Important Checklist

Don't forget to check them off!

The transition to campus life can be both exciting and overwhelming. To help you get off on the right foot, we’ve compiled a few checklists!

Questions? Contact one of our Student Success Centres

Accepted? Start with the next steps on

Then continue with the steps below.

To do 3 months out

Decide where to live


University is more than a learning experience – it’s a living experience! Residence is a great way to make friends and get involved in the Dal student community. Students choose from a variety of different styles of residence – all are conveniently located and offer meal plans. Watch our residence tour videos and learn more

In the fall, Dalhousie offers guaranteed residence to all new-from-high school students who have completed the residence application by June 30.

NOTE: If you are coming to Dalhousie on exchange for all or part of the academic year (fall and/or winter semester), please contact the Residence office in Halifax or Truro directly to determine if any rooms are available. 

Off-campus housing

Find your home away from home. There are many off-campus housing options within walking distance or along bus routes and meal plans are also available to non-residence students if you choose to live off-campus. View listings on Dalhousie's Off-Campus Living website, which can also help with your search and provide tips to prepare you for off-campus living.

Student with Families

Students with families may wish to live in Peter Green Hall, a family housing cooperative in Halifax. For more information, visit

Register for courses

Course registration for new students is now open! Visit our register for courses website to learn everything you need to know about course registration. 


Register for orientation

Orientation programs are a great way to connect with other students, faculty and staff across campus! Register now!

Begin Start on Track - Online (your online orientation)

Start on Track - Online is a module-based orientation program that you complete at your own pace. It's a great way to get a head start and prepare yourself for attending Dalhousie. The course space is now live and the first two modules have been released to undergraduate students (graduate students will be enrolled when the July 16th modules are released). 

Log in to Brightspace today to start working through the modules. Complete all modules and be entered to win tuition prizes! 

Register with accessibility services

If you have used adaptations or accommodations at your previous institution, you can request academic accommodations at Dalhousie. Submit a Request for Accommodations form along with your medical documentation or learning assessment to (Halifax) or (Truro). 

To do 2 months out

Upload your photo for your DalCard (university ID)

Your DalCard is more than your official student ID card – it's a debit card, library card, gym pass, key to residence and bus pass! Submitting your photo in advance allows you to skip the line and make the most of your first few days at Dal. 

Upload your photo to the DalCard Online website before the deadline to have yours ready when you arrive. 

Questions? Contact the DalCard Office.

Complete the Before You Arrive KX Module (residence students)

If you are living in residence, the Before You Arrive module will outline everything you need to know. You will learn about services, like dining halls, residence WiFi and EastLink Stream, which will help save you time and transition you into residence life. Additionally, completing Before You Arrive gives you the opportunity to complete early baggage drop-off! 

Apply for residence

Residence applications are processed in order of date received, and there is no guarantee of availability. Apply early for your best chance at receiving a room. Make sure to review the Application Instructions.

Check your email for room offers

Room offers will go out to Dalhousie emails starting in mid to late November, and continue into December. Be sure to check your Dalhousie email frequently!

You will have 10 days from the offer date to accept the room offer, or it will be cancelled.

To do 1 month out

Plan when to arrive

Local students

You're already here! Make note of key orientation dates and remember to check for the first day of classes.

Out of province (outside Nova Scotia) 

Residence move-in day is January 5 (Early check-in is January 3). Make note of key orientation dates and remember to check for the first day of classes.

International students (Halifax campus)

We recommend arriving before the first day of international student orientation on January 3. Contact the International Centre for recommendations on temporary accomodations and/or about moving into residence early. 

International Students (Truro campus)

We recommend arriving before international student orientation. If you have specific questions regarding arrival please email

Plan your route to campus (transportation options & directions)

Order your books

Order your books and dorm essentials online from the Dalhousie Bookstore

Check your email for room offers

Room offers will go out to Dalhousie emails starting in mid to late November, and continue into December. Be sure to check your Dalhousie email frequently!

You will have 10 days from the offer date to accept the room offer, or it will be cancelled.

To do when you arrive

Get your DalCard and UPass

Visit the DalCard Office to have your photo taken and receive your DalCard.

Note: You must present one piece of government issued photo ID such as a driver's license or passport to pick-up your DalCard.

UPass (transit)

If you’re a full-time student in Halifax, a Metro Transit UPass is included in your tuition. The UPass is a sticker placed on your DalCard and will act as your bus pass until the end of the year (April 30). For more information about the UPass, visit

Accept or waive your health insurance

Health and Dental Plan

The DSU Health and Dental Plan provides coverage for medical, dental, travel, accident, vision and many other services and perks. All full-time students who begin their studies in September are automatically enrolled in the DSU Health Plan and the cost of the plan is included in your student fees. If you are beginning in January, on co-op, taking distance classes, or on exchange you must opt-in to the DSU Health Plan. 

Already have health insurance?

If you have equivalent coverage through another plan, such as one carried by your parents, you may be able to opt out. Please visit the StudentVIP website for more information. 

International Student Health Plan

The DSU International Student Health Plan provides international students with basic health insurance coverage such as doctor and hospital visits. This plan is different from the DSU Health and Dental Plan above. International students are billed and enrolled for both plans (if you are a full-time student enrolling in September). The DSU International Student Health Plan is required unless you carry MSI or equivalent insurance.

For more information about the plan, opting out, or how to enroll your family, please visit the International Student VIP site

Pay your tuition & fees (visit for deadlines!)

For information about your current balance:

  1. Log into Dal Online
  2. Select "Web for Students" 
  3. Select "Student Records"
  4. Select "Account detail by term"

For information on making a payment, visit the Money Matters website.


Set up your meal plan

Did you know that you can enjoy the convenience of the dining halls even if you live off campus? Off Campus Meal plans are a affordable and tasty way to ensure you’re getting everything you need to fuel your studies!  To learn more visit the Dal Campus Dish website.

Register for Stay on Track

Stay on Track is a student success program offered for first- and second-year students, in all undergraduate faculties at Dalhousie.

You will be paired with a student success advisor who will work with you to identify your talents and strengths using StrengthsQuest, an online assessment tool (for free!). 

You will have at least three meetings with your advisor throughout the term, each one directed by your unique needs and goals. Appointments will range from 30 minutes to an hour. If you want to meet with your advisor more than three times, you are encouraged to do so! 

Learn more and register:

Move in

Move in date is Sunday, January 5. If you wish to move in as early as Friday, January 3 at 8am, you must apply in advance. Review the Instructions for Early Move-In to find out more.

Attend orientation

Orientation programs are a great way to connect with other students, faculty and staff across campus! Register now!


For more information and tips...

Helpful tips for Halifax and Truro students