As you are exploring the many opportunities UMass has to offer, be sure to give special consideration to some of the university’s academically focused first-year programs. These offerings are designed to help first-year students establish meaningful academic connections with instructors, faculty, and peers.
• Residential Academic Programs  (RAPS)
RAPs are living-learning communities that connect your housing assignment with classes. Most RAPs are open to any first-year student entering in the fall semester and fill on a first-come, first-served basis. Some programs are available only by invitation or application. See the RAP website for details on how to join .
• First-Year Seminars 
First-Year Seminars are classes of 30 or fewer students taught on a range of interdisciplinary topics. You do not have to join a RAP in order to sign up for a first-year seminar. Learn more about the wide variety of seminars here .