Spartan Start is UD's orientation and welcome program for new students. During the program, you'll get connected with other students, learn your way around campus, discover ways to get involved on campus, and a lot more. Spartan Start provides the perfect start to a successful college experience.

Fall 2022 New Students

Welcome to the University of Dubuque family! We are excited to have you join us for Spartan Start on August 22-24, 2022, with Check-In/Welcome on August 21, 2022. We've put together a great schedule for the program. Please click here to select your Experiential Learning Sessions and your two special interest sessions. If you are a fall sport student-athlete, please check with your sport coach, as your check-in date may be different.

2022 First-Year Student - Spartan Start Schedule (PDF)

First-Year Student Move-In - Sunday, August 21, 2022  
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Residence Hall Check-In
- Arrive anytime for required check-in tasks and to pick up your keys
Heritage Center
2255 Bennett St.
Dubuque, IA 52001
2:00 p.m. Student and Family Programming Various Locations
5:30 p.m. University Welcome Dinner
- Families are invited and encouraged to attend
Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center 
7:00 p.m. Family Entertainment
- Join us for family-friendly entertainment activities
Various Locations 


Spartan Start for First-Year Students - Monday, August 22, 2022  
8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Program Overview  
9:25 a.m. Educational and Campus Resource Sessions Various Locations
12:30 p.m. Lunch  
1:30 p.m. Educational and Campus Resource Sessions Various Locations
5:30 p.m. Dubuque Community Night
- Dinner included


Spartan Start for First-Year Students - Tuesday, August 23, 2022  
8:00 a.m. Educational and Campus Resource Sessions Various Locations
10:45 a.m. World View Seminar I Class Various Locations
12:00 p.m. Lunch
- Complimentary for new students.
1:00 p.m. Educational and Campus Resource Sessions Various Locations
4:00 p.m. Meet Your Major Academic Session Various Locations
5:00 p.m. Dinner  
7:00 p.m. Spartan Spirit Night  


Spartan Start for First-Year Students - Wednesday, August 24, 2022  
8:00 a.m. Experiential Learning Session
- Choose from several options for an in-depth session.
12:40 p.m. Lunch  
1:40 p.m. Small Group Check-In  
3:05 p.m. Select-a-Session
- Choose two conference-style special interest sessions.
5:30 p.m. Unity Barbecue
- Campus-wide cookout event uniting the Spartan community.


What to Expect

Attending UD will be a brand new experience for you. While starting at a new college is exciting, it can also be a little stressful. Spartan Start is designed to help you settle in and get comfortable with campus life. During the program you can expect to:

  • Meet a lot of other new students who, like you, don't know a lot of people on campus and are feeling a bit nervous. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself.
  • Be busy! We fit a lot of sessions and activities into the day. We want to make the most of every moment, so you won't have a lot of down time. It is possible that you may even feel overwhelmed at times. That's normal; just reach out to a peer leader or Spartan Start staff member, and they can help.
  • Learn about a lot of resources and opportunities. There are tons of ways to get involved on campus, and a lot of helpful, free services you can utilize. Even if you think something may not be of interest to you, keep an open mind. You may find that you need the information later. Plus, college is a great time to try something new!
  • Take responsibility for your education. How you participate and what and how much you learn is up to you. As a college student, you'll need to make decisions about what classes to take, how often to study, when to ask for help, and more. Spartan Start will give you a chance to learn and practice those skills, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity by being fully engaged and asking lots of questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I move in early?

We're glad you are ready to join us on campus! Our staff needs time to make sure everything is just right for you when you arrive, so unfortunately, we cannot allow early move-ins. If you have extenuating circumstances that you need to discuss, you may contact Residence Life at 563.589.3438 or

Do I have to attend Spartan Start?

Yes. Studies show that orientation programs contribute to a positive transition to college. Because we care about your success and want you to have every advantage possible, Spartan Start is a required component of your first week at UD. We have worked hard to build a fun and useful program you will not want to miss.