Sunday, March 31, 2013

Five College Interchange Pre-Registration Starts on April 1

 Are you interested in taking a class at Amherst, Hampshire, Smith or Mt. Holyoke?  Get ready for Five College Interchange pre-registration!

Pre-registration requests begin on April 1 and end on April 19.  These dates may be different from your UMass enrollment appointment!  Anyone can request to pre-register starting on April 1 even if they can't start enrolling in UMass classes until later.

The registration procedure for Five College Interchange classes is different from your UMass enrollment process.  Once you find the course(s) you want, read the detailed instructions on our website very carefullyThe 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 hand in two copies of the UMass paperwork 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 can only request to pre-register by handing in two copies of the UMass paperwork to the UMass Five College Interchange office located in 613 Goodell.
  • You also have an opportunity to register for Five College Interchange classes during the UMass add/drop period in the Fall. 

Questions?  Visit our website, come see us in 613 Goodell, call us at 413-545-5352, or send an email to

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Paul's Tip of the Week: Post-Spring Break Problems (and Solutions!)

Whether you were in Florida soaking up the sun or at home in your pj's all break, a common consensus among the UMass population is that none of us got enough work over break and now we are all freaking out and pretty stressed. With projects, papers, tests, classes to register for, housing deadlines, and the inevitable finals week in May, the end of the semester is not going to be easy. Here are a couple of tips to help you  navigate your remaining time at UMass this academic semester:

1.) Plan your time wisely
Time management is going to be critical in your success in this final stretch to the summer. I would recommend marking any and all important events in your calendar/planner. This could include when your tests are, when projects are due, and even when social or club events are hosted. This will make it much easier to manage your time and figure out where your priorities should be on any given day.

2.) Registration
Registration for Fall 2013 begins on April 1st. Have you...
.....checked to see when your registration appointment is?
.....met with your academic advisor yet?
.... started looking for classes? How about a Five College course? Five College Interchange Infomation

3.) Housing
Make sure you stay on top of all on-campus housing priority deadlines! And if you are thinking about off-campus housing, do your research. Read more about on and off campus housing on Res. Life's website: Residential Life Info

4.) Keep on task
While it is starting to get warm outside (sort of...) and sometimes your workload may seem unbearable, it is extremely important to continue to work hard and stay focused. You don't want to throw away all your hard work this semester in this last month of school. If you are struggling in a class and feeling overwhelmed, make sure to contact your professors and TAs for extra help. Our campus is here to support you and there are always resources available to help you out.

So good luck and perserve!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekly Preview: April 1 - 5

The Five College Interchange Pre-Registration Request period begins on Monday, April 1 and ends on Friday, April 19.   We'll post much more information about the process on Sunday. 

Interested in getting CPR certified?  The Public Health Club is hosting a CPR Certification Night for only $10! The event will be held on Monday, April 1st at 6pm in the Student Union Ballroom. Register and pay the registration fee in Arnold House 330. Space is limited. Any questions? Email

Are you interested in becoming a Communication major?  Attend the Communication Registration Meeting on Wednesday, April 3 from 12:15 - 1:15 in Machmer E-37.  Majors and prospective majors are cordially invited to attend.

Resource Economics Information Sessions will be held on Thursday, April 4 at 5:30pm and Friday, April 5 at 12:20pmBoth sessions will be in Stockbridge 303.  You must attend an information session and fill out the Online Statement of Interest in order to meet with a Resource Economics advisor to discuss the major.  Your Statement of Interest is due online by Wednesday, April 24 in order to register for Fall 2013 courses as a Resource Economics major. 

The 16th Annual SPHHS Research Day will be on Tuesday April 2, from 2:00 pm-5:00 pm in the Student Union Cape Cod Lounge.  This event highlights the outstanding education, research and practices being performed by students within the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. Students from all departments within the School will present posters of their work.  The SPHHS holds this event as an opportunity for the university, media and surrounding communities to learn more about the research, instruction and outreach efforts being conducted by their students. 

Are you interested in Engineering?  Come meet with Engineer advisors to learn if this is the major for you!  There will be information sessions on Thursday, April 4 and Wednesday April 10.  Both sessions will be held from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in Goodell 613.  Bring an up to date transcript (not your ARR) and you Engineering progress worksheet (if you have one).

Upcoming Information, Dates, and Reminders

Are you thinking about majoring in Public Health Sciences?  If you are interested in the major or new to the major, come to an information session!  First Years are invited to attend on Monday, April 8 6:30 PM - Hasbrouck 228. 

Final Exam Reminder!  Have you taken care of any conflicts?  Read our earlier post and be sure you're ready for Finals Week

Don't forget about Academic Advising Link!  Our experienced and trained Peer Advisors will help you with SPIRE. They'll talk to you about major requirements, GenEds, grading options and more. You don't need to make an appointment - just stop by!  The Link is open Sunday through Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm.  We are located downstairs in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Writing Placement Test: TOMORROW!

The Writing Placement Test will be held tomorrow (Thursday, March 28) at 6:00pm in Bartlett 203.

Any student who has not previously taken this test MUST do so before being able to enroll in English Writing 112.

For more details, call the Writing Program at 413-545-0610, visit their webpage or click here to learn more about the University Writing Requirements.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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, March 27 and the second on Thursday, March 28.  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.  Students interested in applying to Sport Management or HTM must attend an Information Session.
  3. Be informed! Read their website and be familiar with the program you are interested in, as well as procedures for applying.
  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. 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 for ISOM majors are due on Wednesday, May 1.  If you miss this deadline you will have to wait until the Fall semester to apply.  Applications will be available online starting on Monday, April 1.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fall 2013 Enrollment: Are You Ready?

Your Enrollment Appointment is available on SPIRE.  Remember, this is the date and time that SPIRE will allow you to begin enrolling in classes; it is NOT a scheduled appointment with an advisorYou can find your Enrollment Appointment on the right side your SPIRE homepage.  You can (and should!) add classes to your Shopping Cart prior to this date.
What should I be doing right now???

Your Enrollment Appointment will be in April, which is a very busy time in most advising offices.  Meeting with an Advisor now will be more beneficial than waiting until later.  Waiting until last minute to schedule a meeting may mean there are no appointment times available or not having your questions answered until AFTER you've enrolled in 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.

Before setting up an advising appointment, fill out the Advisor Meeting Checklist to get the most out of your meeting!  Click here, print out the form and bring it with you.  

I forgot how SPIRE works.
Do you sort of remember how you registered for your Spring classes but want to make sure you're ready for your Fall Enrollment Appointment? Go to the OIT SPIRE page at  Here you will find information regarding SPIRE, including very helpful videos. 
These are links to detailed explanations of how to add/drop/swap classes as well as adding classes with related components (such as discussions or labs).

And finally...
Are you looking for quick help but don't think you need a full appointment?  The Academic Advising Link is for you!  Our experienced and trained Peer Advisors will help you with SPIRE. They'll talk to you about major requirements, GenEds, grading options and more. You don't need to make an appointment - just stop by!  The Link is open Sunday through Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm.  We are located downstairs in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekly Preview: March 25 - 29

Welcome back!  We hope everyone had a great Spring Break!

Fall 2013 classes will post any minute 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.  We will have information about Walk-In Registration assistance for Undeclared students, as well as how to prepare for one-on-one appointments.  Before setting up an advising appointment, fill out the Advisor Meeting Checklist to get the most out of your meeting!  

The undergraduate major in Public Health Sciences holds several group informational sessions throughout the academic year. If you are interested in the major or new to the major, come to an information session!
  • Sophomores: Tuesday, March 26 6:30PM- Hasbrouck 228
  • Transfer/First Year Enrollment 101: Thursday, March 28 5:15 PM - DuBois 767.  This session is for students interested in learning more about navigating SPIRE as well as tips and tricks with course selection and scheduling.
  • First Years: Monday, April 8 6:30 PM - Hasbrouck 228

The Isenberg School of Management will be holding information sessions for students interested in the BBA, HTM, and Sports Management majors on Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday March 28.  Both sessions will be in Isenberg 206 at 5:30pm.  We'll be posting more information on how to prepare, so stay tuned.  Students planning on applying to HTM or Sports Management must attend an information session.

There will be a Writing Placement Test on Thursday, March 28 at 6:00pm in Bartlett 203.  Students must take the Writing Program Placement Test to determine which writing course is most appropriate for them.  Call the Writing Program for details at 413-545-0610, visit their webpage, or email

The final You @ UMass panel will be held on Wednesday, March 27 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in the Honor College Lounge, 504 Goodell.  Hear upperclass students describe how they are getting the most out of UMass through majors, minors, study abroad, Domestic Exchange, Five College Interchange, internships and more! 

On Friday, March 29 at 3:30pm in 151 CSB, join the Computer Science Department for Hot Topics in Computer Science!  Hear Prof. Evangelos Kalogerakis and Prof. Dan Sheldon from the School of Computer Science discuss cutting-edge research and learn more about the major.  All students are invited to attend.

Things get exceptionally busy after Spring Break, so make sure you're paying attention to deadlines, meetings, and registration information as well as keeping up with your classes and preparing for finals.  We are here to help so be sure to check out all posts to find information that's important to you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

DEADLINE for applications - Monday, 3/25

Hoping to be a Peer Advisor for Undergraduate Advising this summer?

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE Monday, 3/25 by 5pm!

Read about Paul's experience from summer 2012 by clicking here.
Check out the job description and apply by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Planning your Schedule for Fall 2013

Get yourself ready to choose courses for Fall 2013! 

What should you be doing NOW?
  • Check your account for any HOLDS (especially those that will prevent you from enrolling), and clear them now!  Click here for more info. 
  • Review the SPIRE instructional videos about how to search for and enroll in courses, if you need a refresher.  Click here, and scroll down to see them on the right of the page.
  • Check out the Fall 2013 courselist, which should be posted to SPIRE on Friday, 3/22.
  • Plan to see your advisor to review your plans for next semester, and to look ahead at what you want to accomplish before you graduate (don't forget to mention study abroad/domestic exchange, internships, research, etc.).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Deadline to Declare Sociology: Friday March 15th!

The deadline to declare Sociology is THIS Friday March 15th! If you are planning to major in Sociology, or want to explore upper-level classes in the department, you should declare by going to 712 or 722 Thompson Hall to speak with an advisor. Remember, you must do so by this Friday!

If you have questions, call Undergraduate Advising at 413-545-2191 and schedule an appointment to discuss it with an advisor!

INTERNSHIP How-To, Wed. March 13

Want a job when you graduate?

First, you’ll need an internship (or several).
As cited in an NPR story on 3/4/13, the “National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 63 percent of paid interns in the class of 2012 had at least one job offer when they graduated. Of those who did no internship, only about 40 percent had an offer.”  

How do you get started?

INTERNSHIP HOW-TO, Wednesday March 13
from 4-5:00pm in 604 Goodell
Hear from staff and a student about what you need to do . . . and how cool it can be!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Basic Math Skills (R1) Exemption Test is Monday, March 11 at 6:30pm in Marcus 131!

Bring a #2 pencil, ID, and calculator.

Passing the R1 exam (at least 12 out of 20 correct) will satisfy the R1 requirement for graduation but will not result in the awarding of any credits. There are, however, credit courses that will also satisfy the R1 requirement.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekly Preview: March 11 - 15

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 10.  Be sure to set your clocks an hour ahead!

The next R1 Exemption Test will be on Monday, March 11 at 6:30pm in Marcus 131.  Your student ID and a #2 pencil are required. A calculator is recommended.

The Public Health Club invites you to attend a panel discussion of professors who will talk about their own journeys through and after college, sharing their experiences related to public health, and to offer advice that will be beneficial to you. Come ask questions, network, and get to know your professorsMonday, March 11 at 6:00pm in the Campus Center, Room 168C.  Questions? Contact  

Want a job when you graduate?  First, you'll need an internship!  Career Services and Undergraduate Advising present Internship How-To On Wednesday, March 13 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in Goodell 604, come learn more about internships and how they will help you gain important experience and skills.

The deadline to declare Sociology in order to take majors only classes in Fall 2013 is Friday, March 15 If you miss this deadline you will not be able to declare until after Add/Drop ends in the Fall.  Visit the UMass Sociology Undergraduate Blog for more information about advising, including the Peer Advisor walk-in hours.

Fall 2013 Enrollment Appointments should be available on SPIRE by Wednesday, March 13.  The Fall 2013 Course Schedule should be available by Monday, March 18.  We will have much more information about registering for classes in upcoming posts.

Spring Break begins after your last class on Saturday, March 16!  Be safe and have fun!  Residence halls close at 6:00pm on Friday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Paul's Tip of the Week: Spending the Summer in Amherst

Puffers Pond, located in Amherst, the perfect place to be on a hot summer day.
Last year, I made the decision to spend my summer in Amherst. I lived on Main St., about a 10 minute bus ride away from the campus. I worked in the Undergraduate Advising Office as a Peer Advisor helping undeclared and HFA students create their academic schedules for their first semester at UMass while also taking an online class through UMass.

Living in Amherst over the summer was one of the best decisions I could have made for multiple reasons. One of the main reasons was the gorgeous weather. It was refreshing to spend sometime in the Pioneer Valley that was more or less, consistently warm. It was almost strange being in Amherst without snowstorms and inconsistent drastic changes in the weather. I got to truly enjoy the area and explore Western, MA more freely and openly without having to worry about a full load of classes with projects, exams, and more. I had more free time.

Now, to many students, living in Amherst over the summer sounds great in theory but many wonder what they could do? Where they could work? There are actually a lot of options. Many on-campus offices are hiring for the summer such as the Undergraduate Advising Office.
Here is a link to learn more about being a Peer Advisor  (which I did last summer and loved): (deadline just after Spring Break).
Along with this, there are organizations in Amherst, Northampton, and other parts of Western, MA that are looking for internships and volunteers. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops looking for summer help as well. Still don't have enough to do? Maybe take a summer class being offered at the university.

For me personally, living here in the summer made a huge impact on my rest of the time at UMass. While advising students and helping them figure out what they wanted to do here, I thought a lot about how I wanted to spend my remaining time at UMass, resulting in me picking up a new minor that I love, getting a great job working in Undergrad. Advising Office, and getting really involved with various organizations on campus. I grew up. It was also the first time I had ever lived off-campus and apart from my family. I had to learn how to cook (kind of...) and other responsibilities associated with living independetly.

So start thinking about how you want to spend your summer, what you want to do, and whether spending your summer in Amherst could be the perfect fit for you.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 7: Final day for W-drop and Pass/Fail

This is just a reminder that March 7th is the mid-semester date: the final day to drop a class with a "W" or switch to pass/fail!

Refer back to Monday's post for more information!

Monday, March 4, 2013

W's and Pass/Fail: March 7 is the mid-semester date!

The Mid-Semester date is March 7th. This is the deadline to drop a class with a "W" or elect to take a course Pass/Fail. Before you decide to do either, here are some things you need to know:

Dropping with a W isn't a bad thing. 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 indicates that you dropped a course after the Add/Drop deadline. You should consider withdrawing from 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, as doing so could have an effect on your financial aid, insurance, etc.

There is actual paperwork required to withdraw from a course (you can't do it on SPIRE) and you will need your instructor's signature. So, don't wait until the day of the deadline to make your decision!

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.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Look at My Final Exam Schedule? Now???

The Final Exam schedule has posted to SPIRE.  Even though we haven't yet made it to the mid-semester date (Thursday, March 7) take a moment now to save yourself panic and stress later.

Look at your final exam schedule!  Log on to SPIRE and see what's going on.  Where do you need to be and when do you need to be there?
Do you have two exams scheduled at the same time or three exams scheduled on the same day?  If yes, you MUST go to the Registrar's Office in Whitmore 213 at least TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE FINAL EXAM so they can reschedule for you.  For more information, visit their final exam page. 
No matter how hard you try, you can't be in two places at once.

Do not wait.  Knowing your exam schedule will help you prepare.  Why add more stress to your busy life?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekly Preview: March 4 - March 8

The next U @ UMass panel will be held on Tuesday, March 5 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in the Honors College Lounge, 504 Goodell.  Hear upperclass students describe how they have chosen to enhance their major/minor/certificate programs by participating in Study Abroad, Domestic Exchange, Five-College Interchange, Community Service Learning, Internships/Co-ops, research, and/or Registered Student Organizations.  To learn more, reread our earlier post!

The Hospitality and Tourism Management Department is pleased to announce the Thirty-ninth Annual Career Day and Senior Reception on Wednesday, March 6 from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM in the Campus Center Auditorium.  Students dressed in business professional attire are cordially invited to attend.  You should be prepared with 20 copies of your resume to enter the Fair.  For more information, including the list of registered companies, visit their website at

Want to be sure your resume is ready?  Career Services is ready to help! Their offices are located at 511 Goodell Building. To reach an advisor or staff member, call Career Services at 413-545-2224 or email

Upcoming Information and Dates

The next R1 Exemption Test will be on Monday, March 11 at 6:30pm in Marcus 131.

The deadline to declare Sociology in order to take majors only classes in Fall 2013 is Friday, March 15.  If you miss this deadline you will not be able to declare until after Add/Drop ends in the Fall.

There will be a Writing Placement Test on Thursday, March 28 in Bartlett 203.