Students hiking during a Sierra Nevada University orientation trip
Welcome new students!
Get ready for a rich and exciting collegiate experience.

Incoming Student Orientation

New student move-in is Monday, August 31 from 8:30 am – noon.

Core 123

Join the EAGLES with Experience, Adventure, Group Leadership, Environment, and Style. Core 123 immerses you in SNU Tahoe's transformative way to learn. You will explore your interests, get the tools to shape your future, and become part of a community like no other.

Phase 1

You will start with a five-day Sierra Nevada Orientation (SNO) adventure - Base Camp, River Camp, or High Camp. Choose the adventure, in forest cabins, on the river, or in the mountains, that fits your style and interests. You’ll take off on a student-led exploration of your new home, in the company of your fellow SNU students and peer mentors. SNO adventures are more than a class, they're an experience. Learn new skills, work on projects with impact, and sow the seeds of relationships that will enrich your life through college and beyond.

Phase 2

After you return to the Incline Village campus, you’ll dive in to the teaching and learning styles that give an SNU Tahoe education so much impact. Your first week of classes will immerse you in the core ideas that ground your education: entrepreneurship and business leadership, science and sustainability, and communications and creativity. Here you will find the knowledge, skills, and experience to become a creative and confident thinker.

These first two weeks will prepare you to find your home at SNU.

SNO - Choose your adventure

Camp Request

Base Camp

A cabin at the Sagehen Creek Fieldstation near Truckee CA

Explore creativity and sustainability in a 9,000 acre Experimental Forest in the Tahoe wilderness.

  • Learn about sustainable practices visiting local organic farms.
  • Sleep in cabins with shared bathroom facilities, or pitch a tent under the pines.
  • Harvest and prepare your own farm-to-table meals.
  • Explore miles of trails by foot or mountain bike.
  • Paddleboard, kayak and swim in pristine Independence Lake.
River Camp

Sierra Nevada University students in Class III rapids on the American River near Coloma CA

Whitewater rafting and hiking on the American River around Coloma CA.

  • Raft both the Upper and Lower Class III sections of the South Fork.
  • Camp for four days among the oaks and willows on its shore.
  • Day hike in the Sierra foothills.
  • Build new relationships with your fellow students and peer mentors.
  • Learn local culture and natural history.
  • Participate in a river clean-up project.
High Camp

Students participate in Wilderness Orientation, a backpacking trip into Desolation Wilderness as a way to introduce new students to each other and to the Tahoe Basin

A five-day backpacking expedition in the majestic Desolation Wilderness above Lake Tahoe.

  • Backpack with everything you need for 5 days.
  • Unroll your sleeping bag under the stars.
  • Connect with yourself, your team, and the environment.
  • Learn new skills to thrive in the wild.
  • Meet backcountry rangers and participate in a service project.


All students who need advising, to register, or to take a placement exams should arrive promptly at 8:30 am.

If you are unsure if you will be taking a placement exam, please call the Admissions Office. Students must submit a nonrefundable $150 deposit and the Admit Student Reply Form before they will be mailed an orientation and advising packet.

Getting Here

By Air: The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the closest commercial airport, approximately 30 miles from SNU. The North Lake Tahoe Express provides scheduled shuttle service, reserve in advance.

Driving Directions: click HERE

Fall 2020 New Student Orientation Schedule

Monday August 31st
8:00am-6:00pm SNU Campus Store Open: Prim Library First Floor
8:30am-10:30am Free Continental Breakfast: Patterson Hall Lobby
8:30am-12:00pm Late Placement Testing, Advising, & Registration: Prim Library 3rd Floor, Office 304
8:30am-12:00pm Admissions Check-In: Patterson Hall Lobby
Get your welcome packet, IT Help Desk available for laptop connectivity
8:30am-12:00pm Residence Halls Open for Mandatory New and Transfer Student Move-In: Patterson Hall Lobby
8:30am-12:00pm Financial Aid Check-In: Patterson Hall Lobby
11:00am-11:30am SNU Tahoe Campus Tour: Patterson Hall Lobby
12:00pm- 12:30pm Welcome Address with Sierra Nevada University President: TCES 139/141
12:30pm-1:30pm Eagles Have Landed BBQ: Patterson Dining Hall and Patio. New students and their families are invited to enjoy a complementary meal and meet SNU faculty and staff
1:30pm-2:30pm Mandatory Residence Life Information Session for New Students: TCES 139/141 with Lizzie Thibodeau.
2:30pm-3:00pm Student Account and Financial Aid Information Session: TCES 139/141 with Jackie Dontcho and Judy Roberts. MANDATORY for PARENTS.
2:30pm-6:00pm Sierra Nevada Orientation (SNO) Courses Begin: Check-in on Patterson Patio & Lawn
6:00pm-7:00pm Dinner: Patterson Hall
7:00pm-9:00pm Sunset Walk to Hidden Beach: Come find out where all the students like to go to enjoy the lake. A leisurely 2 mile walk to our favorite local beach spot!


Tuesday, September 1st
7:00am High Campers Depart: Patterson Lawn, return on September 5th
9:00am River Campers & Base Campers Meet to Begin Trips: Patterson Lawn, return September 4th
All SNO Participants will be in the field from Tuesday, September 1 - Friday, September 4, and in classroom sessions Tuesday, September 8 - Friday, September 11


Tuesday, September 8th
10:00am-3:45pm SNO Core 123 Class Sessions: Patterson Lawn
4:00pm-5:30pm Freshman Assessment Testing with Annamarie Jones: Prim Library
7:00pm-8:30pm Capture the Flag: Meet in Patterson Lobby


Wednesday, September 9th
10:00am-3:45pm SNO Core 123 Class Sessions: Patterson Lawn
4:00pm-5:30pm Freshman Assessment Testing with Annamarie Jones: Prim Library
7:00pm-8:30pm Ultimate Frisbee: Meet in Patterson Lobby


Thursday, September 10th
10:00am-3:45pm SNO Core 123 Class Sessions: Patterson Lawn


Friday, September 11th
10:00am-3:45pm SNO Core 123 Class Sessions: Patterson Lawn


Monday, September 14th
9:00am-9:30am Incline Hospital, Fire Department and Sheriff's Department Introductions: Patterson Hall
9:30am-11:30pm MANDATORY New Student Orientation Sessions: TCES 139/141 Bring your laptop!

  • Session #1: ITS Connectivity, Email, and Printers with Forest Goodman
  • Session #2: Academic Policies with Jane Rainwater
  • Session #3: Financial Aid, Student Accounts, SNCSIS, and Textbooks with Judy Roberts, Jackie Dontcho and Annamarie Jones.
  • Session #4: Student Academic Support Services with Henry Conover
11:30am-12:30pm Federal Work Study / Student Employment Orientation: with Dana Hoffelt. TCES 139/141
5:00pm-7:00pm Student Government Welcome Back Student BBQ & Club Rush: Enjoy a free BBQ, learn about clubs on campus, browse local vendors, and play some lawn games courtesy of your SGA!
7:00pm-8:00pm Student Activities & Outdoor Adventures Fall 2020 Trip Info Meeting: TCES 139/141

Patterson Dining Hall Meal Times: Breakfast 7:00am-10:00am; Lunch 11:45am-2:00pm; Dinner 5:00pm-7:00pm
SNU Tahoe Business Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm
SNU Campus Store Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm. Located on the first floor of Prim Library.