First Year Students

Welcome to UIS!

We are the starting point of your academic path through UIS. We will help you plan your courses, adjust to college level learning, and choose a major.

With the exception of those students participating in the Honors Program, first year advisors advise all students who have fewer than 30 credit hours as well as students whose majors are undeclared.

Table of Contents

Orientation
Registration
Transfer Students
Declaring a Major
Curriculum
Early Alert System


Orientation

For First Year Students

All students entering as freshmen participate in New Student Orientation offered by UIS’ Office of New Student Orientation and Parent Relations. During Orientation, first-year students learn about the responsibilities of being a student at UIS. They also meet the first year advisors and register for their first semester of classes. Orientation provides an important introduction to the campus and an opportunity to become familiar with the many resources available to support your academic success.

For Transfer Students

Transfer Orientation also provides an important introduction to the campus for students coming to UIS for the first time with 30 or more credits hours. Transfer Orientation provides detailed information on General Education, ECCE and major requirements, and advising is offered to assist students in selecting their classes. Students are also introduced to many of the other resources available on campus.

Transfer Orientation offered by the University’s Office of New Student Orientation and Parent Relations provides an important introduction to the campus for students coming to UIS for the first time with 30 or more credits hours. Transfer Orientation provides detailed information on General Education, ECCE and major requirements, and advising is offered to assist students select their classes. Students are also introduced to many of the other resources available on campus.

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Registration

Fall Registration

Registration for fall classes occurs as part of New Student Orientation. All new students meet with an academic advisor and map out a course schedule that includes first-year writing and math classes, and other general education or major prerequisite courses. New students typically take between 12-15 credits hours in their first semester. Supplemental class sessions are available to students needing personalized attention to be successful in their writing, math, and science courses.

Additional academic support is also available through the The Learning Hub and the Brookens Library. Students are introduced to the resources available through The Learning Hub during registration. First-year students also have the opportunity to participate in a First Year Seminar such as UNI 101, a course designed specifically to help students make a successful transition from high school to college-level coursework.

Spring Registration

Continuing students have the opportunity to register for spring semester classes midway through the fall semester. Priority registration times are provided for students enrolled in the current semester. All first-year students meet with their assigned advisor and map out a course schedule that continues the first-year writing and math sequences, and other general education or major prerequisite courses. Students also have the opportunity to tentatively plan for summer courses if interested, and devise a preliminary plan for their second year.

As in fall, first-year students typically take between 12-16 credits hours in their spring semester. Supplemental class sessions are available to students needing more personalized assistance to be successful in their writing, math, and science courses.

Additional academic support is also available through the The Learning Hub and the Brookens Library.

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Transfer Students

Welcome to UIS! Your decision to transfer to UIS is an important one that will shape the rest of your academic career. If you have not yet formally declared your major, this is the year to prepare to do so. First year advisors are here to help.

It is important that you contact a first year advisor and schedule an advising appointment as early as possible once you have accepted your transfer admission. Your first semester at any new institution is bound to present some challenges as you adjust. A first year advisor will help ease your transition.

It is very important to make connections with faculty and other resources on campus to help focus your decision about your major. Advisors will help guide your search while making sure you stay on track with your graduation requirements.

We look forward to working with you!

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Declaring a Major

You probably indicated a possible major when you applied to UIS. Your major discipline shows on your Degree Audit Reports (DARS). At the point when you determine what you want to major in, you must formally declare your major choice. Students wishing to change their major must consult with their advisor.

Your advisor will walk you through the Change of Curriculum form that must be completed, signed, and submitted to the Registrar’s Office for recording. Once your major choice is officially recorded, your major program will be notified and you will be assigned a faculty advisor in that program. You and your advisor will also complete a Transition to Major form to let your faculty advisor know which General Education and major prerequisite and core courses you have already completed. Your faculty advisor will continue to guide you through your collegiate career and graduation.

All UIS students must have an officially recorded major choice by the time they complete 72 credit hours. Schedule a meeting with your advisor for assistance choosing a major. The Career Development Center also has resources including assessment and aptitude inventories to enhance your exploration.

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General Education Curriculum

The UIS General Education Curriculum offers an array of courses that help students gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in any of our 24 undergraduate majors and in life beyond college. The program aims to ensure that students gain basic skills and knowledge for life-long learning, and become engaged citizens in a fast-changing world.

Courses in the curriculum are divided into two categories:

  • 40 credit hours of lower division requirements in written communication, oral communication, science, math, humanities and social sciences. These courses provide a foundation of knowledge and skills that are crucial for a broad liberal arts education.
  • 10 credit hours in the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) courses designed to help students become aware of their roles in a complex, interdependent set of communities. ECCE categories promote national, global, and cultural awareness and provide socially responsible opportunities for engagement experiences.

Visit General Education Requirements for more information about the courses and requirements.

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Early Alert System

The Early Alert System (EAS) is an intervention plan designed to identify students experiencing academic difficulties or other hindrances to academic success, and connect them with resources to help overcome these challenges. Through this system, faculty and other academic support staff (GAs, TAs, Peer Advisors) refer the student to the EAS advisors. The student meets with the EAS advisor, and together they explore the nature of the problem, and strategize interventions to help the student achieve satisfactory academic performance.

Ideally, an instructor will refer a student to the EAS advisor as early as possible in the semester so that appropriate interventions can be implemented. When students are referred, they are expected to meet in person with the EAS advisor and follow through with the intervention plan. Referring instructors are contacted again shortly after mid-semester for a follow up report on the student’s progress. Students referred to the EAS advisor who receive academic advising in their major program will also be referred to the faculty advisor for assistance.

Learn more about Advise U!

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