Office of Student Affairs and Campus Life

March 30, 2016

As the last full month of the spring semester begins, the campus is getting ready to welcome warmer weather! Below, youíll find information on course registration, final exams, commencement, summer classes, and Family Weekend to help you and your student wrap up this school year and prepare for the fall semester.

Fall 2016 course registration
Course registration for Fall 2016 is now underway. Please talk with your student about fall semester plans. At this time, students should have appointments to meet with advisors to talk about course selection. If your student hasn't already made an appointment, they should do so as soon as possible. Students will have access to the online registration system throughout April and can make changes to their schedules until the Add/Drop period ends on September 19.

Finishing the spring semester

Final exams
Final exams begin April 29 and end on May 5. The Spring 2016 final exam schedule is now available. Students can view their individual final exam schedules by logging onto SPIRE. If your student has conflicting exams or has three or more exams scheduled in one calendar day, they should contact the Office of the Registrar for assistance.

Start bringing belongings home!
We are nearing the end of Spring 2016. Students who are planning a trip home in April should bring any clothes or items they will not need for the final weeks of the semester. They can also donate furniture and clothing in good condition in their residential area beginning April 29. Help make your studentís move-out as smooth as possible by encouraging them to plan ahead!

Hall closing
The residence halls will close for the spring semester on Thursday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m. Graduating seniors and commencement volunteers will automatically be granted permission to stay until May 8 at 10:00 a.m. All other students who have a specific need to stay late may make a request using the form on the Residential Life website from April 19 until May 5 at 8:30 a.m. As you plan for your student's departure from campus, please visit the Residential Life website for more information about traffic patterns, loading zones, area storage facilities, and helpful tips for a successful move-out.

Mail delivery
The last day that packages and mail will be delivered on campus is May 4. Please remind your student to update their mailing information in SPIRE before the end of the semester.

For parents of students participating in Fall 2016 online room selection
Please confirm with your student that they have used their appointment to select a housing assignment for fall 2016 if they plan to live on campus. The multi-year room selection process ends tomorrow, April 1 at 4:00 p.m.

Commencement updates
May commencement is rapidly approaching. Here are a few more reminders to help you and your senior graduate get ready for the big day.

  • Every senior should check their SPIRE account to be certain the graduation date and major are listed correctly. If the date is incorrect, seniors must speak with the Registrar's Office senior staff in Whitmore 213. Your student should check the diploma address to make sure itís current; this is where UMass Amherst will mail your student's diploma.
  • Commencement Weekend is scheduled for May 6 and 7. Visit the Commencement website for up-to-date information, including the complete schedule, parking information, special offers for on-campus room rentals for guests, low-cost dining opportunities in our award winning dining commons, how to make arrangements for special needs, and where to get caps and gowns.
  • GradImages will be on campus April 5 through 7, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Campus Center Room 803, to take cap-and-gown and business attire senior portraits. No appointment is necessary. For information, visit the GradImages website or call 1-800-261-2576.

Use your UMAPA discount card at Commencement Weekend and May Move-Out
As you continue to make plans to help your student move out or to attend your studentís graduation, remember to take advantage of the UMAPA discount card for lodging, dining, and more. Visit our website for a complete list of vendors and the discounts they offer. Note: You will need to show your UMAPA membership card to receive discounts.

Summer session
Course registration for UMass Amherst summer classes has begun. With two six-week sessions, starting May 16 and July 11, and with the flexibility of online learning, it's easy for students to keep earning credits toward graduation over the summer months. UMass Amherst summer session has hundreds of undergraduate classes from which to choose. Students can:

  • Take the pressure off their fall and spring course loads
  • Work toward graduating early
  • Make up credits to keep their graduation date on track

If your student wants to take a summer class, urge them to take a look at the complete list of classes and register soon.

Family Weekend: Save the date
Donít miss our next Family Weekend, to be held October 21-23. It offers something for everyone, from academics to the arts, and some classic fall activities. Registration opens in August. More information about registration and a simplified schedule of events is available on the Family Weekend website. Continue to visit our website for updates as more events are added through late spring and summer.

Join the UMAPA Advisory Council
The UMAPA Advisory Council is currently accepting membership applications for Fall 2016. Members serve a two-year term, attend two meetings per year, and participate in monthly conference calls, sponsored projects, and volunteer activities. Apply by Friday, September 16 by completing a membership form on the UMAPA website; mail or fax the completed application to the Office of Parent Services by the deadline for consideration. Council members are available to answer your questions through our member directory.

Not yet connected to the Councilís Family to Family Facebook group? Join now to network with Council members and other UMass Amherst parents and share perspectives and resources. Itís a closed group just for UMass Amherst parents/families.

April Poll Question
On average how many trips to campus do you make in a semester? Participate in the poll and view last monthís results here.

Important dates

  • April 4: Registration begins for Fall 2016
  • April 18: Patriots Day (no classes)
  • April 20: Monday class schedule followed
  • April 27: Last day of classes
  • April 29: Founders Day (university is open)
  • April 29: Final examinations begin

Helpful links
Commencement 2016
Family Weekend
Office of the Registrar
Residential Life Calendar
Summer 2016 Class Schedule

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the Office of Parent Services, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. We're more than happy to assist you.

In case of a campus emergency, always follow the university's main web page at The website will display a distinctly colored stripe at the top containing pertinent status updates and information related to ongoing emergencies.

Jeanne Horrigan, Director
Office of Parent Services

Treating Our Parents as Partners

Knowlton Hall
691 North Pleasant Street OFC
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-9399

Phone: 413-577-4444 ē Fax: 413-545-9631

Office of Parent Services Website
UMass Amherst Parents on Facebook
UMass Amherst Family to Family on Facebook
Send a UMass postcard

We're interested in your opinion! Take our monthly one-question survey.