The foundational knowledge for your future and the people supporting your academic success.
UMass Amherst is filled with academic doors for you to walk through. Get curious! Academics at UMass are challenging and engaging, pushing you to explore new concepts and think in new ways. Combined with experiences outside of the classroom, what you learn will set the foundation for your future.
Your academic team includes Academic Advisors, instructors, tutors, TAs, and peer leaders. Learn more below about how each can support you.
Academic Advisors are faculty and staff who support your success through academic planning, connection, and resources that help chart your pathway to graduation.
Talk to academic advisors about:
- Your transition to UMass Amherst
- Creating an academic plan
- Classes and academic strategies
- Planning short- and long-term goals
- Campus resources and opportunities to get involved
- Degree requirements and academic policies
Instructors & Teaching Assistants
Course instructors are experts in their field and can be a powerful resource to you. Build relationships with your instructors and TAs by paying attention during class, participating in class conversation, and visiting during office hours. Use office hours as a time to share what you’re struggling with, what you’re enjoying, and what you want to know more about.
Peer Mentors, tutors, and Peer Advisors are student leaders committed to helping you figure out how to be the best student possible. Be sure to talk to peer leaders about what strategies they recommend, what campus resources they’ve used, and what information they think you need to know.
Learning Resource Center (LRC)
The Learning Resource Center offers academic support through Supplemental Instruction (SI), ExSEL Group Tutoring, and 1-to-1 tutoring. Staff and students who work in the LRC are trained to provide quality support for your classroom experience and strengthen your academic skills. Visit the LRC website to make an appointment.
The Writing Center is the place to go for all types of writing support. Peer Writing Consultants are undergraduate and graduate students trained to assist with all stages of the writing process. The Writing Center can help with:
- Brainstorming ideas
- Organizing content
- Integrating research
- Polishing a draft
- Citing sources and avoiding plagiarism
- Cover letter and resume editing
Visit the Writing Center website to learn more and schedule a meeting.
I am interested in doing research with an instructor. Where should I start?
The Office of Undergraduate Research & Studies (OURS) is a resource for all undergraduate students in all majors who are interested in finding research and scholarly opportunities. OURS Research Mentors are undergraduate students who can talk with you about your interests and help you navigate opportunities. Make an Appointment with an OURS Mentor.
Where do I find my professor’s office hours or contact information?
Check your course syllabus. Can’t find your syllabus? Check the course page on Moodle. You can also log into UMass’s online advising and appointment system and send your instructor a message.
What is the difference between a Peer Mentor and Resident Assistants
An RA is live-in student staff member who can serve as a mentor, campus resource guide, mediator, and residence hall policy monitor for residents. A PM is also a live-in student staff member, but their role is focused on supporting first-year students in their academic success and general transition to UMass. Learn more about the staff in your residence hall.
During remote semesters, RAs and PMs are available to students virtually and socially distanced to help with all aspects of the college experience.
Who is my academic advisor? Where do I find their contact information?
Your academic advisor is an individual who works in your school or college. They may be a professor who teaches and advises students or a staff member who serves as a professional, full-time advisor. They are your best resource for learning about your degree requirements and navigating your academic plan for graduation. Find contact information for your academic advisor or college’s advising office in your SPIRE Student Center.