FAQs

Q. Can I change my schedule once the semester starts?
A. Yes, you can change your schedule during the add/drop period. Be sure to go onto SPIRE on the last day of add/drop to make sure your schedule is correct.

 

Q. How can I withdraw from a course?
A. In order to withdraw from a course, you need to fill out both the late withdrawal and course change request forms, which are available in the SBS Advising Center (Thompson 128). These forms need to be signed by your instructor and brought to the Registrar's office by the mid-semester date. This is the deadline for withdrawing from a course. A "W" will show up on your transcript indicating that you were enrolled in the course after the add/drop period. The form does NOT require a dean's signature. Just be sure you remain a full time student (carrying 12+ credits).

 

Q. I am not doing well in a class. Can I withdraw from it after the mid-semester date?
A. The only way you can withdraw from a course after the mid-semester date is if you have verifiable and extenuating circumstances. You should discuss your situation with your academic advisor. If you decide to petition for a late withdrawal, please fill out the Late Withdrawal Petition form as well as the Course Change Request Form. Your petition will be reviewed and you will be notified of the decision.

 

Q. Can I take a required course for my major or a general education course pass/fail?
A. No, you can only take elective courses pass/fail.

 

Q. What happens if my GPA falls below a 2.0?
A. If you fall below a 2.0 you will be placed on academic probation. From there, you will meet with both your Academic Dean and your academic advisor to develop a strategy to improve your academic performance. If in any following semester you again fall below a 2.0 GPA, you will be suspended for a semester, but will have the opportunity to return to the University. If your GPA is below a 2.0 for a third semester, you will be dismissed from the University.

 

Q. How can I appeal a suspension or a dismissal?
A. You have the right to appeal your academic status. All appeals must be initiated in writing through the Academic Dean. Decisions made by the deans may then be appealed to the Committee on Admissions and Records. All cases will be reviewed individually. Ordinarily, documentation will be required.

 

Q. What do I need to graduate from UMass?
A. You must earn 120 credits, complete your general education, college and major requirements, earn no less than a cumulative GPA of 2.0 not only in your major, but also for your other courses.

 

Q. What is my College Requirement?
A. Global Education is the SBS College requirement. All majors with the exception of those in Landscape Architecture, Resource Economics and Sustainable Community Development are required to complete a minimum of 15 credits via one of four Global Education Options. The options are described in detail in the Global Education Requirements. All four include a minimum of 6 credits in one foreign language as part of the requirement. If you have questions or want to change your option, visit the SBS Advising Center.

 

Q. How do I get on the Dean's List?
A. You must earn a 3.5 GPA and be a full time student.


Q. How many credits can I take in a semester?
A. To be a full time student you must take 12 credits in a semester. Most students take 14-16 credits a semester. If you wish to take more than the maximum credit load of 18 in either the fall or spring semester, more than 7 credits during one summer session, or more than one course during winter session, you must submit a Credit Overload Petition form. Requests will be reviewed and IF approved, students can register for additional credits at the beginning of the semester or term.

 

Q. I was not able to complete a final assignment in a class—what should I do?
A. Speak to your instructor immediately! It is possible to take an "incomplete" in the course, which will allow you to make up the work during the following semester. You must complete an Incomplete Grade Form - you can get this from your instructor or from the Academic Dean. Remember, an incomplete counts as an "F" until you complete the work and a grade is submitted. You only have one semester to complete the work or the "INC" remains an "F."

 

Q. Can I take a course during the summer at another school?
A. Yes, but you must complete a Prior Approval Form, which must be signed by your academic advisor. If the course you are taking fulfills a general education requirement, you need to get a signature from an admissions evaluator. The form must be submitted to the Registrar's Office in 209 Whitmore. When you have completed the course(s), forward an official transcript to the Registrar's Office. You must earn a "C-" or above for a course to be transferred. Remember, your grade will not be factored into your GPA.

 

Q. How do I know who my academic advisor is in my major?
A. Contact the chief undergraduate advisor in your department to find out who is your assigned faculty advisor. Visit your faculty advisor often, especially during counseling period. Advisors are generally listed on the SPIRE student home page.

 

Q. How can I find out about scholarships offered by the college?
A. SBS and individual departments offer a variety of scholarships. For more information, see SBS Scholarships and check with your individual department as well.