First-Year Students (Freshmen) Orientation

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

New Students having fun with the Instagram Frame during KickStart
New Students having fun with the Instagram Frame during KickStart

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 classes.  Please keep this in mind as work, vacations, and other activities are being planned and scheduled.


For students enrolling in the Spring 2019 Semester

Below are steps you need to complete to register and prepare for KickStart and Semester Launch.  Please note, the schedule is still a work in progress. It will be updated throughout the fall and finalized in December as we confirm our program. Check back for updates.

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

First-Year New Student Orientation Postcard-Spring 2019           First-Year New Student Orientation Postcard_Spring 2019 Page 2  Fall_Summer 2018 First_Year Orientation Brochure_cover

First-Year New Student Orientation Postcard for Students who have accepted admission to UIS for Spring Semester 2019. This will be mailed starting the second week of October and after within several days of your acceptance of admission.

Spring 2019 Student Orientation Brochure for students who have accepted admission for Spring 2019 [This mailing will begin in mid-December, otherwise it will be mailed 2 weeks after a student has accepted admission]. If you move after you have filed your UIS Admission form, please email the Office of Admissions with your new mailing address so you won’t miss any of our mailings.

Step 1: Review the Spring 2019 KickStart and Semester Launch Schedule Overview (draft – will be finalized in mid-December)


Step 2: Register for KickStart and Semester Launch  UIS New Student Orientation uses the same software that UIS Admissions does for our KickStart form registration.  You can enter the form from your UIS Status Page or from the link below. You will need the email and password you use to check you 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 attempting to register.

Registration for Spring 2019 KickStart and Semester Launch is now open! Click Here to Complete the Registration Form.

  • F8:  Wednesday, January 9 – Friday, January 11 **  This is the only session for the Spring 2019 semester.

* International freshmen students, KickStart and Semester Launch are mandatory.  This is in addition to new International student requirements required by International Student Services.


Step 3.  Pay Your Orientation Fee.  While you are completing the KickStart Registration Form, you will be asked if you want to pay your Orientation Fee online, mail a payment, or defer it to your student bill.  The form will also ask you if you are bringing any guests.  The Orientation fee covers up to 2 parents/family members, or guests.

Guest Fee for Additional Guests. There is an additional $25 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 additional Guest Fees when you pay your Orientation Fee. If you are not sure if a guest will be able to attend, you can pay the guest fee at KickStart on site during KickStart check-in.


Step 4.  Print Your Confirmation and Put it In Your Calendar.  A confirmation of your KickStart registration 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


Step 6:  Make Arrangements for Placement Testing, if required.  Entering students may have to take Math, Reading, or Foreign Language Placement Exams. Review the Testing Services Math Placement Test grid to determine if you are required to test. If you are unclear about the major requirements for ACT/SAT scores please contact your advisor:  the Office of Advising Services, Information, and Support (OASIS) by e-mail or phone (217) 206-7471.

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 is scheduled at UIS throughout the year. There is no charge to take placement tests at UIS. Make an appointment with Testing Services. Phone (217) 206-8114 or E-mail:  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.  Complete the Remote Testing Request Form.

Step 7: Review the New Student Orientation Checklist for First-Year Students


Step 8: Review the KickStart/Semester Launch August and January KickStart Participant Expectations and Emergency Information.


Step 9: Prepare for KickStart and Semester Launch 

Request off work. 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 fall semester.  Students will have to wait until open registration to meet with an advisor.


Orientation Photo Gallery


Students Enrolling in the Summer or Fall 2019

Dates for Summer/Fall 2019 KickStart and Semester Launch for students admitted to our Summer/Fall 2019 semester will be available on our Future Orientation Dates page by the end of October. 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 early January.  Registration for Summer/Fall KickStart will open February 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