Skip to main content

Quick Guide for Online Students

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

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. Campus Technology Services 

Check out the New Student Technology Guide to learn more about your university email account, free software, online storage, 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.

6. 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:

7. Complete Required Training

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.

8. 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:

9. Consider Getting an I-CARD

Students planning on coming to campus, may want to get an i-card. The i-card is your official University of Illinois photo ID. Visit the i-card website for more information.

 10. 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.

11. 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.