The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Registration Information

Most of the following information pertains ONLY to on-campus graduate students in University courses. Students in online and off-site programs (such as off-campus MBA programs, Public Health Practice, and off-campus Education programs) should contact the office for Online Education, also known as Continuing & Professional Education, for registration procedures.

  • Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins on Monday, April 1, 2019
  • Classes begin on Tuesday, September 3, 2019
  • The last day to add or drop classes for the Fall 2019 semester is Monday, September 16, 2019

Registration takes place online using the University's SPIRE student information system. Degree-seeking graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment each semester until the degree/certificate is awarded (see Continuous Enrollment/Program Fee). Early registration is strongly recommended so that financial aid and/or stipend checks can be processed in a timely manner. 

Health insurance:

Health insurance for students who register for less than 5 credits (or who pay the Continuous Enrollment fee) is not automatic. You will need to contact Health Services at (413) 577-5192 for coverage information.

Holds on your record:

Check your Student Center on Spire to determine if there are any holds on your record that will prevent your registration. You must contact the office indicated on Spire to remove the hold prior to attempting to register. All holds must be resolved in time to register by the deadline.

New students:

  • All graduate students must register for credits for their first semester. If you do not enroll by the last day to add or drop classes, your admission will be voided.
  • Incoming students generally begin registering for classes during the following time-frames:
    • Fall entering students: June
    • Spring entering students: November
    • Summer entering students: March
  • Full-time students are required by state law to submit immunization records to the New Student Immunization Program (NSIP) office, Room 207B at University Health Services. The immunization form and all the information can be found on the University Health Services' NSIP website.  Please submit your documentation before you arrive on campus to avoid any future semester registration difficulties.
  • See the New Student Checklist for other things needed to start your life at UMass.

Continuing students:

Continuous Enrollment/Program Fee, GRADSCH 999:  If you are not registering for any courses or credits for the semester and you are not filing for your degree, you must enroll for the Continuous Enrollment course, also known as the Program Fee. An incomplete course from a previous semester does not maintain your enrollment. First semester students are not eligible for Continuous Enrollment. You can find this Continuous Enrollment course in the Schedule of Classes under GRADSCH 999. The cost for Continuous Enrollment/Program Fee is $275.00 which will billed by the Bursar's Office. Students on Continuous Enrollment are also assessed half of the Graduate Student Senate Tax.

Penalty for late registration:  If you do not register by the last day to add or drop classes for the semester, you will be withdrawn from your graduate program. If you wish to enroll after the deadline, you will be required to obtain readmission authorization from your Graduate Program Director and will be required to pay the Readmission Fee of $125.00 in addition to any course fees or retroactive Continuous Enrollment/Program Fees. Readmission under this condition is subject to graduate program approval and is not guaranteed.

Non-degree students:

Registration information for non-degree students can be found here.


If you expect to graduate at the end of the semester, you must complete all degree requirements and submit your thesis/dissertation and a Degree Eligibility Form to the Graduate School by the degree filing deadline. Most departments require that the Degree Eligibility Form be submitted to the department office two weeks prior to that deadline for their review and processing. You do not need to enroll for the subsequent semester unless you are continuing in another degree program.

SPIRE problems: 

If you encounter any problems with registering on SPIRE, you must contact the Graduate Student Service Center at (413) 545-0722 for registration problems or the office of Information Technology at (413) 545-9400 for technical problems as soon as possible. All registration problems must be resolved no later than the last day to add or drop classes.

Course Offerings: 

Use SPIRE "Search Classes/Catalog" to access course information.

  • Select "Search for Classes" for instructor and meeting time information
  • Select "Browse Course Catalog" for course descriptions
  • A printable version (PDF) of the class schedule can also be found on the SPIRE logon page

Five College Interchange:

Graduate students who wish to take a course at one of the other schools in the Five College Consortium can register during the pre-registration period (April for Fall classes and November for Spring classes) or during the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester. Specific dates are listed on the Five College Academic Calendar.


  • Enrolled in a degree-seeking program
  • Registered in at least one three-credit course at UMass
  • Most courses offered by the area colleges are undergraduate level and, therefore, are not necessarily applicable toward graduate degree credit at the University  
  • NOTE: Non-degree students are not eligible to register for Five College Interchange courses.

A link to the Five College Enrollment Request Form can be found on SPIRE under Enrollment—the form will appear only during the pre-registration and add/drop time periods. A copy of the Five-College Enrollment Request Form should be returned to the Graduate Student Service Center, 534 Goodell Building (on the ground floor). Instructor signatures are required during the add/drop period. The advisor signature is not required. All questions regarding enrollment in five-college courses should be directed to the Graduate Student Service Center at (413) 545-0722.


The Bursar's Office has transitioned entirely to electronic billing. Students no longer receive paper bills and can only access bills online. Notification of electronic bills are sent to students to view and/or pay their bills online. QuikPAY is the electronic system for all students to view, print and make their payment online. To access QuikPAY students should go to their Student Center in SPIRE and then click on "View/Pay Bill" in the Finances section. To obtain more information about QuikPAY, refer to the Bursar's Office website.


The above information is subject to change.