Fresh Start

Information About the Fresh Start Option for Eligible Returning Students

Students who return to the University after an absence of at least three years may have their prior work not included in their cumulative grade point average subject to the following conditions:

Please review the following guidelines carefully.  To view Fresh Start Policies go to "K. Special Provisions for Reinstatement after Extended Absence from the University. (Fresh Start)" in the Academic Regulations.

  • Readmission to the University must follow normal procedures (e.g., a student who left the University on academic dismissal must petition the Committee on Admissions and Records and justify readmission on the usual grounds).
  • A minimum of 45 credits must be taken in residence on the UMass Amherst campus after readmission and before graduation.
  • Courses taken and grades achieved in the first admission will appear on the transcript along with a notation that they are not included in the cumulative average.
  • General Education and free elective credits passed with a grade of C- or better in the first admission will be counted toward graduation credit upon readmission but will not be included in the cumulative average.
  • Major program courses taken in the first admission must be approved as part of the major program for graduation by the major department. Courses accepted to the major will not be included in the calculation of the major grade point average.
  • Those who had left the University in Good Standing or on Probation will have Academic Standing calculations begin at the start of the progression upon their return. Students who, upon departure, had a suspension or dismissal in that final term will continue through the usual academic Standing progression after their return.
  • Students who qualify for and wish to choose this option must notify the Registrar as part of the Readmission application. Students may not change the option after they have been readmitted. If students choose this option, it will apply to all prior work at the University. Students may not choose the option retroactively after readmission.
  • For the purpose of this policy, an "absence of at least three years" is defined as not having been enrolled in any courses on the Amherst campus for six successive fall and spring semesters or any of the intervening intercessions or summer sessions. Students may not have been enrolled in any regular University courses or any courses offered by Continuing & Professional Education during this period.


Last Semester at UMass Fresh Start Readmission Semester
Spring 2010 Fall 2013
Fall 2010 Spring 2014
Spring 2011 Fall 2014
Fall 2011 Spring 2015
Spring 2012 Fall 2015
Fall 2012 Spring 2016
Spring 2013 Fall 2016
Fall 2013 Spring 2017
Spring 2014 Fall 2017
Fall 2014 Spring 2018
Spring 2015 Fall 2018