Academics

Start on Track

Congratulations on your acceptance to UMass Boston, and welcome!
New Student Orientation is designed to make your first steps at UMass Boston as smooth as possible so you can start on track. Whether you are an incoming freshman or transfer student, orientation will help you to transition into the UMass Boston campus life. You will be introduced to academic and social opportunities, learn about degree requirements and register for your first semester of courses.  Most new students also need a math and writing assessment.  These results will aid in the course selection process.  

Continue here for your New Student Orientation reservation   Prepare for your New Student  Orientation Advising & Registration session by reading your degree requirements which you can find in Academics

Once you are enrolled in your first semester, start to develop an ongoing working relationship with your academic advisor and take control of your college education.  While you are in the driver's seat, your advisor will help you navigate your way to academic and professional success.  For more information, see Moving Along and Preparing for Advising 

Keep these tips in mind as you begin your journey at UMass Boston.  

  • Develop effective study strategies. See the video series, 'How to get the most out of studying" and the toolbox for success tips. 
  • Be open and try new things so you can find your passion. Take a course in a subject that you've never heard of. Join,or even start a new club. 
  • Reach out,make friends and get involved in student activities and leadership. Learn how to communicate effectively with professors, advisors,and staff.  
  • Become familiar with University resources such as the Counseling Center, the Office of the Dean of Students, or the Beacon Fitness Center. 
  • Work hard, set high goals and strive to reach your full academic potential. Check your course syllabi to see how your final grade is calculated based on class expectations such as attendance, participation, exams, quizzes, and homework. Also use MyGPA to estimate your semester and cumulative GPA. Work with your advisor to discover your strengths and figure out how to apply them to your personal, educational, and career endeavors. Get started by taking the StrengthsQuest Assessment and  using this Self Assessment Goal Sheet 
  • Be aware of the academic calendar and the administrative ins and outs of UMass Boston. See 'Advising Matters' on our homepage.  
  • Read your UMass Boston email carefully and take care of administrative obligations such as submitting your immunization records and filing your FAFSA on time.
  • Develop a support network and seek advice from important people around you.  Maybe it's a family member, a best friend, your academic advisor, or your professor - there are many people who care about you so turn to them when you need help. See the Personal Presidential Cabinet exercise
  • Select a target graduation date and stick to it. If you want to graduate in four years, you will need to take 15 credits a semester. Your degree progress report and your advisor are important resources.  Also check out our Academic Advising Checklist and Strategies for Success handout.  
  • Academic honesty matters a great deal in college. You are expected to uphold high standards of academic integrity with regard to taking exams, writing papers, and submitting your own work. Violations of the Code of Conduct are steep and could result in suspension or expulsion from the University. 
  • Utilize good time management.  
    • Use a planner to organize all your academic and personal obligations. 
    • Spread out your classes throughout the entire week and avoid condensing them to just two or three days a week as this can lead to stress and a time crunch. See our class schedule worksheet.  
    • Select classes at times when you feel most alert. 
    • Dedicate two to three hours of studying for every hour spent in class.
    • If you're attending classes full-time, limit your work hours to less than 20 hours a week. 
  • Make a well informed decision about your major and select one that you truly enjoy. If you're undecided, know that you will have to make this selection by 60 credits. You're not alone in this process - work with your professors, your academic advisor and a career specialist for help. Learn more by reading Exploring Majors
  • Plan to seek tutoring as soon as you start to notice some academic challenges. See Academic Support Programs for more information.  

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