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Quick Guide

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

Note: if you are a re-entry students start with these steps. If you are enrolled in an online programs see this guide.

The Quick Guide

 1. Claim your NetID

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

  • UIN: 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. 
  • NETID: New students should visit the NetID claiming website at
  • PASSWORD: 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
  • 2FA: 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

 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

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

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.


All new students are required to complete two online training programs:

Learn how to access these and other training programs.

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.

 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:

  • 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:


In the event of a campus emergency, Illini-Alert sends email and text messages, posts to Facebook and Twitter and triggers the Emergency Web Alert System for University websites.

 12. Register for Classes

Consult with our program and/or advisor and then use Self-Service to register for classes. Always register early and check your registration to make sure it is current and accurate.  Course Explorer lists of courses currently offered courses.

 13. Join the GradMAP canvas community

Our GradMAP Canvas community is designed to be a guide to help you get off to a good start at Illinois. You'll also find information about campus resources, health and wellbeing, funding and employment, and tips for having a successful graduate school experience. Our pages include videos, tips, handouts, and opportunities to discuss topics with other graduate students. We invite you to return to our Canvas community whenever you need information and to reach out to us with any questions you may have.