Helpful Terms to Know at UMass
The part of your college experience where you talk with an advisor about academic interests, goals, and plans.
A resource for navigating campus and expert in degree requirements for your major.
Academic Deans are affiliated with your college and help with complex academic issues, student petitions, or policy regulations. Academic Deans work with teams of advisors, faculty, staff, and partners on campus.
Academic Requirements Report
Also known as the ARR, the online tool in your SPIRE Student Center providing a degree audit that outlines Gen Ed, College and Major degree requirements, identifies what has been satisfied already, and what is remaining.
Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to be in good academic standing with the University.
A term used to describe the first 1 – 2 weeks of each semester. Add or drop classes without a “W” (for “withdrawal”) on your transcripts. The last day to add or drop classes (without a “W”) for each semester is posted in the academic calendar.
Assistant Residence Directors (ARDs)
Graduate-level staff members who live and work in the residence halls.
The billing and payment gateway to UMass Amherst. Tuition and fees are paid through the Bursar’s Office.
Prepare for your post-UMass life with support learning about resumes, cover letters, internship opportunities, and career events.
Cooperative Education Experience (Co-op)
A multi-semester commitment to a company with a mix of work and courses. Offers an extended experience with one company and are typically paid employment experiences.
Getting involved and being a contributing member of campus. Participate in programs and services, be a volunteer or leader, and share your interests with peers.
Specifies the beginning and end date, and time, that you are eligible to register for courses in SPIRE.
First-Generation College Student
A student whose parent or guardian did not attain a 4-year bachelor’s degree.
General Education Requirements
A set of requirements that all UMass students must complete in order to earn a degree. “Gen Ed courses” provide you with experiences, knowledge, and skills necessary to become well-educated contributors to our complex global communities.
An online tool for scheduling career advising, finding and RSVP’ing for career events, scheduling on-campus interviews with employers, searching, and applying for internships, co-ops and full-time job opportunities.
Hold / Service Indicator
Officially called a “service indicator” but often referred to as a “hold” in SPIRE. May block ability to register for courses or progress as a student at UMass. Placed for a variety of reasons. View your holds/service indicators in the Tasks & Help tile on your SPIRE Student Center. Only the unit that placed the hold can remove it.
A temporary commitment to a company to gain professional experience related to your career development. Can occur during the fall, spring or summer semesters, may be paid or unpaid, and often yields academic credit.
An online tool that connects you with staff, advisors, and campus resources.
Instead of earning a letter grade (A – F), you will earn a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ for the course. You can elect to take one course Pass/Fail each semester, but these courses won’t fulfill major or general education requirements. If students opt to take an elective course pass/fail and earn a grade that will improve their cumulative GPA – the letter grade will appear on the transcript instead of the p/f unless the student indicates otherwise prior to graduation.
Peer Mentors (PMs)
Student staff members who live in each first-year residence hall, trained to assist residents with transitioning to UMass via academic and wellbeing skills.
Process of selecting and enrolling in courses for the upcoming semester.
Resident Assistants (RAs)
Student staff member who live in each residence hall, trained to build community and maintain a healthy living environment for residents.
Residence Directors (RDs)
Professional staff members who live and work in each of the residence halls.
A tool used during the registration process. Think online shopping. As courses are reviewed, add courses of interest to your shopping cart. View shopping cart to see all the courses of interest in one place. Use shopping cart to quickly register for courses at the time of your enrollment appointment.
The primary source for notifying students of important deadlines and information. You are responsible for reading and responding to the email from UMass offices.
Follows the add/drop period and ends-mid-semester. If you drop a class before this mid-semester date deadline (see the Academic Calendar), you will receive a W on your transcript.
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