New Student Registration (NSR): First-Year

New Student Registration (NSR) takes place June – mid July and the week before classes start for the fall semester. Departments offer advising on certain dates during this time period.  The dates you see when you sign-up via your Admitted Student Checklist are the dates your department offers. If you are interested in registering for summer classes at UIUC you must submit a Term Change form via your MyIllini account. It has to be approved by The Office of Admission and your Registration Date has to occur before summer classes start.

Contact Information

New Student Registration is facilitated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA) and your college (The Grainger College of Engineering). You will receive emails (to your account) at any time from representatives from either of these offices. 

Office of Undergraduate Admission - New Student Registration Resource Page
Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions:

  • To sign up for date/reschedule
  • To resolve scheduling conflict with the dates offered for registration
  • To resolve technical issues with your MyIllini Account and/or placement test
  • To submit AP/IB/A-level scores and transcripts

For all other questions, please contact Grainger First-Year Experience at


Frequently Asked Questions


Yes, registration is required. All new, degree-seeking undergraduate students entering in summer or fall must participate in a new student registration session.

Students have a new student advising hold placed on their account that prevents them from registering for classes. Once you meet with an advisor during New Student Registration, your hold will be lifted temporarily so that you can register for classes. Holds will then go back on until Friday, August 18. 

During in-person new student registration, you will meet many other incoming students, hear firsthand from current upper-class students in engineering, learn more about the culture at Grainger College of Engineering, meet 1:1 with a professional advisor to discuss classes for your first semester, and then register for your classes. Upper-class students and staff will be available to help you complete registration. You should plan for in-person new student registration to start at 8:30am and end by 5pm.

Virtual new student registration will be very similar, but held online with a few meetings throughout the day. 

All new students will have an opportunity to interact with other incoming students, upper-class peers, and professional advisors during new student registration.

Placement tests for Math, Chemistry, and Physics help us understand which introductory technical courses may be most suitable for you. All incoming first-year Grainger Engineering students are required to complete the Math, Chemistry, and Physics placement tests at least two weeks prior to their new student registration appointment. Some students are also highly encouraged to complete the spatial visualization and biology placement tests. 

Students who do not complete their required placement tests at least 2 weeks before their scheduled New Student Registration appointment may be required to re-schedule.

Find more details about and access placement tests at 

Yes. We find that our placement tests are the best indicators of student success in introductory technical courses and are an excellent data point for our advisors to provide the best, most tailored recommendations for a well-balanced and manageable first semester schedule. 

Proficiency exams allow students to take an exam and earn course credit if students receive a certain score. Only some departments offer proficiency exams and they are usually held early in the fall semester or just before classes start. You can find options for proficiency exams here:

If you take a proficiency exam and do not pass it, you have not earned any course credit, but there are no other negative consequences.

Placement exams help us know which classes you’re prepared to take. They do not provide any course credit. Proficiency exams provide course credit for students who receive a certain score. 

You can find details about the course credits you may have earned from high school exams at

Note that you must have your official scores sent directly to Illinois in order to have credit included in your record.

This means you have earned elective hours for your AP/IB/A-level exam score. This can count toward your graduation hours, but not toward any major, minor, or General Education requirements. If you have more questions about this, please discuss it with your advisor during new student registration. 

Yes, please list all of the exams you took in high school along with your best estimate of your scores. This information, along with your placement test scores, helps advisors to know which courses to recommend for your first semester. If your actual scores are different from your predictions, advisors will work with you before the start of the fall semester to discuss adjustments to your schedule. .

Each major has a curriculum map that outlines a sample sequence of courses by semester. Please look up the curriculum map for your major to get a sense of what classes you might take in your first semester: 

Note that this is a generalized sequence and that the specific recommendations will depend on your placement tests, credits you’ve earned before, and what your advisor thinks will be the best schedule for you.

General Education requirements are courses that all students at UIUC take, regardless of their major. These courses must be completed before students graduate. Some, like Composition I, should be taken in the first year. Others can be taken as late as senior year.

For the specific General Education requirements for Grainger College of Engineering students, see: 

Students must wait until the new student registration hold is lifted for all incoming first-year students on Friday, August 18. We do not remove the holds for students to change their schedules. This ensures that everyone is given equal access to make any needed schedule changes. We also recommend checking with your departmental advisor before making significant changes to your schedule. 

Every student in Grainger has access to a departmental advisor and a college advisor. Departmental advisors are experts in the curriculum for your major and are great resources to discuss the curriculum and department-specific resources. You can find a list of departmental advisors at:   

College advisors can help with understanding college and university policies and procedures. Additionally, certain college advisors serve as the equivalent of departmental advisors for students in Engineering Undecalred. College advisors are available for appointments or on a first-come, first-served drop-in basis every weekday afternoon. Find more details about college advisors at: 

Some students also have faculty advisors or mentors who can help with understanding technical specialties, research, and other more specialized topics in the curriculum. Students can find out more about their assigned faculty advisors or mentors from their departmental advisors.

Please see our updated recommendations for incoming Grainger students at:  This guide provides technical specifications for both Macs and PCs. We recommend that, if you do purchase a new laptop, you pick whichever OS you are most comfortable with.


Visit Undergraduate Admissions admitted student FAQs

Visit College Advising in Grainger Engineering for first-year students

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