Registration for Five College Interchange Courses

Five College registration dates are different, and possibly earlier, than your UMass enrollment appointment.

You MUST adhere to the UMass Amherst Five College dates listed on the Five College Online Academic Calendar.

There are two registration periods each semester.

  • Course Request Period (Pre-registration) - is in November for Spring courses and in April for Fall courses.
  • Add/Drop - during the first two weeks of the semester.

Fall 2021 Course Enrollment

As Five College courses become available for Fall 2021, campuses will post their course schedules on the Five College Course Catalog:  Most campuses have not finalized their Fall 2021 course schedules. It is likely that after schedules are posted, changes will regularly occur until mid-summer. All Five College Campuses delayed accepting requests for Fall 2021. There is a special, one-week pre-registration period.

Five College Interchange Pre-Registration for Fall 2021 is scheduled for August 2-11, 2021.

This is a course request period only for open seats in courses for which students are eligible. During this period, instructors can not permit students into full courses. Requesting a class during this time period does not guarantee enrollment.

Five College Add/Drop for Fall 2021 is one week: September 1 – September 8. 

Step by Step Instructions

  • Identify course(s) from Five College Course Catalog. NOTE: No more than 8 credits can be taken at any one of the other four institutions per semester.
    • Log into Spire
    • On the top bar, click on the MAIN menu.
    • Scroll down until you see ENROLLMENT, click on that.
    • Scroll down until you see FIVE COLLEGE ENROLLMENT, click on that.
    • The Five College Registration page appears, read and click through to the Request Form.
    • Fill in all the information about the course.
    • Click Submit
    • You will see a Course Registration Receipt
    • Save the Registration Receipt as a PDF not as a picture or screen shot.
  • If the Registration Receipt says you must get instructor permission (always the case during add-drop at the beginning of the semester) email the instructor, attaching the receipt for a signature.
  • If the instructor cannot sign the actual form, an email verifying approval to enroll in the class is sufficient
  • Email the PDF Registration Receipt and instructor approval to If the instructor approval is an email, please submit it with the PDF Registration Receipt in the same email.
  • The Five College Interchange office will process the Registration Receipt if there are enough credits available on your schedule to add the course. It is your responsibility to ensure you have enough credits available.
  • You can check the status of the Registration on the Spire page in the Five College Enrollment

By submitting your Five College Registration Receipt, YOU AGREE to abide by all academic and student conduct regulations at the host school, including attendance, academic honesty, pass-fail procedures, and deadlines for completing course work and taking examinations.

Registration dates are strict, so be sure to know when they occur.


  • Second semester freshman (or beyond) AND in good academic standing AND
  • Registered in at least one 3-credit UMass course
  • NOTE: Special Students, University Without Walls (CPE) Students and Dual Enrollment Students are not eligible.

Course Request Period (Pre-Registration November and April)

  • Requesting a class during this time period does not guarantee enrollment.
  • Pre-registration, if approved by the host college, can take up to a month to appear on your SPIRE schedule.
  • You must leave leave space for the course credits on your schedule. If the addition of the course would put you over your credit limit, it will NOT be added.

Late Registration

  • Other schools do not allow late registration, even if you have been attending the class from the beginning of the semester.
  • If you believe there is an administrative error, contact the Five-College Interchange Office immediately.

Dropping a Five College Course

  • Use the same procedures you use to drop a UMass course.
  • During your Spire enrollment period, you must drop the course on Spire.
  • After registration ends, you must contact the Registrar's Office to drop a class.
  • Remember that you may withdraw (W) from a course until the mid-semester date.
  • After the mid-semester date, you must contact your Academic Dean to petition for a late drop.

Credit Details

  • Most Five College classes carry 4 credits.
    • Exceptions include but may not be limited to: P.E., Outdoors Program, Dance, Music, and language courses.
    • P.E. courses with no academic component or certificate generally receive 1 credit from UMass.
  • Check with Five College Interchange staff in Undergraduate Student Success to discuss the number of credits UMass gives variable credit courses.
  • Credits will count as UMass residency credits.
  • In order to exceed your credit limit, you must petition for a credit override with you academic dean's office.
  • Audits - You can only register during the Add/Drop Registration Period.
    • Write "0" on the Five College Enrollment Request form for credit total.
    • Amherst College NEVER allows audits.


Grades earned at the other four colleges are recorded on the UMass transcript and factored into the UMass grade point average.

Five College plus and minus grades factor as follows: A- (3.75), B+ (3.25), B- (2.75), C+ (2.25), C- (1.75), D+ (1.25), D- (0.75).

Pass/Fail - The four colleges all have a Pass/Fail option. This must be done during the first week of classes.

  • For Amherst, Mt. Holyoke and Smith Colleges - go directly to their registrar's office and request a Pass/Fail Option - follow their instructions (which may include obtaining permission from the instructor).
  • For Hampshire College, consult directly with the instructor.
  • Once you have completed this request, ONLY "P" or "F" will be recorded - there will be no opportunity to receive a letter grade.

Incompletes - Amherst, Mt. Holyoke and Smith Colleges do not have policies regarding incompletes.

Independent Study

You may request an independent study, provided you have found a Five College faculty member to work with. Credits will be granted only if authorized by the Five College Interchange Office.

  • Complete a Five College Enrollment Request form listing the appropriate department, course number, title and credits.
  • Obtain a Five College Independent Study contract (available in the Five College Interchange Office). Provide a written description of the project SIGNED by the faculty member.
  • Submit BOTH to the Five College Interchange Office.


  • No additional cost for full-time students, except lab or lesson fees.
  • Part-time students pay for the number of credits at UMass rates. Most semester courses at the four colleges carry 4 credits.

General Education Requirements

Some Five College courses already have a UMass General Education designation. The Five College Interchange Office has a list of these approved courses.

You may petition for a class to be granted a Gen Ed designation.

  1. Obtain a "Request for Five College General Education Approval" form from the Five College Interchange Office
  2. Turn in the completed form with a copy of the course syllabus.
  3. You will be notified of the results via email after approximately two weeks.