Commonwealth Honors College orientations


Once you’ve decided to enroll at UMass Amherst, you will attend a New Students Orientation (NSO) or Transfer Students Orientation summer program, which includes a required meeting for all new Honors College students. During this welcome meeting, you will learn about the many advantages of being a member of Commonwealth Honors College and meet our advising team.


We think of this day as the beginning of a journey; one that takes advantage of what you’ve already done, but takes you someplace new.

Gretchen Gerzina, Dean of Commonwealth Honors College (2015 - 2020)

Commonwealth Honors College Welcome Meeting

The Commonwealth Honors College Welcome Meeting will be held on your first day of NSO (which will be either a Monday or Thursday) in the Commonwealth Honors College.

At this required Commonwealth Honors College meeting, you will have an opportunity to:


Advising and Course Registration

As part of NSO, you will meet with an advisor in your major. In most colleges, there will also be a Commonwealth Honors College Advisor available during this appointment to answer questions and help you register for one or two honors courses. Honors course suggestions are as follows:

  • If you’re in an Honors Residential Academic Program (RAP), you only need to take the honors courses listed for that RAP.
  • HONORS 201H: Ideas That Changed the World - All first-year Honors College students are required to take this course during their first year. 
  • ENGLWRIT 112H: All Honors College students are required to take this course in their first year. Please review the Writing Placement Exam information if you believe you might qualify for an exemption from this requirement.
  • Any HONORS version of a General Education course: Honors College students can often find a single course that fulfills both a university General Education requirement and a Commonwealth Honors College requirement.


Housing and RAP Choices


Honors Induction Ceremony

The Honors Induction Ceremony celebrates all new Honors College students and their families at the beginning of the fall semester. During the Honors Pinning portion of the ceremony, students exchange commemorative pins, marking their entry into Commonwealth Honors College. 




Visit Campus

The best way to see why you belong at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Commonwealth Honors College is to visit campus.


Learn about the variety of competitive scholarships and research grants offered through Commonwealth Honors College and throughout campus. 

Your Team Helps You Succeed.

Meet the team of Commonwealth Honors College faculty and staff dedicated to academic excellence.