Bucknell University invites first-year students to participate in a pre-orientation program, all of which occur prior to the start of New Student Orientation.

Pre-orientation programs are not required (except for International Student Orientation, which is mandatory for those on U.S. student visas); however, they provide a great way for students to make connections and enhance leadership skills prior to the start of New Student Orientation.

If you are a varsity athlete competing in a fall sport, please consult with your coach regarding your arrival date and practice schedule prior to signing up for a pre-orientation program. Because all the programs are scheduled at the same time, students may only participate in one pre-orientation program.

Pre-orientation Arrival Schedule

Bucknell's 2019 pre-orientation programs run from Aug. 16 to Aug. 20. Here's the schedule for arrival day:

Friday, Aug. 16, 2019

11 a.m. Lunch for pre-orientation participants and their families in Bostwick Marketplace
12:30 p.m. Individual program meetings for students and their families and friends
2 p.m. University welcome for families and friends by the dean of students, provost and president
2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Reception for family and friends

Arts First

This five-day, multidisciplinary opportunity is for students who enjoy or are interested in the arts, who plan to have careers related to the arts or who are artists. You will explore the arts in their many forms as they are offered at Bucknell. The program includes but is not exclusive to Bucknell's Arts Merit Scholars and Arts Residential College students. 

Learn more about Arts First

Backstage Bucknell

Part of the Engineering Success Alliance program, Backstage Bucknell is a chance for invited first-year engineering students to create a supportive cohort and to build a sense of community and belonging on campus. Students invited into the program receive notification via email in the spring.

Learn more about Backstage Bucknell



Venture into the great outdoors at BuckWild, Bucknell's wilderness pre-orientation experience. You'll meet classmates, learn more about yourself, build relationships with peer mentors and have a whole lot of fun. There are several trip options to choose from including service-based expeditions, multi-element expeditions, backpacking, rock climbing, caving, paddling and more.

Learn more about Buckwild

Design Thinking Leadership

Through design-thinking workshops and small group activities, participants will develop a strategic mindset for problem-solving. Students will engage with local businesses to collaborate on real-world initiatives under the mentorship of alumni, faculty, staff and upperclass student leaders. With an emphasis on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, this program welcomes students of all academic interests. 

Learn more about Design Thinking Leadership

International Student Orientation

Attendance is mandatory for new Bucknell students on U.S. student visas, including teaching assistants and exchange students. This four-day program is your opportunity to settle in and explore campus prior to New Student Orientation. Any interested first-year student is invited to attend International Orientation.

Learn more about International Student Orientation


Join the T.E.A.M. Peer Mentor Program and get exclusive access to RAMP Up!, a five-day retreat that builds community, introduces you to multicultural resources and provides support throughout your first year. 

Learn more about RAMP Up!

First Stop: Independence!

This five-day, multidisciplinary opportunity is for members of the Class of 2023 who enjoy or are interested in urban, economic and cultural development. You will explore different industries, build relationships with peer mentors and alums and connect with industry leaders in technology, professional sports, real estate and finance. 

Learn more about First Stop: Independence!



Division of Student Affairs


211 Langone Center



1 Dent Drive


8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.