FAQs

Student FAQs
Parents, Family and Friends FAQs

 Student FAQs:

  When are the orientation & transition programs?

Your new student experience spans several months from when you submit your enrollment deposit through the first 63 days of the semester. Students admitted to UMass Amherst for Fall 2022 will have experiences to complete in from April - October. Learn more about the components of your new student experience: Guide to the UReady for the UWelcome to the U, and New Student Advising & Course Registration.

  When is new student advising?

Students admitted for Fall 2022 will participate in online New Student Advising & Course Registration in June and July. After you complete Guide to the U, take your placement assessments, and register for Ready for the U, your advisor will send a customized link to the Navigate appointment system. Check your UMass email account starting in June for the is special link. 

  When can I register with New Student Orientation & Transitions?

Fall 2022 Admits: Registration for Ready for the U opens on May 1.  

  Do new students have to pay for Ready for the U or any part of the New Student Experience?

New students participate in the entire New Student Experience free of any additional charges as the costs associated with the experience are covered by the non-refundable New Student Enrollment fee which is included on the first semester bill.

  I'm receiving an error message (i.e. invalid response) when I try to visit the login page for the orientation reservation system.

There may be a few reasons for this. 

  • First, the registration site might not be open. Registration for students starting in the fall semester opens in May. Registration for students starting in the spring semester usually begins in November.

  • Second, please ensure you are using the correct registration link

  • Third, you'll need to make sure your Net ID and password are activated and correct. They should be the same as the ones you use for SPIRE. However to log in to SPIRE you enter just your NetID, but to log into the registration site, you use your NetID@umass.edu.

    • If you are able to log in to SPIRE, but not the reservation system, please follow these instructions to reset your password

    • If you are not able to log in to SPIRE, please use the Password & NetID Help link below the password box on the SPIRE login page.

    • You will also need to use a two-step login to access many campus services including Guide to the U and registration for Ready for the U. If you haven't already, please set up your two-step login, by going to mysignins.microsoft.com/security-info and logging in with your netid@umass.edu and password. Add a second device and keep this device nearby when you sign in. 

  • Fourth, your enrollment deposit needs to be posted as received on your Admitted Student Center in SPIRE. It may take up to two business days from the time your deposit posts until you are eligible to log in to the registration system.

  • Finally, if you are still unable to register, make sure you are logged out of all personal accounts. The easiest way to do this is to open a new incognito window.

  • Email newstudent@umass.edu  if you still are having trouble logging in and we can give you a hand.

I registered for Ready for the U & New Student Advising, but my SPIRE account still lists NSOT as a To Do Item. How can I clear it?

NSOT To Do items are updated once a week. If you registered more than two weeks ago and your To Do is still listed in SPIRE, please email us, so that we can assist you.

 Do I have to complete orientation & transitions?

Your orientation & transition experiences are required for all new students. Together they are the necessary first steps in preparing you for your first semester with UMass Amherst. 

  I am an International Student. What do I need to do in addition to registering with New Student Orientation and Transitions ?

International students have several components to complete. Be sure to read our information for international students and reference the Admitted International Student page for specific to dos for international students.

  I'm thinking about changing my major. How will this impact my new student experience and advising?

New students are assigned an academic advisor based on the major or exploratory track to which they were admitted. Because New Student Advising and Course Registration is a significant component of the New Student Experience, changing your major has a serious impact on how we organize advising appointments and materials. 

For students entering in the fall semester, there are a couple of date-specific options where you can request a change to your major.

  • Before May 1: Please send a request to the Admissions Office. If you are requesting a competitive major, you may have to enroll at UMass Amherst and then satisfy certain academic requirements before you can change your major. 
  • After May 1: If you do not submit a request by May 1, the next opportunity to request a change to your major is at your scheduled New Student Advising and Course Registration appointment.  During your meeting with the advisor from the major or exploratory track to which you were originally admitted, you can discuss changing into a different major. Please note, changing majors that involve changing schools/college at UMass Amherst may not be possible at New Student Advising and Course Registration.

Before contacting Undergraduate Admissions or your academic advisor, we encourage you to read about current limitations on changing into majors in the Manning College of Computer ScienceElaine Marieb College of Nursing, and Isenberg School of Management.

  What placement assessments are offered?

There are 3 kinds of online placement assessments: the Math Placement Exam, the Foreign Language Placement Exam, and the Writing Placement Questionnaire. Refer to the placement exam page for details on who takes the exams and the questionnaire, when the deadlines are, etc.

  How will my AP or previous college/university coursework transfer?

Visit the Transfer Credit page for more information. If you have earned previous college credit either through coursework or testing, be sure to tell your advisor.

  When may I review my transfer credit evaluation?

You can view credits that have transferred on SPIRE under Main Menu>Academics>Transfer Credit. Classes or tests that were recently taken may not appear on SPIRE right away.

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 Parents, Family and Friends FAQs: 

Will there be sessions for family members?

Yes! Family support is an important factor in student success. Information on family experiences for students admitted for Fall 2022 is available in our Parents and Families section. 

 Is there a fee for families to attend On campus Ready for the U

Yes! The fee for families to attend On Campus Ready for the U is $50 per person for the one-day programs and $100 per person for the two-day programs. The Online Ready for the U is free for family members.

 What does the fee cover?

The fees cover programmatic related costs including materials, parking, and meals. It does not include overnight accommodations.

 Why is there a fee for On Campus Ready for the U?

The Office of Parent Services is self-supported and funded 100% by program fees—no state or campus funding is provided to offset the costs of Ready for the U. In addition to covering programmatic expenses, the fee covers the cost of some family related activities and services such as our dedicated phone lines to respond to family concerns, the Parents Advisory Council, and much more.

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