UMass is a large and diverse community made up of students with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. The New Students Orientation Office wants to help all new students get the support they need to begin a successful undergraduate career at the University. After all, at UMass Amherst we are so much more than students.
Welcome to UMass Amherst! Students admitted for the spring 2017 semester attend a Winter New Students Orientation (NSO) session in December or January. During your one day Winter NSO session you will take care of the business of becoming a member of the UMass Amherst community including: learning about university academic requirements, meeting with an academic advisor, registering for your spring classes, getting your UCard (student ID), and touring your new campus.
Registration for Winter NSO is expected to open in mid-November. Please note, not every school/college participates in every Winter NSO session. When you register, you’ll be able to choose from the sessions available to you based on your school/college. International students and students traveling from a great distance are encouraged to choose the Winter NSO session on January 20th.
Welcome to Massachusetts! About 25% of our student population is from out of state, and we have a lot of opportunities for you to become acquainted with UMass Amherst, your new home away from home!
When you register for orientation online you will have the option to see other students’ information from your home state. First you have to release your information to see that list.
Orientation for international students has two components:
- The first part is completed with New Students Orientation (NSO). NSO is when you will register for your classes, sign up for housing, and get ready for your transition from your last school to UMass Amherst. International students can complete NSO on campus, in person in OR online. International students enrolling at UMass in the 2017 Spring Semester are encouraged to register for the January 20th orientation session.
- The second part is done with the International Programs Office (IPO). International students must be on-campus in Amherst to complete the in person International Student Orientation (ISO). The ISO covers immigration requirements, document checks, information on how to study in the US education system, and cultural/safety/health information sessions to help with your transition to the United States.
Registration for both components is managed through NSO. Registration will typically open in mid-November for students admitted for the spring semester and in mid-February for students students admitted for the fall semester.
The university got its start as an agricultural college and that tradition carries on today with our two-year associate’s degree programs in the Stockbridge School.
If you are entering in the fall, we designate a Summer NSO session to help you get acquainted with your degree requirements and the Stockbridge School staff. Please attend the designated Summer NSO Stockbridge date in June.
If you are entering in the spring, you will attend a Winter NSO session as the spring cohort is much smaller. While most of the time at orientation is spent taking care of the business of becoming a member of the UMass Amherst community, you will also spend time getting to know your new classmates and your new campus.
Thank you for your service. We want to make your transition to UMass as smooth as possible, and that all begins at orientation. Make sure you contact Veteran Services before you arrive on campus for your first semester. Veteran Services will provide a packet of materials which you will receive when you check in. You will also have the opportunity to visit them at your orientation session.
Summer Freshmen NSO sessions are two days and one night. You have the option to stay overnight with a roommate (either randomly chosen or one of your own choosing), in a single room or off campus by your own arrangement. When you sign in, please let us know if you will be staying with us on campus or if you have made other arrangements.
Summer transfer sessions and all Winter NSO sessions are one day programs without an overnight component.
If you'll be living on campus during the semester, be sure to file your housing preference application. There are many on and off campus housing options to suit your needs. For more information visit the Residential Life or Veteran Services websites.