The aim of this study is to find out the views of the first-year students studying at the department of social studies teaching on social studies education at the beginning of their undergraduate program and to investigate how the orientation program introducing social studies teaching affected these students. For that reason, first year students attending Akdeniz University, Faculty of Education, Department of Social Studies Teaching, participated in the study in the first week of 2011-2012 academic year. A scale consisting of open-ended questions was applied to the students in the study. Then, out of four first grade social studies teaching classes, two classes were randomly chosen. An orientation program introducing social studies teaching was applied to one of these classes. 30 students randomly chosen from these two classes were interviewed at the end of 2011-2012 academic year. The data was analyzed by content analysis. According to the results of the study, it can be suggested that social studies teaching department freshmen have no awareness of the contents and aims of social studies teaching, do not recognize social studies and disciplines completely and have biased opinions about social studies teaching. Following the orientation program applied to the students, it is possible to assert that the views of students participated in the orientation program regarding social studies teaching changed more significantly in a positive way than the views of those who did not participate in the orientation program. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center.