A virtual introduction to college life at SAU

Orientation 2020

We are looking forward to seeing you!

This summer's orientation sessions for incoming undergraduate students will not be on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite that, we aim to deliver the same information to you via this website just as if you were on campus.

We are looking forward to seeing you this fall!

First-Year Advising and Registration


Students will have the opportunity to video call with an advisor to select and register for Fall 2020 classes. Additional in-person orientation programs will be held during move-in and Welcome Week in August.

First-Year Advising and Registration

Transfer Advising and Registration


Your advisor is looking forward to speaking with you through a virtual meeting. This meeting will help you prepare for all that awaits you, including enrolling in classes at St. Ambrose for the fall semester.

Transfer Advising and Registration

International Advising and Registration


You are welcome here! All orientation information for International students is handled by International Student Services. Click below!

International Student Services

Fighting Bees Athletics

Get ready to make friendships with teammates that last a lifetime, play and train in some of the finest facilities anywhere, and play for coaches who care about your development as a student, person, and athlete. Click below for Athletic Orientation information, including paperwork needed to start your career as a Fighting Bee!

Athletic Orientation NAIA Athletic Eligibility

Welcome Week

Welcome Week marks your first days on campus and gives you the full experience of what it means to be Ambrosian: taking an Urban Plunge to serve your community, learning together, and having fun.

Community Involvement

Orientation Information

Read through the information as best you can, starting with Academics.

We know it's a lot, so if you have any questions, contact Jill Beinborn, Director of Orientation and Associate Director of Advising.


Explore. Get inspired. Make a difference.

You're beginning quite the journey – and SAU is here to support you all the way!

College coursework isn't just showing up for class and studying, but also about everything in between: developing study skills, satisfying degree requirements, intensive study (if you want it!), and discovering what you REALLY love learning about.

Get started with the Academics portion of Orientation by exploring the sections below and then watching this Academics Overview video.

General Education

Courses aligned with St. Ambrose General Education Outcomes and Requirements advance our mission by supporting students' achievement in skills and knowledge grounded in the liberal arts and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

Consult with your academic advisor and refer to the current university catalog for general education course offerings.

General Education Fact Sheet (pdf)

Accessibility Resources

Students with disabilities may use a variety of services or reasonable accommodations intended to reduce the effects a disability may have on performance in a traditional academic setting.

Services do not lower course standards or alter degree requirements, but give students a better chance to demonstrate their academic abilities.

Visit the Accessibility Resources Center website for more information

Student Success Center

Our Student Success Center offers academic support to all undergraduates, and our tutors are accredited and go through rigorous training.

Learn about our individual and group programs and how our tutors can help you succeed in your studies.

Learning Communities

Make the most of your first year of college by enrolling in a common learning experience with your new peers.

First Year Learning Communities are designed to help you make friends and form relationships with faculty who are interested in helping first-year students make a smooth transition to college.

Some learning communities provide an introduction to a major while others are built around an interesting theme or current issue. All communities include two courses that fulfill major or general education requirements.

Read descriptions of Learning Communities courses

Honors Program

Join an inquisitive culture of scholars: a small community of students eager to learn, with a strong work ethic, and a keen interest in being pushed intellectually.

In addition to the rigorous study and wide-ranging, multidisciplinary discussions of the Honors core courses, each student will have the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary research project or scholarly activity. This intensive focus is invaluable preparation for academic work beyond an undergraduate degree.

See more about the SAU Honors Program

Residence Life and Housing

Head over to the Residence Life website where you can:

Here's what you should pay attention to over the summer:

  • All incoming students will receive their housing assignment via SAU email in early July!
  • Only mutual roommate requests will be honored, so if you have not yet submitted your request, please do so ASAP! If you'd like to request a roommate, please complete this form.
  • Start packing! Download this handy packing checklist (pdf) developed just for incoming Ambrosians!
  • Interested in renting a loft for your bed? Visit collegeproducts.com/bees for more information and to order. Price for the academic year ranges from $149.23-$206.73 based on your selection if you order by August 1, 2020. Lofts not ordered through College Products are against campus policy.
  • Check out ocm.com/sta for great bedding, bath, and decor options for your room! All of the beds at SAU are Twin XL.
  • Parents! Show your student some love with care packages! We work with Basket Boutique, a small local business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to deliver 5 different, appropriately themed care packages throughout the year. Order all 5 for a discount! Back by popular demand: Healthy Options are available as well. Visit the Parents and Family page for info (scroll to the bottom) or stay tuned for emailed information.

Follow Residence Life: Facebook | Twitter @SAUreslife | Instagram

Career Services

It's never too early to start planning for your future career!

The Career Center can help you with choosing a major or career, developing a resume, finding an internship or job, and everything in between.

We also assist you in finding an on-campus job and work study opportunities.

To find out more information, visit the Career Center webpage.

Financial Aid and Student Accounts

Over the next four years, current students and families will work closely with Bee Central, our hub for Financial Aid, Student Accounts, and general course registration.

This summer, you'll have your first visit – on the phone or via video – with Bee Central regarding your financial aid package, first bill, and payment plan.

Transfer StudentsWatch this instructional Financial Aid video to get started

First-Year StudentsComing Soon!

Mental Health

The Counseling Center is staffed with licensed, professional social workers who will work with students to sort out the difficulties they face. This is a cooperative, collaborative effort designed to the student's individual situation and needs.

Usually, college students seek counseling for issues that are short-term in nature, and may only require services ranging from a few sessions to a semester in length.Issues commonly addressed at the Counseling Center are:

  • Academic Concerns - Performance/test anxiety, perfectionism, underachievement, low motivation, alcohol or drug concerns
  • Relationship Issues - Romantic/platonic relationships, roommate difficulties, family of origin relationships, setting healthy boundaries
  • Mental Health - Depression, anxiety, disorders of eating and body image, effects of trauma
  • Developmental Issues - Identity development, self-esteem development, adjusting to college

In accordance with ethical guidelines and state and federal privacy laws, what is discussed with the counselor is kept confidential except in certain circumstances. A release of information form is required to give information to other parties with written permission (such as your significant other, family member, friend, faculty, outside institutions).

Security and Parking

St. Ambrose University contracts with PerMar Security – a national company headquartered in Davenport – to provide safety and security to all employees and students on campus.

In support of the educational mission, SAU Security works in partnership with the community to proactively reduce risks to safety, respond to threats/challenges to security, enhance and maintain an environment conducive to study and growth while acknowledging the dignity of each person using SAU facilities, services, and programs.

Learn about parking and campus safety on the SAU Security website, including how to purchase your parking permit.

Sign up for safety notifications

Wellness and Recreation

A strong mind needs a strong body!

SAU Wellness and Recreation promotes and encourages a physically active college lifestyle through tons of options, no matter your interest or skill level:

  • Intramurals
    Join a team or bring your own!
  • Fitness classes
    From high intensity to yoga, we have classes for the type of workout you want.
  • Club sports
    For those who are into niche sports such as kendo, racquetball, and ultimate Frisbee (just to name a few)
  • Outdoor Rec
    The Quad Cities area is full of places to explore including parks, golf courses, miles and miles of trails, and much more!

Follow what's happening with Wellness and Recreation on Twitter @WellnessRecSAU and Facebook.

Living on Campus

What's the best part of college? Living in one of our beautiful and well-equipped residence halls (and not with your parents)! Click below to explore other important aspects of campus living.