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Getting Started with Technology: A Technology Checklist for New Students


New students: Learn more about the services offered by UMass Amherst IT and get started with technology before your semester begins.

Activate Your Account

Your UMass Amherst IT Account gives you access to most computing resources on campus, including the student information system (SPIRE), email, wireless Internet, and free software downloads. Use the NetID and initial password sent to you via email to activate your account at:   Click Activate Your Account (lower left of page). 

Check Your University Email

Don't miss out on important information! Check your UMass Amherst Google Mail account regularly. The university uses your UMass email address for official email communications (e.g., excess check notices, enrollment updates, etc).

Prep Your Computer

  • Check the recommended computer configurations before bringing your computer to campus or buying a new one. 
  • Get a discount on desktops, laptops, tablets, and peripherals for Windows and Macintosh through the U$ave program. 

Get Free & Discounted Software

More on Free & Discounted Software...

Secure Your Computer and Data

If your computer is compromised, you may be disconnected from the campus network. Be sure to:

Uninstall Peer-to-Peer Software

Illicitly downloading copyrighted materials puts you at risk for fines, university sanctions, civil lawsuits, even criminal charges - and increases the risk of malware and system compromises. We recommend you remove BitTorrent clients and similar programs from your computer before coming to campus. Use legal alternatives to obtain music, books, movies, or software. 

More on Copyright Infringement...

Explore SPIRE

You will use SPIRE to register for classes, view final grades, sign up for on-campus housing, manage your university finances, sign up for emergency alerts, and more. Don't forget to add your cell phone number and non-UMass email address under My Personal Information.

Get Connected While on Campus

  • Confirm your computer has a wifi-certified, dual-band wireless adapter. Newer laptops and some desktops have one built-in. If your system does not, you may purchase an 802.11ac dual-band wireless adapter through many electronics retailers.
  • Run the JoinNow setup wizard to set up the eduroam wireless network on your WiFi-enabled devices.
  • Wireless connectivity at UMass Amherst is provided by eduroam, an international wireless access service available in over 12,000 locations worldwide.
  • The UMASS-DEVICES network supports select streaming devices & gaming
    consoles (e.g., Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, Switch).

More on Wireless...


Check Out our Computer Classrooms

More on Computer Classrooms

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Access Online Library Resources

Use the UMass Amherst Libraries guides, databases and searches to access library resources from off-campus. 

More about accessing library resources from off-campus


Follow us on social media!

@UMassAmherst_IT on Instagram

@UMassAmherstIT on LinkedIn