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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department





English Undergraduate Advising

How many credits do I need to be a full-time student?

Full-Time students must carry a minimum load of 12 credits per semester.

How many credits may I register for?

Students may enroll in a maximum of 19 credits per semester. Students wishing to enroll in more than the maximum must have permission from their Academic Dean (E-20 Machmer Hall).

Who is my Academic Dean?

English majors have two acting Academic Deans, Nikki Stoia and Donald Gjertson who are located at the CHFA Advising Office located in E-20 Machmer Hall.

I cannot register for classes because I have a hold on my record. What do I do?

Students may have a hold on their account/record preventing registration for various reasons. Students should contact the office that placed the hold. The following are some of the most common:

Bursar's Office - usually an outstanding balance. Students should go to the Bursar's Office, 215 Whitmore Building.

Health Services - usually missing immunization forms. Students should go to Health Services, 150 Infirmary Way.

Academic Dean - usually students exceeding ten semesters. Students have a ten semester limitation to complete degree requirements. To continue at UMass Amherst beyond these limits, students must have approval from their Academic Dean along with a recommendation from the Department. Students should go to the Undergraduate English Office, 252 Bartlett Hall prior to going to the Academic Dean's office.

Academic Dean - can be a student's academic standing. Students should see their Academic Dean.

Advisor Hold - usually a credit alert. Student's who average fewer than 12 credit hours per semester after four semesters of enrollment are required to see their Chief Advisor prior to being allowed to register for the following semester. Students should see their English advisor who will then contact the Undergraduate Office to remove the hold or students may see one of the English major Chief Advisors.

Can I retake a course I failed or that I am unhappy with my grade in?

Students may repeat courses, taken before Fall 2004, in which they earned a grade of CD, D, or F. Students may repeat courses, taken in or after Fall 2004, in which they earned a grade of D+, D, or F. The new grade will replace (and erase) the old grade.

Degree credit will be awarded only once. Courses with a grade of D or higher are credited to a student (credits apply to the University's requirement of 120 total credits to graduate) so if repeated, students will not receive additional credits.

If a student receives an F grade on a repeated course which they originally passed (with a CD, D+, or D), the student will lose the credit previously earned.

How do I change my major or add a second major?

To add or drop a major, a student needs to pick up a "change of major" form which they can get from the Registrars office located at 213 Whitmore or the English undergraduate office located at 252 Bartlett. If a student wants to add English, they can stop by the English undergraduate office and be signed into the major. If they are either dropping a major or changing the status between majors, they should first go to the major that is being added on our moved up to the primary major to obtain the necessary signature. Then they go to the department of the major they are looking to either drop or drop down to a secondary major and obtain their release signature. At that point, they need to drop off the compelted "change of major" at the registrars office.

How do I add a course to my schedule even though add/drop has ended?

Students may request to add a course after the Add/Drop period with the approval from their Academic Dean using a ‘Course Change Request' form. Students will also need a ‘Late Course Add Petition' completed by their instructor verifying attendance. The form can be found at .

How do I withdraw from a course after Add/Drop?

Students may request withdrawal from a course with a ‘W' after the Add/Drop period, up until the mid-semester date, by using a ‘Course Change Request' form and having it signed by an instructor. Any requests to drop a course after the mid-semester date will need Academic Dean's approval.

Can I take a course pass/fail?

Students may choose to enroll in a course with the pass/fail option and have untl the mid-semeter date to change a course from letter to pass/fail. Students may change a course from letter to pass/fail on Spire only through the add/drop period. After add/drop but before the end of W period, a student must fill out a "course change request" form, check off the "pass fail" box, sign the form and turn it into the Registrar's office. This form does not need the instructor's signature. No pass/fail course can count toward a GenEd, major or college foreign language (except for 240 level) requirement. A student may elect only 1 course pass/fail per semester.

Students may choose to remove the pass/fail option (and it will be replaced with the grade) at any time while a student at UMass Amherst by using a ‘Revoke Pass/Fail' form available in the Undergraduate English Office or Registrar's Office.

How do I change my graduation date?

Students can change their graduation date on their Spire account.

What is the Academic Requirements Report?

The Academic Requirements Report is the SPIRE version of a degree audit which tracks a student's progress through their particular degree program, including University, College, and major requirements.

Since the Academic Requirements Report is meant to assist students in selecting courses for the next semester, a student's in-progress courses show as satisfying requirements. However, no course actually satisfies a requirement until it has been completed with the appropriate minimum grade required.

NOTE: This does not include any English major courses which fall into the ‘exception' category (courses from other majors or the Five Colleges). We allow up to three approved courses taken outside the Department (including Five college, exchange and transfer courses) to count toward the requirements. If approved by their advisor, they should complete an exception form and leave it at the undergraduate English office to be processed.

Students University Graduation Credits do not include courses they are enrolled in currently. Credits are added after successful grades are earned and posted. Also remedial 0-level courses such as Math 011 do not count toward graduation.

I would like to make an adjustment on my Academic Requirements Report. How do I do that?

The Academic Requirements Report reads courses chronologically and puts each course into the first requirement it satisfies. For example, a student completed English 279 and wanted it to satisfy an elective but it shows as satisfying their 2nd American literature requirement. For students to make adjustments to their English major requirements on their Academic Requirements Report, they should see their Advisor who should complete an ‘Exception Form' which will go to the Undergraduate English Office, 252 Bartlett.

My advsior accepted a Comp-Lit course as an upper-level elective. Why isn't it showing on my Academic Requirements Report?

In order to count a course from another department or institution toward the English major requirements, an exception form needs to be completed and sent to the English undergraduate office so that the course may be directed to the appropriate requirement on the student's academic requirements report.

Why doesn't my Sociology course satisfy an SB requirement? (or likewise with other GenEd requirements)

Not all Sociology courses satisfy an SB requirement. General Education courses must meet specific criteria and be approved in advance by the Faculty Senate. Check SPIRE to see if the course has the GenEd designation. Also, if the student is a Sociology major, the course may not count since students are only allowed to use one course from their major department to satisfy GenEd requirements even if the course is not being used to satisfy major requirements. The one major course rule does not apply to the GenEd Diversity course requirements.

Why doesn't my English course satisfy an AL requirement?

Not all English courses satisfy an AL requirement. General Education courses must meet specific criteria and be approved in advance by the Faculty Senate. Check SPIRE to see if a course has the GenEd designation. Also, if the student is an English major, the course may not count since students are only allowed to use one course from their major department to satisfy GenEd requirements, even if the course is not being used to satisfy major requirements.

Example: A student took English 132 their freshman year which satisfied one AL GenEd, they then enrolled in English 270 their sophomore year but it is not showing to satisfy the additional AL GenEd. The student already used one course in their English major (English 132) so they will need to satisfy this GenEd with a course in another subject.

Can I take courses at another institution?

Students may transfer courses offered at a school that has regional academic accreditation at the post-secondary level and in which the student has received a grade of C- or better. Students planning to take courses at another school to transfer back to UMass Amherst should complete a ‘Prior Approval of Transfer Course Work' form BEFORE enrolling in courses. The English Department allows 3 transfer courses to count toward the major and, again, all courses serving to meet English major requirements must have a minimum grade of ‘C.'

Seniors who intend to complete their final degree requirements at another institution must complete a “Senior Year in Absentia” form.

Students studying abroad must complete the “Preliminary Registration Approval Form” (PRAF) as well as a similar form on their return.

The forms are available in the Undergraduate English Office, 252 Bartlett Hall.

NOTE: Remedial or developmental (basic math, pre-100 level, pre-composition, etc.), skills oriented (career development, word processing, sales, etc.), vocational (real estate, paralegal, radiology, etc.), internships, co-ops, practica sponsored by other schools, non-credit or certificate programs, and courses credited with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) instead of semester or quarter credits will not transfer. If unsure, a student should check with the Transfer Staff, 207 Whitmore.

How will transfer courses appear on my record?

A course that has been assigned an exact UMass Amherst course equivalent will appear with the UMass Amherst course subject and number. If a course is transferable, but no equivalent exists, then a generic number such as ITRA or IEXB is assigned as the course number. Transfer courses with the designation of URQMT satisfy a University General Education or Diversity requirement.

I think one of my transfer courses should satisfy a GenEd requirement. Why doesn't it?

A course may not be accepted as a GenEd requirement for various reasons; it may not qualify as a GenEd or UMass Amherst may not have enough information about the course to make a determination. Students may contact Transfer Staff, 213 Whitmore with any questions. A course description and/or syllabus may be requested for review.

How do I correct an incorrect grade on my transcript?

An incomplete (INC) grade automatically turns to an "F" after one semester (or to an "IF" if it was taken Fall 2004 or later). An instructor may submit a Grade Change Form anytime during that semester to change the "INC" to a letter grade. An "INC" grade may be extended for a semester provided the instructor of the course has submitted a request to the Registrar's Office.

If an "INC" has changed to an "F" or "IF", the Grade Change form now would require signatures from the Department Head and the Dean.

Grade Change forms are available in every department and the Registrar's Office for staff and faculty use only.