Student Life

New Student Orientation

RMU-Lead Pre-Orientation Program

It doesn't matter as much where you go to college - it matters what you do in college!

This experience is ideal for new RMU students looking to continue their track record of being a student leader. The RMU-Lead program allows new freshmen and transfer students to arrive four days early on campus - including moving into their 2019-20 housing assignment four days early. Students explore campus with other new students, leave campus to grow through community service and a dynamic social experience in downtown Pittsburgh, as well as spend time being mentored by some of RMU's  best student leaders on campus. RMU-Lead is not for you if you plan to take it easy in your first semester or think college social life involves watching a lot of Netflix! The program lessons come from our partnership with The Social Excellence Project and their award-winning "We Dare You" curriculum that inspires students to build leadership and make a difference by developing the highest quality relationships with others.

2019 RMU-Lead Program Dates

August 18-21, 2019


The $300 fee includes early arrival in your fall housing assignment, all meals, program materials, activities and events, and extras. Payment is required at the time of registration in order to secure your spot in the program. At this time, RMU-Lead registration can't be charged to a student's tuition account. Payment can be processed online by credit/debit card or by electronic banking transfer (EBT). To register with payment by check, contact Scott Irlbacher at 412-397-6487.

A very limited number of scholarships are available to students in financial need that reduce the registration fee to $150. Please contact Scott Irlbacher at 412-397-6487 for more info.

Who Can Participate?

Who is eligible? All incoming freshmen and transfer students not already committed to an RMU program that requires attendance during RMU-Lead. These include the Early Success Program (ESP), Honors Program, Women's Leadership and Mentorship Program (WLMP), marching band, dance team, cheerleaders, Sentry Student Media retreat, or fall NCAA athletics. 

Program Benefits

  • Early move-in for resident students
  • Peer mentorship from some of RMU's best student leaders
  • Early acclimation to campus
  • Exclusive participation in the award-winning WE DARE YOU curriculum from The Social Excellence Project
    Trips off campus into the community and Pittsburgh
  • Social and cultural events 
  • Credit toward two areas of the RMU Student Engagement Transcript


After completing last year’s RMU-Lead Program, participants said:

  • 100%     RMU-Lead had a positive impact on their first year in college*
  • 100%     would recommend the program to a friend*
  • 97%       RMU-Lead helped find a sense of belonging on campus
  • *We're serious! Ask to see the program survey results.
+ 3.29 average GPA their first semester at RMU (vs 3.16 for all new students)
+ Returned the next year 7 percentage points higher than all other new students
+ 85% belong to a student club, organization, or team
+ Average a fully completed Student Engagement Transcript (vs 3 of 6 areas for all graduates)
+ Graduate from RMU 24 percentage points higher than all other cohorts


2019 RMU-Lead Program (tentative)

Day One

  • Resident participant move-in
  • Welcome session for students and Question & Answer session for parents/families
  • Ice cream social with RMU-Lead staff
  • Opening program, "How to RMU"
  • Evening social time

Day Two

  • Opening Activity - "Getting Ready"
  • Basic Human Connection & Relationships
  • Getting to Know You Small Group Picture Contest
  • "The Journey"
  • Evening social time

Day Three

  • The 4 Pillars of Social Excellence
    Powerful Conversations
  • Service Learning Excursions Off Campus
  • "RMU Will Change Your Life" Young Alumni Testimonials
  • Evening social time

Day Four

  • Random Acts of Kindness flash mob in Pittsburgh
  • Exclusive RMU History & Traditions "Behind the Scenes Tour"
  • Garden Party Celebration in the Rudolph Family Gardens
  • Early Arrival Mixer for New Students

Register closed - please call 412-397-6487 to inquire.

After registering, we will send you more detailed information on the program including information for those students who will be moving into their campus residence on August 18.


For More Information, Contact: 

Scott Irlbacher
Director of Special Student Programs