First-Year Experience Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Westmont College! We hope this information will answer your questions and help you and your family transition to Westmont.
When is Orientation?
Fall Orientation begins Thursday, August 23, which is also the day new students move directly into their residence halls. There will be Fall Orientation events through Sunday, August 26. Classes begin on Monday, August 27th.
Are there events scheduled for my parents?
Family Orientation is Thursday, August 23, and Friday, August 24. The last scheduled event for parents on Friday will end around 5:00pm. Parents can find more information on the Parents & Families page.
Why do I need an academic advisor?
Academic advisors can be helpful to you in many ways. They can help you explore your options regarding a major and career choices as they listen and learn about you and your strengths and weaknesses. They are great resources when it comes to knowing college academic policies, general graduation requirements, and scheduling classes. They are great people to talk with - and they must sign your forms before you can register!
Who are the academic advisors?
All full-team faculty members and some student life professionals act as academic advisors.
When do I register?
All incoming transfer students will register for classes online between Wednesday, July 25 and Friday, July 27. All incoming new first-year students will register for classes online between Monday, July 30 and Thursday, August 2. If you have any questions, check out the Registrar's page. A toll-free number will be provided for call-in academic advising between July 24-August 3.
When will I receive my registration materials?
Registration instructions and materials for the fall semester will be emailed to all confirmed first-year and transfer students on Friday, June 29.
Can I move onto campus before August 23?
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests to move into the residence halls prior to August 23. Click here for a local hotel guide.
* International/MK/TCKs and First Year Adventure Trips students will be authorized to arrive prior to this date.
What are the move-in times?
Your move in time the morning of August 23rd is based on your residence hall and floor. Please arrive on campus at your move-in time and not before. Check back for your move-in time soon!
Once you have moved in you will visit the Orientation Welcome Center on Kerrwood Lawn to pick up your Orientation materials, check out campus resources and have your Westmont ID card photo taken.
The Westmont move-in experience is energetic and helpful! Here is what to expect: A team of enthusiastic students will get everything unloaded from your vehicle and delivered to your room in a matter of minutes! A driver will need to stay with your vehicle so it can be moved to a nearby lot once the unload is complete. For your convenience, a shuttle can transport you back to your hall from the parking lot.
When do I move-in if I am going on a Pre-Orientation Adventure Trip?
If you are going on the Backpacking Adventure, plan to arrive at Westmont no later than Tuesday, August 14th at 9am. If you are going on the Multi-Sport Adventure, plan to arrive at Westmont no later than Wednesday, August 15th between 11am - 12pm. You will be able to store all your move-in boxes and gear in a residence hall until your return. You will arrive back at Westmont on Tuesday, August 21st at which point you will move into your residence hall. Unfortunately, we cannot provide accommodations for storage or housing prior to the departure date of your Adventure Trip. Go to the Pre-Orientation Adventure Trips page for more information.
If I come early for sports, when do I move all my things into my room?
You will transition from your temporary housing to your permanent room assignment about two weeks before Orientation. If you choose to bring all your things when you arrive to start practice, you will need to keep them in your temporary room. If you have any other questions, please contact your coach.
Can I bring a U-Haul?
We strongly suggest you not bring enough "stuff" for your room that fills a U-Haul trailer. Also, the Westmont campus has limited parking so we ask you to park in marked spaces only.
Where do I go first when I arrive for Fall Orientation?
When you arrive at Westmont, go to the upper entrance of campus and follow the signs to the residence hall in which you'll be living; you will unload your belongings, check into your room, move your car to lower campus, and then visit the Orientation Welcome Center (located on the Kerrwood Lawn) to pick up your Orientation folder and schedule.
Are there events for my parents at Orientation?
Yes, there are scheduled events for your parents. They can learn more by visiting the Parents & Families page. All events for parents begin on August 23, and end around 5:00 pm on August 24.
Can my parents/family members register me for classes?
No, your parents/family members cannot register you for your classes. Class registration is one of many decisions we encourage students to make.
When do I find out who my roommate(s) is(are)?
For First-Year students, after creating your email password, check the student profile page after June 5th. Afterwards, go to "Personal Information," and then select "Private" for roommate information. Your roommates' home phone numbers will be listed, so take the time to call and get to know each other. On occasion, new students are assigned to a different room after the original housing assignment has been made and posted on the profile. When that occurs, the Housing Office will try to communicate the housing changes by email or phone call.
For Transfers students, please follow the same procedure as First-Year students. Be advised, though, that there are many variables involved with securing housing for transfers; so if you don't see your assignment on or after June 5th, it should be up there soon! Thanks for bearing with us.
If you have further questions, please visit the Housing website or contact Dave King, the Housing Director. He'd be more than happy to assist you.
For Consortium students and Re-applicants, please call the Housing Office at (805) 565-6036.
What are the general dimensions of my room in Clark or Emerson or Page? What furniture is my room provided with?
The rooms for new students in Page are set up as triples, so they come with 3 beds (one bunk and one lofted bed), 3 desks, 1 ladder, 12 stackable drawers (4 per person), 1 wardrobe, 1 trash bin, and 1 recycling bin. The rooms also come with standard drapes for the windows. Dimensions of a typical Page room are approximately 13' X 13' or about 169 square feet not including closet space.
Clark rooms are set up as doubles and they are furnished with 2 desks, 2 beds, 8 stacking dresser drawers (for the remodeled sections) or built-in dresser drawers (for the non-remodeled sections), 1 trash bin, 1 recycling bin, and curtains. Dimensions of a typical Clark room are 11' x 14.5' or about 160 square feet not including closet space.
Emerson rooms are set up as doubles and also have 2 desks, 2 beds, 8 stacking drawers, 1 trash bin, 1 recycling bin, and curtains. Dimensions for a typical Emerson room are approximately 12' x 14' or about 165 square feet not including closet space.
For pictures of what typical Clark and Page dorm rooms look like, please click here!
What size mattresses are in the residence hall rooms?
All on-campus mattresses are extra-long twins (80" x 36")
May I keep a microwave or a micro-fridge in my room?
No, microwaves are not permitted in students' rooms. You may keep a small refrigerator (under 5 cubic feet) in your room. There is an additional charge to defray energy expenses.
May I use nails, double-stick tape, or duct tape to hang posters and artwork on my walls?
No, please only bring small tacks and white (not blue) poster putty to hang artwork in your room.
Do I have to be on the campus meal plan?
Yes, all on-campus students must be on a meal plan with the exception of Global Leadership Center residents. First-year students must be on the standard meal plan for the first semester and then may switch to either the 15-meal plan or the 10-meal plan for the second semester if they wish by contacting the Housing Office. Please visit the Housing page for more information on meal plans.
Where do I send things before school starts?
You will be assigned your MS# (mail stop number) over the summer. You may find out your MS# after August 7th by consulting the student profile page. All of your mail must have this number on it, or it will be delayed. Please make sure you give this MS# to banks, doctors, parents, friends, magazines, etc., as soon as possible. If you need to mail something before Orientation, please send it addressed as follows:
955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
If you need to send boxes, please wait to send them until two weeks prior to coming to campus, as we have limited storage space. The on-campus post office will be open during Fall Orientation for you to pick up your boxes. Please refer to the Post Office page for more information.
How will I do my laundry?
Every residence hall has washers and dryers for students to do their laundry. Purchase a laundry card from the College Store on campus and add value to your card online. For pricing, add-value instructions, and more information, visit the Auxiliary Services Laundry website.
Where do I park when I arrive?
Follow the signs to the residence hall in which you'll be living. After your belongings are unloaded, please move your car down to the lower campus parking lots so we can have room for more people to unload their belongings. There will be a shuttle to transport you back up the hill to the Welcome Center on Kerrwood Lawn.
Are first-year students allowed to have vehicles on campus?
Due to our Conditional Use Permit with Santa Barbara County, First Year students are not able to obtain a permit to operate their vehicles on campus (including motorcycles or scooters).
For more detailed information, see the Student Parking page.
How can I get around Santa Barbara without a vehicle?
Westmont offers a shuttle that stops throughout Santa Barbara on a regular schedule. Also, Westmont has a dial-a-ride service extending from Santa Barbara airport to Carpinteria. Westmont also has two ZipCars on campus that any student may rent by the hour or by the day.
What is an RA?
RA stands for Resident Assistant. RAs are current students that live in the same section and residence hall as you, and they are there to help you throughout the residential learning experience. Your RA will plan events, facilitate community, and help you with any questions you have.
What is an RD?
RD stands for Resident Director. RDs are professional staff members in the Division of Student Life, and they live in the residence halls and are responsible for student development in the residential setting. They also provide leadership for residence hall programming as well as acting as a resource for personal issues students may encounter during the year.
How do I get a Westmont email account?
For admitted students, email accounts should already be created and password set. If you have not done so already, you can go here to find out your email address and create a password.
What network access is available from the residence halls?
Westmont provides a high-speed network connection that allows users in-room network and internet access 24-hours a day. Wireless internet can be accessed anywhere on the Westmont campus.
PC or Mac?
Westmont is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. This decision is a personal preference. BUT the library has several public computers (both Mac and PC), so you may not need a personal computer at all.
For more information go about setting up your user accounts, check out the Information Technology page.
How often is Chapel?
Chapel is held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30 am to 11:20 am in Murchison Gym.
What happens if I can't make it to all chapels?
Each student is allowed 12 absences from Chapel per semester. To read more information on Chapel, go to the Campus Pastor's page.
What are other resources on campus?
There is the Dallas Willard Center, which provides space and resources for spiritual retreats and God-centered conversation. The garden has Stations of the Cross and quiet places to pray.
Where can I go to church?
Here is a list of some local churches.
How can I get to church?
Some churches have shuttles that pick up students. On the back of the Chapel cards given at each Chapel, you can request a ride, and the Campus Pastor's office will assist you.
Are there separate Orientation events for transfer students?
Yes, both at Orientation and throughout the year, programs are planned specifically for Transfer students. Stay tuned for the Orientation schedule.
If I have a specific question about credit transfer, who do I contact?
Amy Roemelen is the Assistant Registrar and she will help you with any transfer credit inquiry you may have. Her email is email@example.com.
How do I determine my class standing?
I am considered a...
- first year if I have 0-25 units
- second year if I have 26-58 units
- third year if I have 59-91 units
- fourth year if I have above 92 units
A minimum of 124 semester units must be completed in order to receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. More information on page 25 of the Course Catalog
Are transfers allowed to have vehicles on campus?
Eligibility for parking permit privileges is primarily based on class standing. If you have junior or senior class standing, you are eligible for a parking permit. If you have sophomore class standing, you may request a sophomore permit. Be advised, though, that Sophomore permits are very limited; so if you get a Sophomore permit, you are very lucky! For more information on parking permit eligibility, please click here.
How can I order my books?
Students are encouraged to place orders online at www.westmont.edu/bookstore/ beginning August 6th. Textbook orders placed by 11:00 pm on August 19th will be available for pick-up at the Westmont Mail Center beginning August 25th. Late textbook orders (after August 20th) can still be reserved online on the bookstore website and will be processed as soon as possible.
The bookstore website offers the correct course materials with a variety of purchase, rental and e-book options. The website also offers comparison shopping for convenience. Your bookstore purchase helps to support the academic mission of Westmont College. Thank you for your support!
Where do I pick up my books?
There are no textbook pickups at the Bookstore. All textbooks are delivered to student mailboxes at the Campus Mail Center during business hours. The Westmont Post Office offers extended hours as well as Saturday hours the first few weeks of class for your convenience. Please refer to the Campus Mail Center's website for extended hours.
When do I pick up my books?
Textbook reservations may be picked up beginning Saturday, August 25th at the Mail Center.
What to bring to Westmont
- Recommended: Computer, Multiple Outlet Surge Protector, Towels and Washcloths, Blankets, pillows, and fitted sheets for triolein twin mattresses (80''x36''), Alarm Clock, Study/Reading Light, Flashlight (for power outages), Iron/Ironing Board, Mug, Tumbler, and Water Bottle, Laundry Bag/Basket with Laundry Supplies, Toiletries and a small basket for carrying personal bathroom supplies, Headphones, Electric Fan, Painting Tape or Command Strips to use for Decorating Walls
- Optional: Bicycle with Kryptonite or similar lock, Sports Equipment (Frisbee, tennis racket, racquetball rackets, spike ball set, etc.), Radio/Stereo System, Small Refrigerator (up to five cubic feet, and there is $30 fee for use), Florescent torchiere floor lamp, Coffee Pot or Electric Kettle, TV/DVD/Game System, Sleeping Bags or Hiking Gear, Beach Chair, Acoustic Guitar/Hand Drums/Keyboard, Small Portable Evaporative Cooler (Non-Window Venting)
What NOT to bring: Hot plate, Microwave (provided in Residence Hall Kitchens), Toaster/toaster oven, Halogen torchiere floor lamp, Regular extension cords, Candles/oil lamps, Incense, Drum Set, Chairs, Desks, or Beds (rooms are furnished, and there is often no space to store excess furnishings), Air conditioner, Duct tape to use for Decorations (will cause damage to walls)