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The Quick Guide

Welcome to Illinois!

Here are 10 quick...but essential...steps to help you get started with your graduate school experience. 


1. Claim your NetID

Your NetID will give you access to campus services, including e-mail and file storage. New students should visit the NetID claiming website.

First, you will need to enter in your University ID Number (UIN) and Activation Code. The UIN and Activation Code were provided to you in your Official Notice of Admission letter. Second, you will select two security questions to protect your Net ID account. Third, you will need to choose a password for your Net ID account (be sure to check out the requirements for all passwords).

2. Use Your Office 365 Email Account

Office 365 Exchange 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. About two hours after claiming your Net ID and setting your password, you will be able to login to and start using your Office 365 email account. The URL to log into Outlook on the Web to check your mailbox is: 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, such as your contact information.

Keeping this information up-to-date is extremely important and ensures proper delivery of important documents.

4. Visit the ISSS Website (if you are an international student)

If you’re an international student, you’ll want to visit the International Student and Scholar Services, or ISSS, website.

There you’ll find information about visas, check-in, and orientation information specifically for international students. Additional resources for international students are available online.

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.

6. Bring (or send) your Transcripts to Graduate and Professional Admissions in the Graduate College

Remember to bring an official copy of your transcripts. For 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 204, 801 South Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois, 61820.

7. Complete Payroll Information in Nessie (for assistants, trainees, and fellows)

Students with assistantships, traineeships, and fellowships will need to complete payroll information in an online system called UI 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.

8. Healthcare & Immunization

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.

9. Register for Classes

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

10. Billing

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 Web at to familiarize yourself with important information regarding your student account and payment options, as well as important due dates.

And...a few other things to keep in mind:

PLAN AHEAD & Understand Expectations

Planning ahead is important to make the most of your graduate experience. To get off to a good start, familiarize yourself with expectations and degree requirements. Also, be sure to seek out your network of mentors and advisors. Good mentoring is a important part of your graduate experience.

Complete the Haven Plus Online Training Program

This mandated training will be available in early June.  You must have accepted your offer and claimed your NetID in order to begin the training. Detailed instructions on how to access and complete the program will be provided by email to your Illinois student account. Haven Plus is an annual, online education training program which utilizes evidence-based content for sexual assault prevention training. It addresses several key content areas, including healthy relationships, gender socialization, sexual assault, the importance of consent, and bystander intervention, in addition to laws and our campus policies. The training is designed for graduate students. Read more about Haven Plus

Stay Informed

As you settle in to your new routine, you'll want to stay informed of important deadlines and opportunities. Here are some resources to help you stay up to date.

Remember, The Graduate College is here to help.

You can contact us at or (217) 333-0035.

Print a PDF of the Quick Guide


Getting Started Guide Cover

Read the full Getting Started Guide for more information for new graduate students.