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Frequently Asked Questions for Incoming Students

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Dickinson Gateway

How do I find my Student ID number?

After you log into Gateway, go to Housing. Your ID number will be underneath your name on the Housing home page. (If you are unsure if you are on the Home page, click "Home" on the top bar to refresh the page.)

What should I do if I’m having difficulties accessing my Dickinson e-mail through Gateway?

When attempting to log in at, be sure you are typing in the correct username and password that is obtained through your application status page. It is sometimes necessary to clear your Internet cache or update your browser for Gateway to work effectively. Issues or questions with Gateway should be directed to the Dickinson Help Desk at or 717-245-1000. If you are having difficulties over a weekend, please know that your message will be responded to as quickly as possible when staff arrives at the office on Monday.

Health & Wellness

Why can’t I access the health forms?

You can access the health forms here or from the Wellness Center's patient portal, which requires users to register using their Dickinson email addresses to authenticate their identity. If you attempted to register using Gmail, Hotmail, or another email account, please try again with your Dickinson email. If you continue to have difficulties, please contact or 717-245-1663.

I can't get my Health Forms in on time. Is this okay?

We request that you get your Health Forms in as soon as possible. Please contact the Wellness Center at or 717-245-1663 for assistance. You will receive non-compliance notices until all of your forms are complete. Please note that you will NOT be able to move into your residence hall without having completed and submitted these forms.

What is the address that we need to send the Health Forms to?

You may submit them by upload to the Wellness Center Patient Portal. Please make sure that you also complete the online medical history and TB risk assessment forms through the Wellness Center Patient Portal.

Do I need to purchase the health insurance coverage offered by the college?

All full-time matriculating students attending Dickinson College must enroll in or waive the insurance coverage offered by the college. Students who wish to waive the coverage must be U.S. citizens and provide proof of comparable private coverage. All full-time matriculating students who are NOT U.S. citizens will be automatically enrolled and charged for this insurance coverage. Learn more on the Student Health Insurance page.


What kind of computer should I get and what are the system requirements?

Answers to all of your computer and technology-related questions can be found on the Information & Technology Services website.

Support Services

What if I had an IEP or 504 Plan in high school, but I’m not sure if I want or need accommodations in college?

We encourage you to have a confidential conversation with the helpful and friendly staff at Access and Disability Services (ADS) by emailing or calling 717-245-1734. Current students often express regret for delaying their request for accommodations and strongly recommend that you touch base with ADS now, rather than waiting to see if the need arises later (since it typically does!). Just let ADS know that you had accommodations in high school, and they'll let you know all your options. You'll be glad you did!

How many Dickinson students have a disability?

About 20% of Dickinsonians disclose a disability to Access and Disability Services (ADS) and implement some type of accommodation, and they're encouraged by their faculty to do so. These barrier-defying students with "exceptionalities" major in everything from physics to philosophy and go on to achieve great success doing graduate work (including medical and law school) or embarking on impressive careers. If you’re dining with a group of five students, chances are that one of them has a disability. It's part of what makes Dickinson such an inclusive and diverse campus! If you're one of those students, let ADS know by emailing

Placement Exams

Do I need to take the Math Placement Exam?

Yes. All incoming students must take the placement exam unless they are explicitly excluded (exceptions to taking the exam can be found on the Mathematics Placement Exam Information page). The Mathematics Placement Exam is a 25-question, 30-minute exam written by the Mathematical Association of America. It is a calculus readiness exam. As such, the exam is used to evaluate your proficiency in pre-calculus and there is no calculus on this placement exam. Taking the placement exam now is beneficial because it allows you to have the material still fresh in your mind from high school. More detailed information can be found on the Placement Information page.

Do I need to take a Language Placement Exam?

Dickinson College requires students to demonstrate that they have completed work in a foreign language through the intermediate level (which typically means 3-4 semesters worth of the language). If you have studied a foreign language in the past and plan to continue with the study of that language, this exam will determine your appropriate placement. Spanish, Italian, Latin, French, Chinese, and German exams should be completed online and may be accessed through Gateway. More detailed information about the language placement exams can be found on the Placement Information page.

Are the Chemistry and Music Placement Exams necessary?

If you plan on taking Music or Chemistry classes at Dickinson, then you do need to take these placement exams. Otherwise, they are not necessary to take.

For the Music placement exam ONLY: it is not necessary to take the entire test, but only the parts covering materials with which you have experience.

Can I get extended time for the Placement Exams due to a disability?

Email to find out. Most students who had accommodation for extended time on tests in high school are deemed eligible for this accommodation for placement exams, but you should contact Access and Disability Services right away to allow time to process your request.

Academic Info

How do I find my First-Year Seminar?

Firstly, open up two different web pages: your Dickinson Gateway and the First-Year Seminar List and Descriptions page. Then, on your Gateway, go to Banner Self-Service / Student / Course Selection / Student Detail Schedule and press "Submit". Then you will see one course listed "FYSM - 100 -XX" (XX being your two-digit seminar number). Now, go to the list of seminars and scroll down until you find your seminar number.

When do I request classes?

For most students, academic advising will happen by phone appointment in mid-July or early December, depending on your start. Online course selection will take place after your advising call.  Please note: You will not be able to make course selections until you have completed your advising appointment. Details about your call date will be posted on the advising page and you will be contacted via your Dickinson email account with more specific details. For more information please check out our four-step approach to preparing for your summer advising call.

What if I am an international student and/or live abroad?

International students and U.S. citizens living abroad will not receive a phone call during the times indicated. Instead, they will be contacted via their Dickinson email account in late June or early July to begin the advising process. This is ideally accomplished through a Skype call scheduled in advance or an exchange of emails with a Summer Advisor to help you focus on the best courses for you. Students should monitor their Dickinson email and begin thinking about courses for which they would like to register. Once these courses are reviewed and discussed, the alternate PIN will be emailed to the student, and the student will enter courses during the course-selection time period.

What do I do if I miss my advising call?

If you miss your advising call, please call the Advising Office at 717-245-1997 or email

How many classes do students typically take?

A total of four, one-credit courses represent a standard, full-time schedule at Dickinson. Some students choose to take an extra quarter (music) or half-credit (dance) course and/or a non-credit course in physical education, but those are optional.

When should I buy my books?

The Bookstore provides a list of required books for all courses. You can order your books once you know which courses you are registered for, and they will be ready for you upon arrival.


When do I move in?

We have a few different arrival times depending on the student. Fall athletes should hear from their coaches regarding move-in.

  • August 25: Arrival of Pre-Orientation: Explore More participants (optional, must register)

  • August 26-28: International Student Arrivals 

  • August 28: General move-in day and the start of your Orientation experience!  

How should I dress for Orientation?

In general, Orientation is very casual and you should dress comfortably. Check out our "Move-In and Orientation" album on Flickr to get a good sense of what to wear and expect!

Residential Experience

When will I find out who my roommate is, and how are roommates paired?

Your room assignment and your roommate information will be emailed to you typically in early August for Fall arrivals and early January for Spring arrivals. Contact information for your roommate will be provided to you at that time, and we encourage you to contact your roommate to begin the process of getting to know each other and to coordinate who will bring specific items. You should also discuss how you will share expenses such as room carpeting and/or a micro-fridge. Learn more on the Housing/Move-In page

Roommates are matched using the responses from the Roommate Preferences form that’s in the Dickinson Gateway. It is important that you fill it out accurately, rather than having your parent(s) or someone else complete it, so you can be appropriately matched with a roommate. New students may also request to live with a specific person. Please read this information if you plan to request a roommate, as there are situations that may keep us from honoring your request.  We encourage you to not feel any pressure or stress to find a roommate as this is simply an option for some who connect with someone prior to arriving at Dickinson. For any questions about this process, contact Residence Life & Housing at or 717-245-1556.

When should I sign up for a meal plan?

All incoming students are automatically enrolled in the Any 21 unless they indicate otherwise. This plan offers 21 meals a week. We recommend that all new students participate in the Any 21. Learn more about meal plans at Dickinson. For more information, check out Dickinson Dining Services which will tell you where the office is located and how to obtain and use your student ID card.

What is my mailing address?

HUB numbers are assigned to students over the summer, and your HUB address will be sent to you prior to your arrival on campus via your Dickinson email account.


How can I access past Orientation emails that I missed or deleted?

A copy of each weekly email will be posted on our archive page for easy reference.

When do I get my student ID card, and how can it be used?

Dining Services provides each student with a photo identification card, which is the official College ID. New students will have their photo for their ID taken during Orientation.

What do I do if I have questions about my bill?

If you have any questions or concerns about your billing statement, please contact Student Accounts at 717-245-1953 or You can also visit the Student Accounts webpage for frequently asked questions and more.