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. TOTEMS is held the week prior to the start of the fall semester.


Students participating in TOTEMS have the opportunity to move into their dorms room early the first day of TOTEMS from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with the assistance of friendly College of Earth and Minerals Sciences (EMS) students, faculty, and staff, allowing students to escape the stress of move-in weekend. In addition, EMS provides a well-earned lunch for students and their family after move-in.


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 classes even 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!


Students will return to campus early afternoon on the last day of TOTEMS. By attending TOTEMS, students are ahead of the curve having already moved-in and made several new friends, including professors!