New Graduate Student Resources

UIC Admissions Office has a comprehensive page of resources for newly-admitted students. Please look through this page first as it covers a lot of topics including submitting your official intent to enroll, activating your student account, submitting official/final credentials, and resolving student holds.

Your academic advisor will be Kevin Strickland and is available to answer questions you may have about program requirements, course planning, school resources, navigating personal issues in relation to graduate school, etc. Brian Anderson (ID) and Cheryl Towler Weese (GD) are the Directors of Graduate Studies. They provide oversight of the graduate programs and become involved in student-specific issues as necessary. 

One-on-one advising meetings are not required for graduate students, but Kevin is available over email, on Zoom, or in person. If you want to chat, please request an appointment via email.

Kevin's office is located within the main School of Design administrative offices on the first floor of the A+DS building, Room 1300.  

Graduate design students are governed by the policies of the University; Graduate College; College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts; and School of Design. Students are expected to become familiar with these policies. Some of this information can be found through the Student Resources page of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts website.

Many graduate-specific resources and forms may be found on the UIC Graduate College website. Below are some links to pages of note.

Graduate Students:

Academic Probation Procedures
Graduate Catalog

General College/University:

Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)
Counseling Center
Office of Student Financial Aid
Schedule of Classes
Tuition Information

We will discuss other relevant resources during your orientation in August, but you are also encouraged to review these pages on your own in advance.

It is highly recommended that all students have a laptop but some students have successfully used a desktop computer in the past. A laptop is advisable because students use them to present work from a variety of locations throughout their studies, including at midterms and final reviews. 

The School of Design and UIC’s Academic Computing and Communications Center have a very limited number of laptops for undergrad and grad students to check out short-term. 


Apple MacBook Pro or Windows: Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft. Some educational discounts are available through the UIC Bookstore, also located in Student Center East, 750 W Halsted Street. Some sort of daily backup system is highly recommended—consider purchasing a 5GB portable hard drive and/or using your free UIC Box for unlimited cloud storage.


An annual Adobe Creative Cloud student subscription is required—the UIC Webstore offers a substantial discount over purchasing directly from Adobe. Please note students experiencing financial hardship may request a discounted license.

Office 365 is available for free to students.

Tutorials: UIC students have free access to LinkedIn Learning, which has tutorials for Adobe programs, Maya, Rhino, AutoCAD, etc.

Anti-Virus: UIC provides the latest version of Symantec Endpoint Protection to all students at no cost from UIC Information Technology. 

Software/Hardware/Student Account Issues

If you have software/hardware/email/student account issues, UIC Help Center is available to assist you. Walk-in support is available in the IDEA Commons in the UIC Library.

All official communications will come to you via your UIC email address so it is important that you set up your account and get in the habit of checking it as often as you can. You do have the option to access your UIC email via Gmail if you prefer.

UIC’s student ID cards are called i-cards. You will be able to obtain one from the university ID Center after you have registered for at least 9 credits for the fall semester. To get your i-card, visit the UIC ID Center page for more information.

All full-time students also receive a U-Pass which grants free access to all CTA transportation in the city. U-Passes are typically available from the ID Center in the week before classes begin. You must already have a valid i-card to pick up your U-Pass, and you must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours. U-Passes become active the Wednesday before the semester begins and is only active while classes are in session. More information about U-Passes can be found at this link.

You are responsible for obtaining both your i-card and U-Pass on your own. We encourage you to get your i-card before the start of the semester as an i-card is necessary to gain 24-hour swipe access to the School of Design building and graduate studios. 

Fall semester tuition is typically due on/before September 28th. The University offers a variety of tuition payment plans for graduate students. We encourage you to explore these options if they may be helpful.

All UIC students are required to have health insurance. Registered students are automatically enrolled in CampusCare health insurance through UIC. See CampusCare for details about cost and coverage.

If you have health insurance through another source (e.g. through a parent, spouse, military benefits, etc.), you may waive the CampusCare health plan. To do so, you must submit a waiver form with proof of sufficient health insurance. 

Students register for courses online using UIC Student Self-Service accessed via Registration will open for the Fall semester at the beginning of April and you may access the portal once you have set up your student account using the instructions sent vial email from from the UIC Graduate Admission department. International students may not have access to registration until they have arrived on campus and checked in with the UIC Office of International Services (OIS). 

Instructions for using the XE registration portal an be found at this link

Specific registration instructions/information for Two- and Three-year MDes students may be found on the Graduate Registration page.

Please note that each course has a 5-digit course registration number (CRN) associated with it. When registering, it is best to use the CRN as a reference to ensure you always have the correct course and section. For instance, there may be multiple sections of the DES 520 elective offered in a given semester—they will all be 520 courses but each course will have a unique CRN. When 2 CRNs are listed, You need to register for both numbers as one corresponds to a lecture and the other for a lab for the same course. One CRN will be 4 credits and the other will be 0, but you must be registered for both.

After you have completed your Fall registration, you should be enrolled in a total of 16 credits for the Fall semester. 

You are responsible for registering for classes on your own prior to the start of each semester. The course schedule is arranged to ensure that we have space in each core class for all students who need to register. Because of this, there’s typically no rush to register for classes each semester. However, be aware that your registration status as a full-time student affects things like financial aid disbursement, your CTA U-pass activation, eligibility for assistantships, etc. For this reason, we recommend registering sooner than later to avoid any issues.

Course Approvals

Some courses may require approvals for registration. If you need to check to see if you have approvals for registering for a specific class, you may refer to the instructions for checking course approvals in MyUIC

The only course approvals that your academic advisor is able to grant approval are for are School of Design classes. For approvals for non-DES classes, you will need to contact the department or the instructor for the course.

Registration Time Tickets and Holds

Please refer to these instructions for viewing time tickets/holds and requesting that a hold be removed.

Degree Tracking Resources

MDes Graphic Design Degree Tracker
MDes Industrial Design Degree Tracker


  • Review policies on the School of Design website
  • Review degree requirements
  • Register for classes
  • Pick up/Order  i-card from the campus ID center ID Center 
  • Enroll in payment plan if necessary
  • Purchase any necessary software/hardware
  • Submit a campus care health insurance waiver form if necessary
  • Submit immunization records if necessary
  • Submit official transcripts to UIC admission if you haven’t already