Advising & Course Registration New Students Website

Start preparing for your academic experience at Occidental!

The Advising Center is a great resource for your questions related to the curriculum and other academic inquiries. There are a number of tasks to complete over the summer to prepare you for advising and registration for your first semester.

Advising Form 

Each Occidental student is assigned a faculty adviser who will help guide you through the College’s academic program. Your first meeting with your adviser will take place during orientation (August 2024), when they will assist you in selecting courses for the fall semester.



First-Year Seminar Registration 

The first class that you will register for is the First-Year Seminar (FYS), a signature element of the College’s Core Program. FYS courses are 4 units, fulfill graduation requirements, provide a shared intellectual experience with other new students, and help you transition to the College with college-level writing and critical thinking skills.

FYS registration will be open at 9am on June 17 and close at noon on June 21. These seminars fill up quickly, so review the FYS course offerings ahead of time and have a shortlist ready, then follow the instructions to sign up for your FYS when registration opens. You will register for the remaining courses for your first semester during orientation in August.

Placement Exams

Placement exams are available in several subjects–calculus, chemistry, music theory, and languages. Whether you need to take a placement exam depends on several factors, including the major(s) you are considering, whether you have taken AP exams in certain subjects, and so forth. Most of the exams can be taken online any time before August 1. The placement exam webpage has more details to help you figure out if you need to take a placement exam and how.

Preparing for your first advising appointment

To help you prepare for your first advising appointment, we recommend you watch the following short videos, which will introduce you to some of the requirements you will need to complete during your time at Occidental:

After you've watched these videos, start looking at the courses that are being offered this fall semester on  Course Counts, our course schedule.

New students can enroll in up to 18 units during their first semester. Most students take four, 4-unit courses, for a total of 16 units. There are also many optional 1- or 2-unit courses you can sign up for as well. To make steady progress toward finishing your degree, we recommend taking at least 16 units each semester.

During the summer, you'll receive an email from Edmond Johnson in the Advising Center introducing you to your faculty adviser. When orientation starts in August, you'll have an advising session followed by course registration.


If you have any additional questions about advising, course registration, placement exams, or first-year seminar, please contact the Advising Center at (323) 259-1341 or

Office of Admission
Collins House

1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041