Training & Documentation

Please see below for a number of helpful links for faculty. Contact the Graduate School via phone (413) 545-6002 or email with any questions.

Information Technologies also offers extensive training and documentation for most SPIRE functions including many of the Graduate Admissions processes as well as recording and changing grades.

Academic Load / Enrollment Status Override

The Academic Load Override page in SPIRE is used to enter a graduate student's status as full- or half-time while they are working on research for a required thesis or dissertation. This page replaces the need to write and send status memos to the Graduate School.

Entering Academic Load Overrides
  • Navigator > Academic Records > Grad Records > Grad Academic Load Override
Check the Enrollment Status of All Students Using SPIRE Query
  • Navigation: Queries & Reporting Tile > Query Viewer
  • Query Prompt: Enter the four digit numeric term code (e.g. 1213 for Spring 2021)
  • The last two columns in the query output contain enrollment status information.

Enrollment Status Policy

  • The Graduate School defines full-time graduate student status as enrollment for nine (9) or more credits; part-time graduate student status is defined as eight (8) or fewer credits; and for financial aid and loan deferment purposes, half-time is defined as six (6) credits in a semester.
  • Degree candidates working full-time on research for a required thesis or dissertation may be considered full-time graduate students regardless of the number of credits for which they register provided their Graduate Program Director or Department Head/Chair certifies that they are working full-time on research.
  • Master's and doctoral candidates legally employed for at least 40 hours a week at a University-approved co-operative education experience (Co-op) may be considered full time students regardless of the number of credits in which they are enrolled, provided the major department certifies the work experience is directly related and integral to the curriculum of the student's academic program.
  • Audited courses do not count toward enrollment status.
  • Working on incomplete courses from prior semesters cannot count toward enrollment status.
  • Immigration law requires that foreign students be enrolled at full-time status.
  • To satisfy the residency requirement for a doctoral degree, doctoral students must spend the equivalent of at least one continuous academic year of full-time graduate work (nine credits per semester) in residence at the university. A semester in which a department certifies a student as working full-time on research, without the student registering for credits, does not count towards the residency requirement.

Credit Overload / Change Enrollment Limit

Graduate Program Directors and Graduate Program Administrators have access to change a student's enrollment limit in SPIRE.

A graduate student may register for up to 16 credits during the fall and spring semesters and nine total credits during the summer session.  Any student who wishes to register for more than 16 credits in a fall or spring semester must secure the endorsement of the Graduate Program Director in their major department.

Circumstances that warrant a change in a student's enrollment limit:

  • The program curriculum requires a student to enroll in more than 16 credits during a fall or spring semester.
  • All other exceptions should be endorsed by the Graduate Program Director or Department Head.

Statute of Limitations Extension Requests

In a simple two-step process, departments can request Statute of Limitations extensions on SPIRE.

Review Graduate Application Materials

Log into SPIRE and use the Navigator Bar on the right to navigate to  Graduate Application Review > Lookup Graduate Applicants.

Several improvements have been made to the Graduate Application Review feature since this video was created, including navigation changes, additional search functionality, and a direct link to the SPIRE Decision page

Graduate Admissions Decision Page

The Graduate Decision Page is used to enter the department’s recommendation to admit or deny an applicant. It is also where a department can change an applicant’s admission term or degree plan or sub-plan.

SPIRE Query Viewer

Query Viewer allows SPIRE users to run pre-built queries, view results online, and download data to Excel.

The student information you obtain by running queries falls under the FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act) guidelines. It is your responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of this information and protect it against accidental release.

To access the Query Viewer, logon to SPIRE and navigate to the Queries & Reporting Tile > Query Viewer

Find & Run a Query

Search for queries available for you to run on the Query Viewer page.

  • In Search By, select "Query Name" (if not already selected).
  • In the begins with field, enter UM_GRAD_DPT to see all of the Graduate School's queries available to you.

Getting Access

Access to Query Viewer in SPIRE is automatically granted to Graduate School appointed Graduate Program Directors and their program administrators.  Other users may be approved by the graduate school on a case by case basis. 

If you need to apply for query security, logon to SPIRE and navigate to Profile Tile > Access & Privacy > SPIRE Access Request.  Fill in all information (include the reason you need the access in the comment box) and select 'Graduate School Queries & Reports' from the menu.  Click 'Specify Subjects' and choose the access you need.  Submit the form.

Need more information?

Visit IT's Use the Query Viewer help page.

SPIRE Queries - Admissions

To access the Query Viewer, logon to SPIRE and navigate to Queries & Reporting Tile > Query Viewer


UM_GRAD_DPT_APPLICANT_DETAILS Replacement for Applicant Details Report in UMetrx
UM_GRAD_DPT_APPLIED_FOR_TERM All applicants for a given term.  Prompts for term. Sorted by last name.


Applications submitted without application fee payment; includes applicant email address.
UM_GRAD_DPT_APPLIED_NO_DPT_DEC All applicants in applied status that have no decision from the department (and have no other decision posted by the Graduate School)
UM_GRAD_DPT_APPL_BY_STATUS All applicants including applications for current and future terms.  Sorted by current status.
UM_GRAD_DPT_ADM_MAIL_ADDRESS Mailing address for all admitted applicants.
UM_GRAD_DPT_APP_DEC_AFTER_DT Admitted applicants who have made a decision to attend, not attend or hold off on making a decision until April 15th.  Prompts for a date.
UM_GRAD_DPT_APP_REVIEW_IPO International applicants recommended by the department for admission that are under review in the International Programs Office.
UM_GRAD_DPT_DEC_CHG_GR_ADM Applicants recommended for admission by the department, but the Graduate School has changed the decision to be conditionally admitted, placed on hold, or denied admission as per our policies.
UM_GRAD_DPT_LATE_APPLICATIONS List of applicants who missed the application deadline and whose application has been moved forward to the next term for consideration.
UM_GRAD_DPT_PENDING_DECISIONS Decisions entered by the departments that are pending review or deferred by the Graduate School.
UM_GRAD_DPT_RECENT_DECISIONS A list of decisions finalized in the Graduate School since a certain date.  Prompts for a date.
UM_GRAD_DPT_TEST_SCORES A list of all applicants which includes test scores. Prompts for term.  (A cell with -1.00 means there is no test data).
UM_GRAD_DPT_ADMISSION_COMMITEE List of Graduate Faculty in your department who have Graduate Admissions Committee access. Includes descriptions for each Application Center the committee member can access.
UM_GRAD_DPT_EXITSURV_RSN_CONTS Exit Survey:  Summary of reasons people decline admission.
UM_GRAD_DPT_EXITSURV_OTHR_RESN Exit Survey: List of other reasons that admits listed for declining admission.
UM_GRAD_DPT_EXITSURV_OTHR_INST Exit Survey: List of other institutions chosen.


SPIRE Queries - Records

To access the Query Viewer, logon to SPIRE and navigate to Queries & Reporting Tile > Query Viewer

UM_GRAD_DPT_ACTIVE_LIST List of current, active students.  This list includes all contact information such as address, email and local phone.
UM_GRAD_DPT_ACTIVE_LIST_ADVISR List of active students with advisor name.
UM_GRAD_DPT_RECENT_ACTIVE_LIST List of current active students, and those that have recently discontinued or graduated.  Use when a student doesn't appear on the active list.
UM_GRAD_DPT_REGIST_FOR_TERM List of current active students. Includes course enrollments, but does not include students with no registrations.
UM_GRAD_DPT_NOTREGIST_FOR_TERM List of current active students who have not yet registered for the semester
UM_GRAD_DPT_W_ENRL_HOLDS List of current, active students with a registration hold due to missing application materials.  These students were conditionally admitted.
UM_GRAD_DPT_ACADEMIC_INFO Active students with their cumulative GPA and total number of credits. Prompts for term.
UM_GRAD_DPT_ACADEMIC_INFO_INC Active students with cum GPA, total credits and possible incomplete grades.  Could be used to determine degree eligibility.
UM_GRAD_DPT_COURSE_LIST_BY_STU All courses, including GRADSCH-999, and grades for all active students in the program.  Sorted by student and term.
UM_GRAD_DPT_INCOMPLETES_ALL All incomplete courses for all students in the program.
UM_GRAD_DPT_INCOMPLETES_BY_STU Incomplete courses for individual student. Prompts for ID.
UM_GRAD_DPT_MILESTONE_SUMMARY List of active students and a summary of any milestones they have completed.  Sorted by Expected Graduation Date (soonest to most distant) and then by student name.  Students without milestones are included.
UM_GRAD_DPT_STUDENT_MILESTONES List of milestones for active students.  There are multiple rows for each student.  Students without milestones do not appear.

List of students who are expected to graduate or the department will need to request an extension to their SOL.

UM_GRAD_DPT_DEGREE_ELIG_STATUS List of students for whom we have received a degree eligibility form.
UM_GRAD_DPT_FINAL_GRADUATN_LST List of students for whom a degree or certificate was awarded.
UM_GRAD_DPT_ADD_GROUPS List of active students with link to Student Groups. Optional prompt for Plan.
UM_GRAD_DPT_GRAD_FACULTY_LIST List of Graduate Faculty
UM_GRAD_DPT_GRAD_FACULTY_LIST2 List of Graduate Faculty in a specific program.  Prompts for Academic Program code.


Catalog Editor Instructions

The information provided here is aimed at editors who oversee the program description pages of the Graduate Bulletin. You should not feel required to make extensive changes to your format and content. However, below are guidelines for you to follow.


The Graduate Bulletin is the official list of graduate programs offered by the University. It should include a general description of each program and any concentrations, admissions and graduation requirements, perhaps even a description of the types of research being done in the department. Although all programs have an individual website which is the main promotion page for prospects, you should not rely on a link to your program page for these basic descriptions since the catalog is the historical record of these programs and requirements. Any student should be able to look back at an archived copy of the Graduate Bulletin to find the requirements of the program into which they were admitted and were required to fulfill. All accredited institutions of higher education are required by their accrediting agency to maintain such a document.

Programs, Faculty, and Courses landing page

This page must include:

  • Degrees offered
  • Physical location on the campus
  • Contact information for applicants
  • A link to the program website

Program Overview page(s)

This section of your program pages should describe what a prospective student can expect should they choose to enroll. It should summarize the goals, philosophy or general expectations of the program. There should be a detailed description of program expectations, admissions requirements if they differ from the Graduate School's general requirements, graduation requirements, plus concentrations and/or research areas. Specific courses required for the degree or concentration can be listed if desired. Sometimes the overview is separated by degree or concentration. It should not say this: "Courses of study leading to both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are available through the department. These are described in detail on the department's website."

Graduate Faculty page

Regular Graduate Faculty

You can verify who is eligible for inclusion in your list of Graduate Faculty by running the SPIRE query called UM_GRAD_DPT_GRAD_FACULTY_LIST. If you cannot run this query, you can request access to Graduate School Queries & Reports in SPIRE via Main Menu > My SPIRE > SPIRE Access Request or ask graduate program staff in your department to run the query for you.

To be included, a faculty member must have been recommended to and approved by the Graduate Dean at the "Full" or "Member" status level. New faculty names should not be added to the catalog list unless a request for Graduate Faculty Status has already been sent to the Graduate Dean's Office. If you list someone whose request has been submitted and is awaiting approval, comment about the pending request on the page where you submit all of your pages for review. Read more about requesting Graduate Faculty Status. All names listed in this section should include the academic credentials/qualifications of the individual. Formatting of these credentials is described below.

Adjunct/Associated Faculty

To be listed in the Adjunct/Associated section of your Graduate Faculty, that person must at least have Graduate Faculty Status at the "Teach" level. If they are a faculty member in another department and their credentials are listed elsewhere in the Bulletin, they can be listed as Name, Professor of <Other Department>. If they are not listed elsewhere in the Bulletin, their academic credentials should be listed.

Faculty Emeriti and retired faculty

Only names which have officially been sent to the Provost's Office for emeritus status should be listed here. This is not merely a list of retired faculty and a faculty member is not removed from the Graduate Faculty because they have retired. If they remain actively associated with the program, then they can continue to be listed with the regular Graduate Faculty.


Sort order:

The sort order of the Graduate Faculty is as follows: the name of the Department Head or Chair should be first; the Graduate Program Director's name should be next; all other faculty should follow in alphabetical order.

Formatting credentials:

The easiest way to format the academic credentials of the Graduate Faculty is to follow the examples of the other faculty credentials. Here are some pointers:

  • There should be no abbreviations
  • The words University and College should be left off unless there is confusion with another institution. An example of this exception would be Washington University and University of Washington in St. Louis which should each be spelled out completely. Another example would be Amherst College which should be spelled out to prevent any confusion with our own institution which is listed as Massachusetts at Amherst. Foreign institutions are generally spelled out complete with the country listed. For example: Yonsei University, Korea.
  • When there are multiple campuses, the institution is listed with the campus location following. Examples are: Massachusetts at Amherst; New York at Buffalo; and California at Berkeley.
  • The institution should only be listed once for multiple degrees
  • For punctuation, there should be a semi-colon between each degree and a comma should separate the degree, institution and year of degree. Here are two examples:

Firstname I. LastnameAssociate Professor, B.A., Iowa, 1997; M.A., Massachusetts at Amherst, 2000; Ph.D., 2005.

Firstname I. LastnameProfessor, B.S., Missouri at Columbia, 1984; M.A., Oregon State, 1992; Ph.D., Arizona, 1999.


  • Generate a list of courses last offered no more than three years ago using the SPIRE query named UM_GRAD_DPT_BULLETIN_COURSES. If you cannot run this query, you can request access to Graduate School Queries & Reports in SPIRE via Main Menu > My SPIRE > SPIRE Access Request or ask graduate program staff in your department to run the query for you.
  • Courses must already be listed in SPIRE or be fully approved by the Faculty Senate and awaiting entry in SPIRE
  • Course descriptions should closely match the SPIRE Course Catalog
  • Courses must be in sequential order by subject and not by concentration. In general, the Bulletin should primarily be considered a long term reference guide and only secondarily as an advising document. Listing courses by concentration might make more sense, however, on the department's website.
  • Credits should be indicated only if other than 3; thesis and dissertation credits (n99) should be listed as the number of credits required for the degree
  • Experimental courses (ending in n90) may be listed if they are approved by the Faculty Senate
  • Seminars needn't have a complete course description if they change frequently; a generic description is sufficient, i.e. "Discussion and review of current topics in the field"
  • Titles for all course numbers that end in n98 are practica, n97 are special topics, n96 are independent studies, n91-95 are seminars

Other information

  • We do not recommend copying and pasting content directly from Microsoft Word or another webpage. It is preferable to copy and paste plain text only, perhaps transferring the content into Notepad or Text Editor first and then into the Catalog Editor, or to type directly into the WYSIWIG box that is provided.



UMetrx Retired

UMetrx was the data warehouse reporting environment for UMass Amherst.

There were three reports in the UMetrx system that provided unit level data on applicants and graduated students.  These reports have migrated to SPIRE Query.

Final Graduation List in SPIRE Query:


Applicant Details Report in SPIRE Query:


Admissions Exit Survey Report in SPIRE Query:

  • UM_GRAD_DPT_EXITSURV_RSN_CONTS – Summary of reasons people decline admission
  • UM_GRAD_DPT_EXITSURV_OTHR_RESN – List of other reasons that admits listed for declining admission
  • UM_GRAD_DPT_EXITSURV_OTHR_INST – List of other institutions chosen