The foundational knowledge for your future and the people supporting your academic success.
UMass Amherst is filled with academic doors for you to open. Get curious! Academics at UMass Amherst are challenging and engaging, pushing students to explore new concepts and think in new ways. Combined with experiences outside of the classroom, academics provide the foundational knowledge for your future. Your academic team includes advisors, professors, and peer leaders. Every day at UMass Amherst you make choices about how to be academically successful.
Academic advisors are faculty or staff members at UMass dedicated to supporting your success through academic planning, connection to possibilities, and resources that help outline 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
Professors & Teaching Assistants
Course instructors are experts in the subject area and an invaluable resource to students. Build relationships with your professors and TA’s from day one by sitting up front, introducing yourself before/after class or during office hours, and asking questions.
Attend office hours—they are there for you! Office hours are offered because professors and TA’s are dedicating time for you to explore course content with them based on your questions and initiative.
You will interact with a variety of your peers who serve in leadership positions on campus. Peer mentors, tutors, and peer advisors are among that many. In the residence hall, your peer mentors will assist you in acclimating to campus, provide you with the tools and insights needed for meaningful academic engagement with faculty and staff as well as fellow students. They’ve been there and done it (and done it well). Share your experiences with the peer mentors and learn from their experiences. Visit your Residential Academic Success Center (RASCs) to connect with peer mentors. (Link: TBD)
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) is another place where you will interact with peer leaders. The LRC offers peer-to-peer support through Supplemental Instruction, ExSEL Group Tutoring, and 1-to-1 Tutoring. All of these resources are facilitated by your peers who have succeeded academically in the courses they support. Visit the LRC’s webpage to view schedules and make appointments.
UMass Writing Center
Have a paper coming up? Applying for a job and want to work on your resume? Connect with a peer tutor to discuss your writing. The UMass Writing Center’s peer writing consultants are undergraduate and graduate students themselves and can work with you to discuss your writing at any stage of the writing process. They are excited to meet with you to brainstorm ideas, organize content, integrate research, polish a draft, correctly document sources and more! The Writing Center is available to all students at UMass Amherst. Visit the Writing Center website to book an online appointment.
I am interested in doing research with a professor. 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 both on and off campus. OURS research mentors are fellow 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?
Office hours and contact information should be listed in your course syllabus. Check there first. Find it? Great! Can’t find your course syllabus? If your course uses Moodle, try finding the syllabus posted there. You can also login to UMass’s online advising and appointment system to view your professors and send them messages. Message my Professor.
What is the difference between a Peer Mentor and Resident Assistants
Resident assistants (RA) are undergraduate students who live on each residence hall floor. RAs are selected and trained to serve as a mentor, campus resource person, mediator, and policy monitor. RAs plan social and educational activities and help to foster a community environment.
Peer mentors are part-time, live-in, student staff members who have a visible, active and positive presence in many of the first-year residence halls. Peer mentors work individually and collaboratively to help first-year students experience a positive transition to UMass Amherst and assist in the creation of inclusive, academically focused communities.
Who is my academic advisor? Where do I find their contact information?
Your academic advisor is an individual who works in your college or major. They may be a professor who teaches and advises students or a staff member who serves as a professional, full-time advisor. Either way, 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. Go to SPIRE.