TOTEMS table

Move-in Early

TOTEMS begins on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 with the opportunity for students to move into their dorms room early from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with the assistance of friendly EMS students, faculty and staff, allowing students to escape the stress of move-in weekend. In addition, EMS will provide a well-earned lunch for students and their family.

Lake Raystown

After lunch, students board a bus for beautiful Lake Raystown Resort, 50 miles from the Penn State University Park campus. Students will lodge with 4-5 other students in the cabins which are complete with clean linens, private baths, and cooking facilities. Over the next four days, students will enjoy cookouts and campfires and have the opportunity to:

  • Meet fellow first-year students – make friends before your classes begin!
  • Get to know faculty members on a first-name basis
  • Develop creative problem-solving skills through team activities
  • Network with current students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  • Enjoy the thrills of a water park during the hot days of August

Return to Campus

Students will return to campus early afternoon on Friday, August 23rd, 2019. By attending TOTEMS, students will be ahead of the curve having already moved-in and made several new friends, including professors! 

What to Bring

Students will need casual clothes, toiletries, towels, swimsuit, bug spray, sun block and sneakers. Students do NOT need to bring a sleeping bag, as bed linens are provided. The college will provide food, accommodations, transportation, and the cost of any activities at Lake Raystown, with only a non-refundable $100 fee to help defray the cost of the lodging.


Incoming EMS first-year students at the University Park campus are eligible for this program. Space is limited and all spots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline to register is July 26, 2019.

Register for TOTEMS 2019

New Student Orientation (NSO): Important Date Information

  • International Students who plan to attend TOTEMS must arrive in State College, PA on or by August 15th, 2019 to complete an ISO (International Student Orientation) session prior to TOTEMS.
  • Students in the U.S. who plan to attend TOTEMS should attend an NSO session between May-July in order to attend TOTEMS.  
  • If you need to reschedule your NSO date, please call the NSO office at 814-865-4178.

More Information

For more information on TOTEMS, please email

Total Orientation To Earth and Mineral Sciences (TOTEMS) is a three-day summer program specifically designed for first-year students at the University Park campus who are new to the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.