First-Year Students (Freshmen) Orientation

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

Your journey to college begins after returning your UIS Admission Acceptance Form. 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 transfer credit hours) will attend both of our mandatory Orientation programs: KickStart and Semester Launch.

KickStart is a two-day program. Semester Launch is several days before the start of classes. Please keep this in mind as work, vacations, and other activities are being planned and scheduled.

UIS KickStart Orientation 2019

#UISedu welcomed new students and parents to campus today during the first of seven summer KickStart Orientations! Welcome to all of the new students! ➡️ Apply to UIS today:

Posted by University of Illinois Springfield on Tuesday, June 11, 2019

For students enrolling in the Summer and Fall 2019 Semesters

Below are steps you need to complete to register and prepare for KickStart and Semester Launch.  Please note, the schedule on this page is a draft. Program details will be updated throughout the spring and finalized in May as we confirm our program.  The start and end times of our program shouldn’t vary. Check back for updates.

UIS Orientation Communications for Students * Parent publications are on the parent page.

Email: Students will start receiving email messages to their personal account from our office after they have accepted their admission.   **If your high school doesn’t allow you to access it after graduation, and you are using it for your personal email with UIS, please email and change it to your UIS email or another personal email so you won’t miss important information. 

Cover Fall 2018 New Student Orientation Brochure with pictures of students working on a picture and students team in Springfest covered in mud from Mud Tug-of-War
Cover Summer/Fall 2019 Student Brochure

The Summer/Fall 2019 New Student Brochure is the only mailing to students. The brochure is mailed about a week after a student has accepted admission. If you move after you have completed your UIS Admission application, please email the Office of Admissions with your new mailing address so you won’t miss this mailing.


Step 1: Review the 2019 KickStart Orientation Schedule(pdf)


Step 2: Register for Orientation.  The KickStart registration form uses the same software that UIS Admissions application does.  You can enter the form from your UIS Status Page. You will need to use the same email and password from your UIS Admissions Status Page to log into the KickStart registration form.  Make sure you have completed steps 1 and 2, and reviewed the information on the rest of this page before registering.

  • KickStart is a two-day session. You have to attend both days of the session you register for.
  • All students participating in June and July KickStart sessions will stay overnight in the Residence Hall.
  • In August, students who have signed up to live on-campus (called On-Campus Living or Residential Students) will move-in to their housing assignment. Students who will be living at home (called Commuter or Off-Campus Students) will commute to campus each day to attend KickStart.

KickStart Sessions to Choose From (the number of reservations was last updated July 18 @ 10:55 a.m.):

  • F1: Tuesday, June 11 – Wednesday, June 12 (ended);
  • F2: Friday, June 14 – Saturday, June 15 (ended);
  • F3: Monday, June 17 – Tuesday, June 18 (ended);
  • F4: Wednesday, June 19 – Thursday, June 20 (ended);
  • F5: Friday, June 21 – Saturday, June 22 (ended);
  • F6: Monday, July 15 – Tuesday, July 16 (ended);
  • F7: Monday, August 19 – Tuesday, August 20  (Now Open);  


  • You will only be allowed to select the session for your student admission description: Freshmen or Freshmen Honors. We reserve a specific number of spots for each student type as noted above. If a session reaches that cap, it automatically closes. If someone switches to another session their previous reservation will automatically open.  If you need to cancel or switch to another session contact our office, DO NOT REGISTER FOR ANOTHER SESSION. We will move you into the new session and cancel the old reservation. Calling our office will ensure you are assessed the Orientation fee only once.  If you register for more than one session, you will be assessed the Orientation Fee for each session.  


  1. Freshman Honors Students. Students who have been offered, and have accepted, admission into the Capital Scholars Honors program are Honors students.
  2. Freshmen. All freshmen are traditional students except those in the Capital Scholars Honors program.
  3. Athletes are students who have been recruited for one of the 15 UIS Athletic teams. They can be Freshmen or Freshmen Honors students.
  4. International freshmen students, KickStart and Semester Launch are mandatory.  This is in addition to new International student requirements. Visit International Student Services for more information.


Step 3.  Pay Your Orientation Fee anytime after you register.  When you are complete the KickStart registration form, you will be able to indicate you will pay the Orientation Fee by credit card, mail a check or money order, or defer the payment to your student account (due September 28). The form will also ask you if you are bringing any guests.

Guest Fees. There is an additional $25 fee per person covering costs related to materials, orientation staff, lunch on the second day of orientation and refreshments on the first day. The guest fee is non-refundable.  You can pay the additional Guest Fees at KickStart on site during KickStart check-in.


Step 4.  Print Your Confirmation and Put it In Your Calendar.  A confirmation will be sent to the email account you listed in your admission application. Please make sure you read the confirmation. Share your confirmation with any guests who will be attending with you. You will receive several reminder emails the week before KickStart to that same email address, so make sure to check it often.

Step 5.
 Make Travel Arrangements & Hotel Accommodations for Parents/Families also note driving directions, training directions, and planning your trip tips.


Step 6:  Check to see if You are Required to Take Placement Testing (you will need your NetID and password).  Entering students may have to take Math, Reading, or Foreign Language Placement Exams. If you are unclear about the major requirements for ACT/SAT scores please contact your advisor:

Taking Placement Tests Before KickStart Remotely or On Campus in Springfield will save you time and shorten your first day of KickStart. 

  • On Campus:  Placement testing for Reading and Math are scheduled at UIS throughout the year. There is no charge to take Math or Reading placement tests at UIS. Make an appointment with Testing Services before or on your KickStart date. Phone (217) 206-8114 or E-mail:
    • Please contact the Modern Languages department by emailing Dr. Arnaldo Robles-Reyes [] to make arrangements for foreign language proficiency testing on the first day of your KickStart session. Students can test in any foreign language. There is a $20 fee that must be paid before coming to UIS for KickStart. When you contact Dr. Robles-Reyes to make arrangements for testing during your KickStart Orientation, he will send you an email with directions.
  • Remote Sites: Testing can be scheduled at remote testing locations throughout Illinois and the United States.  Complete the Remote Testing Request Form. You will need your UIS NetID and password to fill out this form.


Step 7: Review the New Student Orientation Checklist for First-Year Students (pdf). 


Step 8: Review the  KickStart Participant Expectations, Emergency Information, and Housing Guidelines_2019


Step 9: Prepare for August Semester Launch 

Request off work so you are able to attend and fully participate in the mandatory sessions each program requires. During Semester Launch, your i-Card will be swiped as you attend each program. Students who do not attend mandatory Semester Launch programs will be required to do make-up sessions on Friday afternoons the first month of the semester. Failure to attend these make-up sessions will result in students not being advised or registered during priority registration for the fall semester.  Students will have to wait until open registration to meet with an advisor.


Orientation Photo Gallery


Students Enrolling in the Spring of 2020

Dates for Spring 2020 KickStart and Semester Launch for students admitted to our Spring 2020 semester will be available on our Future Orientation Dates page by early October 2019. Please review this information as you plan family vacations and personal activities.  If you have already accepted admission to UIS you will start to receive mailings from our office in late October.  Registration for Summer/Fall KickStart will open November 1, 2019.


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