Everything you need to know to get started, get busy, and get it done.
Celebrate each step in your journey by submitting the right form at the right time:
Milestones and Forms provides links to forms and an easy checklist of what needs to be done and by when. Each program also has specific information about its course of study and resources tailored for its students, so be sure to check in there as well.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst serves over 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students and is located in scenic and historic western Massachusetts. Part of the Five College consortium (with Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), UMass offers a wide range of specialties, including several nationally recognized research departments. Western Massachusetts is a beautiful part of the country and an excellent place to live and be a graduate student.
Visit Campus: The Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors offers tours for prospective undergraduate students. Prospective and new graduate students should contact their program's coordinator or department administrators for information about setting up a campus visit.
- Living at UMass Amherst has information about on-campus housing options for graduate students. Space is often limited, so be sure to sign up early or add your name to a waitlist.
- Family Housing in North Village is available for UMass affiliated students who are married and/or have dependent children.
- Off Campus Student Life has resources for students moving to the area including housing and roommate searches.
- Off Campus Housing offers a one-stop housing resource page for students, including housing and roommate searches, message boards, local resources, and more.
- Other non-UMass housing listings include craigslist, RentNoho, Zillow, and Trulia.
- Check out these apartment complexes, popular with UMass graduate students, for easy access to campus and public transportation
International Programs Office sends out I-20 forms to newly admitted international students, and they can provide other support for international students.
- Getting Around:
- Explore the area: Check out these local favorites of some College of Education students, faculty, and staff!
Check out the News and Events page for College of Education new student orientation announcements.
The Graduate School also hosts a Graduate Student Orientation at the end of August for new graduate students and first-time teaching assistants.
New international students are required to attend International Student Orientation at the end of August.
Set up your UMass IT accounts. Your IT NetID is how you access your UMass email, SPIRE, Library resources, and other online services. The UMass IT New Student Guide gives you an overview of IT services and checklists of what you should set up right away.
Become familiar with SPIRE. This is the homebase for managing your student information. This is where you’ll register for courses, view grades, manage finances, and review assistantship appointments.
Get on UMail. Official communications will always be sent to your UMass email address, so remember to check it regularly if you typically use a personal account.
Get on the college email lists to receive updates about assistantships, courses, calls for conference proposals, and other news related to your degree program. Students should be automatically added to college-wide mailing lists when they are admitted, but get in touch with Mike Hanna email@example.com if you have not been receiving updates. Contact your program's coordinator or department administrator about program-specific mailing lists.
Get your UCard. The UCard is the official UMass Amherst campus picture identification card. It's designed to be the "one card" on campus. In addition to being your official campus ID, your UCard will also function as your PVTA bus pass, UMass Recreational Center access card, Dining Services meal card, door access card, library card, and more.
Check with the Graduate School for assistantship listings, financial aid information, and grant and fellowship awards.
Follow the College of Education’s newsletter, which sometimes contains assistantship postings.
Consult the UMass at a Glance and Organizational Chart - which lists all offices and departments within UMass Amherst. If one is in your area of interest, check with them directly about possible assistantships.
Visit Financial Aid Services for information about applying for financial aid.
Review your employee benefits and rights with the Graduate Employee Organization.
Apply for scholarships through the College of Education.
Meet with your advisor to discuss your goals and how the two of you will work together. Be sure you both have shared expectations related to communications, responsibilities, and other practical matters. Your primary advisor will be listed on your student home page in SPIRE.
Consider what courses you plan to take, check requirements, review how often certain classes are offered, and check with your program for special requirements such as practicums or student teaching.
By the end of your first semester, confirm your plan with your advisor and hand in your M1/D1/ES1 form.
Notify your program. Most applications are due by January 2 (Secondary Teacher Education programs due February 1), and faculty make admissions decisions in early-late spring. When you are recommended for admission by your program, you'll be provided with information about how and when to formally accept your offer. Contact your program's coordinator or department administrator for specific questions about program admissions.
- Accept your official offer from the Graduate School through SPIRE. Typically, the deadline for accepting admissions offers is April 15. Be sure to contact your program's coordinator or department administrator for official acceptance deadlines.
By the end of your first semester: confirm your course of study with your advisor and celebrate by submitting the appropriate form:
Masters (M1) Form
Doctoral (D1) Form
Education Specialist (ES1) Form
Find and register for classes in SPIRE. Classes become available for registration midway through the previous semester (typically November for Spring, and March for Fall)
- If you are taking Continuing and Professional Education classes, you need to create a non-degree enrollment appointment in SPIRE before registering for classes.
- Submit an Independent Study Contract to the Academic Affairs office when you have arranged independent study credits with an instructor.
- Find College of Education research classes to meet PhD degree requirements.
- Plan ahead with the tentative College of Education course projections.
- The University Registrar has helpful information about registering, withdrawing, graduating, getting transcripts and more.
- UMass Continuing and Professional Education offers online courses - just note these courses are not covered by an assistantship tuition reimbursement, but MA state employees are eligible for 50% tuition reimbursement.
- Brief Course Descriptions for all courses offered in the College of Education.
- Register here for Five College Courses.
- Online platforms for classes:
- Consult the academic calendar for class schedules, holidays, important deadlines, and exam periods.
- APA Style Guide is a quick online reference for APA formatting, but ALWAYS refer to the latest edition of the APA Publication Manual for best reference!
UMass Writing Center tutors work with undergrad, graduate, postdoc, staff, and faculty writers on any academic genre at any point in the writing process.
- They also have a great collection of writing and research resources.
- UMass Amherst Libraries, find resources, borrow from other libraries, manage citations, browse research databases.
- The Education LibGuide, maintained by Education Subject Specialist Librarian, Steve McGinty provides a focused guide to library resources that relate to Education.
- Special Collections and University Archives: UMass archives with focus on social justice and change.
- Academic Search Premier is a database for scholarly resources.
- ERIC is a database for scholarly resources related to education.
- Google Scholar can be useful for tracking down documents not included in the library search engine.
- Institutional Review Board (IRB), use the Institutional Review Board for proposing research involving human subjects.
- The Office of Research and Engagement provides research assistance including workshops, collaborative projects, and grant support.
Get involved with the College of Education Research Centers
- The Ronald H. Fredrickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation (CSCORE) is dedicated to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all children through identifying and developing research-based and effective school counseling practices.
- Center for Youth Engagement (CYE) is an interdisciplinary effort dedicated to the advancement of successful school and post-school outcomes for underserved and at-risk youth.
- Center for Student Success Research (CSSR) facilitates research, evaluation, and organizational assessment aimed at promoting postsecondary access and success for underrepresented and understudied student populations.
- Center for International Education (CIE) engages in implementation and research opportunities in the areas of international development for educational institutions and systems-especially in conflict or crisis contexts, professional development and capacity building, education policy and leadership, nonformal/popular adult education, and internationalizing U.S. education.
- Center for Educational Policy conducts studies and evaluates programs on topics relating to K-12 education reform and K-16 alignment, access, and outcomes. Convenes policy leadership conferences that bring together legislators, executive branch staff, educators, union leaders, researchers, funders, and other education stakeholders to share research findings and test policy solutions.
- Center for Educational Assessment conducts research and provides training in the areas of psychometrics, research methods, and educational statistics to promote fair, useful, and efficient educational assessment practices. The Center provides technical expertise in areas such as test development, item response theory applications, equating, standard setting, test selection and evaluation, and program evaluation.
Graduate School Grants and Fellowships provides funding to support research and scholarly activities of graduate students.
Celebrate your progress (by submitting forms)
- As you complete each key stage of your program, you will submit forms to confirm with the college that everything is moving along.
- Set your course of study with your advisor, and hand in your M1/D1/ES form.
- Doctoral students, if your plans change, be sure to fill out a D2A form for your program of study or D10 form for your committee membership.
- Reach your key milestones, celebrate, and submit the appropriate forms for finishing coursework, exams, and dissertations.
- When you've completed your course of study, hand in your final degree eligibility form.
Students in the College of Education are members of the following clubs and organizations
- Undergraduate Education Club aims to provide a platform for aspiring educators to connect with one another, engage in volunteering activities, and learn from educators in the field.
- Graduate Students in Higher Education (GSHE) hosts professional development, networking, and social opportunities for students interested in higher education.
- Outdoor Activities Club sponsors activities for students, faculty, staff and their friends and family. Past events have included ice skating, Zumba, and kickball.
- Student writing groups will also pop up throughout the academic year and over the summer. Keep and eye out for writing group announcements.
Other UMass Amherst Graduate Student Organizations
- Graduate Employee Organization is the graduate employee union. Students can serve as GEO stewards for their departments and get involved with various caucuses and committees concerning the rights and well-being of graduate employees.
- Graduate Students of Color Association seeks build and sustain a supportive community for graduate students of color that contributes to their academic development, social growth, and well-being. Membership is open to all graduate students, regardless of racial or ethnic background.
- Graduate Student Senate is the student-run, elected, and financed governance body at UMass Amherst for graduate students.
- Graduate Women in STEM aims to advance the standing of women in the science and engineering fields through outreach, mentoring and professional development initiatives
- Resources for planning events
- Share your work at various research events in the College of Education.
- Check your program's student resources page for suggested conferences, networking events, and funding sources related to your area of study.
- Apply for UMass travel grants with the the College of Education, the Graduate School, and the Center for Research on Families.
- UMass' central Office of Research and Engagement can help with external grant funding.
- Trip Advisor: Things to Do near University of Massachusetts Amherst
- The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health on campus offers individual and group counseling services.
- Disability Services provides direct services for all types of disability, information and referral on issues of accessibility, and training and staff development.
- Religious and Spiritual Life on campus offers a range of educational programs, individual and institutional advocacy, interfaith dialogue, and other bridge-building activities.
- PhD Comics for a laugh.
- Use the Reflection Space in the Furcolo Hall Garden level for some quiet time.
- The Graduate Employee Organization is your resource for benefits, wellness reimbursements, and workplace grievances.
- The Dean and Graduate Program Director are both great resources if you run into issues during your time at UMass.
- Journals housed in College of Education
- Scholarworks@UMass Amherst is a digital showcase of the research and scholarly output of members of the University of Massachusetts Amherst community.
- Open Access, UMass has launched and participated in a number of initiatives aimed at increasing open access or more sustainable systems of scholarly communication.
- Check your program's student resource page for suggested journals related to your area of study.
This page is made possible by contributions from students in the College of Education. If you know things that should be added, or (gulp) things that need to be fixed, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Each program has requirements for final projects, capstones, or dissertations - good luck!
- Support your colleagues by attending their final presentations! Look for announcements in the newsletter and through email lists.
- Check in with your program's coordinator for information about program recognition ceremonies.
- The College of Education hosts a Graduation Celebration in May. Check the events page for details.
- UMass hosts a university-wide Commencement in May.
- Consider in advance if family and friends may want to stay overnight to attend any ceremonies or commencement. Local lodging options tend to fill up in the months before commencement.