First-Year Students (Freshmen) Orientation

Covid-19 Impact on UIS Admission and Orientation.

We are open and working remotely answering emails and voicemails during regular business hours while following the governor’s stay at home orders.  Please continue to register for a KickStart session. We will have updates within the next few weeks.  Please visit this link for updates

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. All first-year students (and transfer freshmen with less than 30 transfer credit hours) will attend our mandatory Orientation program: KickStart and Semester Launch.

Your journey to college begins after accepting your admission by submitting your Intent to Enroll on your Admission Status Page. You will start to receive information about Orientation within 24 hours.  UIS Orientation Communications for Students * are sent to your personal email. Keep an eye on your inbox. Add as a safe sender to make sure you won’t miss anything.


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 First-year Students/Freshmen Enrolling in Summer and Fall 2020 Semesters

Below are steps you need to complete to register and prepare for your Orientation programs: KickStart and Semester Launch.

 Please review this webpage for information on how to prepare for 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 your school email 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. 

Mail: Students will receive the Summer/Fall 2020 New Student Brochure. It is the only mailing to students. The brochure will start going out at the end of March. It is sent to students about 1 week after they have accepted admission.  If you have moved since submitting your UIS application, please email the Office of Admission to update your mailing address. International Students will receive these documents digitally to their email address.

Step 1: Review the 2020 KickStart Schedule (pdf). The schedule is a draft and subject to change until it is finalized in May. It provides you with the start and end times of each day and information about what is being planned and the sessions that are required for students. There is a 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.  Registration Will Be Open March 9. Make sure you are prepared to be at Orientation both days. You cannot split sessions. You will not be able to register for classes if you leave early.  If you leave early, you will have to make up the time you missed at another session.

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.

  • During June and July sessions all students will be staying overnight in the orientation 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 and Semester Launch.

The 2020 Summer KickStart sessions to choose from are:  

  • F1: Tuesday, June 9 – Wednesday, June 10 (Freshmen Honors: 20 seats; Freshmen: 40 seats) This is a CAP Honors designated session.  This is an Athletes designated session.
  • F2: Friday, June 12 – Saturday, June 13 (Freshmen Honors: 20 seats; Freshmen: 40 seats) This is a CAP Honors designated session.  This is an Athletes designated session.
  • F3: Tuesday, June 16 – Wednesday, June 17 (Freshmen Honors: 20 seats; Freshmen: 40 seats) This is a CAP Honors designated session.  This is an Athletes designated session. 
  • F4: Thursday, June 18 – Friday, June 19 (Freshmen: 40 seats) This is an Athletes designated session. 
  • F5: Tuesday, June 23 – Wednesday, June 24 (Freshmen Honors: 20 seats;  Freshmen: 40 seats) This is a CAP Honors designated session.  This is an Athletes designated session.
  • F6: Friday, June 26 – Saturday, June 27 (40 seats)
  • F8: Monday, August 17 – Tuesday, August 18 (updated) Out-of-state and international students and students admitted after June 12 are given priority to register for these dates. This is a Freshmen Honors designated session.  This is an Athletes designated session.  Students living on-campus will move in on Sunday, August 16.  The Office Residence Life will send information about hours for check-in in August.  


You will only be allowed to select the session for your student admission description: Freshmen or Freshmen Honors.  We reserve a specific number of spots for each student type as noted above. If a session reaches that cap, it automatically closes. If someone changes their reservation to another session their previous reservation will automatically open. If you need to cancel or change your reservation contact our office. DO NOT REGISTER FOR ANOTHER SESSION.  Calling our office to change the reservation will ensure that Orientation staff can modify the Orientation Fee assessment.  If you register for more than one session without calling our office to cancel, you will be assessed Orientation Fees for each session. 


  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. Athletes are students who have been recruited for one of the 15 UIS Athletic teams. They can be Freshmen or Freshmen Honors students. Athletes can register for the Athlete designated sessions.
  4. International Freshmen students, KickStart August 17/18 KickStart and Semester Launch (August 19-22) are mandatory.  This is 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 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 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. Parents and Family members will not be staying in the residence hall with the student. Also note driving directions, and tips for planning your trip on that page.

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:
    • Remote Sites: Shorten your KickStart day, take your placement test remotely. Testing can be scheduled 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.  Once the form is submitted, the testing center will ID the closest site to your zip code.  You will receive an email from UIS Testing Services with the name of this location and their contact information, in addition to a voucher number that you can bring with you to the testing site.  You will need to contact the remote site and make arrangements for the testing appointment (at least 1 week before your orientation session).  There will fee to take the test – please save your receipt, bring it with you to your advising appointment (write your name,  mailing address, and UIN on the receipt) and that amount will be credited to your UIS student account.
    • 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.

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 your 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 spring 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. 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 or training online.  Please make sure you do this before your Orientation program date.


For Students Enrolling in the Spring 2021 Semester

Please review the information on our Future Orientation Dates page.  This website will be updated in October to reflect information for the Spring 2021 Orientation programs that will be held January 13-16.


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