The University of Massachusetts Amherst

STEP 1: Get prepared to Hold a Spot 

Programs are filled on a first-come, first served basis. You will be able to hold a spot IF you have competed the following: 

  1. Paid your deposit 
  2. Signed up for orientation
  3. Signed your Housing Contract on Spire (may take up to 48 hours to process)
    Main Menu - Residential Life - Residence Hall Contract

To be prepared, we suggest you Explore the possibilities and have a few top choices! 

STEP 2: Hold a Spot*

TIMING: Beginning on May 17th at noon through when you have your NSO Remote Academic Advising appointment

  1. Go to the RAP sign-up page - you will see all the RAPs  you are eligible to join that have open spaces.
  2. Identify the program you are interested in.
    1. Select the program 
    2. Scroll down the page and ‘click’ the box if you would like to share your contact information with other students in the RAP (this is a good way to find a roommate). 
    3. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and "confirm". 

NOTE: If you are holding a spot in a RAP and want to DROP or CHANGE the program - Log-in to the sign-up page and follow the prompts.

STEP 3: ENROLL in the RAP course:

TIMING: During your NSO Remote Academic Advising appointment

NOTE: Many RAP courses will be loaded onto student schedules prior to the Academic Advising appointment.

  1. When completing your On-line Advising Prep sheet, block the affiliated RAP course on your schedule planning grid.
  2. During your NSO Remote Academic Advising appointment 
    1. Tell your Academic Advisor which RAP you joined.
    2. They will confirm that the course does not conflict with any major requirements
      1. If there is a conflict, you will need to drop the RAP. Please do that right away.
      2. If you have to drop the RAP, you may join a different RAP as long as there is space available. You must do this prior to the end of your Academic Advising appointment.
    3. Enroll in associated course/s (if they are not already on your schedule).

STEP 4: CONFIRM your Housing 

  1. Complete your  Housing Preference Application on Spire  BY July 7, 2020 (revised)
    1. Main menu - Residential Life - Preference Application
  2. This will confirm your securing a room in the residence hall where the RAP is located 
  3. You will have an opportunity to request a roommate 

*Holding a spot in a RAP does NOT guarantee that you will be in the RAP. If during your NSO Remote Academic Advising appointment you learn that your RAP course conflicts with a course required for your major, your major requirement would take precedence and you will have to drop the RAP. You will have the option to join a different RAP if there is one you are eligible for that has open space.

Special Notes:

  • Spaces are filled to eligible students on a first-come, first served basis - so, do your research ahead of time - check out all the program choices to find the best match for you!

  • For students joining programs by invitation and/or application, once you are accepted, you still need to follow the steps listed above.

  • Stockbridge majors are not eligible to join a RAP.

  • We encourage international students to join a RAP. Once you complete all the required steps on the NSO Registration site, you will be able to hold a spot in the RAP of choice. 

  • If you did not hold a spot prior to your NSO Remote Academic Advising appointment, you may still join any RAP you are qualified for during that meeting as long as there is space in the program.

  • If you need to switch or drop your RAP (prior to the end of your NSO advising meeting), please return to the same signup site to make the change.

  • No RAP adding, dropping or swapping should happen after your NSO Remote Academic Advising appointment. Reason: it is critical that your course schedule is finalized while you are with your academic advisor - since participating in a RAP requires a particular course enrollment, no changes should happen after this time when your schedule has been approved.

  • If you hold a space in a RAP and do not submit a Preference Application, you will be assigned to a space in your RAP community and will be subject to the cancellation fee.  If you are no longer planning to attend, please email Residential Life at

  • In addition to holding a spot in a RAP, the NSO website has a wealth of important info that will help you transition to UMass. Make sure to visit the site often so you'll be up-to-date on opportunities and requirements!

  • If you have any questions, feel free to contact the RAP office. 

How to Join a RAP



"The RAP has been a great way to transition into freshman year because the people in the class are all friends and the instructor understands first-year students and how to help them succeed." -Fall 2016