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 our mandatory Orientation program: KickStart and Semester Launch.

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 January, the Spring of 2020 Semester

Below are steps you need to complete to register and prepare for January KickStart and Semester Launch.

UIS Orientation Communications for Students * is sent to your personal email. Please review this webpage for information on how to prepare for Spring Orientation. 

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. 

Step 1: Review the January 2020 KickStart and Launch Week Schedule Overview (pdf). The schedule is subject to change, but gives provides you with the start and end times of each day and information about the sessions that are required for students. There is an optional parent orientation program, be sure to share with your parent and guardian. They are strongly encouraged to attend KickStart with you.


Step 2: Register for Orientation.  The KickStart registration form uses the same software that the 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 step 1 and read the information on the rest of this page before registering.

  • In January 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 and Semester Launch.

The January 2020 Spring Semester KickStart Program is:  Wednesday, January 8 – Thursday, January 9 (Registration is Now Open) immediately followed by January Semester Launch Thursday, January 9 – Friday, January 10 (see the schedule for details on the start and end times). Make sure you are prepared to be at Orientation all of those days.

Note: 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 complete the KickStart registration form, you will be able to indicate that you will pay the 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 an additional $25 fee per person covering costs related to materials, orientation staff, lunch, etc. 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 and share it 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 if needed for Parents/Families, also note driving directions, and tips for planning your trip.

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 especially if you are moving in to on-campus housing in January.  

  • On Campus:  If you live near Springfield, you can take placement tests 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 Participant Expectations, Emergency Information, and Housing Guidelines 2020

Step 9: Prepare for January KickStart and 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.  Failure to attend these 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 in to meet with an advisor and register for the next semester’s classes.

Step 10: Read Your Email for Driving and Parking Directions, Check-in location, and much more. Several emails will be sent to your personal email over the week prior to your orientation date.  Please read these emails carefully.  Some require you to complete forms online.  Please make sure you do this before your Orientation date.


For Students Enrolling in the Summer and Fall 2020 Semesters

Please review the information on our Future Orientation Dates page.  This website will be updated by the end of January to reflect information for the Summer and Fall 2020 Orientation programs.


Orientation Photo Gallery


Students Enrolling in the Summer and Fall 2020 Semesters

Dates for summer/fall 2020 KickStart and Semester Launch for students admitted to our summer and fall 2020 semesters are available on our Future Orientation Dates page. Please review the dates 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 January.  Registration for Summer/Fall KickStart will open late February 2020.


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