New Degree Student Checklist

Congratulations on your recent admission to Gies Online Programs! Our team has created a comprehensive checklist and onboarding course to help you prepare for the start of your program. Once you have completed your checklist, continue to check your Illinois email address frequently for further updates from the program.

The checklist is fully self-paced but should be completed at least ten days prior to the start of courses

  • Fall iMSA term courses begin: August 26 and October 21
  • Fall iMBA and iMSM term courses begin: August 14 and October 16

Ready to get started?

Please note that you will not be able to complete many of your checklist items until you receive your Official Notice of Admission described in Step 1. This email typically arrives within 3-7 business days of your program offer letter.

Need additional help with a certain step of your checklist? View our collection of onboarding videos for assistance, contact, or join upcoming New Student Office Hours.

Step 1: Accept Your Offer

Applicants who have been offered admission to Gies College of Business online programs will receive the following to the email associated with your application: 

  • A Program Offer Letter: This indicates that we have referred you to the Illinois Graduate College for admission as a degree-seeking student with Gies Online Programs.
  • An Official Notice of Admission from Illinois Graduate Admissions: This will be delivered as an email with the subject line “Illinois Admission Decision."

Once you have received these items, it is time to accept your offer through the Graduate College Application Portal - no deposit is required!

If you have decided now is no longer a good time to start your graduate studies with Gies, you may also choose to defer your offer (for up to one calendar year) or let us know that you have declined your offer.

Step 2: Claim Your NetID and Password

Throughout your program, you will use a variety of platforms to complete your courses and connect with your peers. The steps below are essential to utilizing these platforms and should only take 5-10 minutes each to set up. You should complete Steps 2-5 of your checklist within 1-2 weeks of accepting your offer. 

Claim Your NetID and Password 
Your NetID will give you access to campus services, including e-mail and file storage. New students should visit Illinois NetID Claim to claim their NetID. First, you will need to enter your University ID Number (UIN) and Activation Code which can be found in your Notice of Admission from the Illinois Graduate College. Next, you will select and provide answers to two security questions to protect your NetID account. Finally, you will need to choose a password for your NetID account and setup Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
If you have previously enrolled at the University of Illinois, there is no need to claim your NetID again. You will need to reset your password. You can find more information on the Technology Services Website

    Step 3: Set Up Your University Accounts

    If you have previously completed high engagement, for-credit coursework through Gies Online Programs, your accounts should already be set up. Skip this step and head straight to Step 6.

    Set Up Your University Email Account
    Most correspondence is sent to your Illinois email address, so it is imperative you set up your email and check it regularly. Microsoft Office 365 is a 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. Approximately four 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. If you have questions about your email or your Exchange account, please visit the Technology Services Website, or email

    Verify Your Personal Information in Student Self-Service
    Once you have established your NetID, 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.

    Set Up Your Illinois Zoom Account
    Illinois Zoom is the way you will participate in your live sessions (lectures) for each course, office hours and more. Follow these step-by-step instructions to get setup with Illinois Zoom.

    Step 4: Configure Your Coursera Account

    Configure Your Coursera Account
    The University of Illinois partners with Coursera to offer our Gies online programs’ massive open online courses (MOOCs) that accompany the Canvas component of your online course. Setting up your Coursera account is a two-step process that is outlined below.

    1. Link your Coursera account: Within a few days of setting up your Illinois email address, you will receive an email from Coursera regarding information on how to set-up and link your Coursera account with the University of Illinois. Linking your account ensures that the work you do in the Coursera MOOCs is transferred to your online course to be counted towards your grade. Once you have linked your Coursera account, you will see your program name displayed at the top of your dashboard.

    The linking email will be sent to your Illinois email account. If you do not see your linking email within one week of setting up your Illinois email address, send an email to requesting to have your Coursera linking email re-sent.

    2. Join Illinois on Coursera: Illinois on Coursera is a benefit of being a student at the University of Illinois. Carefully follow these step-by-step instructions to successfully add your Coursera for Illinois dashboard. Coursera for Illinois ensures that you can access the University of Illinois Coursera MOOCs for free.

    Step 5: Complete Your Onboarding Course

    Our online courses are delivered on two platforms: Coursera & Canvas.  Each course has two structural components:

    • A Foundational Component on Coursera (MOOCs)
    • Weekly Live Class Sessions, Graded Assignments and Exams on Canvas (High Engagement/HE)

    To help students become familiar with both platforms and other important aspects of the program, we have created an Onboarding Course.

    This onboarding course takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete but is essential in your success as a Gies online student. Please be sure to complete the onboarding course before courses begin. 

    You will also see optional prep courses on your Coursera account. These are optional but encouraged for students who want more information. 

    Step 6: Review Course Recommendations and Register for Courses

    Please access your program’s registration guide below for more information about: 

    • Degree timeline
    • Recommended courses
    • Course registration

    *The iMSA Registration Guide will vary

    iMBA Students

    iMSM Students

    iMSA Students

    Step 7: Submit Your Official Credentials

    Original credentials (transcripts, mark sheets, academic records, certificates of degree, etc.) need to be sent from your previous institution(s) to complete your admission. Please note that the credentials you provided as scans in your application are considered unofficial. Consult your official Notice of Admission from the Graduate College and review the Graduate College’s admitted student final credential requirements for specifics on the documents needed to satisfy the conditions of your admission, as well as methods of submitting these credentials to the Graduate College. We’ve also made this helpful video for those who prefer them. 

    New Student Events and Connections

    If you have questions as you work through your New Student Checklist, please email or join our team for weekly New Student Office Hours.

    If you would like to connect with a Gies Online Student Ambassador regarding their experience in the program, please request a connection here.  

    New Student Events
    Upcoming New Student Events

    August Admits:

    Wednesday Office Hours

    Wednesday, July 17 | 6 pm CT | Register Here
    Wednesday, July 24 | 6 pm CT | Register Here

    New Student Webinar: How to Succeed in Your First Term and Beyond

    Wednesday, July 31 | 11 am CT | Register Here
    Wednesday, July 31 | 6 pm CT | Register Here

    New Student Welcome Sessions

    Wednesday, August 7 | 11 am CT | Register Here
    Wednesday, August 7 | 6 pm CT | Register Here


    October Admits:

    Wednesday Office Hours

    Wednesday, September 18 | 6 pm CT | Register Here
    Wednesday, September 25 | 6 pm CT | Register Here

    New Student Webinar: How to Succeed in Your First Term and Beyond

    Wednesday, October 2 | 11 am CT | Register Here
    Wednesday, October 2 | 6 pm CT | Register Here

    New Student Welcome Sessions

    Wednesday, October 9 | 11 am CT | Register Here
    Wednesday,  October 9 | 6 pm CT | Register Here