After You Apply
If you have already submitted your completed application, congratulations! Here is some more information you may find helpful as we review your materials.
Checking Application Status
Graduate Applicant Access in SPIRE: Within seven (7) days after the Graduate School processes your application fee, you will receive an email with your UMass Amherst NetID and password. Use your new credentials to log into SPIRE to see your Graduate Applicant Center. Note that applicants who already have NetIDs as current students, faculty, or staff will not receive this email.
Visit SPIRE Logon Information if you have questions about your IT account or your credentials for logging in to SPIRE.
Admissions & Status Tile > Applicant Center: On this page, you can see which of your references have submitted recommendations and send reminders to those who have yet to submit. You can upload additional documents, such as transcripts, to supplement your application materials.
Admissions & Status Tile > Application Status: You can see a summary of the materials the Graduate School has received as part of your application by following the Check Status of Application Materials link, available in the Grad Student Resources box on the top right side of your Graduate Applicant Center.
Receiving an Application Decision
As soon as we receive your application materials and application fee, your application is available to the graduate faculty in your desired program of study for their consideration. Each program’s admissions committee has its own timeline for reviewing applications. Contact the academic department directly if you have questions or concerns about the review timeline.
The graduate program will make a decision on your application and will notify the Graduate School. When the Graduate School receives the committee’s evaluation of your application, we notify you of a status change via email and your decision letter is made available in SPIRE.
If the graduate program recommends you for admission, the Graduate School will review your application to ensure the Graduate School’s minimum requirements are met. You will be notified by the Graduate School after admission has been finalized. Applicants are not admitted until they receive an offer of admission from the Graduate School.
Tell Us Your Plans
Accept or Decline the Offer of Admission
It is important that you tell us your plans as soon as possible. Your quick response will allow us to secure your place in the incoming class, or release your spot to other applicants who may be waiting for acceptance. Once you have decided whether to accept or decline the offer of admission, share your plans with us in SPIRE.
From the Admit Center in SPIRE, select the Admissions & Status Tile > Confirm/Withdraw Acceptance.
Offers with Financial Support
The Graduate School abides by the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants. When a prospective or current student accepts an offer of financial support (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year, the student enters an agreement that both the student and graduate program are expected to honor. Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15. Withdrawing an acceptance of financial support after April 15 commits the student to obtain a written release from the program before accepting an offer from another program or institution. See the above mentioned resolution for additional conditions affecting the offer.
Submit Official Transcripts
Upon admittance, official transcripts must be submitted from all colleges/universities attended, undergraduate and graduate, where nine (9) or more credits were taken.
In order to be considered official, transcripts must be submitted, either electronically or in paper format, directly to the Graduate Student Service Center by each institution’s registrar.
Certified Electronic Transcripts: Colleges and universities in the United States may submit secure electronically delivered transcripts that are digitally signed, passcode protected, and properly certified by the issuing institution. Send to: gradadm [at] grad [dot] umass [dot] edu. Transcripts sent as email attachments are not considered official.
Paper Transcripts: It is preferred that the official documents be delivered directly from the issuing institution to:
Graduate Student Service Center
534 Goodell Building
University of Massachusetts
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333
However, if the document is given to you to forward to UMass, it must be received in the official sealed envelope that is signed and stamped across the envelope flap by the appropriate academic officer at the institution issuing the document. If the envelope has been opened or there is no stamp or signature across the envelope flap, it will not be accepted.
International Transcripts and Degree Certificates: If your transcript does not clearly indicate the awarding of your degree, with the degree title and date awarded, we need the diploma and/or degree certificate in addition to the official final transcripts.
English Translation: Transcripts and degree documents that are in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official English translation or an official course-by-course credential evaluation from a NACES member.
Commonly used Credential Evaluation Services (visit the NACES website for additional options):
The Graduate School will defer your admission only with a recommendation from the graduate program.
Graduate programs may request a one-time deferral of admission for you, for up to one year, following the original term of application. Send your deferral request to the graduate program.
Consideration beyond the one-time deferral requires submission of a new application, application fee, and required application materials.
Residency for Tuition Classification
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education sets the rules about eligibility for in-state tuition rates at Massachusetts public colleges and universities.
We can only classify someone as a resident of Massachusetts for tuition classification purposes if they resided in Massachusetts for purposes other than attending an educational institution for twelve months immediately preceding the student’s entry or reentry as a student. Furthermore, residency is not acquired while the person is enrolled in an institution of higher education.
Review Residency Classification for additional information.
Note: Your residency usually only matters if you enroll in courses offered through the university session. If you enroll in courses offered through University Without Walls, you will usually pay the same rate regardless of your residency status.