SOAR Overview

What is SOAR?

SOAR, or Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration, is Illinois Tech’s new student orientation
program designed to welcome incoming undergraduate students and their families to campus. SOAR is a
two-day, in-person event focused on providing incoming students with an opportunity to meet
classmates on campus and become familiarized with a variety of departments and campus resources.

Why is SOAR important?

There are many reasons why we believe SOAR is important to the success of our new students at Illinois
Tech. Here are a few things you can look forward to!

  • Meet with important campus departments. It's all about the relationships that help students along every step of the way from that first day to commencement.
  • Experience College. SOAR is a great time to see what campus life is all about. From learning more about student organizations, dining, and the residential experience--there's lots to explore!
  • See the Campus. Gaining familiarity with the campus during SOAR will help students better navigate their first semester at Illinois Tech.
  • Make Connections. Some of the closest friends are the ones who meet at SOAR. Meet your peers who will share this exciting journey with you.
Who organizes SOAR at Illinois Tech?

The SOAR program is run by the Office of Campus Life. You can reach us by emailing The
Office of Campus Life works closely with partners from across campus to ensure that a wide range of
topics and resources are covered during your program.

Who are SOAR Leaders?

Each student who attends SOAR will be assigned a SOAR leader. SOAR Leaders are current Illinois Tech
students who have been hired and trained specifically to assist incoming Illinois Tech students. They are an
integral part of SOAR and are carefully selected campus leaders who serve as mentors and friends
through the process of becoming an Illinois Tech student. They provide a real student's perspective
about what it is to be an Illinois Tech student. Got a question? Ask your SOAR leader!

Attending SOAR

Is SOAR mandatory for students?

SOAR is mandatory for all incoming undergraduate students. Students who participate in the SOAR
program will be able to meet classmates, familiarize themselves with the campus, and learn about many of
the resources available for our students.

How do I register for SOAR?

For more information about SOAR, including event dates and registration, visit our main page.

Will SOAR take place in person?

Yes. For undergraduate students, SOAR will take place at Illinois Tech’s Mies Campus. However, graduate students should register for a Graduate Orientation (GO) session via this link.


What does the SOAR schedule look like?

We are still finalizing the specific details of the SOAR schedule. When complete, the schedule will be posted to a designated schedule page. Please check back later this fall!

How can I get to campus?

Once you've arrived in Chicago, there are many options for traveling to campus, including Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses and trains. If driving a personal vehicle, you can park in lot A4 free of charge. 

What if I haven't received any information about attending SOAR?

If you have not received any registration information, please email Keep an eye out for a
confirmation email the week before SOAR with the schedule and additional information pertaining to
orientation. Note: If you do not receive an email, we suggest checking your email's Spam/Promotions
folders and then update your email settings so we're on your safe sender list.

My Academics

What if I am an undecided major?

If you are undecided on your major - don't worry! Illinois Tech encourages students to take the time to
choose the major that is right for them. The office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs will present at
SOAR and provide important academic information for both students and parents/families.

Do I need to attend SOAR if I have already spoken with my academic adviser?

Yes. It is great that you have already made contact with faculty on campus! However, there is much
more than academics that goes into SOAR that we would not want you to miss. 

International Student Orientation

What do I need to know about international check-in?

International students will be required to check-in with the international center once arriving to Chicago. Detailed information to come! 

Campus Resources

How can I get my student ID?

New students joining Illinois Tech for Spring 2023 should submit their HawkCard ID photo online by Wednesday, December 21 to ensure their HawkCard ID and Ventra U-Pass is ready for move-in, beginning January 3, and the semester U-Pass effective date of January 6.

The HawkCard ID facilitates access to residence halls, meal plans, academic spaces and more. Students are encouraged to prioritize this task to gain timely access to the campus experience. We will continue to accept online photo submissions on an ongoing basis, but they will be subject to processing time of up to (2) business days.

How can I get my Ventra U-Pass?

The Ventra U-Pass provides you with unlimited rides on the CTA (Chicago buses and trains) during your time as a student at Illinois Tech. Students who would like access to a U-Pass must be registered FULL-TIME (graduate students - 9 billable academic hours, undergraduate students -12 billable academic hours) for Spring 2023.
Additionally, all eligible full-time students who choose to participate in the program should complete the Spring 2023 Ventra U-Pass opt-in form. Completing the opt-in form ensures your U-Pass will be ordered/activated and your account billed the $155 U-Pass semester fee. You must complete this opt-in form by January 21, 2023 to receive the U-Pass for the semester. Your Ventra card is intended to last throughout your program at Illinois Tech, unless a replacement card is required.

If I’m living in a residence hall, when can I move in?

Move in for the Spring 2023 term begins Tuesday, January 3, 2023.   Please keep in mind classes start on Monday, January 9th and all dining locations do not open until Wednesday, January 4, 2023. When you arrive on campus, we ask that you go directly to the Office of Residence Life during business hours,  Monday - Friday 8:30 - 5pm.

Note: The Office of Residence Life will be closed from Friday, December 23 - Monday, January 2. We will open back up at 8:30 am on Tuesday, January 3. If you plan to arrive during non-business hours or during our closure period, please complete this form and check in with the staff member at your residence hall’s front desk. They will check you into your assignment and provide you with your key (if applicable) and ID as needed for your room.  Carts will be available to assist with your move in needs.

What are the important offices and departments students should know about?

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission at 312.567.3025 or