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 Launch Week.

KickStart is a two-day program. Launch Week 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 Summer or Fall 2018 Semester

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


Step 1: Claim Your NetID and Access Your UIS Email Account.  

…this will allow you to enter our student enterprise system which you will use for course registration at KickStart and automatically generate your UIS email account.  You will need:

  • the University Identification Number (UIN) you were assigned in your acceptance letter, and
  • the Token (security code) sent shortly after your acceptance letter. If you accidentally deleted this email contact to have it re-sent to you. This can take up to 2 regular business days.

You can check your UIS email after you complete this step: go to and use your newly created NetID and password to log in. Check your UIS email at least once a week during the summer to make sure you receive Orientation reminders and other UIS information.


Step 2: Students review Orientation Communications for information about programs * Parents see your publications on the parent page. 


Fall 2018 Orientation postcard for Students
Fall 2018 Orientation postcard for Students

Fall 2018 Orientation Postcard for Students mailed to first-year freshmen who have accepted admission to UIS

Summer_Fall 2018 Student Orientation Brochure entering UIS Summer and Fall of 2018 [mailed 2 weeks after accepting admission. This mailing will begin in mid-February. 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]

Fall_Summer 2018 First_Year Orientation Brochure_cover
Fall_Summer 2018 First_Year Orientation Brochure_cover




Step 3: Register for KickStart (students will only need to attend one, two-day session). Read through all the information on this page before registering.  UIS New Student Orientation uses the same software that UIS Admissions does for our KickStart form.  You can enter the form from your UIS Status Page or from our website. You will need the email and password you use to check you UIS Admissions Status Page to log into the KickStart registration form. The online KickStart registration form will ask you which date you want to attend. Please review the dates carefully. If you are an UIS Athlete, CAP Honors student, or in the STARs program there are specific dates that have been designated for you.

If you were offered and have accepted admission into the Honors program you have to select a date with Honors designation, if you are not in the Honors program you will select dates for traditional students. Athletes, go by the designated dates, then by Honors or Traditional student status.  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 Summer/Fall KickStart 2018 is now open! Click Here to Complete the Registration Form.

  • F7:  Monday, August 20 – Tuesday, August 21**  Last session for Fall 2018 semester. This is a Traditional and Honors Student Session; Athletes designated session).

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

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 Orientation Fee covers KickStart and Launch Week costs for the student.  It also covers costs for the KickStart Guidebook and some meals for 2 parents/family members/guests. It is non-refundable. Follow the link to find directions on how to pay the Orientation Fee

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 guest 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, because 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.

Athletes.  Incoming students who have been recruited to play on one of the 17 UIS athletic teams are required to attend an athlete designated orientation session. Athletic academic advisors and student-athlete programming will only be available during designated orientation dates.  During the designated sessions incoming student-athletes and their parents will have an opportunity to hear from the UIS Department of Athletics staff including coaches and trainers. These sessions start after the KickStart program end on the second day of KickStart – from 3:30 – 5 p.m.  More information is available in the Orientation brochure (see pdf above).


Step 4: Review the 2018 August KickStart Schedule Overview August 2018 KickStart Orientation Schedule before making travel arrangements (Students and (2) Parents/Guests will receive a detailed schedule in our Orientation Guidebook which you will receive at your KickStart session).


Step 5:  Placement Testing

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 scores please contact your advisor:

* Capital Scholar Honors students contact CAP by phone (217) 206-7251 or (800)-252-8533 or by email at

* All other first-year students contact the Office of Advising Services, Information and Support (OASIS) by e-mail or phone (217) 206-7471.

Taking Placement Tests Before KickStart. It is strongly encouraged that students take English and Math placement testing before their KickStart session by going to one of our remote sites. If you live near Springfield you can make an appointment at our Testing Services office here on campus. Taking tests before your KickStart date will shorten your KickStart day and allow you and your family to arrive on campus later in the morning.

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 by phone at  (217) 206-8114 or by email:  You can visit their website for current information about hours.

Remote Sites: Testing can be scheduled at remote testing locations throughout Illinois and the United States.  If you would like to go to one of the remote testing sites near your home, complete the Remote Testing Request Form. Someone from the Testing Services office will contact you about remote site testing options.  There is a small fee to test at the remote sites. Save the payment receipt from the remote site and bring it with you to the advising session on Day 2 to give to your advisor (make sure your name and UIN are on the receipt). Your student account will be credited.


Step 6: Review the New Student Checklist for First-Year FreshmenMake Travel Arrangements, & Hotel Accommodations for Parents/Families

Students should print the Checklist so they can keep track of things they

Playing Big Pink Volleyball_Evening Fun at KickStart
Playing Big Pink Volleyball_Evening Fun at KickStart

need to do before Kickstart, Launch Week, and classes. We also have suggestion on what to bring to Kickstart for both students and parents.

Students should also review the KickStart Participant Expectations, Emergency Information, and Housing Guidelines document.


Step 7: Prepare for August Launch Week 

Request off work. Review the Launch Week Schedule.  This is required for commuter and residential (living on-campus) students.  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 spring semester.  Students will have to wait until open registration to meet with an advisor.


Orientation Photo Gallery


Students Enrolling in the Spring 2019

Dates for Spring 2019 KickStart and Launch Week for students admitted to our Spring  semesters 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.  The information on this website will be updated in early October to reflect the Spring programs and schedules. If you have already accepted admission to UIS you will start to receive mailings from our office in mid-October.  Registration for Spring KickStart will open mid-October.


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