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 week of the semester.

Five College Interchange Request Period for Fall 2024 is April 8 – April 19.

Please note: Requesting a class during this time period does not guarantee enrollment.

The Add/Drop Registration Period for Fall 2024 Courses is the first day of classes through September 9.

  • Identify course(s) from Five College Course Catalog. Do not request more than 8 credits at any one institution.
    • Log into Spire
    • Go to Manage Classes
    • Go to Add/Drop/edit Classes
    • Scroll down to FIVE COLLEGE ENROLLMENT
      • Fill in all the information about the course.
      • The Five College Registration page appears, read and click through to the Request Form.
        • You will see a Course Registration Receipt. Save the Registration Receipt as a PDF not as a picture or screen shot.
        • Click Submit. YOU ARE NOT DONE
    • If you are sure you want to proceed with requesting the course: email the PDF Registration Receipt to 
      • If the receipt requires an instructor signature:  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. 
      • Forward the instructor approval email (no screen shots of parts of the email correspondence, forward the entire email) with the PDF Registration Receipt to: 
      • IMPORTANT NOTE: During the Add/Drop period at the beginning of the semester the receipt always requires instructor permission.  
    • 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
    • Please send one email for each course, attaching the receipt and if required the instructor permission.

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
  • Students can not enroll in more than 8 credits per institution per semester. 
  • Students must save room on their schedule for the requested credits.. If the addition of the course surpasses the student semester credit limit, it will NOT be added
  • Special Students, University Without Walls (CPE) Students and Dual Enrollment Students are not eligible.

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) or provide a copy of the Host School Contract. 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 copy of the course syllabus
  2. Make an appointment for a Five College meeting on Navigate. Bring the syllabus
  3. You will be notified of the results via email after approximately two weeks.