Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

New Student Hub

Welcome to the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago!  We are delighted that you have decided to join us as you prepare to become a creative, compassionate, and courageous leader serving church and society in the 21st century!

This page is designed to provide all new students with all the pertinent information you will need to get you started. Please walk through the following links in order to make a seamless transition to graduate study at the IPS.

Step One: Register for Classes

  • After speaking with your academic advisor, it’s time to register for classes!  Information on IPS course offerings, including the rotation of when courses required for your degree program are offered, can be found on the IPS website here.
  • Register for classes and access all your student information (including bursar information) through Loyola’s portal called LOCUS. Here is a brief tutorial how to register for classes: Searching_and Enrolling_in_Classes
  • LUC E-mail—Microsoft Exchange is Loyola’s platform for e-mail, calendars, and other collaboration tools. LUC faculty and staff will only use your LUC email address when corresponding with students.  Please login frequently or forward your LUC mail to an address you use frequently.

Step Two: Learn Loyola’s Systems

  • For an orientation for the main systems you will use as an IPS student, please complete Loyola’s Technology Roadmap.  This four-step tutorial provides you with essential information, short videos, and PDF’s to introduce you to the technologies and services at Loyola. 
  • After completing the Technology Roadmap, please complete the IPS online New Student OrientationThis site can be accessed through Sakai with your Loyola Username and password.
  • Password Self-Service—You will need your username and password to be able to access all University systems like LOCUS, Sakai, and more.  First time users should click this link and click on “First Time Set Up."  Use this link as well when you need to change your password or if it expires.
  • Most of the classes offered by IPS have an online component; some are offered entirely online. We want to make sure you are prepared for the online course environment, please click here.

Step Three: Order your Books and Apply for Financial Aid 

  • One of the first questions most students ask is: how do I order my books? Click here for the Water Tower Campus Bookstore.  For instructions on how to order your books click How_to_Order Books‌.
  • One of the second questions students ask is: how do I apply for financial assistance?  Two kinds of financial support are available to you:

    Federal Financial Aid
    Federal Student Aid provides student financial assistance in the form of grants, loans, and work-study funds. Federal Student Aid is also responsible for the development, distribution, and processing of the FAFSA application.

  • Payment and balance information:

    Electronic billing statements are generated on the 15th day of every month and can be found in LOCUS, where you can also check your most up-to-date account information in the Account Summary.  Any charges not covered by financial aid are due on the 5th day of the following month. E-Bills notifications will be sent to the your Loyola email address as well as the email of any third party the you have set up to have Guest Access to the e-Bills. If a charge on the e-Bill is incorrect, you should contact the Bursar's Office. More information on Billing can be found at Billing Information. For instructions on how to make a payment in LOCUS please follow the following link Making_a_Payment.

Step Four: Explore Loyola’s Academic Support Services

Now that you are registered for classes and oriented to Loyola’s technology and systems, it is time to explore the various academic support services available to IPS students. 

  • As you learned through the New Student Orientation, the IPS faculty takes research and writing very seriously.  Please take a few minutes now to explore the IPS Research and Writing Resources website that the faculty has compiled.  Please visit it frequently as you move through your coursework.
  • Loyola’s Writing Center is also a very helpful resource—available to both on-campus and online students.  Please explore it further.
  • Whether you are taking all your classes at the Water Tower Campus or all online, all IPS courses use Loyola’s course management system known as Sakai.
  • Lewis Library, located at Loyola’s Water Tower Campus, is a wonderful resource for both on-campus or online students. Please explore the library itself and the IPS specific resources here.
  • Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD) serves students with disabilities by creating and fostering an accessible learning environment.  Please contact them to secure documentation to give to your professors and to find out about Loyola’s support services.

Step Five: Explore Life at Loyola and the Water Tower Campus

One of the benefits of studying at Loyola’s IPS is the vibrant urban environment provided by Chicago.

  • Are you moving to Chicago?  Do you need housing?  For information regarding off-campus and on-campus housing, visit Loyola’s housing resource page for Graduate, Professional and Adult students.
  • Transportation is always a question for those on-campus. 
    • If you’re driving, Loyola offers discounted parking near the Water Tower Campus.
    • Public transportation: Once it is determined that a student is eligible to participate in the U-Pass program, students are free to ride the Chicago Transit Authority on an unlimited basis, in the Fall and Spring semesters. This unlimited privilege is valid for CTA buses and trains. The U-Pass program is NOT valid for Pace and Metra services.  For more information about the UPass click here.  The Water Tower Campus is located right off the Chicago stop on the CTA Red Line, and is accessible via many of the CTA bus routes.
    • Loyola also offers a free Shuttle Service between the Water Tower and Lakeshore Campuses.
  • The Terry Student Center is the central hub of the Water Tower Campus, where you will find the Fitness Center, the Chapel, and a variety of other services.  The Center is open to all Loyola students, whether you live on campus or not.  

  • Loyola is also committed to supporting graduate students at Loyola University Chicago.  Their office of Graduate, Professional & Adult Student Life offers resource sessions that serve as a guide to beginning your journey at Loyola University Chicago. They also provide graduate socials, engagement opportunities, leadership opportunities, service opportunities, ministry and spiritual growth support and support groups.

Step Six: Immunization

  • Immunization: proof of immunity is an Illinois state requirement. All Loyola students, including international students, enrolled in seven or more credit hours must complete the two-step process to verify proof of immunity. Incomplete immunization information will block access to registering or changing classes. All students must submit immunization requirements into LOCUS and submit supporting documents to the Wellness Center before the 10th day of the term.  Please visit here for more information on submitting immunization records.