Johnson & Wales University hosts formal orientation sessions during the summer months prior to the start of fall term classes and typically on the day before classes begin for all other terms. Prior to the start of classes, students are asked to participate in the orientation program which allows them to check in, visit the bookstore and be fitted for uniforms, receive their student ID and campus parking permits, and receive information that will help them with their transition to the university. Students returning to the university after a time away from school are also encouraged to attend these orientation sessions for new information and to help ease the transition back to campus.
Commencement is held at the end of each academic year in May. At these exercises, degree candidates are recognized. Participation in commencement exercises does not imply that graduation requirements are met.