Do I have to attend orientation?

Yes, new first-year students are required to attend, including Freshman Transfer students (less than 24 credit hours accepted by UIS). Orientation is a vital part in the transition to college and lays a foundation for your future success at UIS. Students who complete/participate in all three parts of Orientation have higher Grade Point Averages (GPAs) and are more successful at UIS than students who skip or miss parts of our program. 

How do I register for New Student Orientation?

Visit your Admission Status page and click 'Orientation Sign up is Open'. You will use the login and password from your UIS Admissions application to login to the registration form. For any questions or concerns call 217-206-8181 or email

I am trying to register for orientation but the logon page says I do not have clearance?

There could be a couple of issues. (1). You are not using the logon id and password you created for your Admission Application, or (2) you have not accepted your admission to UIS, or (3) you have selected the wrong session. CAP Honors students must select Honors designated dates and Non-Honors (Freshman) students must select Freshmen dates.

Does it matter which dates I select?

Yes, first year students must select first year dates and Capital Scholars honors students must select Honors dates

How do I know that my reservation for orientation has been received?

When you submit the reservation you will automatically receive a copy of your registration to the email you gave UIS on your application. You will also be emailed a confirmation of the session you're registered for. You can also verify your reservation by going to your UIS Admission Status page.

I checked pay my Orientation Fee by credit card when I was registering for Orientation but I didn’t see anything that asked for my credit card number?

If you go to your Admission Status page you will see under Payment Due heading the amount for your Orientation and Guest Fees. Click on that and it will take you through the process of paying by credit card.

How much does Orientation cost?

There is a mandatory $175 Orientation fee that is assessed to each student and covers expenses for the student. The Orientation Fee can be paid online after registering for Orientation, or the payment may be mailed after registering, or deferred to the student account until the tuition bill is due. The Orientation Fee is mandatory and non-refundable. There are separate Guest fees for each guest a student would like to bring.  Students are allowed up to 2 guests. The guest fee is $25/guest ($10/guest for virtual orientation) and can be paid by credit card when paying the student's orientation fee. 

If I attend Orientation do I have to attend the New Student Welcome program?

Yes, UIS’s mandatory orientation program has three parts. The first part is the online orientation. Then students will attend the in-person, 1-day program Orientation on-campus in Springfield (or the virtual, synchronous Orientation for online majors, out-of-state or international students), which focuses on big-picture activities like course registration. New Student Welcome is the last part of our  mandatory programs, held right before classes start (in Fall: August 22, 23, and 24; Spring semester admits: January 12, 13), that will help prepare you for your first semester of college.

Can I make changes to my in-person Orientation reservation?

Yes, we understand that things come up during the Summer. Please email us with the date you want to cancel and indicate your new preferred date. We will cancel your reservation and register you for  the other date if it is still open. Do not register for another session online, this will lead to confusion and being registered and charged for two Orientation dates. Please note that once your cancel your reservation the reservation system automatically opens a spot in that date and someone else can register for that spot. So please be sure and check dates before cancelling anything.

How do I know if I have to take a placement test?

Entering students may have to take Math or Reading Placement exams. If you have taken the ACT/SAT and sent UIS your scores this may determine if you can waive one or both placement exam requirements. If you are unclear about what tests you need to take, please contact your academic advisor. Traditional first-year students contact the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA) and Honors students contact the Capital Scholars Honors program.

Should I take Placement Exams before Orientation?

Yes, you will want to take it at least a week before your in-person Orientation date so you can be placed in the correct English and/or Math or science courses.

You can take your placement testing online, remotely or if you live near Springfield, at our Testing Services office here on campus. It is Free. Placement Testing is scheduled at UIS throughout the year. Refer to the Testing Services webpage for directions to request online or in-person testing appointments and sample testing questions.  


If I or my parent/guardian/guest require(s) special assistance will UIS be able to provide me with the necessary assistance?

Students who need accommodations (Assistive Technology, Documents in Large Format, Sign Language Interpreter) during Orientation, please indicate this on the online registration form. We need at least three weeks before the orientation session to make arrangements with our Office of Disability Services staff who will need time to contact sign language interpreters or take print material like our program and handouts and modify them for students who are blind or have a visual impairment. We will make every effort to make accommodations, but sign language interpreters are dependent on their availability.

We can make some limited arrangements for parents/guardian/guests. Please email the Office of New Student Orientation & Parent Relations for further discussion.  

Will I be able to receive my orientation date of choice?

In June because we limit the number of student participants in each session they are filled on a first-come basis. Therefore, if you register early you are more likely to receive your 1st choice orientation session. Once a session is full the system will close the session.  If someone changes their reservation, a session may open back up. August and January sessions have one orientation date and no limits on the number of student registrations, because they tend to have few students.

What are my chances of getting the courses I need if I attend a later session?

The first people to register have the opportunity to register for courses offered during preferred/peak class times (e.g. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.). Some popular introduction courses at these times tend to fill up faster. You might have to take it earlier or later in the day than you would prefer, but you will still be registered for these classes. Some general education subjects (e.g. psychology, sociology) are also more popular than others so you may have to choose an alternate subject. Required courses like Freshman Seminar, English, and Math add sections as they are needed throughout the summer. You will be able to register for all the credit hours you need. It may not be at your first choice time or general education subject. 

Will someone from Financial Assistance be at orientation to answer questions/concerns?

We strongly encourage students and their parents/guardian meet with the student’s financial assistance counselor to review the financial offer notification and cost of attendance before or after their orientation date. The Office of Financial Assistance can meet with the student and parents virtually by appointment. While The Financial Assistance staff will be at each orientation session, they will not have time to meet with everyone.

Contact their office to arrange a meeting: Phone: (217) 206-6724 or Email:

Do not make any appointments on the Orientation date the student registered for. The student will have mandatory programming to attend the whole day.

Will I be able to tour the campus/housing facilities during orientation?

Yes.  Fifty minute campus tours will be offered before the in-person Orientation begins.  In August and January a schedule tour of where classes are is built into the afternoon schedule. Tours of the Residence Hall Showroom will be held during the Summer session in the morning before Orientation begins. 

What is your refund/cancellation policy regarding New Student Orientation fees?

The Orientation and Guest Fees are non-refundable.

If I haven’t sent back my Acceptance of Admission Form to the Admissions Office yet, can I attend orientation?

No. By accepting admission the advising and testing services offices will have access to your records to properly advise you. When you complete your Intent to Enroll Form you will receive a Welcome email from New Student Orientation within a couple of days. 

What will I be doing during orientation?

The goals of orientation are to make sure our students learn about campus resources, have an understanding of academic expectations and resources, and make connections with peers and current students.  Orientation activities are designed to meet these goals.  You will be attending sessions that will provide you with information, learn UIS technologies, register for courses, allow you to explore campus and meet your classmates. There will be a general schedule which outlines the content on the First-Year Student Orientation page. You and your parents/family members will receive a detailed schedule at Orientation.