The collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mouse model is the most commonly studied autoimmune model of rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune arthritis is induced in this model by immunization with an emulsion of complete Freund's adjuvant and type II collagen (CII). This protocol describes the steps necessary for acquisition, handling and preparation of CII, as well as selection of mouse strains, proper immunization technique and evaluation of the arthritis incidence and severity. Typically, the first signs of arthritis appear in this model 21-28 days after immunization, and identification of the arthritic limbs is not difficult. Using the protocol described, the investigator should be able to reproducibly induce a high incidence of CIA in various strains of genetically susceptible mice as well as learn how to critically evaluate the pathology of the disease. The total time for the preparation of reagents and the immunization of ten mice is about 1.5 h.