Skip to content

Welcome to the University of Utah!

Pre-arrival is all about what you need to do before you arrive in the United States and at the University of Utah. The International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) can help you with this process and our website will have all of the information you need to make this a smooth transition. This page will just provide a quick overview of your next steps! 

**If you are a new student for the Utah Global Program please review their Pre-Arrival Requirements.



Applying For a Visa

After an I-20 is issued to you from the Office of International Admissions, you can begin applying for an F-1 student visa to facilitate your travel to the U.S. Please review instructions from the Office of International Admissions where they provide a brief overview of how to apply for a student visa. However, your closest U.S. embassy is the best source of information about the visa application process. 



Return to Top of Page




Create Your Campus Information Services (CIS) Account

Accessing your CIS account will allow you to complete most of the remaining steps on this list. Log in to the CIS Portal by using the university ID (UNID) included in your admissions letter and your default password (which is your birthdate in MMDDYY format). If you are experiencing any issues while trying to login please contact the University Information Technology (UIT).



Return to Top of Page.


Provide your Health History and Immunization Records in English

The University of Utah requires students to complete their immunization requirements (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) & Tuberculosis Testing) before arriving to campus to ensure compliance with Utah immunization laws. You can upload your records into the Student Health Portal to make sure you are in compliance. The University of Utah strongly encourage, but do not require, that students keep their COVID-19 vaccinations up-to-date per CDC guidelines by obtaining recommended booster doses. For any questions about this requirement, please connect with the Student Health Center. 



Return to Top of Page.


Verify Your Health Insurance

All international students on F-1 and J-1 visas are required to maintain health insurance throughout the duration of their status. All new, transfer or readmitted international students will automatically  be enrolled in the University of Utah Student Health Insurance Plan administered by United Healthcare Student Resources. For more information check out our International Student Health page resource page.

international student health



Return to Top of Page.


Register for Courses

All international students are required to be "full time students".  Once you have set up your Campus Information System (CIS) account, take a look at how to register for classes from the Academic Advising Center.



Return to Top of Page.


Make Housing Arrangements

Housing is a big step and it is important to decide if you are going to live "on-campus" or "off-campus". On-campus means that you are staying in a property owned and maintained by the University of Utah while off-campus will be owned by a private company or landlord. Housing on the Utah campus is very limited and competitive, you will have to act fast to reserve a place. More information can be found below.

on-campus & off-campus housing



Return to Top of Page.


Manage Tuition and Fees

Your primary hub for managing fees and tuition will be in your Campus Services Information (CIS) Portal. You will be able to check your tuition history, manage payments, and much more. If you prefer, you can pay in person at the University's Student Services Building.

CIS Portal



Return to Top of Page.


Travel to the United States

The Port of Entry is the first city in which you arrive in the United States. You will be asked at the airport to show your immigration documents to be given permission to enter the country. This means if you land in San Francisco before connecting to Salt Lake City, you will need to show your documents to the officers in San Francisco before boarding your next flight to SLC. This is why this next line is important.

You need to carry the following documents with you in your carry-on bag, NOT in your checked bags:

  • Valid Passport With Your F-1 Or J-1 Visa
  • I-20 or DS-2019 Form
  • Supporting documentation that you showed to the United States Embassy to obtain your visa.

You should allow for an extra hour or two between your connecting flights as getting through immigration at busy airports can take 1-2 hours to process before you even make your way to your terminal. Give yourself some breathing room. You may enter the United States up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019 but no earlier than 30 days or you may be denied entry or admitted under an incorrect visa type.

If you are interested, US Customs and Border Patrol has produced this video to give you a better idea of what to expect. Note that international students are not eligible for Global Entry.



Return to Top of Page.


Arriving at SLC International Airport or a Surrounding Airport

Salt Lake City International Airport or SLC, is the closest airport to the University of Utah. From the airport, the drive is roughly 15 miles and should take about 40 minutes to get from the airport, through downtown Salt Lake City, and to the University of Utah's campus. The airport has taxis and is ride share accesible so Uber and Lyft can pick you up as well. 

If you would like to use public transportation, Salt Lake City uses TRAX  which is a light rail system that will get you from the airport to Utah's campus. There is also a bus service from UTA. You will have to transfer train lines if you use Trax. The Green Line will take you from SLC to downtown Salt Lake City and from there, you will need to disembark at the appropriate station and board the Red Line to get from downtown to the University. The trains run every 15 minutes however, they do not run after midnight or before 5am. If you are going to fly into SLC during that time period, it is recommended to pre-book a car service so you are certain to have transportation when you arrive. For more information on the train times and maps, use the link above.

If you arrive at an airport other than SLC airport, you will need to find a way to get to Salt Lake City. For example, if you land in Denver, there are Greyhound buses that you could take or you could ride the AMTRAK train. It is recommended to fly directly to SLC airport as these alternate options can be $60-100, an extra 12+ hours of travel, and can increase the margin for error in losing your bag, documents, etc. in another city on the way to your final destination.



Return to Top of Page.


Register for Orientation

Whether you are an incoming undergraduate or graduate student, Orientation is mandatory! Information on orientation will be e-mailed to you as well as being accesible on your UAtlas page.

All students must check-in as soon as possible after arriving in the United States. This is required for your immigration status and is required by law. Students that fail to check in within 2 weeks of arrival will have a hold placed on their academic records.




Return to Top of Page.

Last Updated: 2/1/24