Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekly Preview: April 2 - 6

Here's what happening this week...
Join the School of Public Health and Health Sciences as they celebrate their 15th Annual Research Day!  This event highlights the outstanding research and outreach work being performed by students within the school.  Tuesday, April 3 from 3:00pm – 6:00pm in the Campus Center, 10th Floor.

Are you interested in an Engineering major?  If so, make sure you attend one of the Info Sessions with advisors from Engineering: 
Tuesday, April 3 from 5:30-6:30 in 614 Goodell and Monday, April 9 from 3:30-4:30 in 604 Goodell. Interested students should bring a transcript (NOT an ARR), and a progress worksheet, if they've been working on one.

Networking For Beginners  Learn tips and tricks to help you feel comfortable and confident when meeting potential contacts and mentors.  Find out how networking works and where to start meeting people.  This presentation is sponsored by CMASS and the UMass Alumni AssociationWednesday, April 4 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm Wilder Hall 201

On Wednesday, April 4 at 4:00pm in the Mullins Center Massachusetts Room, join Professor David J. McLaughlin of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as he presents his Distinguished Faculty Lecture entitled "Chasing Interdisciplinarity while Chasing Tornadoes".   Read more about his lecture here, and learn more about the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series here.

The next Computer Science Friday Event will be on April 6 from 3:30pm - 5:00pm in the Computer Science Building, Room 151Check their webpage for more information.  This event is open to all students.

Five College Interchange Pre-Registration runs from April 2 - April 20Read our earlier blog post to learn how to request a class at Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, Smith or Amherst.

Peer Advisors at the Academic Advising Link are ready to help you with registration questions!  Head down to the Learning Commons in the Library Sunday-Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm to get help with SPIRE, your ARR, GenEds, majors and more.  No appointment necessary!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Five College Interchange Pre-Registration Starts on April 2

Are you interested in taking a class at Amherst, Hampshire, Smith or Mt. Holyoke?  Get ready for the Five College Interchange pre-registration! 
Pre-registrations begins on April 2 and ends on April 20.  These dates may be different than your UMass enrollment appointment!  Anyone can request to pre-register starting on April 2 even if they can't start enrolling in UMass classes until later. 
The registration procedure for Five College Interchange classes is different from your regular UMass enrollment process.  Once you find the course(s) you want, read the detailed instructions on our website very carefully.  The Five College Enrollment Request Form is available on SPIRE, but you cannot submit your registration through SPIRE.  You must follow the UMass paperwork procedure and turn your forms in to the UMass Five College Interchange office located in 613 Goodell.     
Important information:
  • Pre-registration is a request, it is not guaranteed.
  • You must be in good academic standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • You must be registering for at least one 3-credit UMass course.
  • You also have an opportunity to register for Five College Interchange classes during the UMass add/drop period in the Fall.
  • You can only pre-register by handing in two copies of the UMass paperwork to the UMass Five College Interchange office located in 613 Goodell.
Questions?  Visit our website, come see us in 613 Goodell, call us at 413 545 5352 or send an email to

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Public Health Advising and Info Sessions

Do you have questions about applying to the Public Health major in the Fall?  There will be an information session on Tuesday, April 17 from 5:30-6:30pm in LGRT, Room 101.  If you are interested in declaring Public Health, you should attend. 

You can also visit the Public Health Peer Advising Drop-In Center.  Students are available to answer questions about the major, help you choose classes, go over requirements, help with SPIRE and more!  Click here for the schedule.

Have you already applied to the major?  Attend a Public Health Advising Event!  Find answers to classes, studying abroad, internships, resources, and any other questions you may have!

  • Sophmores/Freshman**: Friday, March 30th, 3:30-4:30 PM Lederle Graduate Tower,101
  • Freshman/Sophomores**: Wednesday, April 11th, 5:00-6:00PM Lederle Graduate Tower,101

**These sessions are geared more to the first group listed – but others who miss a session are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

FINAL U@UMass Student Panel March 28th 4:30-5:30PM

The FINAL U@UMass Student Panel is this Wednesday March 28th from 4:30-5:30PM in Campus Center Room 101!!!


Domestic Exchange: Spots Still Open

Think you missed the deadline to apply for a Domestic Exchange?  Some schools still have openings for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013!  Come to an information session in 613 Goodell.

We have information sessions on Thursdays and Fridays at 2:30pm.  We'll have specific information about what schools are available, we'll explain how the program works and you'll be given an application.  You must come to an info session in order to apply.

Read our earlier post about the Domestic Exchange program and come see us soon if you have any interest in applying.  Visit the National Student Exchange's website to see participating schools, but remember that you must be flexible because not all schools have post-placement conference openings.

The Advising Link is OPEN!

You've probably noticed by now that enrollment appointments and fall course offerings have been posted to SPIRE... and (hopefully) you've started browsing and planning for next semester!

Do you have questions about Gen Eds?  Need a SPIRE refresher?  Or maybe you're just wondering what the heck an ARR is?  Stop by the Advising Link in the library (downstairs near the Calipari room) where friendly peer advisors can assist you Sun-Thurs 4-8PM.  No appointments necessary--first come, first served.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Isenberg School of Management: Prepare Yourself!

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, March 28 and the second on Thursday, March 29. 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. 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 at 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.

Applications are due by May 1.

Interested in the Resource Economics major?

If you're interested in pursing a Resource Economics major, the deadline to complete an Online Statement of Interest is April 20 at noon in order to register for Fall courses as a major. In other words, if you want the most choices in terms of course access, you should complete the form by the deadline above. Once you do, you'll receive an email within 7 days to schedule an advising meeting, where you'll be able to formally declare your major. 

Need to know more before you decide? Attend an Info Session on Wednesday, March 28 at 5:30pm or Thursday, March 29 at noon in Stockbridge 208 and have a look at the department's very detailed undergraduate handbook.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekly Preview: March 26 - 30

Welcome back from Spring Break!  Now that we've passed the mid-point of the semester, there will be more deadlines and due dates, so make sure you're paying attention!

Have you applied to Computer Science?  On Tuesday, March 27 starting at 1:00pm there will be a Registration Meeting for Freshmen/First-Year Students in the Computer Science Building, Room 151.  Applicants who cannot attend this meeting or students who have not yet applied to the major are invited to go to the new CS Undergrad Advising Center in 144 CS Building. 
Walk Right In: Film Screening and Panel DiscussionTuesday, March 27 starting at 4:00 pm in the Cape Cod Lounge, Student UnionWalk Right In is a film that shows how difficult and complex issues of race, class, and human difference were addressed with underprivileged students from across the nation at the Yale Summer High School program in the 1960s.  Read more in our earlier post.

The next RSO Leadership Training will be held on Tuesday, March 27 6:00pm-8:00pm at Wilder Hall 201.  Learn more about Collaboration.  Don't just be a good leader. Become a GREAT leader!  Sharpen your leadership as well as your transferable skills! These trainings count as CSD electives.  Refreshments will be served.

The Isenberg School of Management will be holding information sessions for students interested in applying to majors within the school.  We'll have more information about how to prepare for these meetings soon.
Wednesday, March 28
Thursday, March 29
5:30pm in ISOM 206
Applications are due by May 1.
Wednesday, March 28 - 5:30pm
Thursday, March 29 - Noon
Stockbridge 208
Your online Statement of Interest is due by noon on April 20.
On Wednesday, March 28, Undergraduate Advising will be holding our final U @ UMass: You Are More Than Your Major panel discussion starting at 4:30pm in the Campus Center, Room 101.  Maximize your academic program!  In this panel presentation, upper class students will talk about their specific major, minor, and certificate, and how they got there.  Read our earlier blog post about why you should attend!

The Communication Registration Meeting for Fall 2012 classes will be on Wednesday, March 28th from 12:20pm - 1:15pm in Machmer W-23.  Majors and prospective majors are cordially invited to attend.
Spring 2012 Off Campus Housing Fair, Thursday, March 29, 10:00am–3:00pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.  Stop by to learn about renting off campus, moving and storage, renters' insurance and more. Questions? Contact Thea Costine,, 413 577 2187.

Fall 2012 classes have posted and you should be preparing now for your enrollment appointment.  All advising centers on campus are extremely busy during registration, so do not wait to meet with an advisor to ask questions, talk about majors, and get help with your schedule.  Undergraduate Advising will have information about Walk-In Registration assistance for Undeclared students posted soon. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Walk Right In

Tuesday, March 27 starting at 4:00 pm in the Cape Cod Lounge, Student Union
"This provocative film shows clearly how the difficult, complex issues of race, class and human differences can be addressed humanely and productively" - Katherine C. Boles, Harvard Graduate School of Education
The film premier will be followed by a panel forum on schooling and social justice. Panel members include:
  • Mr. Larry Paros - '55 Director and Producer of "Walk Right In"
  • Dr. Charles Desmond - '92 Ed.D., Chair, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
  • Dr. Irma McClaurin - '93 Ph.D., former Yale Summer High School student
  • Mr. Barney Brawer - Principal, former Yale Summer High School participant
Refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Check Your Holds!

Holds have been added 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.  Holds can't always be cleared up overnight, so 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.
  • 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!  Fix the problem now!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sociology Deadline: Friday

The last day to declare Sociology during Spring 2012 is Friday, March 16.

To declare, sign up online for an appointment or walk in to see peer advisors in 722 Thompson Hall.  Sociology is an open major, but has a limited window of opportunity in which you can declare each semester

Students who want access to upper level Sociology classes in Fall 2012 are strongly advised to declare by the 16th.  Many of these classes will be restricted for majors only, so declare now!

Monday, March 12, 2012

International Relations Certificate Info Session

Want to learn more about the Five College International Relations Certificate? Join Professors MJ Peterson & Laura Reed on Thursday, March 15th at 5:00pm in Machmer W-11.

Experience the benefits of pursuing an Honors IR Certificate!
  • Can be combined with ANY undergraduate major
  • A great way to satisfy the SBS Global Education Requirement
  • Opportunities to take 4-credit classes through the Five Colleges
  • Indicates to graduate schools & future employers that you have strong interest in world affairs
Additional information on course requirements is available here.

The International Relations Certificate is sponsored by the Political Science Department and the Five College Consortium.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

W Drop and Pass/Fail Deadline

You only have until 5:00pm on Tuesday to drop with a W or make a class Pass/Fail!

You can get a Course Change Request form at the Registrar's Office in Whitmore, in 613 Goodell, or in any Dean's office. Completed forms must be brought to the Registrar's Office by 5:00pm on Tuesday.

You do need your instructor's signature to W drop.

You do not need your instructor's signature to make a class Pass/Fail.

You do not need your Academic Dean's signature if you get your form in by 5:00pm on Tuesday.

Read our earlier post about the Mid-Semester date, what a W Drop means, and how Pass/Fail works.  If you have any questions, make an appointment to meet with an advisor ASAP.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekly Preview: March 12 - 16

It's almost Spring Break!  There's lots to do this week before you head off to relax.

THE LAST DAY TO W DROP OR CHANGE A CLASS TO PASS/FAIL IS TUESDAY, MARCH 13!  Course Change Request forms must be brought to the Registrar's Office in Whitmore before 5:00pm.  Your instructor must sign the form for a W Drop, but you do not need a signature for Pass/Fail.  Refer to our earlier post and make an appointment to meet with an advisor now if you have any questions.

Out at Work: LGBT Issues in Looking for and Being on the Job  What extent is the climate getting better for LGBT people in the workplace?  Should LGBT people be out on their resumes or come out during a job interview?  How do you know if a company is going to be LGBT-friendly?  What should you do if you experience employment discrimination?  Join Charles J. DiMare, Director, UMass Student Legal Services Office, Genny Beemyn, Director, UMass Stonewall Center, Caroline Gould, Assistant Director UMass Career Planning Office, and Ron Patenaude, President, Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) to learn more.  Monday, March 12, 7:00pm in the Campus Center Room 904-08.

On Tuesday, March 13 at 4:00pm in the Student Union Cape Cod Lounge, join Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Horwitz for a public talk and book signing. Horwitz, the author of Confederates in the Attic and Midnight Rising: The Raid That Sparked the Civil War, is the History Department's 2012 Writer-in-Residence.

On Tuesday, March 13 at 4:30pm in the Campus Center Room 174-76, join renown Caribbean writer Earl Lovelace as he reads from his latest novel, Is Just a Movie. Earl Lovelace’s books include While Gods Are Falling, the Caribbean classics The Wine of Astonishment and The Dragon Can’t Dance, and Salt, winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Is Just a Movie has been hailed by The Times of London as “funny, moving, endlessly inventive." Presented by The Interdisciplinary Seminar in the Humanities and Fine Arts at UMass and departments from across the Five Colleges.

Come out for UMASS MinutePitch: the newest event in the long-running UMass Innovation Challenge business plan competition. A fast-paced, zero risk trial! No slides, prototypes, or written business plans - just a 60 second pitch to win up to $1,000.  This event is open to the public. Attendees will vote on the winner of the $250 audience prize. It will be followed by a MassChallenge Information Session, while the judges deliberate.  UMass MinutePitch Spring 2012, Tuesday, March 13, 5:00pm, Computer Science Building Room 150/151 

The final Writing Placement Test of the semester will be on Tuesday, March 13 at 6:00pm in Bartlett 310.  If you wish to enroll in ENGWRIT 112 and you have not taken this exam, you must do so to qualify to enroll.

Honors Faculty Lecture: Coming Out for ChangeThursday, March 15,  6:30pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.  Each semester, Commonwealth Honors College celebrates faculty who have made a significant contribution to research or creative activity. Join M.V. Lee Badgett, professor of economics and director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, as she presents her talk "Coming Out for Change." Badgett’s talk seeks to answer the question ‘how does individual action turn into social change?’ The progress made so far by lesbian, gay, and bisexual people over the last century—from jails and hospitals to the halls of power—shows a clear link between social gains and the decisions by individuals to come out as LGB or as heterosexual allies.

TRANSFERmation Thursdays: Off-campus Housing Options and Safety/Emergency Tips, Thursday, March 15, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Student Union 208 (across from the Hatch and next to the Craft Center). The third Thursday of the month is a special night for transfer students in the Off Campus Student Center. Stop by and learn more about UMass Amherst, connect with other students and check-in with us on your transfer experience. Each night will explore a specific topic while you enjoy a free meal and get entered in a raffle. Please come even if you will be late or have to leave early!  Questions?, 413 577 1005

The last day to declare Sociology during Spring 2012 is Friday, March 16.  To declare, sign up online for an appointment or walk in to see peer advisors in 722 Thompson Hall.  Students who want access to upper level Sociology classes in Fall 2012 are strongly advised to declare by the 16th.

Upcoming Events and Information
Career Services has 15 minute walk in appointments for help with your resume and cover letters.  Stop by Monday - Friday between 12:00pm - 4:00pm.  One hour career advising appointments are available by calling 413 545 2224.

March 28 - Communication Registration Meeting for declared and prospective students
March 28 and 29 - Isenberg School of Management Information Sessions for Sport Management, BBA, HTM, and Resource Economics
March 28 - U @ UMass: You Are More Than Your Major!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Enrollment Appointments posting soon!

Your Enrollment Appointment should be available to view on SPIRE on March 10thRemember, this is the date and 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--the fall 2012 course catalog should be on SPIRE around March 20th. You can find your Enrollment Appointment on your SPIRE homepage: from the menu on the left select "Enrollment" then "Enrollment Appointment."

Your Enrollment Appointment will be sometime in April, which is a very busy time in most advising offices! Just because your Enrollment Appointment may not have started doesn't mean you can't meet with an advisor to prepare.  In fact, coming in early will be more beneficial!  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 soon, especially if you need to do some long-term planning. 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.

In some cases you may want to declare the major you are exploring BEFORE your Enrollment Appointment.  Some departments restrict upper-level courses to majors only, so declaring now will give you best access to classes in April.  Remember, you're almost never "stuck" in a major you declare--you may decide after exploring to change your major again, turn something into a minor, or pursue a related certificate. Make sure you know what the restrictions are for any departments/programs you're considering--if there is an application required or deadlines fast approaching, don't let them pass you by!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

REMINDER U@UMass Wednesday March 7 1-2PM

The second U@UMass Student Panel is Wednesday March 7th from 1-2PM in Campus Center Room 165-169!!!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekly Preview: March 5 - 9

The Mid-Semester date approaches... Do you have questions about Pass/Fail or W Drop?  Make an appointment to meet with an advisor before March 13!  Read our earlier post about what it means to have a W on your transcript and how Pass/Fail works.

On Tuesday, March 6 there will be a Drug Enforcement Agency Information Session at 5:30pm in 227 Herter.  Representatives from the DEA will be on campus to talk about opportunities available for current and graduating students and how individuals interested in a career in Criminal Justice can get the best head start.  For more information, contact Career Services,, 413 545 2224.

The next RefWorks workshop will be on Wednesday, March 7 at 12:00pm in the 3rd floor classroom of the Science & Engineering Library. Registration/questions: or 413 545 0150.

The next U @ UMass: You Are More Than Your Major panel discussion will be held on Wednesday, March 7 at 1:00pm in the Campus Center, Room 165-169.  Maximize your academic program!  In this panel presentation, upper class students will talk about their specific major, minor, and certificate, and how they got there.  Read our earlier blog post about why you should attend!  You will have one last chance to hear from students on Wednesday, March 28.

Professor Jeffrey D. Blaustein of the Department of Psychology and the Neuroscience and Behavior Program will present his lecture entitled "Stress, Puberty, and Mental Health: Remodeling of the Brain’s Response to Hormones" on Wednesday, March 7 at 4:00pm in the Bernie Dallas Room in Goodell.  Professor Blaustein is a pioneer in behavioral neuroendocrinology—the study of how hormones act on the nervous system to influence behavior and mental health.  This Distinguished Faculty Lecture will include information on helping us understand mental health as an entire complex of interactions between hormones, the environment, and the nervous system.
The Hospitality and Tourism Management Department is pleased to announce their Annual Career DayWednesday, March 7 from 11:00am - 4:00pm in the Campus Center AuditoriumYou must be dressed in business professional attire and bring 20 copies of  your resume.  Contact Career Services for help with your resume.

Know Your Rights!   A lively and interactive Q&A about what your rights are during police encounters, featuring Attorney Corey Carvalho from the Student Legal Services Office and Officer Mark Whelihan from the UMPD. Thursday, March 8 from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at the Theta Chi Fraternity, 496 North Pleasant Street.  This is the second time this presentation is being offered.

On Friday, March 9 from 12:00pm - 4:00pm Career Services will be running March Madness.  Stop by 511 Goodell for games, prizes, and popcorn and learn more about what Career Services has to offer!

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

March 10 - Fall 2012 enrollment appointments should be available on SPIRE 
March 13 - Last day to W Drop or change a class to Pass/Fail 
March 13 - Writing Placement Test 
March 16 - Deadline to declare Sociology for Fall 2012 
March 20 - The Fall 2012 course schedule should be available on SPIRE

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Final Exam Schedules - now posted on SPIRE

Don't get caught off guard! 
Check NOW to find out
when your final exams will be. 
You can either:
  1. Log into SPIRE and choose "Exam Schedule" from the dropdown menu to the left of your schedule, or
  2. go to the Registrar's Office website to find your class & exam time.

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

If so, don't panic, but take action NOW.   Print off your final exam schedule from SPIRE and take it to the Registrar's Office in Whitmore 209.  The Registrar's Office will be able to reschedule exams for you - DO NOT GO DIRECTLY TO YOUR INSTRUCTORS.  For more information, visit the Registrar's Office final exam page (see link above).

Mid-Semester, Dropping with a "W," and Pass/Fail: What You Need to Know

The Mid-Semester point is March 13th. 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 TUESDAY MARCH 13TH!

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.