New Student Experience
Whether they come to the Illinois campus from a small town downstate, from the Chicago metropolitan area, or from one of the 50 states and more than 100 countries that are represented in the student body, new students arrive with a shared excitement and apprehension.
The "Illinois experience" begins within days of move-in. A New Student Convocation formally welcomes the students and introduces some of the campus traditions.
The following day, Quad Day, some of the more than 1,000 registered student organizations set up booths around the Quad so new students can check out the many ways they can quickly get involved with people who share their interests.
And, if student organizations create more intimate social communities within the larger student body, then Discovery courses are their academic counterpart.
Discovery course class sizes are limited to 20 first-year students, many of whom find a mentor in the faculty instructor. Discovery students like the additional attention they receive, the opportunity to make friends, and the chance to discuss and debate the material.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, academic home to the vast majority of new students, offers similar opportunities through its Learning Communities. During their first semester, groups of 18 freshmen attend three classes together, two general education courses and a third single-credit-hour course that covers topics relevant to incoming students. The students form study groups and friendships while learning how to succeed at the university level.
At Illinois, new students get involved quickly because being engaged with the campus, and with the world through the campus, is what the Illinois experience is all about.