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Guide for Graduate Orientation

Orientation is an exciting time across our campus! Let us help you get a head start with your orientation plans. We’ve compiled resources to help you connect your students to the information that they need to get started at Illinois.

Graduate College Resources

Request a Presentation from the Graduate College

A member of the Graduate College staff can join departments, research groups, or student organization meetings to welcome our new graduate students and share tips to help them get off to a good start at Illinois. Sessions are 15 minutes and can be incorporated into departmental orientation sessions either at the beginning of the year or at some point in the first semester of the program. These presentations will be available either in person or online.

Request a Presentation


Share a Video About the Graduate College with Your Students

The Graduate College is developing a short orientation video that departments can play for your students to help introduce them to the Graduate College and graduate education at Illinois. The video may be downloaded from Box.

Download Our Video


Download Our Slides For Your Presentations

The Graduate College has designed several stand-alone slides that departments can choose to incorporate into their orientation presentations. These slides include information about the role of the Graduate College and some of the resources that we provide. The slides include presenter notes for your use. We currently have three different slides:

  • Connect With Us Slide: Includes information about connecting with the Graduate College, emails, and social media
  • GradMAP Slide: Introduces students to our orientation resources
  • Welcome Slide: Welcomes students to the University of Illinois and includes the Graduate College website

Download Our Slides


Download videos from campus partners

The Graduate College has worked with offices across campus to provide videos and additional resources that you can share with graduate students during your orientation. These videos can be incorporated into your orientation activities or seminars that meet throughout the semester.

Download the Videos


Share Our Quick Guide

Our Quick Guide gives students a checklist of key items to complete in order to get off to a good start at Illinois! Feel free to circulate this guide to your students.

Share Our GradMAP Pages

GradMAP is a suite of resources that includes web pages, videos, newsletters to help graduate students acclimate to graduate school and navigate their first year. Our web pages provide information that links them to key resources as well as tips for having a successful graduate student experience.

Tips from Students and Staff on Orienting New Graduate Students

Are you looking for creative ideas to incorporate into your orientation? We can help! Two of our Graduate College committees—SAGE (comprised of current graduate students) and AAG (graduate program contacts)—have compiled a list of ideas you might consider. A PDF of these tips is included in this Box folder.

Create a Checklist for Your New Students

Help your students get off to a good start this semester by creating a checklist! Each department will have differing requirements and priorities, but some items to consider adding can be found on our Checklist for New Students web page. If you already have a checklist, now is a great time to revise the checklist to include new dates, times, or any updated processes. You might ask a few of your current graduate students to look at the checklist to see if there is anything that they recommend adding or changing.

Additional Campus Orientations

International Student Check-In

International Student Check-In is a federally mandated process that requires every international student to report to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and have their immigration documents reviewed. Check-In should be completed as soon as possible after arrival to the United States.

International Student Orientation

Each Fall, Spring, and Summer, ISSS hosts orientations to welcome students and introduce them to campus resources. The dates and times are listed on the ISSS website. Registration is required.

CITL Training for New Teaching Assistants

New Teaching Assistants must attend CITL’s pre-semester TA training unless the department offers its own training on substantively similar topics. The best time for a new TA to attend is just before their teaching responsibilities begin so they can immediately start to apply what they learn. TAs without classroom duties, such as graders, may instead attend the shorter Grading Symposium. Information about the Grad Academy and Grading Symposium can be found on the CITL website.

Graduate Assistant Employee Orientation (for TAs, RAs, GAs, and PGAs)

Co-sponsored by Human Resources and the Graduate College, this employee orientation provides information for teaching, research, pre-professional, and graduate assistants regarding appointments and benefits. This training is typically offered twice. Please visit the Human Resources web page for up-to-date information.

Campus and Community Resources

New Student Programs Office

The New Student Programs Office has put together the Illinois Beginnings guide that gives an overview of different campus units that may be helpful to your students. A PDF of this guide is included in this Box folder.

Visit Champaign County

Students may be interested in learning more about the events and activities in the CU area. The Visit Champaign County website has both in-person and virtual activities and other community information.