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Getting Started

The checklist below will help you begin to make your transition to the Department and the University.

Before You Get to Campus

Step 1: Return your signed TA offer letter, and complete the Intent to Enroll.

As soon as possible, make sure your signed, scanned 2 page offer letter has been emailed to the Director of Graduate Studies ( and Joyce Tucker, our department's Human Resources Associate (  The Intent to Enroll form can be found in your application portal. Please note that there may be a 5-7 day time lag between being admitted to UIC and receiving an email prompt to accept or decline.

Step 2: Establish your UIC Net ID and myUIC Account.

To activate your student portal account, visit (look for the activation link on the left side of the page). Activation requires your university identification number (UIN) and token (sent to all newly admitted students within two days of decision notification).

Step 3: Continue to monitor the status of your application.

Newly admitted students should continually check emails and the application portal for missing credentials to your application file, until your UIC application is marked complete. Most degree-seeking students will be admitted conditionally, based on unofficial (scanned) credentials or an in-progress degree program. Complete information about finalizing the admissions process for domestic and international students can be found at UIC's Newly Admitted Students webpage.

Note: You will continue to receive automated emails from your application portal until your file is complete. These messages come from the Office of Admissions. For help with questions about your application file please be sure to contact them directly.

Step 4: Visa processing for international students:

The office of International Services (OIS) requires financial documentation from all international degree-seeking students. Your application portal will populate with a checklist of the required documents, and you can upload the materials there. More travel and visa information can be found at the OIS website.

Step 5: Complete Your Employment Paperwork.

Joyce Tucker ( will be contacting newly admitted teaching assistants with instructions to establish your Human Resources file and payroll account. Please respond to this request immediately, so you can get paid on time. All new teaching assistants should complete employment paperwork with Joyce by Friday, July 12, 2024.

Note: International students should make an appointment with Joyce after their visa has been processed.

Step 6: Submit Final Transcripts:

Your official/final credentials (with the degree stamp)  should be sent to the following address prior to the start of the admission term, but you may alternatively submit the credentials in person at the Office of Admissions in the Student Services Building (SSB) when you arrive on campus at the beginning of your admission term, as long as they remain sealed.

Attn: Official/Final Credentials
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions, MC 018
University of Illinois at Chicago
1200 West Harrison Street, Suite 1130
Chicago, Illinois 60607-7161

Step 7: Review for the MS Exam.

Incoming PhD students without a Master’s degree are strongly encouraged to take the Master's exam during orientation week. This should be viewed as a placement test which will help in your course selection for the Fall semester. Please note that the MS exam can be repeated.

Students with a Master's Degree should  send an electronic copy of your MS degree-stamped transcript to the Director of Graduate Studies ( This copy does not require a seal.

Step 8: Review the MSCS Graduate Student Handbook.

This guide will be your bible for the coming years and will guide you step by step to your degree:  MSCS Graduate Handbook.

Step 9: Register for classes.

You will meet with a faculty mentor during the summer to  finalize your course selection. In the meantime, you can register for courses and make changes once your schedule is confirmed:

  • Log into with your NetID and password.
  • Click on the Student/Faculty/Staff Self Service link.
  • From the next screen choose the Registration & Records option. Then click on Registration.
  • Click on the Add/Drop Courses link to register for courses.

Once You Arrive in Chicago

International Students should immediately check in with the Office of International Services.

Step 10: Get Your UIC Student i-Card.

  • You will need to obtain a student i-Card that will give you access to all University services available to students.
  • You may submit your ID photo online in advance or have your photo taken at UIC's ID Center, located in Student Center East. You will need your passport/state ID and a copy of your class schedule to pick up your i-Card.
  • More information about your i-card is available at:

Step 11: Purchase Course Materials

  • You will find the book requirement for each course on or directly at the UIC Bookstore. The UIC Bookstore is a great resource where you will find new, used, and rental options. The bookstore also has a book buyback program at the end of every semester.
  • Other options include,, and

Step 12: Pick up your Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) U-Pass.

  • During the first week of a semester, once you are enrolled full-time, you can pick up your CTA U-Pass, which allows unlimited access to the CTA system.