UIC Connect

Welcome to the Department of Public Administration (PA), located within the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at UIC. On this page, you will find basic background information about registration at UIC as well as more detailed information (or links to information on the PA website) pertaining to your registration and study in the Department of Public Administration.

Program Orientation Session

PA conducts a mandatory orientation session for new students entering in both the fall and spring semesters. At the orientation you will be informed about general policies and procedures of your program, be introduced to faculty and learn about the different concentrations, and have a chance to interact with students from PASA, the Public Administration Students Association.

MPA New Student Orientation – (August 18th – 5pm in AEH 2202)

Travel directions: If you prefer to take public transportation, take the Blue Line of the CTA Rapid Transit to the UIC-Halsted stop. Walk south across Harrison Street to the center of campus. If driving, daily parking (for fee) is available at the Halsted Street Parking Structure, located just across the street from the Student Center East, at the corner of Halsted and Taylor Streets. You may download a campus map at the following website:   http://www.uic.edu/uic/about/visit/campus-maps.shtml . In addition to receiving useful information about the program and available resources, this is an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow classmates, the faculty, and staff of Public Administration, and representatives from the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. Current students and alumni have been invited to attend as well. Orientation is mandatory for all new MPA students.

Course Advising

Incoming students must be advised by the DGS, Thomas Snyder,  prior to enrollment. It is your responsibility to e-mail or call your advisor for an appointment. You should plan on meeting with your advisor at least once each academic year, either in the spring or summer before registering for classes.

PA Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Thomas Snyder will be happy to schedule appointments for advising by email. Thomas Snyder can be reached at tsnyder@uic.edu 

Registration and Student Self-Service

After advising you may register for classes. Sometime after you receive your official admission letter from the Office of Admissions and Records you will receive, usually via email, information on when you may register and instructions, if not included with your admission letter.

Registration begins a number of months before the term and continues through the first official ten days of the term (first official five days for summer session). During the registration period, all registration activity is done by the student using Student Self-Service, which may be accessed from https://my.uic.edu/common/ . When attempting to register, if you receive an error message directly pertaining to the class or section you are requesting, consult with the department offering the course as an override may need to be input into the system to allow you to continue to register. Once the override has been added you still have to register for the course in Student Self-Service. If you receive an error message that you do not understand, consult the Registration Help Line at (312) 996-8600.

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The University i-Card

The i-Card is the official identification card of the University for students, staff and faculty. It is important to obtain the i-Card and carry it with you at all times. The i-Card is needed to enter certain labs and buildings, for access to certain student-related events and services, and to check material out of the library. Once you have registered for a course you may obtain your i-Card. This should be done as soon as possible following your registration. You will need to bring a print-out of your registration and either a driver’s license, state ID card, or passport to the i-Card Office. Complete information, including locations, is available from the i-Card Office.

Your UIC E-mail Account

Once classes start, all formal written communication from the Department of Public Administration will be directed to your UIC e-mail account. This includes information for courses that use Blackboard, the course web page system. It is very important that you set up your university e-mail account before classes start and that you either check the account regularly or configure it so that messages are automatically forwarded to a frequently used e-mail account or to a FAX machine.

One hour or so after you get your student ID; you can set up an e-mail account from any computer with access to the web. Go to www.uic.edu/depts/accc/home/ACCTS.html. You will need your I-card number, your Social Security Number and your date of birth. In this process you will find your netid, which will be part of your UIC email address. For questions, call the UIC Client Services office at 312-413-0003.

Medical Immunization requirement

Illinois state law requires proof of certain immunizations for students in most situations. The policy and contact information are available at the Office of Medical Immunization Records. It is important that you read this information carefully as registration for future terms is not allowed if you are not in compliance at that time.

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Information about tuition and fees Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. The tuition and fee schedule at UIC is fairly elaborate so it is important to understand what your charges will be, as well as your payment obligations. This information is available from the Office of Admissions and Records website.


If you have been granted an assistantship there are a number of important steps that have to be undertaken to ensure timely processing and receipt of your first stipend check.

It is only after all these stages have been successfully completed that your appointment becomes official and allows you to begin your duties and receive the monthly stipend, which is paid on the 16th. In addition, if the appointment comes with a tuition waiver (contact your unit to find out exactly which parts of the tuition and fees are waived and which are not), it is only at this stage that the waiver is available to be applied to your account, assuming you have also correctly registered for the total hours required to receive the waiver. If the appointment for the assistantship is offered or processed late, or any of the steps outlined above are delayed, there is a possibility of missing your first monthly stipend check. Although you will receive an adjusted payment a month later (assuming the beginning date is properly processed and assuming you worked for that period), not having the first check can cause financial issues you did not anticipate. Therefore, if you do not receive timely responses you should always contact the hiring unit to ensure procedures have not been overlooked. See the Graduate College website for additional assistantship information.

Detailed information about policies and procedures relating to assistantships within CUPPA can be found on the CUPPA RA FAQ page.

Registration Requirements for Assistants

RA awards through PA are granted only to full-time students enrolled for 12 or more hours of credit per semester and who will not be employed at the time of admission. Graduate students who hold academic appointments as assistants for the spring semester and for whom tuition and service fees were waived in the spring are entitled to a waiver for the summer term immediately following if they do not hold a summer assistantship, provided they are registered for at least three hours during that summer term.

Expectations of Assistants

Your work as a Research Assistant will be directed by the faculty member or research center where you are assigned. Detailed information about university and CUPPA policies relating to holidays, vacation, and time off can be found on the CUPPA RA FAQ page. Because individual units may have different procedures in place to ensure compliance with university policies, please consult with your supervisor if you have questions.

CUPPA Career Site: Access is given after you receive your UIC email account

Information on employment opportunities, assistantships, internships and scholarships is available through the new CUPPA Career Center website. This is a bluestem protected website for current CUPPA students and recent graduates.  The website will be updated everyday, Monday through Friday.  Postings will remain on the website for 30 days or until the closing date on the announcement.  If you receive information that should be posted to the new website on jobs, assistantships, internships or educational funding send this information to cuppa@uic.edu.

Integration into student life

PA encourages all students to become involved in student activities. At orientation, you will be introduced to the Public Administration Student Association (PASA). This organization provides you with an opportunity to begin to build not only friendships but professional networks that will be important to you throughout your career. Graduating students have indicated that they regard these networks as one of the most important benefits of their experience at PA. PASA professional and social events, as well as lectures organized by the college and its research centers, are also great opportunities to interact with students, faculty, and practitioners outside the classroom.

Most information about student activities is primarily disseminated through PA’s student listserv.

For more information about PASA, click here. Be sure to contact your PASA representatives with any questions.

CUPPA Computer Lab

The CUPPA computer laboratory is located in the northwest corner of suite 215 of CUPPA Hall and available to you any semester that you are registered. The computers require a password. During the week before classes and for two weeks after you can use the following: Login: New Student (not case sensitive – can be: new student) Password: CuppaTemp. (case sensitive, period is part of the password) To set up a personal password for use thereafter, attend the UPP orientation for instructions or contact computer room staff.

Access to CUPPA Hall

Swipe access to CUPPA Hall, the PA Suite on the 1st floor of CUPPA Hall, and the basement of CUPPA Hall (Graduate Student Lounge) will be available after the 10th day census of registered students.

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