HOWL Registration FAQs

HOWL is NSU's Freshman Registration Day!


(Helping Our Wolves Learn Northern State University)

What is HOWL NSU?
HOWL NSU  is our orientation and registration program for all first-time freshmen. It's your first step in NSU's student success program! HOWL NSU is required of all new freshmen.
Exeptions may be made in the case of distance creating an economic hardship (for example: international student).
Why should I attend HOWL NSU?
HOWL NSU is an opportunity for you and your parents to learn what's expected and start to feel comfortable at NSU.
During HOWL, you can:
  • Meet your academic advisor
  • Meet professors and representatives from your major department
  • Get to know classmates
  • Set up your first-semester schedule
  • Get your student ID card
  • Begin the transition to college!

You'll also get your NSU portal login as well as access to your NSU email and Banner Self-Service (formerly WebAdvisor) account.

If you haven’t yet been on campus, this is a great chance to visit!

Should my parents attend?
Parents/guardians are invited to attend. Special sessions designed just for parents will familiarize them with this new environment and show them ways they can support your success!
When is HOWL NSU?
HOWL NSU registration dates are listed at Freshman HOWL Registration.
What does HOWL NSU cost?
There is no charge for this event.
How do I sign up?

You can sign up with the HOWL NSU Reservation Form. Accepted students also will receive signup information on a postcard in the mail. If you have questions or need help, email Stephanie Hawkinson or call 605-626-2012 or 1-800-NSU-5330.

How long will HOWL NSU last? What's the schedule?
Plan to be here for a full day. If you need testing or want in-depth tours or appointments, please allow more time. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program will last until 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be served during the program. You'll receive a confirmation packet with complete schedule details about a week before your chosen HOWL date. A full schedule also will be available at check-in on the day of the event. We also encourage you to check out NSU events during your HOWL visit – perhaps a fine arts performance or an athletic event!
How do I get to campus?
Aberdeen is at the intersection of highways U.S. 281 and U.S. 12. The NSU campus is between 12th and 15th avenues and Washington and State streets. Once on U.S. 12 - which is Aberdeen's main east-west thoroughfare, Sixth Avenue - turn south on Main Street, then east on 12th Avenue. The parking lot at Washington and 12th has designated visitor parking and will not be checked for parking permits on registration days. You'll find a campus map in your confirmation packet. Or, print a map HERE.
What should I do ahead of time?
1. Read Do I Need to Test, decide if you need to test and make arrangements to do so
2. Locate your immunization records and mail a copy to NSU Admissions or bring with you
3. Read about privacy of records (FERPA). Complete and turn in forms to withhold or release information as desired
What is the immunization policy?
South Dakota state law requires all students to present proof of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) to enroll in classes.
How do I find out about overnight accommodations?
For lodging information in Aberdeen, please contact the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-645-3851, or visit
Will I need a parking permit for HOWL NSU?
Parking permits will not be required for students and parents attending a HOWL NSU event. However, students bringing vehicles to campus for the academic year must purchase a parking permit to park in the campus lots. Permits can be purchased online or in person at the facilities office.
Is a schedule available for fall courses?
NSU's class schedules for current and future semesters are on the Class Schedules Page. Banner Self-Service (formerly WebAdvisor) also will show up-to-date offerings.
What should I wear?
Dress casually and comfortably, but remember - your ID picture will be taken today!
What should I bring?
1. Questions for faculty and staff
2. Any paperwork not already turned in
3. Records of college credit you have or anticipate earning
4. Money if you plan to eat on campus, test, or purchase items from the bookstore

Academic Topics

How do I know what classes to take?
We enroll freshmen in Learning Communities, which include a freshman success or seminar class and several courses recommended for freshmen. Some are tied to specific program areas, while others are general.
Learning Communities ensure we have some seats reserved for you, allow you to make stronger connections with a small group of classmates and make your first registration a bit easier. Our advisors will help you select the learning community best for you, and additional courses.
How many credit hours should students enroll in?
Fifteen credits is the recommended load for undergraduates. Find more information in the NSU Course Catalog.
When should students declare a major?

A Program Approval form must be filled out to declare or change your major, usually in your third semester of study. The form is available on the myNSU Registrar Site.

What help is available for students who aren'€™t doing well in their classes?
NSU offers academic help to students through the Math and Writing centers, through Supplemental Instruction (SI) and a program called TRIO Student Support Services. All of these services are free of charge. For more information, see Academic Support.
Will students have an academic advisor? How is this person assigned?
Freshmen who are undecided are assigned an advisor in the Advising Center and later transferred to a departmental advisor. Those who have decided on a major are assigned to a professional advisor in the appropriate department. For more information, see Academic Advising.
Will I receive copies of my grades? Can you explain the educational privacy act for me?
Students can view their grades using WebAdvisor on myNSU. Students may request that official transcripts be sent to third parties for a fee.
Information pertaining to personal academic records will be released only to the student unless written permission has been given to make this information available to parents or other third parties specified by the student. For more information on the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or to download the Release or Withhold forms, visit Student Privacy Rights.
The NSU Registrar€™'s Office is located in Dacotah Hall 103. Please call 605-626-2012 or 1-800-NSU-5330 or email Stephanie Hawkinson if you have additional questions.
More HOWL NSU information can be found at:
General registrar office information can be found at: