New Student Orientation for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

Welcome to UIS – We are so excited that you have chosen to come to our University!

After returning your Admission Acceptance Form and enrollment confirmation fee, your journey to college begins with Orientation. New Student Orientation is designed to assist you and your parents/family/guests in making the transition to university life. All first-year students attend one of the UIS KickStart, two-day Orientation sessions (Part I) and Launch Week: Reach for the Stars (Part II) that make up UIS’s mandatory first-year orientation experience.  UIS Kickstart and Launch Week have been designed to promote student success with the transition from high school to a University community.  These programs build on each other and lead into the First Year Seminar or CAP Honors seminar, a semester long course that prepares students for the rigors of college-level reading, writing, and thinking.  Please keep this in mind as work, vacations, and other activities are being planned and scheduled.

For students enrolling in the Spring Semester (January)

First Year students at Playfair, August 2014 First Year students at Playfair, August 2014

Step 1: Claim Your NetID and Access Your UIS Email Account.  

Before you can make your reservation for UIS Kickstart you will need to claim your NetID – this will allow you to enter our online registration form and generate your UIS email account.

Step 2: Register for UIS Spring KickStart,  Orientation Part I

This two-day Orientation program will be held Wednesday, January 13 and Thursday, January 14.

(Registration for Spring 2016 Orientation click here to access our online form).

Step 3: Review the UIS Spring KickStart Schedule Overview

Wednesday, January 13

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Check-in begins for Students who have to take Placement Testing. Students should take Placement Testing BEFORE this Orientation session – especially if you are going to be living on campus; you will want to spend the morning moving into your residence hall. If you are unsure if you have to take placement tests or unable to take placement tests before the orientation session please contact Testing Services by phone: (217) 206-8114 or by e-mail:

Office of Financial Assistance Opens.  If students and families have questions about their financial assistance award letter they can stop by the Office of Financial Assistance in University Hall Building (UHB) Room 1015 between 8:30 and noon to meet with a Financial Assistance Counselor.

9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Residence Hall check-in. Students living on-campus will be able to check-in at the Residence Life Office at Homer Butler Commons from 9-10 a.m. on Wednesday to get their room key and door access card (for students living in the residence halls) and then move into your housing assignment until its time for Orientation at 12:30 p.m.

9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Orientation Help Desk.  Public Affairs Center (PAC) 2nd Floor Sangamon Auditorium Lobby.  Have questions about where you need to go or what is happening?  Stop by our table, an orientation team member will be there to help.  Campus Tours (weather permitting) will be departing from the Help Desk at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 11:30 a.m.

10 a.m.

Parent & Family Relaxation Station Opens, PAC, 1st Floor, Conference Room E.  Done with moving your student in? Waiting for your student while they finish placement testing? Or, in a dire need of coffee.  Stop by our Relaxation Station for a hot beverage and some refreshments.

11 am. – 12:15 p.m.

Lunch on Your Own – Try our Food Emporium in the Public Affairs Center (PAC) Building, 1st Floor.  The Food Emporium accepts cash and major credit cards. 

11:30 am. – 12:25 p.m.

Orientation Check-in, Public Affairs Center (PAC), 2nd Floor Auditorium Lobby,

12:30 p.m.

Welcome: UIS Academic Overview; Financial Assistance Overview; USFSCO Billing Overview; I-Card, Meal Plans, and Campus Cash. Public Affairs Center (PAC).

2 – 2:25 p.m.

Refreshment Break

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Student Session. Rising Stars: How to Succeed While, Really Really Trying

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Family and Guest Sessions: Straight Talk for Parents (A panel of current students and parents);  Understanding Your Student’s Transition; and What Faculty Members Want Families to Know

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Get It Done Together – Students, Parents, Families, & Guests: Offices including Student Insurance, Immunizations, and more will be available for consultations and to give students and families an opportunity to learn more about programs and services UIS has.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner with the Orientation Team (Students, Parents, Families, & Guests)

6:30 p.m.

Students, Parents, Families, & Guests Session: The Residential Student Experience or The Commuter Student Experience.

Thursday, January 14

7:30 a.m.

Students, Parents, Families, and Guests: Breakfast with the Orientation Team

8 – 8:30 a.m.

Orientation Group Meeting (Students)

8 – 8:30

Parent/Family Coffee Social with UIS Administrators and Faculty Members

8:30 – 10:55

Financial Assistance Consultations, UHB 1015


Students, Parents, Families, and Guests Information Sessions: Learn more about Student Involvement Experiences, Career Services, Academic Resources, Student Employment, Studying Abroad, and Applying for Campus Jobs.

11- 2 p.m.

Students Get It Done: Students will be meet with Advisors, Register for Classes, get their I-Card, set up their authorized payer, and have lunch with their Orientation Group in the Food Emporium.

11 – 2 p.m.

Parents, Families, and Guests: Information Sessions. Learn more about Health & Counseling Services, Campus Safety, Campus Technology, eat lunch in the Food Emporium, and more.

2 – 2:20 p.m.

Students, Parents and Family Members Meet with Advisors.  This is a great opportunity to speak with academic advisors.

2:20 -2:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks, Nametag Collection, & Evaluations (Students, Parents, Families, and Guests)

2:30-2:55 p.m.

Students and Families say good bye.

3-4 p.m.

Prairie Star Connections, PAC C/D

4-5:30 p.m.

Living & Learning in our Campus Community, PAC C/D.

Step 4:  Placement Testing

Entering students may have to take Math, Reading, or Foreign Language Placement Exams.  Math Placement often depends on ACT scores and your intended major. Reading Placement is dependent on your English/Reading ACT scores. For more information about Placement Test requirements visit  If you are unsure if you have to take placement exams please contact Testing Services or call 217-206-8114.   Foreign Language Placement depends on your major or program of study or TOEFL, ACT/SAT scores. Contact Julie Atwell 217/206-6779 or email Maxie Sanchez for questions about Foreign Language Placement.

Step 5: The First Year Student Checklist

Students should print the Checklist so they can keep track of things they need to do before Kickstart, Launch, and classes. We also have suggestion on what to bring to Kickstart.

Step 6: Attend Spring KickStart and Spring Launch Week 

Students Enrolling in the Fall 2016 Semester

An updated schedule and online registration form will be available February 2, 2016

UIS is now a Tobacco-Free campus as mandated by the State of Illinois.

UIS is now a Tobacco Free Campus UIS is now a Tobacco Free Campus

* International Undergraduate Freshmen Students will be attending the mandatory International Student Check-in,  International Student Orientation, the KickStart, and the Launch Week programs. Please visit the International Student Services Page for more information and forms to complete for arrival and check-in.  

For questions about New Student Orientation
please contact us at (217) 206.8181 or email