Graduate Student Orientation

If you have been admitted to one of our on-campus graduate programs, be sure to "accept" the Graduate College's offer and the College of Education's offer, then begin your next steps.

What's next?

Step 1: Claim your NetID and set up your Exchange Email account:
  • Your NetID will give you access to campus services, including e-mail and file storage. New students should visit the NetID claiming website immediately after receiving your Official Notice of Admission letter from the Graduate College.
  • You will need to enter in your University ID Number (UIN) and Admit ID. The UIN and Admit ID were provided to you in your Official Notice of Admission letter.
  • Select two security questions to protect your Net ID account.
  • Choose a password for your Net ID account (be sure to check out the requirements for all passwords).
  • Claim your Exchange Email Account.
  • Exchange is a service used for email, calendaring, and contact and task management at the University of Illinois and is vital for receiving emails and information from the University.
  • Approximately one hour after claiming your Net ID and Exchange Email Account, and setting your password, you will be able to login to your webmail account.
Step 2: Verify personal information in UI-Integrate Self-Service:
  • Log into the online UI-Integrate Self-Service.
  • Verify your personal information, such as your contact information. Keeping this information up-to-date is extremely important and ensures proper delivery of important documents.
Step 3: Verify your Exchange Email account:
  • Log into Outlook Web App to check your Exchange email.
  • If you have questions about your email or your Exchange account, please contact Technology Services Help Desk,
  • All email communications to University of Illinois students will be sent to your email address.
Step 4: Visit the ISSS website (if you are an international student):
Step 5: Get your i-card:
  • Your i-card is your official University of Illinois photo ID. It also works as your bus pass to ride the Mass Transit District (MTD) and your library card.
  • Visit the ID Center in the Illini Union Bookstore or the i-card website.
  • If you were an undergraduate here at Illinois, you'll want to get a new i-card showing your graduate student status.
  • 100% online or off-campus students may get a “photoless” University of Illinois ID  card to  borrow materials from the UI Library and statewide I-Share member Libraries.
  • To obtain a photoless ID card, please use the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning ID Card Request Form.
Step 6: Submit your transcripts:
  • Remember your transcripts.
  • A complete list of what academic credentials (transcripts, certificate of degrees, translations) you need to submit, please view your official notice of admission letter.
  • These credentials can be mailed to us, or you can drop them off in person at the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office in the Graduate College.
  • The Graduate College Admissions Office is located in Coble Hall - Room 301, 801 South Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois, 61820.
Step 7: Finding living accommodations:
  • If you prefer the ease and convenience of living close to or on campus in University Housing, the U of I has a number of options for you, including residence halls and apartments.
  • If you wish to live in a residential neighborhood such as in a house, apartment, or loft, privately owned housing is available year round.
  • To find housing, you can check the newspaper, like the Daily Illini (the University student newspaper) or the News Gazette (the local paper), or websites like Craigslist.
  • Another good resource is the Tenant Union. It provides rental assistance and helpful tips, including typical cost of housing and utilities for the area.
Step 8: Look into childcare and local schools (if you have children):
Step 9: Understand healthcare coverage rules:
  • The University of Illinois student health insurance plan is mandatory for all students, unless you have proof of health care coverage.
  • To learn about benefits, how to opt out if you have comparable coverage elsewhere, or how to add dependents, check out the Student Insurance Office website.
  • The McKinley Health Center is conveniently located on campus and provides routine and preventative care, health counseling, immunization, and more.
  • Students may use McKinley Health Center even if they have opted out of the University Health Insurance plan.
  • For additional health and wellness resources visit the Graduate College website.
  • Remember to complete and submit your Immunization Information Form.
Step 10: Complete payroll information in NESSIE (if necessary):
  • Students with assistantships, traineeships, and fellowships will need to complete payroll information in an online system called NESSIE New Hire.
  • For assistants, your department will provide you with the URL and give you a password to do this. You will not be paid until information in NESSIE is complete.
Step 11: Monitor all billing activity:
  • Visit the University Student Financial Services & Cashier Operations (USFSCO) website.
  • USFSCO is the office responsible for billing all activity that appears on your student account, such as tuition, fees, room and board charges and credits.
  • Please visit the "Pay My Bill" at to familiarize yourself with important information regarding your student account and payment options, as well as important due dates.
  • Interested in applying for student loan? Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aide (FAFSA). Use Federal School Code 001775.
  • More information about loans is available from the Office of Financial Aid.
Step 12: Register for classes:
  • Review the registration process through the Office of the Registrar
  • Meet with your adviser and then use UI-Integrate Self-Service to register for classes. 
  • Always register early and check your registration to make sure it is current and accurate.
  • A list of courses currently offered is available online at Course Finder and Course Explorer
  • If your are registering for any online courses, be sure to go through the Online & Off-Campus Orientation, too. You will especially want to review the information on Moodle, Collaborate and Scholar.
Step 13: Review Your Program of Study:
  • Bookmark your program page on the College of Education website. Click on your program for specific information on degree requirements and courses.

Will you be taking any of your courses online? If so, please review the additional steps below.

Step 14: Watch the Orientation videos
How to login into Moodle

Editing Your Profile

How to Participate in a Discussion Forum

How to Submit an Assignment

How to View Your Grades

How to Access Your Online Class from Moodle

Collaborate Tutorial
Step 15: Review Collaborate
  • Blackboard Collaborate is the official system for the University of Illinois Online Programs; therefore, it is essential that students are able to efficiently operate the system. PRACTICE USING BLACKBOARD COLLABORATE HERE.
  • Collaborate is a real-time (synchronous) web conferencing tool. With Collaborate, you can dynamically interact with your classmates and your course instructor using text chat messages and/or two-way voice. Collaborate also provides whiteboard tools to enable collaboration between you and your classmates, including desktop applications, and PowerPoint presentations.  Depending upon the needs of your course, you may use Collaborate conference rooms for: virtual office hours with your instructor, a study lounge to work on group projects, study for exams together, etc, and for course sessions.
  • Visit the Collaborate First-Time User's page and complete steps 1 & 2 to check your system requirements and configure your system.
  • After completing the configuration, you can access the student lounge inside one of your courses, as well as other Collaborate sessions. *Note; For security reasons, any Collaborate session you enter may be recorded or monitored.
  • Watch the Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing -Participant Orientation Video for more guidance on using Collaborate.
Step 16: Get to know Scholar

Students registering for some online courses may participate in Scholar. Scholar is a new online knowledge tool that introduces a new way to think, read, write & learn in the digital age. 

  1. Create a Scholar Learning Module Account
  2. View the Scholar Tutorials
Step 17: Update your Java

Java is a programming language and computing platform first released in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable.

The latest Java version contains important enhancements to improve performance, stability and security of the Java applications that run on your machine. Installing this free update will ensure that your Java applications continue to run safely and efficiently.

Pick your system:

Step 18: Check out Learn@Illinois

Visit Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts & Sciences (ATLAS). ATLAS, promotes innovation and excellence in teaching and learning with technology.

Click on the "Student" button. Here you will find a number of student resources including information on: updating your profile, managing email, customizing your homepage, and more.

You can access help along the way by:

  • Completing this form Learn@Illinois, or
  • Contacting Technology Services at (217) 244-7005 during synchronous class hours and during regular business hours of 8:00 am - 7:30 pm CST, Monday-Friday, or
  • Emailing them at:, or
  • Chatting with them by clicking the "chat" box at the bottom of this webpage.