First Steps

Students walking on steps at Wells Library


As a new student at Indiana University Bloomington, you will be required to attend a New Student Orientation (NSO) program.  NSO is an opportunity to ensure that you get the strongest possible start toward a successful first semester at IUB.   For complete information about NSO, see the Office of First Year Experience Programs

Your schedule of NSO events and appointments, which includes placement testing, meeting with an advisor, and registering for classes, is set for you.  Be sure to follow your schedule and arrive on time for appointments.

Placement exams

IUB offers a number of placement and/or exemption exams.  Some are required, while others are optional. You will complete some during orientation at a time that will be scheduled for you.  You may complete others at alternate times, such as on your own prior to your orientation experience. 

Optional Biology Departmental Exam: You may take this optional exam during orientation.  If you pass the exam you will get credit for BIOL-L 111 and/or L 112. 

Optional Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE): If you plan to enroll in CHEM-C117, you must take this exam online by December 1 (prior to orientation). 

Required Foreign Language Placement Tests: These exams are offered during orientation.  Your scores will determine your foreign language placement level, and if you score well you may earn special credit for foreign language.

Required Math Skills Assessment: You will take this mandatory exam during orientation.  Your score will be a significant factor in determining which math course you will take.  You cannot earn math credit through this exam.

Meeting with an Academic Advisor

During Orientation, you will have a one-on-one appointment with an academic advisor who will review with you the courses you’ve selected for your first semester at IUB.

Thorough preparation for this step is very important to successful planning and registration for your courses.  The next two sections of this UD New Students web site, Course Lists and Planning, are designed to help you prepare.

After your advising appointment, you will be assigned to an academic advisor with whom you will meet while you are in University Division.

Further Orientation Information for International Students

Generally, all information in the New Students website applies in the same way to new international students as it does to new domestic students. However, new international students must be aware of additional steps and requirements that are important to New Student Orientation and a successful beginning at Indiana University Bloomington.

Reporting to IUB (New International Student Arrival Policy):  As an undergraduate international student new to Indiana University Bloomington, you must attend New Student Orientation prior to the beginning of the term. Required reporting dates are noted on your I-20 or DS2019 and you must make every effort to arrive on or before that date. If you do not report to IUB within three business days prior to the start of classes (and complete the orientation process as you are scheduled) you will not be allowed to register for that term.

Taking the Indiana English Proficiency Examination (IEPE): As a new international student at IUB, if your native language is not English, you are required to take the Indiana English Proficiency Exam (IEPE)  before starting classes as a degree-seeking student. This exam is arranged for you as a part of your orientation program. The exam includes both a written component and a verbal/discussion component. You will learn the results of your performance on the IEPE in your scheduled one-on-one conference with an academic advisor.

If you are unable to demonstrate the expected levels of English language proficiency on this exam, you will be required to enroll in and successfully complete some number of English Language Fluency Development courses.

These courses are best completed within the first year of enrollment at IUB. Click here to read course descriptions for the SLST-T 101 courses.  Admission into the Kelley School of Business requires the completion of all required English Language Fluency Development courses first.

If you are unable to demonstrate any of the expected levels of English language proficiency on this exam, you will be required to enroll in and successfully complete some number of semesters of the Intensive English Program (IEP). Required enrollment in the IEP does not permit you to also enroll in any 'regular' classes in a term, but it does keep you at full-time enrollment status.

Evaluating International Transfer Credit: Many courses from international institutions will not be articulated by the Indiana University Bloomington Office of International Admissions as specific IUB courses, and so will only count as elective credits. Discuss concerns you may have with The Office of International Services. University Division has no influence on this decision process.  

No international versions of Kelley School of Business courses will be articulated on the IU transcript. All business courses taken outside the U.S. will be accepted for undistributed credit hours only, meaning they will count as business elective hours, but will not satisfy Kelley business course requirements.

Remaining in Status: As an international student, you must register for, and remain enrolled in, a minimum of 12 credit hours (in a regular fall or spring term).

If you have any questions before you come to Bloomington, please use your IU e-mail account to contact us at