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About Search for Classes

Search for Classes is the online version of the Schedule of Classes. It shows UMass Amherst course offerings by term. Each listing includes meeting days and times, enrollment details (e.g., class capacity, current enrollment, links to syllabus information, required textbooks or class materials, etc.), and any restrictions that prevent students from adding the class.

Note: If Search for Classes does not list a class, this means the class is not offered for the term you selected.

Select a Term to Search for Classes

  1. If you are already logged in to SPIRE, use the Menu to navigate to Course Guides > Search for Classes. If you are not logged in to SPIRE, go to the SPIRE Logon page. Under the heading Catalogs & Schedules (upper right corner of the page), click Search Classes/Catalog.
  2. The Search for Classes Enter Search Criteria page opens. It defaults to showing the most recent term with an available Schedule. To change terms, select the term you want from the Term drop-down list.

Use Search Criteria to Define Your Search

Under Class Search Criteria, you must use at least two search criteria. You can opt to use more search criteria also, to make your search more focused and limit the number of results returned. Once you select the search criteria you want to use, click SEARCH. The Search Results page opens, with the search criteria you used listed at the top of the page of results.

Note: There are no mandatory search criteria, but SPIRE will give you an error message if you do not use enough criteria.

Available Search Criteria

Below are explanations of the different search criteria available:

  • Course Subject:

    Select one area of instruction (e.g., Computer Science).

  • Course Number:

    Enter the 3-digit number that identifies the class in the Catalog (e.g., 118 in COMM 118). Some Course Numbers also include letters (e.g., COMM 397T). If you only remember part of the Course Number, select contains from the drop-down list.

  • Course Career:

    Select Undergraduate for undergraduate courses (400-level or less) or Graduate for graduate courses (500-level or above).
    (a) 500-level courses are open to both graduate and undergraduate students.
    (b) SPIRE does not usually list Non-Credit and Non-Degree courses.

  • Show Open Classes Only:

    This check box is selected by default; in this case, search results only include classes with available seats. Clear this check box if you wish to see all classes, both open and closed.

  • Session:

    Use this criterion to distinguish between University-scheduled classes and classes offered through University Without Walls (UWW). Learn more about Sessions.
    Matriculated University students may be eligible to self-enroll in UWW classes using SPIRE. Eligibility for UWW self-enrollment varies by term and class. Read more about UWW self-enrollment. All other students can use SPIRE only to view UWW classes and must contact University Without Walls directly to register.

  • Class Number:

    Enter the 5-digit unique identifier for a class (e.g., 11365). All class sections, including discussions and labs have their own Class Numbers.
    Class Numbers change from one semester to the next, even for the same class.

  • Meeting Time:

    Specify the time window within which your desired classes would meet (e.g., 1:00PM).

  • Day of Week:

    This works best if you select the option exclude any of these days from the drop-down list. Then, select the check boxes for the days when your desired classes should NOT meet (e.g., Tues, Thurs).

  • Instructor Last Name:

    Enter the last name of the primary instructor who teaches your desired class. We do not recommend that you search by secondary instructors or Teaching Assistants as their names may not be listed in SPIRE.

  • Course Title Keyword:

    Enter part of the course title. Because course titles may change and/or may be abbreviated, we do not recommend that you use this field.

  • Course Component:

    Select a type (e.g., Discussion) and limit your search to this component.

  • Gen Ed Category:

    Select a General Education requirement (e.g., AL - Literature). Results will only include classes that fulfill this requirement.
    You can also look up classes that statisfy a regular GenEd and a Diversity requirement. Just select a GenEd/Diversity combination (e.g., ALG: Literature/Diversity: Global).

  • RAP/TAP Category:

    Select a RAP (Residential Academic Program) location (e.g., RAP: Thatcher) or a TAP (Talent Advancement Program) identifier (e.g., TAP: Biology TAP Dickinson). RAP and TAP are residential programs that enable students to attend classes in small groups in their dormitories.

  • Mode of Instruction:

    Select a mode of delivery for the class(es) you are looking for (e.g., In Person, Online). Not all options are available each term.

Understand Your Search Results

Status Icons

The status icons show the availablity of seats for classes:

  • A green circle (Open) means the class is open. To find out how many seats are still available, click the section title, e.g., A-LEC(12345). On the Class Detail page, look under Class Availability.

    If you are a faculty or staff member who needs enrollment data on a regular basis, please note that our SPIRE Queries provide a faster and more efficient alternative. Learn more about SPIRE for Staff Queries...

  • A blue square (Closed) means the class is closed. To get into a class that is closed and has no active waitlist, during the open registration period students must contact the academic department that offers the class and ask if an enrollment override is possible to place them in the class. Placement in the class will be at the department's discretion and only as available space and resources allow.
  • A yellow triangle (Wait List) means the class is full, but an online waitlist is available. Once a seat opens up, online waitlists automatically promote students to the class based on their waitlist position. Only students who meet all the class requirements and have no scheduling conflicts are moved from the waitlist to the class.
    Online waitlists expire on the Sunday before the first day of classes. Students who have not been added to the class via the waitlist process by that time need to contact the instructor for more information.

View Search Results

On the Search Results page, click the section title, e.g., A-LEC(12345), or the Yes button (if available) to go to the Class Detail page to get more information about a particular class.

The yellow Yes button (Restrictions/Notes) indicates class restrictions or notes.

Restrictions might include upper-level or new students only, department majors, instructor consent required, or various (pre)requisites. Notes might include fee information, especially for University Without Walls classes. Students cannot add restricted classes in SPIRE unless they meet the restrictions. For classes with restrictions or notes, details about the restrictions or notes are provided on the Class Detail page

Some courses have several enrollment sections; others have multiple components (e.g., a lecture and a lab or a lecture and discussion). The number of class sections displays in the blue navigation bar, e.g., 1 of 1, or 1-9 of 9, etc.

Click a green down-pointing triangle (Collapse) to the left of a course title to collapse all the section information and display only the course title. Click a green right-pointing triangle (Expand) to the left of a course title to expand a collapsed section and show the class section information.

Use the Class Detail Page

On the Class Detail page:

  • The Status icon indicates seat availability for this class. If a course has multiple components, such as a lecture and a discussion, the Status icon applies to the current section only, not to any other required sections.
  • Units shows the number of credits for this class. If a course has multiple components, such as a lecture and a discussion, the Units field applies to the course.
  • The Grading field lists the grading option for this class. Most undergraduate classes will have Letter Grading with option of Pass/Fail Grading.
  • The Components field lists the required components for this class (e.g., Lecture, Lecture and Discussion).
  • Restrictions & Notes list enrollment restrictions and any other critical information about the class.
  • Class Availability provides enrollment data, including Class Capacity, Enrollment Total, and Available Seats. Waitlist information is also available if the class has an online waitlist.
  • Description provides the course description (not always available).
  • Textbook/Other Materials list any textbooks or other materials recommended or required for the class and if applicable, the local bookstore that carries the items (not always available). An estimated price for each textbook or material, when listed, will appear in the format xx.xx USD, for example 80.00 USD. USD indicates the price is listed in USA currency. If there are any detailed notes or instructions about the textbooks or materials, those appear as Special Instructions.
  • Syllabus provides a link to online syllabus information for the class (not always available).
  • Learning Outcomes provides the instructor's goals and/or expectations for the class (not always available).

At the top or bottom of any Class Detail page, click VIEW SEARCH RESULTS to go back to your results summary.