New Student Orientation for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

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

Launch Week 2016: Orientation Groups at the Theater/Music/Art Department Ice Cream Social
Launch Week 2016: Orientation Groups at the Theater/Music/Art Department Ice Cream Social

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.  KickStart is a two-day program.  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. The online registration form is the only way to pay the Orientation Fee by credit card. Personal/cashier’s check and money order payments 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 (due September 28 for fall orientation; February 28 for spring). 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.  

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 by check or money order on site if you are unsure of guest attendance.

For students enrolling in the Summer and Fall Semester 2017

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

…this will allow you to enter our student enterprise system (which you will use for course registration at KickStart) and automatically generate your UIS email account.  You will need:

  • the University Identification Number (UIN) you were assigned in your acceptance letter, and
  • the Token (security code) sent to the personal e-mail address you used for your UIS application. If you accidentally deleted your email contact to have it resent to you. This can take up to 2 regular business days.

You can check your UIS email after you complete this step: go to and use your NetID and password to log in.

First-Year (Freshmen) New Student Orientation Brochure (cover)
First-Year (Freshmen) New Student Orientation Brochure cover

Step 2: Students review Orientation Communications for information about programs * Parents see your publications on the parent page. 

First-Year (Freshmen) Post-Card [mailed within 1 week of accepting admission]

Orientation Brochure for First-Years entering UIS Summer and Fall of 2017 [mailed 2 weeks after accepting admission]

Step 3: Register for KickStart,  Orientation Part I  (students will only need to attend one, two-day session.  Space available as of June 5, 2017):

  • F1:  Tuesday, June 13-Wednesday, June 14  (closed)
  • F2:  Friday, June 16-Saturday, June 17  (closed)
  • F3:   Monday, June 19-Tuesday, June 20  (closed)
  • F4:  Thursday, June 22-Friday, June 23  (closed)
  • F5:  Monday, July 17-Tuesday, July 18 (closed)
  • F7: Monday, August 21 – Tuesday, August 22 ** (Last session for Fall 2017 semester.  Students living in residence halls or on-campus will move into their fall housing assignment.  Check-in for housing is on Monday morning from 9-10 a.m. in the Public Affairs Center [PAC] near room 124.  Bring your state id or driver’s license to get your i-Card before checking in with housing.  Commuter students will commute to campus for the KickStart program on both Monday and Tuesday.  See schedule below for times).

* International freshmen students, KickStart and Launch Week are mandatory.  This is in addition to new International student requirements. Visit International Student Services for more information.

Register for Summer/Fall KickStart 2017! Click Here for the Online Registration Form.  You will use the email address and password from your UIS Admissions application to login to the KickStart reservation site.

** make sure you have completed steps 1 and 2 before registering.   

Step 4: Review the KickStart Schedule August 21 & 22 before making travel arrangements
(Students and (2) Parents/Guests will receive a detailed schedule in our Orientation Guidebook when you check-in for your KickStart session).  Below is an abbreviated schedule.

Monday, August 21

8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Orientation Help Desk.  Founders Residence Hall Lobby. Lincoln Residence Hall Lobby.  Orientation Leaders (OLs) are available to help direct you around campus or answer questions about the KickStart program.

Orientation 2014_student with Gail Kirby from the Career Development Center

9 – 10 a.m.

Fall Housing Check-in for August KickStart participants.  Students living in residence halls or on-campus will move into their fall housing assignment.  Check-in for housing is in the Public Affairs Center [PAC] near room 124.  Bring your state id or driver’s license to get your i-Card before checking in with housing.  You will sign your housing contract and received your room condition report and other paperwork.

Commuter students will commute to campus for the KickStart program on both Monday and Tuesday.  See schedule below for times  Commuter students will not stay overnight, they will commute to campus both days and park in Parking Lots D or C-North.

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Office of Financial Assistance Open. University Hall Building (UHB), 1015. We strongly encourage all students and their families to meet with their counselor to review their financial aid award while they are here on campus for KickStart.

9 – 11:30 a.m.

English and Math Placement Testing. Testing Services, Human Resources Building, room 112 (bldg 6 on campus map).  See step 5 below. Plan 45 – 60 minutes for each test you are required to take and factor that into your travel plans so you can take placement tests, check into your overnight housing, eat lunch, and then check-in to KickStart before 12:25 p.m.  August participants are strongly encouraged to take placement tests at one of the remote sites before August 14.

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. 

11:45 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.

KickStart Orientation Check-in.

12:30 p.m.

KickStart Welcome

  • UIS Academic Overview;
  • Making Financial Assistance Work for Student Success;
  • Student Accounts, Billing, Direct Deposit, and Payment Plans;
  • The i-Card: Meal Plans, Campus Cash.

2 – 11:59 p.m.

2 – 5 Student only sessions.  

2 – 5 Parent and Family programming

5 – 6 Campus Opportunities Fair

6 p.m.  Parents/Families depart for hotels

6 p.m. Students – dinner with the orientation team

7 p.m. Student only sessions

8:45 – 11:59 p.m.  Evening Programming and Snacks: Residence Hall.

Tuesday, August 22

7:30 a.m.

Students: Breakfast with the Orientation Team.  (Parents & Family Members will need to eat breakfast on their own. Many hotels offer a continental breakfast).

8:05 – 8:40 a.m.

Orientation Group Meeting (Students)

8:05 – 8:40 a.m.

Parent/Family Coffee Social with UIS Administrators and Faculty Members

8:50 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.

see draft schedule of Parent and Student information sessions

2:30 – 4 p.m.

Student Athletes, Parents & Family Members Information Session with Athletics. (These sessions will only be offered on Athlete preferred dates (June 17, June 20, June 23 and August 22. Athletics will be sending out more information about this session.

Step 5:  Placement Testing

Entering students may have to take Math, Reading, or Foreign Language Placement Exams.

* An ACT Math Subscore of 22 or below requires a placement exam. Majors in Business, Sciences, Math, and Computer Science have stricter placement requirements and specified math coursework. Review the grid to determine if you are required to test.

* AAn ACT Reading or English subscore of 20 or below requires a placement exam (by virtue of the scores needed for admission into the program, CAP Honors students are exempt from taking the English Placement test).

If you are unclear about the major requirements for ACT scores please contact your advisor:

* Capital Scholar Honors students contact CAP by phone (217) 206-7251 or (800)-252-8533 or by email at

* All other first-year students contact the Office of Advising Services, Information and Support (OASIS) by e-mail or phone (217) 206-7471.

Taking Placement Tests Before KickStart. It is strongly encouraged that students take English and Math placement testing before their KickStart session by going to one of our remote sites. If you live near Springfield you can make an appointment at our Testing Services office here on campus. Taking tests before your KickStart date will shorten your KickStart day and allow you and your family to arrive on campus later in the morning.

On Campus:  Placement testing is scheduled at UIS throughout the year. Contact Testing Services to request an appointment by phone during regular business hours at (217) 206-8114 or by email:  You can visit their website for current information about hours. There is no charge to take placement tests at UIS.

Remote Sites: Testing can be scheduled at remote testing locations throughout Illinois and the United States.  If you would like to go to one of the remote testing sites near your home, complete the Remote Testing Request Form. Someone from the Testing Services office will contact you about remote site testing options.  There is a small fee to test at the remote sites. Save the remote testing site payment receipt and bring it with you to your KickStart session. Turn it in to the OASIS advising staff on Day 2 of KickStart. A reimbursement will be credited to your UIS student account.

Foreign Language Placement. Depending on your major, program of study, TOEFL, or ACT/SAT scores you may have to take a placement test before you can register for a foreign language course. Contact the Modern Languages Department by e-mail at for questions about foreign language placement. To schedule your foreign language placement test for the morning on the first day of your KickStart session between 9 and 11 a.m. Modern Languages Placement Testing Request form.


Step 6: Review the New Student Checklist for First-Year FreshmenMake Travel Arrangements, & Hotel Accommodations for Parents/Families

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

Step 7: Prepare for August Launch Week 

Request off work. Review the Launch Week Schedule.  This is mandatory.  Your i-Card will be swiped as you attend each program. Students who do not attend mandatory programs will be required to do make-up sessions on Friday afternoons the first month of the semester. Failure to attend make-up sessions will result in students not being advised or registered during priority registration for the spring semester.  Students will have to wait until open registration to meet with an advisor.

Students Enrolling in the Spring 2018 Semester

Dates for Spring KickStart and January Launch Week for students admitted to our Spring Semester are available on our Future Orientation Dates page. Please review this information as you plan Family vacations, personal activities.  The information on this website will be updated in mid October to reflect the Spring programs and schedules. If you have already accepted admission to UIS you will start to receive mailings from our office after October 15.  Registration for Spring KickStart will open on late October.


UIS is 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

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