Fall 2024 Application RAPs

Application RAPs at UMass Amherst are traditional living-learning communities. Students apply to be a part of the program, live together in the same residence hall and enroll in one or more courses together. Students who are accepted into an Application RAP engage in co-curricular (opportunities beyond the classroom) activities like mentoring, field trips, research, and other social or academic experiences.

BioPioneers, BioTAP, Emerging Scholars, and Partners in Education RAPs require an invitation to apply to join these programs. Students who qualify for these RAPs will be contacted by the appropriate academic department with an invitation to apply.  

Important application deadlines for each program will be listed below. Applications are reviewed by the academic department overseeing each RAP. Academic departments will notify students of their acceptance into their programs by mid-May.

Fall 2024 course information and program descriptions are in the process of being updated.


Bio-Pioneers RAP

Join Bio-Pioneers RAP at UMass Amherst for a focused and supportive first-year experience! This exclusive year-long program is for declared life science majors who are first-generation college students. Bio-Pioneers RAP offers a smooth transition to college life, celebrates first-generation identity, and provides academic and social support. With dedicated courses, academic advising, tutoring, and peer collaboration, students build a strong foundation in science. Engage in campus life through discussions, events, and a week-long orientation before the start of the academic year. Secure your spot by following the application procedures in the invitation letter. Embark on a journey of personal and academic growth with Bio-Pioneers RAP! 

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Logan Dunnigan – lhdunnigan@cns.umass.edu & Syde Orange – sorange@umass.edu  
  • Required courses: Bio 151: Introductory Biology I, Bio 191B: Bio-Pioneers Seminar, and spring semester courses
  • Course types: 4-credit Gen Ed (BS) and 1-credit seminar
  • Eligible students: By Invitation Only - First generation, first-year life science majors (animal sciences, biochemistry & molecular biology, biology, environmental sciences, microbiology, & pre-veterinary science)
  • Program location: Dwight Hall in Northeast Residential Area
  • Learn more about the program

BioTAP Honors RAP

Explore the exclusive Biological Sciences Talent Advanced Program (BioTAP) at UMass Amherst! This invitation-only RAP is tailored for first-year Commonwealth Honors College students admitted as biological science majors. Limited to 48 students, BioTAP offers a unique opportunity to connect with motivated peers and faculty, fostering lasting relationships within the biology, biochemistry, microbiology, and life sciences community. To join, accept the invitation, apply, and enroll through the Join a RAP page. Benefit from upper-class mentors providing academic and personal support, exclusive programming, and insights into the goals and opportunities within the university's biological sciences departments. Elevate your academic experience with BioTAP! 

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Meghan Gerson – mtgerson@umass.edu  
  • Required course: Bio 161H: Quant Biology of the Cell and Bio 191L: BioTAP Seminar
  • Course types: 4-credit Gen Ed (BS) and 1-credit seminar
  • Eligible students: By Invitation Only - First-year Biology, Biochemistry & molecular biology, and Microbiology majors also admitted to the Commonwealth Honors College 
  • Program location: Sycamore Hall in Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community
  • This is a roommate restricted program. Students must live with another student in BioTAP.
  • Learn more about the program

CICS Connect RAP: FIERCE

Discover CICS FIERCE (Fostering Inclusion by Engaging in Real-World Computing Education) at UMass Amherst—an inclusive RAP for computer science and informatics majors! Designed to honor, foster, and sustain support networks, FIERCE welcomes cis women, trans women, trans men, non-binary individuals, Black, Indigenous, other people of color and their allies. Residents enjoy easy access to friends and study partners, expanding skills through social, academic, and professional programs. Optional Saturday workshops offer real-world computing tips from faculty and industry experts. Engage in discussions with diverse gender representatives from the computing profession. Live in a supportive community, connecting with CICS faculty, peer mentors, and industry professionals. CICS FIERCE is housed in Webster Hall, a residence hall that has gender-inclusive restrooms.  

Eligible students can apply for this program until Saturday, May 18, with a preference deadline of Tuesday, April 30. 

Students who apply by Tuesday, April 30 will be notified of their acceptance on Wednesday, May 1. Students who apply by Saturday, May 18 will be notified of their acceptance on Sunday, May 19.

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Erika Dawson-Head – edawsonhead@umass.edu & Michelle Trim – mtrim@cs.umass.edu  
  • Required course: FYS 191MCS: New Voices in Computing
  • Course type: 1-credit seminar
  • Eligible students: first-year students in the College of Information and Computer Sciences
  • Program location: Webster Hall in Orchard Hill Residential Area
  • This is not a roommate restricted program. Students in the RAP can live with a non-RAP roommate.
  • Learn more about the program

CICS Connect RAP: Modern Computing

Immerse yourself in the world of technology with the CICS Modern Computing RAP at UMass Amherst! This program invites participants to live among like-minded peers who are passionate about new technologies and computing research. Experience the benefits of easy access to friends and study partners, along with numerous opportunities to explore interests beyond the classroom. Connect with a community that shares your enthusiasm for modern computing. CICS Modern Computing is located in Gorman Hall, which is a break housing hall and remains open during the academic year.  

Eligible students can apply for this program until Wednesday, May 8.

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Emma Anderson - elanderson@umass.edu 
  • Required course: FYS 191MC: Exploring Modern Computing
  • Course type: 1-credit seminar
  • Eligible students: first-year students in the College of Information and Computer Sciences
  • Program location: Gorman Hall in Central Residential Area *this residence hall offers break housing
  • This is not a roommate restricted program. Students in the RAP can live with a non-RAP roommate.

Emerging Scholars RAP

Join the thriving community of Emerging Scholars RAP at UMass Amherst—a signature Residential Academic Program in collaboration with Commonwealth Honors College. Tailored for first-generation, under-represented, and under-resourced students, this program identifies individuals with strong academic potential. Participants can transition into the Honors College during the first year, provided they earn 12 UMass credits with a 3.4 GPA. The Emerging Scholars RAP offers intentionally limited-capacity courses for faculty interactions, critical thinking skills, and intellectual discussions applicable throughout your academic journey. Open to students of any discipline, this invitation-only program requires living together for the first academic year in Melville Hall. 

As an Emerging Scholar, you'll benefit from mentoring opportunities, interactions with cohorts, personalized academic advising, and connections to campus support programs, cultural centers, faculty, and staff. Engage in co-curricular events and join a network of successful alumni who have excelled in graduate schools, careers, and leadership roles. If invited to apply, carefully read your acceptance letter and visit the Join a RAP page for important timelines. Elevate your academic experience with Emerging Scholars! 

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Dr. Ann Marie Russell – amrussell@umass.edu
  • Required courses: Sociology 110H: Honors Introduction to Sociology, English Writ 112H: Honors English Writing, and Honors 191EH: Emerging Scholars Seminar
  • Course types: 4-credit Gen Ed (DUSB), 4-credit Gen Ed (CW), and 1-credit seminar
  • Eligible students: By Invitation only - first-year, first-generation, and underrepresented students interested in joining the Commonwealth Honors College after being admitted to UMass Amherst. Eligible students will be invited to apply.
  • Program location: Melville Hall in Southwest Residential Area
  • This is a roommate restricted program. Students must live with another student in the Emerging Scholars RAP.

Engineering Connect RAPs

Embark on your engineering journey by becoming a member of one of the Engineering Connect RAPs at UMass Amherst! Exclusively for first-year students admitted to the College of Engineering, this program offers a unique opportunity to live together and enroll in an Engineering First Year Seminar (FYS). With multiple locations and specific seminars, Engineering Connect RAPs provide a tailored experience to your interests and future academic pursuits. 

Eligible students can apply for this program until Friday, May 3.

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Paula Rees – rees@umass.edu
  • Required course: Engineering First-Year Seminar (FYS)
  • Course Type: 1-credit seminar
  • Eligible students: first-year engineering majors
  • Program locations:
    • Dwight Hall and Hamlin Hall in Northeast Residential Area
    • Gorman Hall and  in Central Residential Area *this residence hall offers break housing
    • Webster Hall in Orchard Hill Residential Area
    • Sycamore Hall in Commonwealth Honors Residential Community *Students must be admitted to the Commonwealth Honors College
  • This is not a roommate restricted program. Students in the RAP can live with a non-RAP roommate.
  • Learn more about the program
  • Learn more about the Engineering Honors RAP

Engineering Derivatives & Designs RAPs

Embark on a journey of innovation with the Engineering Designs & Derivatives RAP at UMass Amherst! Tailored for first-year engineering students, this living learning community offers a unique experience where participants take a small section of Math 131 together. Immerse yourself in a community that fosters collaboration, creativity, and a shared passion for engineering. Engineering Designs & Derivatives provides a supportive foundation for your academic and personal growth where you can connect with a diverse group of new friends who share your interests, your academic journey, as you access resources and support together.  

Eligible students can apply for this program until Friday, May 3.

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Paula Rees – rees@umass.edu
  • Required course: Math 131: Calculus I
  • Course Type: 4-credit Gen Ed (R2)
  • Eligible students: first-year engineering majors
  • Program locations:
  • This is not a roommate restricted program. Students in the RAP can live with a non-RAP roommate.
  • Learn more about the program

Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) RAP

Fuel your passion for innovation and entrepreneurship with the Innovation & Entrepreneurship RAP at UMass Amherst! Tailored for first-year students, this transformative experience unfolds in the fall semester, featuring a course on entrepreneurship and the economy. Open to students from all majors, the program sparks creativity, hones entrepreneurial skills, and cultivates a vibrant culture of collaboration and innovation. 

Engage wholeheartedly in your creative pursuits through interdisciplinary collaboration, idea sharing, and venture creation. Join a network of ingenious thinkers, inventors, and successful entrepreneurs. Access pitch and showcase events, connect with mentors, alumni, and networks in your desired disciplines, have exclusive access to the I&E Incubator Space, and utilize the brand-new MakerSpace. Participate in Bootcamps, workshops, events, and hands-on activities designed to ignite and nurture your interests. In the spring semester, continue working on your venture projects, culminating in presentations and collaborations at the end of your first year. Ignite your entrepreneurial spirit with the Innovation & Entrepreneurship RAP!

Eligible students can apply for this program from Monday, April 1 to Wednesday, May 8.

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Amy LeClair –  aleclair@umass.edu & Gregory Thomas – gsthomas@umass.edu 
  • Required course: Resource Economics 106: Economics is Everywhere
  • Course type: 4-credit Gen Ed (SB)
  • Eligible students: first-year students
  • Program location: Wheeler Hall in Central Residential Area
  • This is a roommate restricted program. Students must live with another student in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) RAP.
  • Learn more about the program

Partners in Education RAP

Elevate your business education with the Partners in Education RAP at UMass Amherst's Isenberg School! This initiative aims to promote diversity in business professions and offers a first-year Residential Academic Program for students from underrepresented populations pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. 

To be considered, students must have applied to the Isenberg School as incoming freshmen, demonstrating a strong academic record. Eligible students are selected by the Isenberg School and the University's Undergraduate Admissions Office. Invitations are extended directly by Isenberg, and once invited, follow the Join a RAP page for essential timelines and details to become a proud member of this exclusive program! 

  • Program Coordinator & Contact: Meg Smith – msmith@isenberg.umass.edu & John Aube – jaube@isenberg.umass.edu  
  • Required courses: Econ 104: Introduction to Macroeconomics and School of Management 191: Corporate Seminar
  • Course types: 4-credit Gen Ed (SB) and 1-credit seminar
  • Eligible students: By Invitation Only: first-year Isenberg School of Management students from underrepresented backgrounds
  • Program location: Thoreau Hall in Southwest Residential Area
  • This is not a roommate restricted program. Students in the RAP can live with a non-RAP roommate.
  • Learn more about the program