University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Admitted International Students

Congratulations!  We welcome you and your unique contributions to campus for Fall 2017.

What happens next?

1.  Confirm your place at UMass Amherst!

  • If you accept our offer of admission, pay the non-refundable $500 enrollment fee by accessing the our QuikPAY system.  Under “Payment Method” you may select:
    • International payment - this will access flywire and allow you to make payments from non-U.S. bank accounts.  (Fees apply)
    • Credit card (Fees apply)
    • e-Check (No fees, but only from U.S. banks)
  • You will need your SPIRE ID number.  Please ensure this is correct!  Also, it will take 3-4 days for your SPIRE account to register the payment (don't worry!)
  • If you decline your offer of admission, please notify us.  For our policy on deferral of freshman admission please see here.


2. Apply for a student visa

Please soon look for an email from the International Programs Office (IPO) with subject line: “Visa Sponsorship”--it will include the information below as well as other important details.  Please do not submit documents to request your I-20 until you receive the email.

Please see our 2017-18 estimated costs.

Applying for a student visa can take a lot of time and preparation. Be sure to start early!  Upon receipt of the necessary documents and payment your enrollment fee, we will send you the I-20 form.  This is the form that U.S. schools issue to international students to indicate they have met all admission requirements to enter that school. You must take this form with you when you apply to the American Embassy or Consulate for a visa.  If you are already in the U.S., the I-20 may be issued only after the release date given to you by your previous school. (This usually the last date that you have attended classes.)

  • Complete and return the Certificate of Eligibility Request Form (CERF) to IPO
  • Submit an Undergraduate Sponsor Statement with any bank statements or other financial documents.  Acceptable forms of financial documentation include bank statements, letters of scholarship or loan awards specifying dollar amounts, letters from sponsors accompanied by bank statements proving their ability to offer support or any combination of the above.  Please note that the Form I-134 (affidavit or support) or any variation thereof (including the Hong Kong affidavit) is not acceptable.   

3.  Sign-up for Orientation!

Orientation for international students has two components:

1.     The first part is completed with New Students Orientation (NSO). Through NSO you will register for your classes, learn about important resources and next steps, and get ready for your transition from your last school to UMass Amherst. International students can do their NSO on campus, in person during June/July OR online.  (Most international students complete this first part online.)

2.     The second part is done with the International Programs Office (IPO). From August 30- September 1, 2017 international students must be on-campus in Amherst to complete the in person International Student Orientation (ISO). The ISO covers immigration requirements, document checks, information on how to study in the US education system, and cultural/safety/health information sessions to help with your transition to the United States.

On this page (starting mid-February) you will be able to sign up for BOTH an NSO session and your ISO.  Be sure to follow instructions about mandatory placement exams that need to be taken prior the the start of your orientation!


4.  Housing - Deadline: June 1 – July 14, 2017

Don’t worry, you have time!  The Housing Preference Application, which is what new incoming students use to acquire housing for the upcoming year, will open on SPIRE on June 1, 2017.  You have from June 1 until July 14 to complete the application, and you will be able to edit your application as many times as you wish up until the deadline.

  • First, review this webpage and these video tutorials to get a sense of what is required.  Then log-in to SPIRE and go to Main Menu > Housing
  • Second, consider a Residential Academic Program (RAP)!  Beginning on Sunday, May 21, 2017 (12 noon EST) you may log-in to the NSO website and "hold a spot" in specific RAP of choice.  Keep in mind that RAPs are not compulsory, and they are first-come, first-serve.  Once you hold a spot in a RAP, you will still need to log-in and complete the Preference Application to confirm your housing starting on June 1.
  • If you do not hold a space in a RAP, begin to rank order the five Residential Areas with Residential First-Year Experience (RFYE) halls: Central, Northeast, Orchard Hill, Southwest, CHCRC

After June 1, and when you are ready to sign the Residence Hall Contract and complete the Housing Profile:

  • If applicable, confirm the RAP you are currently holding a space in
  • Finalize your rank order the five Residential Areas with RFYE halls (Central, Northeast, Orchard Hill, Southwest, CHCRC)

Please note, most residence halls are closed during break periods. (Read here)  However, Break Housing Halls on campus remain open for their residents. New students who will need housing during the above breaks should request to live in Break Housing on their Housing Preference Application. Need housing over the break period?  Want to ensure that you have housing over the Break Periods?  There are two ways to get it:

  • Rank order Central as your first preference and select “Break Housing” as the Living Option, or
  • Hold a space in the Global Perspectives RAP or the Global Viewpoints RAP in Gorman and confirm on your Preference Application

Any housing questions?  Pease email and staff in Residential Life will be waiting to help you!


5.  Immunizations

Massachusetts law requires college students to be immunized against several diseases.  Please see this page for more information about the immunization requirements for all students.


6.  AP, IB, CLEP, DSST, and A Level Examinations

Students can receive credit through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), and International A Level examinations.  Strong scores may allow for a course waiver or course credit.  All scores MUST be sent to the Office of Admissions directly from the testing agency.  It is also helpful to have a copy of your test scores on hand when first meeting with an academic advisor. This will let academic advisors know what credits you have earned.


7.  Consider the UMass Amherst Summer College

If you plan to attend UMass Amherst in fall of 2016, we invite you to get a Jump! on your college career this summer. UMass Jump! is a 4-week program (June 26 – July 23) designed to give you a head start on your requirements (and social life) while getting to know the UMass Amherst campus and the surrounding Pioneer Valley area. Jump! is scheduled so that you can attend summer New Students Orientation while you are on campus. During NSO you will select your courses for the fall, choose housing options, and connect with faculty.


8.  Request that your official final high school transcript (with graduation certification) be sent to the Admissions Office

The transcript  must come from your high school—we prefer it be sent through the Common Application.  If however it needs to be mailed the address is:

UMass Amherst Undergraduate Admissions Office, Mather Building, 37 Mather Drive, Amherst, MA 01003 USA

Admission is contingent upon maintaining your current level of academic performance. It is your responsibility to notify the admissions office of any significant decline in academic performance or additional disciplinary/criminal history that occurs after the submission of your application. UMass Amherst reserves the right to rescind admission based on this information


9.  Check this webpage on a regular basis

We will continue to provide you with more information about your enrollment for fall 2017.  Welcome!