STPEC

To accommodate students' broad interests and diverse backgrounds, course requirements are flexible.

FAQs

Can I minor in STPEC?

No, but it is very easy to do a double major. Please talk to a STPEC advisor about double majoring.

How big are STPEC classes?

STPEC’s 391H and 392H Seminars have an enrollment limit of 25 students; STPEC’s Senior Seminars and its Junior Writing Class have an enrollment limit of 20 students.

Is there a graduate program in STPEC?

No.  Many people have asked us that question and encouraged STPEC to create a graduate program.  But it's our experience that once a graduate program exists, it diverts resources and attention away from an academic unit's undergraduate program.  We think STPEC's most important mission is offering undergraduates a critical liberal arts education to prepare them to become engaged citizens of today's world.

Do I have to take the "STPEC pre-reqs" before I can apply for/enter the STPEC Program?

No, but taking the pre-reqs may help you decide if the STPEC Program is right for you. The pre-reqs are required for enrollment in STPEC 391H, STPEC Seminar I.

Why do I have to take STPEC 391H, STPEC Seminar I before the other seminars?

Because the theory and history you study in STPEC Seminar I will prepare you for the work in the other seminars.

How do I get into closed classes, or classes in other departments that are limited to their majors only?

Different departments have different methods of handling these types of enrollment requests. Usually the best course of action is to contact the professor by e-mail or, if the professor does not have an available e-mail address, by phone, to request that he or she let you into the desired course. Then you should attend the first meeting of the class and talk to the professor immediately after the class, reminding him or her of your e-mail (or phone) request. It is also very useful to let the professor know that you are a STPEC major and that you would like to take the class to fulfill a STPEC requirement (if this is in fact the case).

While you are doing all of this, you should keep in mind (especially for closed classes) that many students will drop some classes before the add/drop period ends, so it always prudent to keep trying (every day) right before and during the beginning of the semester to add the course on SPIRE.

Your registration in a course will also be greatly expedited if you have made certain that 1) you have enough credits available to register for the class (the limit is 18 unless you have gotten a credit overload from the Arts and Sciences Advising Office) and 2) that you have not already registered for other classes which have a time conflict with the class you are requesting.

What do I need to do before registering for courses?

We require all STPEC students to come into the STPEC Program office for advising before they register for classes for the following semester. You will have an advising hold on your SPIRE account until you have met with a STPEC advisor.

Will I have an advising hold on my SPIRE account during a semester that I am studying abroad or on national exchange?

No, normally you will not have an advising hold on your account in this situation, although we strongly suggest that you take the initiative to contact a STPEC advisor via e-mail to have some academic advising before you register for courses for the coming semester. If for some unforeseen reason you do have an advising hold, we will lift the hold after we have done e-mail advising with you.

What if I think a course should count that's not on the list?

You should bring a description of and syllabus for the class to either our Chief Academic Advisor or Assistant Academic Advisor to request that the class be counted. The advisors will either 1) approve the class to be added to the STPEC course list; 2) approve the class for you only; or 3) deny the class. In the event that your request is denied you do have the option of bringing your request directly to the STPEC Office Staff (which meets once a week throughout the semester) and pleading your case. The STPEC Office Staff may either uphold or reverse the Academic Advisor’s decision.

If you strongly suspect that the class was only omitted from the list as a simple oversight you may initially talk to any STPEC staff member about having the course added to the list without providing any documentation. If there is any question at all about the class you will then be directed to go through the process outlined above.

What is the Global Education requirement?

STPEC is in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. Students with a major in SBS must complete the Global Education requirement, which is the language requirement of SBS. The Global Education office is located in E-20 Machmer. Further information is available at: http://www.umass.edu/sbs/academics/undergraduate/global_ed_requirement.htm

What if my second major is in the College of Humanities & Fine Arts?

If your second major is Afro-American Studies, Art, Art History, Chinese, Classics, Comparative Literature, Dance, English, French, German, History, Italian, Japanese, Judaic Studies, Linguistics, Middle Eastern Studies, Music, Philosophy, Portuguese, Slavic and East European Studies, Spanish, Theater or Women's Studies, you must complete the HFA language requirement. The HFA requirement is the completion of the 240 (or 246) level of a foreign language. You may also satisfy the requirement by verifying you had four years of the same language (or three years of one language and two of another) in high school. If STPEC is your primary major, you must also complete the SBS Global Education requirement. If STPEC is your secondary major, you need only complete the HFA language requirement.