How the ARR is used
The Academic Requirements Report is primarily an advising tool to inform you and your advisor about your progress through your particular degree program. While a transcript lists your completed courses in chronological order, the Academic Requirements Report distributes them among the various requirements in your program. It also places in-progress courses where they will satisfy requirements when completed with an appropriate grade.
How courses are assigned to requirements
The Academic Requirements Report program reads courses chronologically and puts each course into the first requirement it can satisfy. It does not check to see if other courses could satisfy the same requirement. At the end of the semester, when these courses are completed, everything should fall into its proper place. If it doesn't, come to the Registrar's Office to get the courses reviewed.
Current or planned courses appear on the ARR as satisfying requirements. In-progress courses appear with a gold diamond on the ARR. Courses in your Shopping Cart appear with a blue star. These courses may displace courses you have already completed. At the end of the term when grades are assigned, SPIRE will reject any course in which you did not earn an acceptable grade. NOTE: You should empty your Shopping Cart as soon as you finish registering for courses so that those courses will not continue to make requirements look like they are satisfied.
When credits are assigned to requirements
Credits are added to the requirements (e.g., 120 Graduation Credits, 45 residence credits, etc.) only after a semester has been completed and grades earned. Transfer credits count toward requirement totals at the end of the term in which they were transferred (i.e., credits for a course that says “Transferred to Term Fall 2011” on the transcript will not appear in the credit totals until the end of that term). NOTE: Remedial 0-level courses such as Math 011 do not count toward graduation.
How transfer course are assigned to requirements
The Admissions Office evaluates courses taken at other institutions. The International Programs Office evaluates courses taken abroad on exchange. They will either assign a transfer course an exact UMass equivalent or, if there is no direct equivalent at UMass, assign it a generic equivalent. They also decide whether a generic course should be assigned General Education credit. Generic courses will not satisfy major requirements on the Academic Requirements Report unless your advisor sends a Student Exception Form to the Registrar's Office.
High school courses
The ARR only shows what is on your UMass transcript. If high school courses could satisfy requirements (such as foreign language proficiency), you should go to your college/school to discuss your situation.
The Academic Requirements Report has a critical part in graduation clearance
You are cleared for many requirements (University, General Education and Diversity) based on the ARR. The Chief Undergraduate Advisor in your department verifies your completion of major requirements, and your College Advising Office verifies your completion of College requirements, but they may use the ARR to complete that verification. If any of these requirements show as incomplete, you should seek advice from the Registrar’s Office, your College or your major respectively. Your clearance for graduation could be at risk if you ignore outstanding requirements.
If you need help reading your Academic Requirements Report, call us at (413) 545-0555.