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.

Outlook for the 2020–21 academic year

Please note that the information on this page is subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be updated as new details become available. Please check back often to stay up to date! Click here to get the latest updates about how Dalhousie is operating this year.

To do 3 months out

Decide where to live


In an ongoing effort to protect students, staff and faculty – and given that most courses will be delivered online – only a limited number of student housing spaces will be available for the 2021 Winter Term. Preference for a room will be given to those applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • have a demonstrated need to attend courses in person

  • live in a time zone that will cause challenges with synchronous learning due to class times

  • are required to be on campus to take part in hands-on, experiential learning activities 

  • are in a select co-op program based in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM)

  • do not have reliable access to adequate internet at home and need this to complete virtual classes

  • the applicant can demonstrate another compelling need to be on campus, including, but not limited to, concerns for their personal safety or the need for adequate health care.

All students who applied for residence for the Winter Term were required to complete a separate form identifying their needs for a room. The deadline for submitting this for review was Oct. 29, 2020. The residence applications were cancelled for anyone who did not complete the needs assessment form by that date. 

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

Set up your Dal email account

Once you pay your admissions deposit you can set up your Dalhousie email account. This is where the uinversity will be sending all official communications, so make sure it's active early! Here's all the info you need to know to get it up and running and personalize your address.

Register for courses

Course registration for new students opens June 15, 2020. 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—even when you're not on campus. 

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 will go live in late June, 2020. 

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! Due to COVID-19, we are only accepting photos submitted electronically – there is no photo service offered at the DalCard office.

To upload your photo, go to

Questions? Contact the DalCard Office.

To do 1 month out

Plan when to arrive

Make note of key orientation dates and remember to check for the first day of classes.

Plan your route to campus (transportation options & directions)

Order your books

Order your books and dorm essentials online from the Dalhousie Bookstore. It also offers a wide selection of Dal-branded clothing, gifts, and accessories, and is an Apple affiliate partner. Click on the Shop Apple link on the website to enjoy educational pricing.

To do when you arrive

Get your DalCard and UPass

Visit the DalCard website for up-to-date details and deadlines. Please use the online photo submission tool to upload your photo and government-issued photo ID.

UPass (transit)

If you’re a full-time student in Halifax, a Metro Transit UPass is included in your student fees. 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 for Fall 2020, visit

Winter 2021 students: The UPass fee will be automatically added to your account for the Winter semester. If you will be learning remotely due to COVID-19 and will not be in Halifax, you may opt-out to have the fee removed. See for more information.

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

Residence students living at a traditional residence will be required to choose a meal plan option.

Did you know that you can enjoy the convenience of the dining halls even if you live off campus? Off-campus meal plans are an affordable and tasty way to ensure you’re getting everything you need to fuel your studies!  To learn more visit and look for the "Off-Campus & Optional Meal Plans" section.

Register for Stay on Track - Online

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:

Attend orientation

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


For more information and tips...

Helpful tips for Halifax and Truro students