An introduction to college life at SAU

Orientation at St. Ambrose University

We're with you

A St. Ambrose University education equips you like no other – because St. Ambrose is a university like no other. You'll learn to think deeply, travel boldly, and use your abilities for the good of others.

At St. Ambrose, we don't wait for the future to arrive. We pursue it with everything we've got.

Let's start this journey together.


Be encouraged – and excited – about what lies in your future, especially college! As you continue to make plans, know we are with you.



You've already started your education. Now finish your degree at St. Ambrose. We walk with you, guiding and encouraging you to the end.

Transfer or Adult


You are welcome here! Friendly, inviting, and accepting: it's uniquely Ambrosian. From the moment you arrive on campus until the day you graduate, we are here to help.

International Student Services

Fighting Bees Athletics

Get ready to make friendships with teammates that last a lifetime, play and train in some of the finest facilities anywhere, and play for coaches who care about your development as a student, person, and athlete. Click below for Athletic Orientation information, including paperwork needed to start your career as a Fighting Bee!

Athletic Orientation NAIA Athletic Eligibility

Welcome Week

Welcome Week marks your first days on campus and gives you the full experience of what it means to be Ambrosian: serving your community, learning together, and having fun!

Community Involvement

Orientation Information

New Student Orientation Schedule - Friday, January 19, 2024

New Student Orientation Schedule - Friday, January 19, 2024

12:30 - 1 p.m.: Check-in / Bee Card Photos, Rogalski Center Rotunda
Tammy Hintze-Bahns, Bee Card Coordinator

1 - 1:15 p.m.: Welcome and Prayer, Rogalski Center Ballroom
Christopher Waugh, Vice President for Student Services and Engagement
Fr. Ross Epping, Chaplin

1:15 - 1:35 p.m.: Financial Aid Presentation, Rogalski Center Ballroom
Alvin Vesey, Financial Aid Specialist

1:35 - 1:55 p.m.: Parking Information and Security, Rogalski Center Ballroom
Calvin Cooper, Asst. Director of Campus Security

2 - 2:55 p.m.: STINGER BREAK with the Provost, Rogalski Center Ballroom
A discussion of your needs and how SAU can help.
Joe Roidt, Provost
Lindsay Adolphs, Director of Career and Academic Planning

3 - 3:30 p.m.: Supporting Student Success at SAU, Rogalski Center Ballroom
Sarah Rissler, Director of Student Success
Sarah Oliver, Director of Counseling Services

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.: Bookstore is open (optional)
Academic Advising Sessions (optional)
Classroom Tours (optional)
Individual Financial Aid Sessions (optional)


Explore. Get inspired. Make a difference.

You're beginning quite the journey – and SAU is here to support you all the way!

College coursework isn't just showing up for class and studying, but also about everything in between: developing study skills, satisfying degree requirements, intensive study (if you want it!), and discovering what you REALLY love learning about.

Get started with Academics information by exploring the sections below.

General Education

Courses aligned with St. Ambrose General Education Outcomes and Requirements advance our mission by supporting students' achievement in skills and knowledge grounded in the liberal arts and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

Consult with your academic advisor and refer to the current university catalog for general education course offerings.

Accessibility Resources

Students with disabilities may use a variety of services or reasonable accommodations intended to reduce the effects a disability may have on performance in a traditional academic setting.

Services do not lower course standards or alter degree requirements, but give students a better chance to demonstrate their academic abilities.

Visit the Accessibility Resources Center website for more information

Student Success Center

Our Student Success Center offers academic support to all undergraduates, and our tutors are accredited and go through rigorous training.

Learn about our individual and group programs and how our tutors can help you succeed in your studies.

Learning Communities

Make the most of your first year of college by enrolling in a common learning experience with your new peers.

First Year Learning Communities are designed to help you make friends and form relationships with faculty who are interested in helping first-year students make a smooth transition to college.

Some learning communities provide an introduction to a major while others are built around an interesting theme or current issue. All communities include two courses that fulfill major or general education requirements.

Read descriptions of Learning Communities courses

Honors Program

Join an inquisitive culture of scholars: a small community of students eager to learn, with a strong work ethic, and a keen interest in being pushed intellectually.

In addition to the rigorous study and wide-ranging, multidisciplinary discussions of the Honors core courses, each student will have the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary research project or scholarly activity. This intensive focus is invaluable preparation for academic work beyond an undergraduate degree.

See more about the SAU Honors Program


Located in the Rogalski Center, the St. Ambrose University Bookstore carries school supplies, textbooks, SAU gear, and more. 

Shop the bookstore online and find your course materials.

Residence Life and Housing

Head over to the Residence Life website where you can:

Follow Residence Life

Facebook | Twitter @SAUreslife | Instagram

Financial Aid and Student Accounts

Over the next four years, current students and families will work closely with Student Financial Services, our hub for Financial Aid, Student Accounts, and general course registration.

Our Financial Aid staff is looking forward to seeing you at orientation! Here are a few items that we want to make sure you are thinking about regarding financial aid. Please take the time to review these items, and complete as many as you can prior to orientation:

  • Is your financial aid file complete and are all documents submitted? Making sure your financial aid file is complete is critical to ensuring that all your financial aid disburses to your account. If you are unsure of the status of your financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services.
  • Have you completed the appropriate federal student loan paperwork? If you are planning on receiving Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans, you will have to complete a master promissory note and loan entrance counseling at studentaid.gov.
  • Are you prepared for the payment due date for fall? The payment due date for the fall semester is August 11, 2023. A billing statement will be mailed to your home address around mid-July.
  • Do you need options for the remaining balance after financial aid?
    • Federal Parent PLUS Loans:  The federal government offers loans to parents and stepparents. If approved, your parent or stepparent may borrow up to the amount due plus books for the year.
    • Private Loans:  students may apply for a private loan through any bank or credit union offering a private education loan. Most students will be required to have a credit-worthy cosigner. Here is a list of current lenders students have used at SAU.
    • Payment Plans:  St. Ambrose offers a variety of payment plan options with the 5-month payment plan being the most beneficial. All of our payment plans are interest-free and as long as you set up your payment plan online prior to the start of classes there are no set-up fees. For more information regarding our payment plans or if you need additional assistance, please visit the Student Accounts page on our website.
Health Services and Health Form

Ambrose students are cared for by our on-staff, registered nurse, Nancy Hines, RN, BSN.

She provides free, confidential assessment of illness or injury and refers students to an appropriate health care provider when necessary.

Review this Health Services checklist, which includes the Health Form that needs to be completed prior to starting classes.

Learn more about what Nurse Nancy provides


The Counseling Center offers a variety of free support services to assist students with mental health concerns.

We offer students an initial intake appointment where we discuss their concerns and make a plan to support their needs.

Students are encouraged to use the full range of our services including: individual counseling, group therapy, informational workshops, and Therapy Assisted Online (TAO Connect). Individual sessions are focused on short term barriers to student success and limited to six sessions per semester. Workshops cover important topics such as performance anxiety, procrastination, and healthy responses to stress.

The Counseling Center is staffed with licensed, professional social workers who have a range of experience and expertise in issues students may face. Some of these concerns include:

  • Academic concerns such as test anxiety, perfectionism, low motivation, adjusting to college or attendance issues.
  • Relationship concerns such as conflict with roommates, romantic relationships, family of origin relationships and setting healthy boundaries.
  • Onset of depression, anxiety, struggles with body image, identity development, self-esteem, trauma and struggles with drugs or alcohol.

We encourage all students to reach out to the Counseling Center with concerns. We will explain the options for care on campus and services in the local community if those are preferred.

Contact us at Counselingcenter@sau.edu or 563-333-6423.

Career Services

It's never too early to start planning for your future career!

The Academic and Career Planning Office (ACP) can help you with choosing a major or career, developing a resume, finding an internship or job, and everything in between.

We also assist you in finding an on-campus job and work study opportunities.

To find out more information, visit the ACP webpage.

Security and Parking

St. Ambrose University contracts with PerMar Security – a national company headquartered in Davenport – to provide safety and security to all employees and students on campus.

In support of the educational mission, SAU Security works in partnership with the community to proactively reduce risks to safety, respond to threats/challenges to security, enhance and maintain an environment conducive to study and growth while acknowledging the dignity of each person using SAU facilities, services, and programs.

Learn about parking and campus safety on the SAU Security website, including how to purchase your parking permit.

Sign up for safety notifications

Wellness and Recreation

A strong mind needs a strong body!

SAU Wellness and Recreation promotes and encourages a physically active college lifestyle through tons of options, no matter your interest or skill level:

  • Intramurals
    Join a team or bring your own!
  • Fitness classes
    From high intensity to yoga, we have classes for the type of workout you want.
  • Club sports
    For those who are into niche sports such as kendo, racquetball, and ultimate Frisbee (just to name a few)
  • Outdoor Rec
    The Quad Cities area is full of places to explore including parks, golf courses, miles and miles of trails, and much more!

Follow what's happening with Wellness and Recreation on Twitter @WellnessRecSAU and Facebook.

Living on Campus

What's the best part of college? Connecting with fellow bees outside of classroom. Click below to explore other important aspects of campus living.