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Quick Guide

Welcome to Illinois! Our Quick Guide includes 10 essential steps to help you get everything in place. 

COVID-19 Updates and Information

In addition to the Quick Guide steps below, please make sure to visit campus COVID-19 Guide for Students for up-to-date information about COVID-19 protocols on our campus, including vaccination requirements and how to download the Safer Illinois app for building access, as well as other important information for both on-campus and online students. 

The Quick Guide

1. Claim your NetID

Your NetID and password are required for access to many services at the University. 

  • To start, you'll need your University ID Number (UIN) and Activation Code provided to you in your Official Notice of Admission Letter. Your UIN is a unique nine-digit number that identifies you permanently in University records. 
  • New students should visit the NetID claiming website at
  • You'll be prompted to set your password recovery options and choose a password for your account. You can reset or change your options at any time at
  • You will then be directed to to set up your required two-factor authentication method. Two-factor authentication secures our University accounts by confirming your login using something you know (a password), and something you have (like a phone). Graduate and Professional students are required to use 2FA for many University services and websites. Change or add a device for 2FA at

2. Use Your Office 365 Email Account

Microsoft Outlook Online (Office 365) is the official campus 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. To check your mailbox on the web, visit After claiming your Net ID, it may take up to two hours before you can access your email box. If you have questions about your email account please contact Technology Services Help Desk at or 217-244-7000.

3. Verify Personal Information in Student Self-Service

Once you have established your Net ID, use it to log into the online Student Self-Service and verify your personal information, including your local address. Keeping this information up-to-date is extremely important. (Student Self-Service is also the interface you will use to register for courses and make billing payments.)

4. Submit your Transcripts & Other Academic Credentials

Check your Official Notice of Admission Letter for a complete list of academic credentials (transcripts, certificate of degrees, translations) you may need to submit.

Details about document requirements and how to submit them to us are available on our website

While official copies of your transcripts and certificates of degree are required to be submitted during your first term, we will work with students who are unable to obtain official credentials due to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

5. Fulfill Immunization Requirements

All incoming students enrolled in on-campus degree programs are required to complete and submit an Immunization Information Form to McKinley Heath Center. Students enrolled in online degree programs are not required to submit these forms. Learn about immunization requirements

See the COVID-19 Guide for Students for information about COVID-19 vaccination requirements

6. Understand Health Care Services

The University provides health care services, including McKinley Health Center, Student Insurance, Counseling Center and some telehealth services for eligible students. Note that the Student Health Insurance plan is required for all eligible students enrolled in on-campus programs unless you have proof of comparable coverage. Learn more about Health Care Services, including how to opt-out or add dependents.

7. Explore Technology Requirements and Resources

Campus Technology Services

Check out the New Student Technology Guide to learn more about your university email account, free software, online storage, Wi-Fi, and other available resources. The Tech Services Knowledge Base can help you find answers to your technology questions. Contact the Technology Services Help Desk for all of your technology problems or questions.

Online Learning Platforms

If you are enrolled in online courses or taking classes remotely, ask your program about any online learning platforms that will be used for your courses:

Make sure your computer meets the necessary technology requirements:

For enrolled students, the Student Academic Resource Tool (S.T.A.R.T.) pages are available for some online programs. S.T.A.R.T. pages are intended to provide a comprehensive overview of essential program-specific information:

8. Complete Required Training

Sexual Assault Prevention: All incoming, returning, and transfer students, as well as all faculty and staff, are required to be regularly educated on discrimination and harassment prevention, sexual violence, and reporting options and obligations. New students are required to complete training before or early in their first semester. Detailed instructions on how to access and complete the program will be sent to your Illinois email account early in the term. Newly admitted students can self-register to complete the training earlier by following the instructions on the We Care websiteRead more about Sexual Assault Prevention Training and the U of I System Statement on Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct.

Check with your department to find out about any other required training. Your academic program, area of research or assistantship responsibilities may require you to complete additional types of training, such as a teaching orientation for teaching assistants. A list of some additional training opportunities is available on the Graduate College website.

9. Get Your i-card

Students coming to campus, will want to get an i-card. The i-card is your official University of Illinois photo ID. You will use it for services such as:

  • Campus COVID-19 testing centers
  • Riding the local Mass Transit District (MTD) buses
  • McKinley Health Center
  • Campus Recreation
  • Meal plans
  • Illini Cash (campus debit)

If you were an undergraduate here at Illinois, you will need to get a new i-card showing your graduate student status.

Visit the i-card website for more information.

10. Set-up Payment Options / Direct Deposit 

Visit the University Bursar website and complete the steps to set up payment options and direct deposit and take note of important payment due dates.

Note that paper bills are not mailed to students. Bills are posted in Student Self-Service.

International payments can be made using FlywireTM: