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.
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.
Students Orientation Communications for information about programs * Parent publications are on the parent page (Coming Soon).
Email: Students will start receiving email messages to their personal account from our office after they have accepted their admission. You will also receive confirmation emails and, the week before your session, reminder emails about the program, driving directions, and more. Please make sure you are reading these emails so you do not miss out on important information.
The Summer/Fall 2019 New Student Brochure is the only mailing to students. The brochure will be mailed out starting in mid-April to students who have already accepted admission and will continue to be mailed 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 Summer/Fall KickStart Schedule – Draft (pdf)
Step 2: Register for Orientation. Registration will open February 1. 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 attempting to register.
- KickStart is a two-day session. You have to attend both days of the session you register for.
- Sessions in June are overnight. All students participating in June 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 April 8):
- F1: Tuesday, June 11 – Wednesday, June 12 (19 reservations remaining for Freshmen; 13 reservations for remaining for Freshmen Honors Students);
- F2: Friday, June 14 – Saturday, June 15 (26 reservations remaining for Freshmen; 19 reservations remaining for Freshmen Honors Students; Athlete designated session);
- F3: Monday, June 17 – Tuesday, June 18 (31 reservations remaining for Freshmen; 19 reservations remaining for Freshmen Honors Students; Athlete designated session);
- F4: Wednesday, June 19 – Thursday, June 20 (39 reservations remaining for Freshmen; 17 reservations remaining for Freshmen Honors Students);
- F5: Friday, June 21 – Saturday, June 22 (36 reservations remaining for Freshmen);
- F7: Monday, August 19 – Tuesday, August 20 (Athlete, International, and Out-of-State student designated session);
- You will only be allowed to select the session for your student admission description: Traditional or Honors. We reserve a specific number of spots for each student type as noted above. If a session reaches that cap, it is automatically closed. If someone contacts our office to switch to another session the spot will automatically open up. 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 registration. 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.
- Freshman Honors Students. Students who have been offered, and have accepted, admission into the Capital Scholars Honors program are Honors students.
- Freshmen. All freshmen are traditional students except those in the Capital Scholars Honors program.
- Athletes are students who have been recruited for one of the 15 UIS Athletic teams. They can be Freshmen or Freshmen Honors students.
- 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. While you are completing the KickStart registration form, you will be able to indicate if you would like to 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. After you complete the KickStart Registration Form, you will be able to pay your Orientation Fee online by credit card by going back to your Status Page and clicking on ‘Payment Due: 175 USD.’ Once you click on that item, it will take you through the credit card payment process.
Guest Fees. There is an additional $25 fee per person covering costs related to mailings, publications, orientation staff, lunch on the second day of orientation and refreshments on the first day. 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 email@example.com 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 (pdf).
Step 9: Prepare for 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. 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.
For questions about New Student Orientation
please contact us at (217) 206.8181 or email UISOrientation@uis.edu