Friday, December 30, 2011

Grades & Academic Discipline

Grades will soon post on SPIRE.
If you are facing academic discipline (suspension or dismissal), be sure to monitor your UMass Amherst email account. An email will be sent from the Registrar's Office by the end of the day on Friday, December 30. 

Be sure to completely read the email, carefully follow the instructions, and regularly monitor your UMass Amherst email account for new information or instructions on how to proceed. You may also want to consult the Undergraduate Advising website for information on academic status.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Staying in Contact Over the Break

Classes are done and finals are in full swing.  You've earned your break!  But just because classes are over for the Fall doesn't mean you can ignore your UMail.

As always, official UMass business will be conveyed via your UMail email address. Make sure you check that account on a regular basis, read any messages completely, and respond promptly, if required.  Don't miss a deadline or important academic information!  It is your responsibility to check your email often, even when classes are not in session

Also, take a moment and make sure your personal information on SPIRE is up-to-date. Does SPIRE have your cell phone number? Correct address? Review the information listed and make sure it is both correct and complete.

Good luck on the rest of your finals, papers, and projects!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stay stress-free during finals week!

Classes are over!  All that stands between you and winter break are... FINALS!  Feeling a little overwhelmed?  Here are some techniques to help calm your nerves:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Domestic Exchange Information Sessions

Thinking about spending a semester or a year at another school?  Attend an information session for the Domestic Exchange Program!

The Domestic Exchange Program transports you to new and exciting places that will transform your educational experience forever. You can spend a semester or a year at one of over 180 participating colleges and universities across the country. It is an educational opportunity you don't want to miss!

Prepare NOW for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 Opportunities!
Information Sessions will be held in Goodell 613 on Wednesdays at 4:45pm and Thursdays and Fridays at 2:30pm. 
Sessions will be held until the end of Fall finals and will start again the first week of classes in the Spring.  You must attend an information session to receive your application and all the information necessary to apply. 

The deadline is March 1, 2012 for Fall 2012 and/or Spring 2013 exchanges. 

The Priority Deadline is Friday, February 10, 2012.  Meeting the priority deadline does increase the chances of a student placement.

Contact the Domestic Exchange Office in 613 Goodell, Monday-Friday: 8:30 am-5:00 pm, 413 545 5351 if you have more questions.

The National Student Exchange is a network of over 180 universities and colleges in 48 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Through National Student Exchange, UMass students can study at another college or university, allowing them to live in another geographic area, access courses and facilities not offered at their home campus, and broaden their undergraduate experience. 

To research all participating institutions please refer to the NSE website.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reminder: R1 Exemption Test, Monday 12/5 @ 6:30PM Marcus 131

The last R1 Exemption Test offered this semester will be Monday December 5th at 6:30PM in Marcus 131. You will need your ID card, a #2 pencil, and a calculator. Check out our previous post to see if you should consider taking the R1 Exemption test.

If you can't make it, there will be more offerings in the Spring. Good luck!

Tip of the Week from Zoë

Hey everyone! It's Zoë again, for the last time this semester. Today I'm going to talk about gearing up for finals.

Tips for Finals Week

1. Focus. Look, let's just say it. The internet is the most distracting thing in the world. Your productivity is going to be cut in half (or more) if you try to study while you're on chat or StumbleUpon or Reddit or anything else. Do what you need to do. Personally, I use some applications to help me with that. Check them out.

2. Start early. Studying the information over some time will make it easier to recall. Cramming can be helpful, but your brain could also completely fail you, especially if you don't...

3. ...Get enough sleep. Reading the information once and then sleeping on it will be more helpful to you than staying up all night to go over it multiple times. Neuroscientist Frances Jensen explains the brain "will take [what you've been reading] from your short-term memory and [...] consolidate it [while you sleep]. And actually you will know it better in the morning than right before you went to sleep."

4. Avoid energy crashes. Pick foods with protein and nutrients. I mean, hopefully you do this anyway, but especially these last couple weeks, try not to compound mental and emotional stresses with physical stress.

5. Speaking of stress, try to relax. Being motivated is great, but extreme anxiety and muscle tension will only work against you.

Take a Seminar!

Taking a seminar is a good way to round out your schedule - both in terms of your credit load, and also to balance out large lecture classes.  First-Year students have some great options available:

  • UNIV 125 - OASIS (1 credit, Pass/Fail) is a seminar designed to assist undeclared students learn about academic opportunities available at UMass Amherst, and also to methodically explore major options. Additional sections of OASIS are tailored for Veterans (UNIV 125V) and Transfers (UNIV 125T).  Comment from former student: "I now know what my options as a student are and I'm  much better prepared to do all that I want. I am more organized, and I have a plan to get the most out of my college education."
  • UNIV 190P -  Investigating Higher Education (3 credits) takes a critical eye to college and the higher educational system, while providing students an opportunity to delve into questions that relate to their personal experience and individual interests.  Comment from former student: "I learned a lot about Higher Ed, myself, and improved some writing/research skills.  I loved the small class setting and discussions."
  • UNIV 197xxx - Faculty First-Year Seminars (1 credit) span a wide variety of topics, and offer first-year students an opportunity to work closely with a tenure/tenure track faculty in their first year in college.  Spring offerings range from "Network Fever: Reach Out and Touch Someone" to ""The Science of Chocolate"" to "When People Get Together: The Good, The Bad, and the Funny" to "Genetically Modified Crops and Foods: Myths and Controversy" . . . and much more!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Weekly Preview: December 5-9

It's the last week of classes!  You'll notice that the number of academic activities & events offered has dwindled in these last weeks of the semester.  The assumption is that students are focusing on their studies and not spending a lot of time investigating other opportunities.  Watch, however, for end-of-the-semester showcases of student work, be it in dance, music, art, or writing!

The last R1 (Tier 1) Basic Math Skills Exemption Test of the semester will be on Monday, December 5 at 6:30pm in Marcus 131.  A student ID and a #2 pencil are required. A calculator is recommended. There is no limit on the number of times a student may take this test.

The 2011 UMass Innovation Challenge Executive Summary and Elevator Pitch Competition will be held on Wednesday, December 7, starting at 3:30 pm in the Campus Center, 10th Floor. Watch twelve student teams pitch their business ideas and compete for a portion of the $10,000 in prize money to be awarded that evening by the judging panel. The event is free and open to the public, no reservations are required. Refreshments will be served.

The last day of classes for the Fall 2011 Semester is Friday, December 9.

Saturday, December 10 through Sunday, December 11: Reading Period.

Monday, December 12 through Saturday, December 17: Final Exams.

Monday, December 19: Snow Day for December 17 exams; semester ends.

Fall 2011 grades should be available on SPIRE on Friday, December 30.

Spring 2012 classes start on Monday, January 23.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What to do if a class you wanted is closed...

Today was the first day of classes, but some of you might still be making final tweaks to your spring schedule if some of the classes you were hoping to take filled before your Enrollment Appointment.  Don't lose hope just yet--there are still a few actions you can take to try to get a seat.

First, keep the class in your Shopping Cart.  Sure, that little blue square next to the class you want is kind of annoying, but if that square turns to a green dot, that means the class has opened up!  You never know what might happen during Add/Drop--students change their schedules all the time.  Keep checking your shopping cart and be ready to add the class you want as soon as someone drops it.  (Don't forget to 'swap,' never 'drop.'  Watch our SPIRE refresher if you can't remember how to do this.)

If the class is still closed by the first meeting day and time, attend it anyway! If there is physical space for you in the classroom, many professors are happy to manually enroll you in their class.

Finally, if you put yourself on a waitlist (the orange triangle) for a class, note that SPIRE waitlists are no longer active--as of Friday 1/18 the system stopped automatically promoting students in to vacant seats.  So if you still have a waitlisted class, you should follow the previous tip and attend the class!

Remember, even though Add/Drop does not end until Monday, February 4th, it is advisable to make sure you are a full-time student (at least 12 credits) now, even if you plan to rearrange your classes a little over the next week or so.  You are responsible for any work missed in a class you add after the first meeting.  Advisors are still available if you need help finalizing your schedule.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Isenberg SOM applications for HTM, SptMgmt, and BBA DUE THURSDAY!

Students who are completing the required predictor courses for majors in Isenberg including the BBA program, HTM, and Sport Management must submit an application by 5 PM December 1st (that's THURSDAY)!  All applications are online on the ISOM Undergraduate website.  If you miss this deadline you will not be able to apply again until May.  More information about these programs can be found here.

Weekly Preview - November 28 to December 3

COUNTDOWN TO FINALS!  These last three weeks of the semester will fly by . . . and your focus will primarily be on your studies.  However, there are a few items to note:

The last Writing Placement Test of the semester will be Tuesday, November 29 from 6:00pm-7:00pm in Bartlett 212.

Applying to Isenberg’s BBA, Sport Management, or HTM programs?  Fall 2011 application deadline is DECEMBER 1st!

New York City Bus TripSaturday, December 3, 6:30 am – 10:00 pm. The Art History Program with the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History is offering a bus trip to New York City.  Admission: $40

And Coming Soon . . . The next Basic Math Skills R1 Exemption Test will be on Monday, December 5 at 6:30pm in 131 Marcus Hall.

Check your Final Exam schedule on SPIRE!  If you have 3 exams in one day or two at the same time, GO TO THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE IMMEDIATELY to get it changed!

Career Services offers Internship Information Sessions, Intro to Internships/CoOps, and has Walk-In hours multiple times each week.  Check them out in Room 511 Goodell..

Interested in Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC), where you can design your own interdisciplinary major and curriculum under faculty guidance?  Attend an Info Session in 607 Goodell.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Finals: Fix The Conflicts Now!

You have classes in your shopping cart.

You are ready for your enrollment appointment.

You are writing papers, studying for tests, going to study groups, and finding time to socalize.

And now it's time to think about finals?
In the next few weeks we'll be sharing tips on reducing stress and creating study plans.  We'll post ideas to help keep you calm and prepared.
But there's one thing you need to do right now:

Look at your final exam schedule!  Log into SPIRE and find out when your exams are.

Do you have two (or more) exams at the same time?  Do you have three (or more) exams on the same day? 

If yes, you MUST go to the registrar's office in Whitmore 209 TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE FINAL EXAM so they can reschedule them for you.  To do so, print your final exam schedule from SPIRE and take it to the Registrar's Office.  For more information, visit their final exam page.

Do not wait.  Find a moment in the next few days to head over to Whitmore.  Knowing your schedule will help you prepare.  Why add more stress to your busy life?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekly Preview for November 21 - 25

Thanksgiving break starts on Wednesday, November 23 after your last classClasses resume on Monday, November 28.  Be safe during your travels and enjoy your time off!

Career Services will be holding Introduction to Internships and Co-ops information sessions on on Monday, November 21 from 12:30pm - 1:30pm and Tuesday November 22 from 5:00pm - 6:00pm in 508 Goodell.  Learn more about the internship and co-op process, including how to apply and how to get credit.

Plan ahead...

The last Writing Placement Test of the semester will be Tuesday, November 29 from 6:00pm-7:00pm in Bartlett 212.

The next Basic Math Skills R1 Exemption Test will be on Monday, December 5 at 6:30pm in 131 Marcus Hall.

Advising appointments are filling fast.  If you have questions about your classes for next semester, make an appointment.  The Academic Advising Link in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library is open Sunday - Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm (when classes are in session) and no appointments are needed.  Peer Advisors are there and ready to help!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Schedule Change!

Wednesday, November 16th will follow a Friday class schedule.

Isenberg School of Management Information Sessions

Interested in the BBA (Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Operations Management), Hospitality & Tourism Management or Sport Management majors?

There are two information sessions being offered this week, one on Wednesday, November 16th and the other on Thursday, November 17th.  Both info sessions are in ISOM 206 at 5:30 PM.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if you plan on attending:

1) Get there early! To avoid fighting for a seat or worse, interrupting the session, be sure to get there approximately TEN MINUTES PRIOR to the start time. Treat it like a job interview and be professional--you don't have to wear your haute couture, but you do want to make a good impression!

2) Know which session to attend! Upon arriving, they will direct you to different rooms based on your interests, i.e., BBA, Sports Management, or HTM. Make sure you're in the right place! If you have multiple interests in SOM (both BBA and Sports Management, for example), you should attend an info session for BOTH programs.

Remember! Sports Management requires attendance at one of their info sessions before you can take a Sports Management course!

3) Be informed! Read their website and be familiar with the program you are interested in--as well as procedures for applying. You can find information on applying here.  The links on the bottom will take you to the applications for the specific departments.

4) Have an Alternate Major in mind! Remember that you will be required to apply in order to gain admission--and that applications, by nature, can be rejected. So it's always a good idea to have an alternate major in mind just in case. For more information on suitable alternates, you can call (413) 545-2191 and make an appointment to see an advisor in our office.  Don't wait to come up with a back up plan - come see us now. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekly Preview: November 14 - 18

Here's what's going on this week...

On Wednesday November 16, a Friday class schedule will be followed.

So, you want to be a Resource Economics Major?  Information sessions for students interested in exploring the Resource Economics major will be held on Tuesday, November 15 at 5:30pm and Wednesday, November 16 at 1:00pm in Stockbridge 306.  For more information please contact the ResEc Undergraduate Advising Office:  The online Statement of Interest must be completed by November 20th at 6:00pm in order to register for Spring 2012 courses as a Resource Economics Major.

Isenberg School of Management information sessions for students interested in applying to the BBA, Hospitality and Tourism Management, or Sport Management majors will be held at 5:30pm on Wednesday, November 16th and Thursday, November 17th in Isenberg 206.  You are strongly encouraged to attend an information session if you are interested in these majors.  Stay tuned for more information on preparing for these sessions.  Applications for ISOM majors are available online and are due by 5:00pm on Thursday, December 1st.   
The Second Annual Sport Management Career Fair Presented by ADS will be held on Thursday, November 17 from 12:00pm – 5:00pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.  This is the only career fair dedicated to UMass Sport Management students. Take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to network with industry professionals while marketing yourself in the process.  Visit their website to learn more.

Walk-In Registration Assistance for Undeclared students will be held in 613 Goodell on the following dates:
Friday, November 18th, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Tuesday, November 22nd,  1:00pm -3 :00pm
Wednesday, November 23rd, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Monday, November 28th, 1:00pm - 4:00pm 

Be prepared!  You must have at least three courses on your Advisor Meeting Checklist before you walk in!

Don't want to wait for an appointment or Walk-In Registration?  Visit the Peer Advisors in the Academic Advising Link!  They're ready to help you Sunday through Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library.  Stop by with your questions and get ideas for your Spring classes.

And, as always, Undeclared students can make an appointment to meet with an advisor by calling 413 545 2191 or stopping by 613 Goodell from 8:30am - 5:00pm Monday through Friday.  It is our busy time of the semester, so now's the time to call!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

TONIGHT: Writing Placement Test

The Writing Placement Test will be held TONIGHT at 6PM in Bartlett Hall Rm 212. If you didn't take it during NSO (and haven't yet) and you do not have credit for College Writing, you should take this test! Contact The University Writing Program in Bartlett 305 and read up on it here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tip of the Week by Zoë

Hey everyone. I hope all your homes have been restored to full power (and heat!) firstly, and secondly that you had no major damage, and thirdly that your internet and cell services are back.

For today's Tip of the Week, I'm going to talk a bit about what makes a good schedule. Only you can determine the most important factors for YOU in creating the perfect class schedule, but here are a few points to think about:

  1. Balancing times and days. Are you a morning person? Do you really need to eat at a certain time? It can be really helpful to establish a routine, and having classes daily often works better for students than having an exhausting couple days of the week. Maybe you have a class you need to take at 9:30am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It might be helpful to pick up a Tuesday-Thursday class at similar time, so you're waking up the same time every day.
  2. Gen Ed requirements. If it's your first year, you've heard a lot about general education requirements really recently. If you're not a first year, you might not have. Either way, it's good to be aware of what you have left to do AND the time to do it in.
  3. Major and Minor or Exploration courses. If you have an academic plan - a declared major or minor or certificate - then you certainly want to be continually working towards that. Not all classes are offered every semester so be aware of when you need to be taking your requirements. If you're looking into academic plans, you'll want to experience as many of your interests as possible so that you can make a decision in time to graduate. Don't worry so much about general education classes if you're undeclared. It's great if you can explore majors and fulfill general requirements simultaneously, but this won't always be possible and you shouldn't worry about it. Figure out what you want to do!
  4. Variety. If your brain is anything like mine, it'll start feeling overloaded if it takes four English classes in one semester. Consider mixing right and left-brain classes. Or maybe you're someone who wants to concentrate on one thing. Pay attention to what works for you.
  5. Class style. You won't always be able to pick, especially for your requirements, but you can look out for class sizes and methods of instruction. What kind of class environment do you prefer? Do you like discussions? Readings? Do you perform well in classes with only three tests, or constant homework? Sometimes you won't be able to tell if the class style is problematic until you go to the first lecture. Other times you'll be able to tell from the description. If you have to take a class that doesn't seem like it will be a good fit, perhaps you should connect with the professor early on to help the situation. Just be aware of yourself and don't wait until it's too late to ask for help.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekly Preview: November 7 - 11

Here's what's happening this week...

The Spring 2012 schedule is up on SPIRE!  Click to read more about registration.

Five College Interchange Pre-Registration runs from November 7 - November 18These dates and the registration process are completely seperate from your UMass enrollment appointment.  Click to read more.  You can also enroll in Five College courses during Add/Drop in the Spring.
The Academic Advising Link is open and Peer Advisors are ready to assist you!  Head down to the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library from 4:00pm - 8:00pm Sunday through Thursday to get help with SPIRE, talk about GenEds, go over your ARR, discuss majors and lots more.  No appointment needed!  This is a great place to start preparing for your enrollment appointment.

Wednesday, November 9
Interested in Communication?  Attend the Communication Registration Workshop from 12:15pm - 1:15pm in Machmer E-37.  This workshop will tell you what you need to know to declare Comm for Spring 2012.

Learn more about Financial Aid from 6:00pm - 8:00pm in Wilder Hall.  Learn the basics, how your parents' and guardians' income affects your eligibility, and what you need to do to apply.  Hosted by CMASS and the Financial Aid Office.

Thursday, November 10
The next Writing Placement Test will be held at 6:00pm in Bartlett 212.  If you didn't take it during NSO (and haven't yet) and you do not have credit for College Writing, you should take this test!

Today is the deadline to declare Sociology!  If you have more questions, stop by the Sociology Advising Office in Thompson 720, visit their advising page and check out their blog.

Friday, November 11
Today is Veterans' Day.  There are no classes.

On Wednesday November 16, a Friday class schedule will be followed.

Ongoing and Upcoming Events

Domestic Exchange information sessions are held on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Visit their webpage to learn more.

BDIC information sessions are held Monday - Friday.  Visit their webpage to learn more.

Career Services holds internship information sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Visit their webpage to learn more.

Study Abroad holds information sessions weekly. Visit their webpage to learn about Peer Advising as well as country specific sessions.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Are You Ready to Register for Spring 2012?

The Spring 2012 schedule is now up on SPIRE and registration begins for Seniors on November 14.  Here are some tips and information to make sure you're ready!

When do you register?  Log on to your Student Center in SPIRE.  On the right hand side under your Holds and To Do List are you Enrollment Dates.  Click "Details" to find out the date and time you can begin to register.  This is the date & time that SPIRE will allow you to begin adding classes--it is not a scheduled appointment with an advisor.  You can (and should) add classes to your Shopping Cart prior to this date--that way you can monitor your choices and keep track of space available as your Enrollment Appointment nears.

Make sure you don't have any HOLDS on your account! Registration holds can be issued by any office on campus that needs you to do something with them before you're allowed to add classes for Spring 2012. Often these holds require you to gather or complete documentation, visit an office on campus, have an appointment, etc. It can take a few days (or more) to have such holds lifted, so start the process now! Click here for help finding out if you have a hold.

November is a very busy time in most advising offices!  Just because your Enrollment Appointment may not be until the end of the month doesn't mean you can't meet with an advisor before then.  In fact, coming in early will be more beneficial by helping you prepare.  Waiting until last minute to schedule a meeting may mean there are no appointment times available or cause you to have to delay having your questions answered until AFTER you've added classes.  Be proactive and make an appointment prior to your enrollment appointment.  If you're undeclared, call (413) 545-2191 to schedule a meeting with an advisor.  If you have a declared major, contact the advisor or advising office listed on your SPIRE homepage.  Once you have a scheduled meeting with an advisor, print, complete, and bring this form with you to your appointment!

Pre-Registration for Five College Courses Starts Soon

Have you started thinking about classes for the spring?  Don't forget that as a UMass student you can take courses at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges for UMass credit!  And, even better, at no additional cost!

Don't miss your chance to take advantage of this GREAT academic opportunity.  The Five College Interchange pre-registration period begins Monday, November 7th.  This pre-registration period is the same for all UMass students, regardless of class year, and is separate from your SPIRE Enrollment Appointment!  If you're going to be at least a second semester freshman and are in good academic standing, you can submit a Five College Enrollment Request between now and November 18th.  The paperwork you need is available through SPIRE.  Just log in, click 'Enrollment' (on the left), then 'Five College Enrollment.' 

Think you're interested?  Browse the five college course catalog to check out course offerings.  The registration procedure for five college courses is very different from your regular UMass enrollment process, so once you find the course(s) you want, make sure to read through these DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS carefully If you have questions, stop by the Five College Interchange Office in 613 Goodell Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

CMASS 2011 Open House

Come learn all about CMASS at the 2011 Open House!
Thursday, November 3 from 4:00pm - 7:00pm, Wilder Hall

This is your opportunity to meet the CMASS Staff and learn about the programs, events and services they offer to the University Community. Refreshments will be served.
The Center for Multicultural Advancement & Student Success provides academic support, cultural enrichment, student development as well as support for institutional diversity on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.
Whether you're looking for peer mentoring, social connection, exposure to national student leadership conferences, help navigating offices of the Bursar, Registrar or Financial Aid, or more - CMASS is here to ensure that you have the resources to thrive in an inclusive and multicultural environment during your time at the university.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sociology Deadline and Info Session

On Wednesday, November 2 from 4:00pm - 5:30pm in room 165-69 in the Campus Center, there will be an information session for students who are interested in the Sociology major.  Students who have recently declared Soc must also attend.  If you have any interest in Soc, now's the time to talk to the department.
The last day to declare Sociology for Spring 2012 is Thursday, November 10.  Declaring now will ensure you can access major courses for the Spring and make progress toward graduation.
If you have more questions, stop by the Sociology Advising Office in Thompson 720, visit their advising page and check out their blog.
Don't miss the November 10 deadline!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is Your Shopping Cart Clean?

Do you have classes in your shopping cart from Fall registration?  This can be a problem.  Watch and learn in less than 60 seconds:
Be sure to delete all courses from your Shopping Cart after you have finished registering. Otherwise, courses in which you never enrolled in will show up as completing requirements in your Academic Requirements Report (ARR).  The courses will be removed automatically at the end of the term, but your report could be inaccurate during the term unless you empty your Shopping Cart.  This can cause confusion as you prepare to pick your Spring classes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Enrollment Appointments Are Up on SPIRE

Your Enrollment Appointment is the date & time that SPIRE will allow you to begin adding classes for your spring semester schedule--it is not a scheduled appointment with an advisor.  You can (and should) add classes to your Shopping Cart prior to this date--that way you can monitor your choices and keep track of space available as your Enrollment Appointment nears. To see when your enrollment appointment begins, look your SPIRE homepage: from the menu on the left select "Enrollment" then "Enrollment Appointment."

Weekly Preview: October 31 - November 4

Before we get to the weekly preview, a quick reminder about checking for holds.  Registration begins on November 14 for Seniors.  If you have a hold on your account, you will not be able to register when your enrollment appointment begins.  Immunization holds have recently been placed, so double check SPIRE.  Holds are not always lifted immediately, so take care of them now.  Read more about holds here.
Wednesday, November 2

An Orientation for New Sociology Majors and Information Session for Prospective Majors will be held from 4:00pm - 5:30pm in room 165-69 in the Campus Center.  Meet faculty and staff, learn about departmental resources and opportunities, and get acquainted with Sociology’s peer advisors.  All new majors MUST attend this meeting and students considering Sociology as their major are strongly encouraged to attend.   For more information, send an e-mail to

Are you interested in the Five College International Relations Certificate?  Attend an information session to learn more at 4:00pm in Machmer E-23. 
Thursday, November 3
The next RefWorks workshop will be from 9:30am - 10:30am in the Science and Engineering Library, 3rd floor classroom (Lederle Lowrise).  Click here for a quick introduction to RefWorks.
The College of Natural Sciences will be holding a Science Entrepreneurs Forum from 3:00pm - 4:00pm in the Amherst Room, 10th Floor Campus Center.  This event showcases alumni who have successfully transferred science and technology to the marketplace.  Faculty and students are invited to learn from the experiences of these entrepreneurs who have made science innovations commercially available.

CMASS Open House 2011 will be held from 4:00pm - 7:00pm in Wilder Hall.  Meet the CMASS staff and learn about the programs, events and services offered to the University Community.  

Thinking about a career as a history teacher?  Learn more at Becoming a History Teacher, 5:30pm in Herter 601.  Faculty from the School of Education will talk about their programs that can help you become certified as an elementary, middle, or high school teacher.  Sponsored by the History Department and open to all students.  For more information, contact

Upcoming Events and Important Information
Communication Pre-Registration Workshop, Wednesday, November 9.  More information to follow.

The deadline to declare Sociology for Spring 2012 is Thursday, November 10.

BBA, HTM, and Sport Management On-Campus Transfer Information Sessions will be held on Wednesday, November 16 and Thursday, November 17.  Stay tuned for more information, including how to prepare for these meetings.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reminder! Writing Placement Test Oct 27th 6PM Bartlett 212

The Writing Placement Test will be held TOMORROW (Oct 27th) at 6PM in Bartlett Hall Rm 212. If you didn't take it during NSO (and haven't yet) and you do not have credit for College Writing, you should take this test! Contact The University Writing Program in Bartlett 305 and read up on it here.

Resource Economics: Deadline and Info Sessions

Are you interested in majoring in Resource Economics?

A Statement of Interest must be completed by Sunday, November 20th at 6:00pm in order to register for Spring 2012 courses as a Res Econ Major.

Not sure if Res Econ is the right choice?  Have questions about requirements?  Attend an upcoming information session to learn more about the major.

Thursday, October 27 1:00 pm
Friday, October 28 1:00 pm
Tuesday, November 15 5:30 pm
Wednesday, November 16 1:00 pm

All sessions will be held in Stockbridge 306

Check out their Undergraduate Handbook for specific details about courses and requirements.

For information please contact the Res Econ Undergraduate Advising Office:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reminder: Majors Fair TOMORROW (10/26)!

Don't forget to attend the Majors Fair Wednesday Oct 26th! It runs from 5:30-7:30PM in the Campus Center Auditorium. Check out our previous post for some info on making the most of your visit!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reminder: R1 Exemption Test, Monday 10/24 @ 6:30PM Marcus 131

Tomorrow will be the second R1 Exemption Test offered this semester at 6:30PM in Marcus 131. You will need your ID card, a #2 pencil, and a calculator. Check out our previous post to see if you should consider taking the R1 Exemption test.

The last exemption test for this fall will be offered on Dec 5.

Tip of the Week from Zoë

Hello everyone! I hope all of your midterms are going well. I'm almost done with mine, and I can't wait to relax a little more.
For this week's tip, I'd like to direct you to the annual Majors Fair in the Campus Center. If you're stressed out about picking a major or just curious about what UMass has to offer, you should go! This fair has a lot to offer you.
We have almost 90 majors here at UMass (and even more programs - minors, certificates, etc.), and the Majors Fair is the only event where you can talk to every department at once. Wander around and ask all of the questions you've ever had about any academic plan. Here's a map of the set up.
Plus, you'll see how many other people are in the same boat.
Most of the tables had giveaways (read: candy) last year. Just saying. More information here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Upcoming Events: October 24 - 28

Monday, October 24
Library Workshop, sponsored by CMASS, 6:00pm - 7:00pm, Wilder Hall 102.  Don't know where to start researching? Not familiar with the different academic databases you have access to? Cannot find the book/article/journal you're looking for? Come learn about the different campus online resources.

R1 Exemption Test, 6:30pm in Marcus 131.  Read this earlier blog post for more information.
Wednesday, October 26
Graduate and Professsional Schools Information Day 2011, 11:00am - 3:00pm, Student Union Ballroom.  If you are thinking of going to Graduate School now, next year, or even two years from now, you should plan to attend this event.

"They're cutting...what?" Challenges and Opportunities in the Funding Crisis in Public Higher Ed for the "New" Social Justice Fields.  Come welcome the new chair of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies for a discussion of the problems before us.  4:00pm - 6:00pm in the Amherst Room, Campus Center.

The Majors Fair will take place from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in the Campus Center.  This is an excellent resource for you to learn about majors offered on campus and to talk with representatives from different departments.  Click to learn more about how to prepare. 
Thursday, October 27
Resource Economics Information Sessions, 1:00 pm in Stockbridge 306.  There is also an info session on Friday, October 28 at 1:00 pm in the same place.  Students interested in declaring ResEcon should attend an information session.  There will be two more sessions in November.

Writing Placement Exam, 6:00 pm in Barlett 212.

Institution for Recruitment of Teachers, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, 201 Wilder Hall.  Explore career options and resources in education.  Sponsored by CMASS.

Friday, October 28
Computer Science Friday Event: "Working at a Startup", 3:30pm -5:00pm, 151 Computer Science Building

Ongoing Events
Are you interested in learning more about BDIC?  Attend an information session and learn about the most unique major on campus, and receive guidance on how you can design your own major.  607 Goodell: Mondays at 10am, Tuesdays at 2pm, Wednesdays at 3pm, Thursdays at 10am, and Fridays at noon.

Thinking about studying abroad?  Attend a mandatory preliminary advising session.  Click the link to find out where and when different sessions are held.
Interested in an internship?  Attend an Internship Info Session, held every Monday at 12:30 pm and Tuesday at 5:00 pm in Career Services, 508 Goodell

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Deadline Alert!

You only have until 5:00pm tomorrow to drop with a W or make a class Pass/Fail!
You can get a Course Change Request form at the Registrar, in 613 Goodell, or in any Dean's office.  Forms must be brought to the Registrar's Office by 5:00pm tomorrow.
You do not need your professor's signature to make a class Pass/Fail.  You do need your instructor's signature to W drop.
You do not need your Academic Dean's signature if you get your form in by 5:00pm on Thursday.
Read more about the Mid-Semester date here.

MAJORS FAIR - one week from today!

The annual Majors Fair, sponsored by Undergraduate Advising, is a great opportunity to chat with department representatives, explore major, minor, and certificate options, and learn more about other programs like study abroad or domestic exchange... all in one convenient location!
That being said, the Fair gets pretty PACKED!  Start preparing now to make the most of your time there...
  • First, you can preview a map of the Fair's layout to get an idea of where the departments you're interested in are located.  
  • Not sure who you want to visit with yet?  Complete this "Linking Your Interests to Possible Majors" activity to begin narrowing down your choices. 
  • Once you get an idea of the departments you want to visit, you might be wondering what exactly could/should you be asking the department representatives?  Well, we can help with that too!  Print this worksheet with common, helpful questions to ask department representatives.  Bring it with you to the Fair--this way you can keep track of what spring classes to consider taking, any application process that may be necessary, and even what career or internship opportunities exist in that field!
The more thought you put into preparing for the Fair, the better your results will be!
We hope to see YOU at the
Campus Center Auditorium and First-Floor Concourse. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Imprisoned by Student Debt

A film screening and discussion
Tuesday, October 18th, 7:00pm
Isenberg School of Management Building, Room 133

The average UMASS Amherst student graduates with over $23,000 in student debt.

Student loans have grown by 511% since 1999 and the national student debt burden is rapidly approaching $1,000,000,000,000!

Come to the Amherst premiere of "Default: The Student Loan Documentary" and join in a discussion with Economics Professor Gerald Friedman, PHENOM Board member and CEPA Policy Director Paola Ozuna, and the film’s director and producer.

Sponsored by the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM),
the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), MassPIRG,
and the Political Science Department.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dropping with a "W" and Pass/Fail: What You Need to Know

The Mid-Semester point is October 20th. That is also the deadline to drop a class with a "W" or elect to take a course Pass/Fail. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

Dropping with a W is nothing to be afraid of.  It will not count against you should you decide to apply for/declare a major (as long as you have completed all the pre-requisites, predictor courses, and any other requirements). Dropping a course at this point means a W will always remain on your transcript, but you will not receive a grade for that class, so the class will not affect your GPA.  The W just means that you dropped a course beyond the Add/Drop deadline.  HOWEVER, unlike Add/Drop, dropping a course at this point cannot be done on SPIRE.  There is actual paperwork required and you need your instructor's signature.  So, don't wait until the day of the deadline to make your decision--the deadline is THURSDAY OCTOBER 20th!

You should consider dropping a course with a W if you know that you are not doing well in it and there is little chance you can remedy that, especially if your intended major expects a strong cumulative GPA or specific grade in that class.  Be careful though that you are not going below 12 credits (full-time) in doing so.

The mid-semester date is also your last chance to change a class to Pass/Fail grading.  Rather than dropping a course from your schedule you can elect to remain in the class, but instead of getting a letter grade, your transcript will just indicate a P (if you pass) or an F (if you fail).  A P will not affect your GPA, but an F will.  If you're considering the P/F grading option, be careful!  There are many things to consider before making this choice, including the fact that courses taken P/F may not count toward Gen Eds, major reqs, or predictor courses.  Just like dropping with a W, electing to take a class P/F requires paperwork (but not an instructor's signature). 

You should see your advisor soon if you're considering either taking a W or changing a course to P/F.  You can pick up the necessary paperwork in Undergraduate Advising (if you're Undeclared) or the Registrar's Office in 213 Whitmore.

Weekly Preview for October 17-21

Have you looked on SPIRE recently?  The Finals Schedule has been posted.  Do you have two exams scheduled at the same time?  Three or more in one day?  Go to the Registrar's Office now to resolve the problem.  Do not wait until the week of finals!

Tuesday, October 18 
Are you interested in using your skills to help a developing country? Are you eager to learn, first hand, about a different culture?   Meet with a Peace Corps representative between 1:00pm – 3:00pm in Wilder Hall.  For more information, contact Willie Pope 413 577 2937.

Thursday, October 20 
Thursday is the last day to drop with a W or change a class to Pass/Fail!  Forms must be brought to the Registrar's Office in Whitmore before 5:00pm.  If you have questions about how your schedule will be affected, set up an appointment with an advisor before Thursday!  If you miss this deadline you will have to petition your academic dean for a late course change and the request is not guaranteed.

The next RefWorks workshop will be from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in the DuBois Library, room 1620.  Registration/questions: or (413) 545-0150

Friday, October 21
School of Public Health and Health Sciences Internship/Career and Workforce Fair, 10:00am – 1:00pm, Student Union Ballroom.  This fair is for students who are interested in the wide range of community health efforts including health education, policy change, environmental health, nutrition and kinesiology/exercise science.  Stop by and learn more about PHHS.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CNS College Day Cookout

The College of Natural Sciences 2011 College Day Cookout is tomorrow!
Enjoy local food, learn about the departments and majors in CNS, meet the deans and check out the farm animals.  This annual celebration is a great mix of grilled food and science fun.

12:00pm - 1:30pm in the Computer Science Building Courtyard.  All students are invited.

Stop by and find out what CNS has to offer!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Columbus Day

Monday is Columbus Day and there are no classes.

Tuesday will follow a Monday class schedule.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Public Health Sciences Deadline

Friday, October 14th is the last day to apply to Public Health Sciences until the spring semester!

Stop by their Peer Advising Drop-In Center and hear about the major from current Public Health students and click here to find out how to apply.

Weekly Preview for October 10-14

The leaves are changing and it's getting colder.  How are you doing with your papers?  Stressed about mid-terms?  Don't forget about all of the academic support on campus; take advantage of these resources.  And don't forget about office hours for your professors and TAs!

Monday, October 10
Columbus Day - No Classes

Tuesday, October 11 
A Monday class schedule will be followed.
The Science/Fiction About Interviewing.  Want to land that dream internship? Understand what the employer is really looking for in your interview and uncover the masterful ways to answer and ask questions during an interview. 5:30pm – 6:30pm, Integrated Sciences Building, Room 145
Thursday, October 13
College of Natural Sciences College Day Cookout!  All students are invited to learn more about the majors offered in CNS.  12:00pm - 1:30pm, Computer Science Building Courtyard
Friday, October 14
Today is the last day to apply to Public Health Sciences until the spring semester.  Click the link for information about the application process.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Top 13 UMass Treasures

It's almost time for our first long weekend of the semester. Many of you may be headed home for the first time, expecting to see your friends and families, and get LOTS of questions about UMass.  So, instead of a Tip of the Week, I'd like to remind you of some great things about UMass. Be sure to take advantage of our lovely campus when you get back.

Zoë's Top 13 UMass Treasures (in no order) 
  • 88 major subjects... or design your own As a large research university, we have excellent resources in every department.
  • Great dining halls, using more local food than ever. All the options! All the visiting chefs! BabyBerk! Learn about the on-campus permaculture garden and Garden Share program if you want to get involved.
  • 5 College Consortium There's nowhere else like it. Take classes for no additional charge at any of the five prestigious colleges in the area. Take advantage of five separate faculties and student bodies.
  • Tallest university library in the world, open 24 hours on weeknights Learn about library services, including the Learning Commons and the Writing Center. Plus we've got the Procrastination Station.
  • Student jobs and Career Services Look at job listings or learn how to make an appointment for career advising.
  • Beautiful gym and exercise classes Learn about hours, classes, and fitness tips.
  • Free tutoring Check out the program and read about study skills.
  • Research opportunities Investigate proposals and awards.
  • Clubs, including club sports teams Check out all Registered Student Organizations on Campus Pulse.
  • Inspiring speakers and constant events Look at the Mullins Center and FAC schedules.
  • Nature. Breathable air. We've got trees here. We can go hiking on the weekends, and see the leaves change.
  • Businesses run by students There are eight student run businesses on our campus!