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 the Summer and Fall 2021 Semesters

Step 1: Orientation is Mandatory. All freshman and freshman transfer students are required to participate in the Summer and August Welcome programs. 

UIS cares about the health and safety of incoming students, family members and our faculty and staff. We are following the guidance of experts in planning our programs.  Orientation for new students and parents will be held over time in several stages. Students and parents can plan on completing some parts of your orientation:

  • Asynchronously – an online orientation that you will be able to complete in Canvas, our learning management system. Some items you will be able to complete at your own pace, others will have deadlines for either before or after your orientation date. More information will be available later this Spring.
  • In-Person, on campus in Springfield.  You and up to two guests will come to Springfield for sessions that will include Financial Assistance, academic expectations, meeting with an academic advisor, and interacting with current peers. If Covid-19 mitigation guidelines suddenly change, preventing us from holding in-person sessions, these sessions will be held over Zoom on the Orientation that students will register
  • Synchronous, Live sessions in Zoom will be weekly throughout the summer. A schedule will be available later this spring.

Step 2: Register for Orientation.  Registration for First-Year Orientation will open in early April. You will be able to 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 information for the online orientation in Canvas and live Zoom sessions by email. Students, you will be making appointments for advising and registration during your Orientation session.

The 2021 First-Year Summer Orientation sessions will be from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Dates to choose from are (students will only select one of these):

F1: Friday, June 11
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 

F2: Saturday, June 12
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 
F3: Monday, June 14
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 

F4: Tuesday, June 15
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 

F5: Thursday, June 17
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 
F6: Friday, June 18
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 
F7: Tuesday, June 22
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 
F8: Wednesday, June 23
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 
F9: Friday, June 25
(seats for 25 Freshmen) 
F10: Saturday, June 26
(seats for 25 Freshmen) 
F11: Monday, June 28
(seats for 25 Freshmen) 
F12: Tuesday, June 29
(seats for 25 Freshmen) 
F13: Monday, July 12 *
(seats for 25 Freshmen) 
F14: Tuesday, July 13 *
(seats for 25 Freshmen) 
F14: Monday, August 16 **
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 
F15: Tuesday, August 17 **
(seats for 16 Freshmen, 9 Freshmen Honors) 

* July sessions are designated for students who have been admitted after May 30. Registration for July sessions will open in mid-June.
** August sessions are designated for students admitted after July 1st and out-of-state and international students. Registration for August session will open in mid-July.


Select the session for your student admission description: Freshmen or Freshmen Honors.  If you need to cancel or change your reservation contact our office.  


  1. Freshman Honors Students. Students who have been offered, and have accepted, admission into the Capital Scholars Honors program. Are also called Honors Students or CAP Students. Honors students must register for designated Freshmen Honors sessions.
  2. Freshmen. All students are freshmen unless in the Capital Scholars Honors program. Also called first-years; first-year freshmen; transfer freshmen (if transferring in less than 30 credits). Freshmen can register for any of the Freshmen sessions that are open.
  3. International Freshmen students participate in Summer Orientation and August Welcome, in addition to new International student requirements. Visit International Student Services for more information. Students who can access the sites for the virtual orientation sessions can sign up for June sessions.

Step 3.  Pay your Orientation Fee any time after you register.  When you complete the Orientation 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 September 28). The form will ask you if you are bringing any guests.

Guest Fees. There is a $25 fee per guest covering costs related to lunch, digitizing 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:  Placement Testing.  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. Placement Tests should be completed at least 2 weeks before your orientation session. More information and how to register for Placement Testing will be available on the Testing Services website.

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 – Dates to Request off Work.

Schedule time to do the online, asynchronous modules in Canvas. It will open in late May. There will be modules you will need to complete before your Orientation session and others will open in August.  You will also want to request off work on your Summer Orientation date.

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 Spring 2022 Semesters

Please review the information on our Future Orientation Dates page. This website will be updated in late October to reflect information for the Spring 2022 Orientation programs that will be held January 12-14.


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