New Student Orientation for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

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

New Students having fun with the Instagram Frame during KickStart
New Students having fun with the Instagram Frame during KickStart

After returning your UIS Admission Acceptance Form, 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 and being a successful Prairie Star.

All first-year students (and Transfer Freshmen with less than 30 hours) will attend both of our mandatory Orientation programs: KickStart and Launch Week.  For students enrolling in the Spring 2018 semester, January KickStart is a two-day program, immediately followed by Launch Week.  Please keep this in mind as work, vacations, and other activities are being planned and scheduled.

The Orientation Fee covers costs for the student and up to 2 parents/family members/guests to attend KickStart.  It is non-refundable. You can pay your Orientation Fee online by credit card anytime after registering for KickStart – just go to your Admission Status page. Personal/cashier’s check and money order payments (we cannot accept cash, traveler’s checks, or international money orders) can be sent by mail or paid at KickStart check-in. Students can also elect to defer the Orientation Fee to the student’s semester bill. Please keep in mind that Orientation Fees are not calculated in the Office of Financial Assistance’s Cost of Attendance calculations and financial assistance awards might not be enough to cover this fee.  

Autumn Harris and her dad learn more about the services PNC Bank offers students during the KickStart Campus Opportunities Fair
Autumn Harris and her dad learn more about the services PNC Bank offers students during the KickStart Campus Opportunities Fair

Additional Guests. There is an additional $25 guest fee per person for 3 or more guests. The guest fee covers some costs for meals and refreshments. The Guest Fee is non-refundable.  Please keep this in mind when you complete the registration form. You can pay the guest fee at KickStart on site if you are unsure of guest attendance.

For students enrolling in the Spring 2018 Semester

Registration for Spring 2018 KickStart is now open.  Below is a tentative schedule. Check back for a more detailed scheduled in December.  In the meantime, put these mandatory orientation dates on your calendar:

KickStart 2017 advising on day 2
KickStart 2017 students receiving advising on day 2

Move-in for new first-year, freshmen starting in January 2018:  Wednesday, January 10. Housing check in for on-campus students will be from 9 – 10 a.m. Public Affairs Center, 1st Floor, outside room 124.  Bring a state or federally issued id like a driver’s license or passport so you can get your i-Card campus id made (this will allow you to electronically key into your residence hall).  If you arrive on campus after 10 a.m. you will be able to check-in to your residence hall after orientation programming ends, between 9 – 10 p.m. Please watch the weather reports and plan your trip accordingly.

Spring KickStart: Wednesday, January 10-11 (for all students on-campus and commuter):

On Your Own...New Student Brochure for Spring 2018 First-Year (Freshmen) Students
On Your Own…New Student Brochure for Spring 2018 First-Year (Freshmen) Students

On Your Own_New Student Brochure Spring 2018

  • KickStart Orientation Check-in 11:45 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. Public Affairs Center, 2nd Floor Sangamon Auditorium Lobby.  Our program begins at 12:30 p.m. and will end at 6 p.m. for parents/families, 8:45 p.m. for students;
  • Thursday, the program begins at 8 a.m.  and ends at 2:30 p.m. for parents (Launch Week begins at 3 p.m. for students)

Spring Launch Week: Thursday, January 11-13 and 15.  Use the times below to plan work and other personal activities around.

  • Thursday: 4 – 8 p.m.
  • Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Monday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Students Enrolling in the Summer and Fall Semester 2018

Playing Big Pink Volleyball_Evening Fun at KickStart
Playing Big Pink Volleyball_Evening Fun at KickStart

Dates for Summer KickStart and August Launch Week for students admitted to our Summer and Fall Semesters will be available on our Future Orientation Dates page by the end of October. Please review this information as you plan family vacations and personal activities.  The information on this website will be updated in late January to reflect the Summer programs and schedules. If you have already accepted admission to UIS you will start to receive mailings from our office after January 22.  Registration for Summer KickStart will open on February 2.


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

UIS is now a Tobacco Free Campus
No Smoking on University Grounds

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