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!

Columbus Day Schedule Changes

Columbus Day is Monday and there will be no classes.

On Tuesday, a Monday class schedule will be followed.

Everything goes back to normal on Wednesday.

If you have a campus job and you work on Monday or Tuesday, find out if your schedule will be changing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Got Holds?

Holds are now listed on SPIRE. If you see this symbol when you log-in, then you've got a HOLD!  Information about any holds you have can be found right on your SPIRE homepage.

Some holds will prevent you from enrolling in courses for next semester.  Registration may seem far away, but holds can't always be cleared up overnight, so better to act now! 

Some 'common' holds are:
My Student Body--click here for instructions on how to finish the program.
Bursar bill not paid--See the Bursar in Whitmore.
Incomplete Immunization Records--Go to Health Services for info.
Academic Advising Needed--You must make an appointment with your Academic Advisor.

Don't let a hold keep you from getting the classes you want or need--resolve holds now!