New Wake Forest first year students help build a house with Habitat for Humanity as part of their pre-orientation volunteer Service with the SPARC program.

Because sometimes you just can’t wait.

What’s even cooler than Orientation? Pre-orientation, of course. You can start your Wake Forest experience early with one of our optional pre-orientation programs. Make new friends out in the wild, get to know your new home through volunteer work with your classmates, learn about Wake Forest history and traditions or climb a mountain for worship and reflection.

These are just some of the options, so the choice is yours! Don’t wait too long to apply, as these tend to fill up fast. You’ll arrive a few days early, and when the program concludes, you’ll join the rest of your classmates for New Deac Week.

  • Students are encouraged to register for up to three program choices and will be asked to rank those choices. If you do not get into your first-choice program, you may be placed in one of your other choices. 
  • While we cannot guarantee you a spot in your program of choice, we can guarantee you a spot in one of the eleven programs.
  • The Medical Form for Pre-Orientation is in addition to the other required medical forms for Deacon Health.

What’s Being Offered?

Program NameDateApplication Deadline
Connect@Wake (International Students) 17-20June 30
Deacon Camp: An Insider’s Guide to Wake Forest 17-20June 30
Fresh in the Forest 17-21June 30
L.E.A.P.: Leadership, Ethics and Purpose 17-20June 30
Marching Band Pre-Season Training your emailJune 30
R.E.C. 17-20June 30
S.P.A.R.C. 17-20June 30
Summit: Christian Life at Wake Forest 17-21June 30
WakeABLE 17-21June 30
WakeWell 17–21June 30
Wilderness to Wake 16-21June 30

Pre-Orientation Important Dates

June 5Pre-Orientation Program status notifications begin (optional)
June 30Pre-Orientation Program registration due (optional)
July 8Final day for Pre-Orientation Program enrollment status notification (optional)
August 16 or 17Pre-Orientation Move-In*

* By participating in a Pre-Orientation program, you will arrive on campus on August 16th or 17th (prior to the official Move-In window). Students participating in Pre-Orientation programs will receive instructions (including your move-in date, which varies by program) directly from the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

Many families choose to send their students to campus with the bare necessities for Pre-Orientation and then bring students’ remaining belongings on Move-In Day. This also enables families to participate in all family orientation activities if they are able.

Please indicate your need for financial assistance on the Pre-Orientation application.

Important Information:

  • Accessibility: Each program requires varying levels of physical engagement for participation from sitting, walking, standing, hiking, running, climbing, etc. If you have any physical limitations, we ask that you identify that in the registration process to ensure that we are able to advise you specifically on programs that might support your engagement in an accessible fashion where possible. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at
  • Travel Plans: We ask that you delay finalizing your move-in travel plans until you have considered Pre-Orientation experiences and have final communication from Residence Life and Housing about your approved move-in date if you apply for a Pre-Orientation program. 
  • Food Needs / Meals: While many of your meals will be covered by your Pre-Orientation costs, we encourage students to come prepared with additional money if you wish to have extra snacks/meals/drinks, as University meal plans do not activate until Wednesday, August 21st.