prepare for success in their college experience:

  1. Create a welcoming environment that builds a sense of community for new students.
  2. Foster and develop valuable connections for new students on campus.
  3. Provide opportunities for new students to become acquainted with campus resources.
  4. Build confidence of families of incoming students through encouragement and support.

How will we meet these goals together? We offer a robust and welcoming program that will give new students the chance to build initial relationships, as well as ample opportunities to meet many other new students through social events. New students will benefit from upper class peer leaders who will guide and advise them, helping them to acclimate to new surroundings and connect to resources and friends. New students who commit to participating in all of Spartan Start are choosing success in their first days on campus and are setting up great habits that will lead to class attendance, involvement in leadership opportunities, and building relationships that last a lifetime.