First-Year Students (Freshmen) Orientation

Welcome to UIS – We are so excited that you have chosen to come to our University! New Student Orientation programming is designed to assist you and your parents/family/guests in making the transition to university life and being a successful Prairie Star. We have found that students who attend all orientation session are more likely to have higher grades and be more successful at UIS than students who miss sessions.

Once you have submitted your Intent to Enroll on your Admission Status Page. You will start to receive information about orientation. UIS Orientation sends information to your personal email. Add as a safe sender to make sure you won’t miss anything.

Young Abe the Orientation Leader
Young Abe the Orientation Leader

For First-Year Students/Freshmen Enrolling in Spring 2021 Semester

Step 1: Orientation is Mandatory. All freshman and freshman transfer students are required to participate in Orientation. 

UIS cares about the health and safety of incoming students, family members and our faculty and staff. We are following the guidance of experts and have moved our 2020-21 Orientation programs online.  Although students and family members will not be meeting with faculty and staff face-to-face, you will still be able to build important connections with orientation leaders, faculty and staff, and your classmates through virtual programs:

• Asynchronous, online orientation at your own pace in our Orientation Canvas course. The link will be emailed after you register for Orientation. You will have until January 11 to complete the Canvas course.

• Synchronous, Live sessions in Zoom will be held each day January 13-15.  The links will be emailed January 11.

Parent Orientation: Parents and Family Members have their own online and live Zoom orientation. The links will be emailed to them after you register for orientation. The links to the Live Zoom sessions January 13, 14, and 15 will be emailed January 11. During the Zoom sessions parents and family members will be able to meet with Orientation Leaders (OL) and staff and ask questions of the faculty who presented online session recordings.

Step 2: Register for Orientation.  You can enter the orientation registration form from your UIS Status PageMake sure you have read the information on the rest of this page before registering. Registering for the orientation program will set you and your guests up to receive the links to the Canvas and live Zoom sessions by email.

Notes:  International Freshmen students participate in January Orientation, in addition to new International student requirements. Visit International Student Services for more information.

Step 3.  Pay your Orientation Fee any time after you register.  When you complete the KickStart registration form, you will be able to indicate that you will pay the $175 Orientation Fee by credit card, mail a check or money order, or defer the payment to your student account (due February 28). The form will ask you if you are bringing any guests.

Guest Fees. There is a $15 fee per guest covering costs related to materials, videos, orientation staff, etc.  The guest fee is non-refundable. You can pay the additional Guest Fees online with the student Orientation Fee.

Step 4.  Put Your Confirmation On Your Calendar.  A confirmation will be sent to the email account you listed in your admission application. Please make sure you read the confirmation and share it with any guests who will be attending with you.

Step 5:  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:

English and Math Placement Testing – will be arranged by the UIS Testing Center virtually through your choice of Zoom Video Chat or through Examity (there is a $20 charge for Examity’s 24/7 service). Placement Tests should be completed at least 2 weeks before your advising appointment. Please note, Students must have a computer with webcam and audio. Students cannot take tests on tablets or smart phones. Additionally, some Chromebooks are not compatible with Zoom and will not work for placement testing. We also recommend connecting to the Internet via an Ethernet cable (which is more stable than WiFi connections), when possible.

Steps to Reserve a Spot For Placement Testing:

  1.  Email to request an appointment, include your UIN, email address, and phone number along with the day and time you would like to test remotely.  You will need to choose several days and times between Monday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Please note that UIS will be closed for winter break December 24 through January 1. Offices re-open Monday, January 4.)
  2. You will receive another email with your Zoom Test Appointment confirmation and a Zoom link to the test.  Put this in your calendar and set a reminder on your phone.

After your test you will see your scores. Your academic advisor will also be able to see your scores and will use them to help you register for the appropriate courses.

Take some sample tests to familiarize yourself with Accuplacer:

Foreign Language Placement Testing

Please contact the Modern Languages department by emailing Dr. Arnaldo Robles-Reyes [] to make arrangements for foreign language proficiency testing in Spanish. In your email include information about the number of years you have studied the language and where (high school/college); have you studied abroad, where you raised in a Spanish-speaking home? This will help him place you in Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced classes.

Students can test for proficiency in any foreign language. There is a $20 fee that must be paid before taking the tests which will be scheduled on selected dates throughout the school year. It might be possible to test by a remote proctored test but there is an additional fee. When you contact Dr. Robles-Reyes to make arrangements for testing, he will send you an email with directions.

Step 6: Prepare for your Orientation and Academic Advising

Block time of to do the online, asynchronous modules in Canvas. It will take about 3-4 hours to do, but we don’t recommend you do it all in one sitting. You will find directions on how to set up your advising appointment in your Canvas modules.   You will also want to request off work so you are able to attend and fully participate in the mandatory Zoom sessions January 13, 14, and 14. The schedule will be out in early December.

Step 7: Read Your Email.
Information about accessing the online orientation in Canvas and links to the Live Zoom session will be sent to your email. Please read all emails carefully.  

If your high school doesn’t allow you to access your school email after graduation, please email and change it to your UIS email or another personal email through a provider like gmail or yahoo so you won’t miss important information.  

For Students Enrolling in the Summer/Fall 2021 Semesters

Please review the information on our Future Orientation Dates page. This website will be updated in February to reflect information for the Summer/Fall 2021 Orientation programs that will be held from June to August.


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