FAQs

Q. Can I change my schedule once the semester starts?
A. Yes, you can change your schedule during the add/drop period. Be sure to go onto SPIRE on the last day of add/drop to make sure your schedule is correct.

Q. How can I withdraw from a course?
A. You can withdraw from a course through the mid-semester date. A "W" will show up on your transcript indicating that you were enrolled in the course after the add/drop period. Just fill out the course change request form (available at the SBS Advising Center and at the Registrar's Office, 209 Whitmore Administration Building), have it signed by your instructor and bring it to the Registrar's Office by the mid-semester date. The form does NOT require a dean's signature. Just be sure you remain a full time student (carrying 12+ credits).

Q. I am not doing well in a class. Can I withdraw from it after the mid-semester date?
A. The only way you can withdraw from a course after the mid-semester date is if you have verifiable and extenuating circumstances. You should discuss your situation with your academic advisor. If you decide to petition for a late withdrawal, use the Late Withdrawal Petition form. Your petition will be reviewed and you will be notified of the decision.

Q. Can I take a required course for my major or a general education course pass/fail?
A. No, you can only take elective courses pass/fail.

Q. What happens if my GPA goes below a 2.0?
A. To be in academic good standing you must maintain a 2.0 GPA. If you go below a 2.0 you will be placed on academic probation. With the Academic Dean in the SBS Advising Center in 128 Thompson Hall and your academic advisor, you will develop a strategy to improve your academic performance. If in any subsequent semester you again earn below a 2.0 GPA, you will be suspended for a semester but then allowed to return to the University. If your GPA is below a 2.0 for a third semester, you will be dismissed from the university.

Q. How can I appeal a suspension or a dismissal?
A. You have the right to appeal your academic status. Authority for determining students' academic status resides with the Committee on Admissions and Records. All appeals must be initiated in writing through the Academic Dean in 128 Thompson Hall. Decisions made by the deans may be appealed to the Committee on Admissions and Records. All cases will be reviewed individually. Ordinarily documentation will be required.

Q. What do I need to graduate from UMass?
A. You must earn 120 credits, complete your general education, college and major requirements, earn no less than a 2.0 GPA in your major and a 2.0 GPA for all your courses.

Q. What is my College Requirement?
A. Global Education is the SBS College requirement.  All majors with the exception of those in Landscape Architecture, Environmental Design, and Resource Economics are required to complete a minimum of 15 credits via one of four Global Education Options.  The options are described in detail in Global Education Requirements.  All four include a minimum of 6 credits in one foreign language as part of the requirement.  An option must be chosen upon acceptance to SBS and we encourage all students to discuss their choice with a staff person in the Advising Center, 128 Thompson Hall.

Q. How do I find out more about the General Education Requirement?
A. This list of General Education Requirements defines the requirements and indicates the courses that you can take to fulfill the requirement.

Q. How do I get on the Dean's List?
A. You must earn a 3.5 GPA and be a full time student.

Q. How many credits can I take in a semester?
A. To be a full time student you must take 12 credits in a semester. Most students take 15-16 credits a semester. If you wish to take more than the maximum credit load of 18 in either the fall or spring semester, more than 7 credits during one summer session, or more than one course during winter session, you must submit a Credit Overload Petition form. Requests will be reviewed and IF approved, students can register for additional credits at the beginning of the semester.

Q. I was not able to complete a final assignment in a class—what should I do?
A. Speak to your instructor immediately! It is possible to take an "incomplete" in the course which will allow you to make up the work during the following semester. You must complete an Incomplete Grade Form - you can get this from your instructor or from the Academic Dean in 128 Thompson Hall. Remember, an incomplete counts as an "F" until you complete the work and a grade is submitted. You only have one semester to complete the work or the "INC" becomes an "F".

Q. Can I take a course during the summer at another school?
A. Yes, but you must complete a Prior Approval Form, which must be signed by your academic advisor. If the course you are taking fulfills a general education requirement, you need to get a signature from an admissions evaluator. The form must be submitted to the Registrar's Office in 209 Whitmore. When you have completed the course(s), forward an official transcript to the Registrar's Office. You must earn a "C-" or above for a course to be transferred. Remember your grade will not be factored into your GPA.

Q. How can I be sure my schedule is correct?
A. You should log onto SPIRE to be sure that your schedule is all set by the last day of add/drop.

Q. I am not getting mail from the University—what should I do?
A. You need to be sure that the University has your correct address. You can update your address by going onto SPIRE and make the necessary corrections.

Q. Where do I go for help in writing my resume or getting ready for an interview?
A. Go to UMass Career Services.

Q. How do I know who my academic advisor is in my major?
A. Contact the chief undergraduate advisor in your department to find out who is your assigned faculty advisor. Visit your faculty advisor often, especially during counseling period.

Q. How can I find out about scholarships offered by the college?
A. SBS and individual departments offer a variety of scholarships. For more information, see SBS Scholarships and check with your individual department as well.