This guide may help:
- 30 credits by the end of your freshmen year
- 60 credits by the end of the sophomore year
- 90 credits by the end of your junior year
- 120 credits by the end of your senior year
Based on these priorities, decide how much study time you have available in your schedule per week. This will help you figure out whether you should attend school on a full-time or part-time basis. If you're working and going to school full-time, you'll likely get burnt out and end up making many compromises, both personally and academically. It's important to be realistic and practical.
A proven success strategy is to allow two to three hours of study time for every credit hour spent in class. For example, if you’re taking 12 credits, you will need to devote 24 to 36 hours of study time each week to fully reach your academic potential.
For more help, visit time management strategies.
If you have declared a major, make an appointment with your departmental faculty advisor. If you are undeclared in the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Liberal Arts, or the College of Management, make an appointment with your academic advisor in the University Advising Center in the Campus Center. In either case, your advisor will review your degree requirements with you, answer any questions you might have, and help you choose your courses.
If you are in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences or the College of Public and Community Service, seek advising from these colleges.
At the end of the advising session, your advising hold will be removed so you can register during your enrollment appointment.
Also see: Preparing for your Advising Session
Departmental Honors. Most academic departments offer awards and prizes, to students who demonstrate academic excellence. Often these opportunities involve conducting independent research, completing honor projects, and participating in internships. Students should inquire with their department to learn more about these opportunities.
Dean’s List. Dean’s List achievement is noted on a student’s transcript when s/he has achieved a certain minimum grade point average (GPA) in a given semester.
Each college has its own standard:
College of Liberal Arts:
9 credits with a 3.20 GPA
College of Science and Mathematics: 12 credits with a 3.2 GPA
College of Nursing and Health Sciences:
Nursing: 9 credits with a 3.5 GPA
Exercise and Health Science: 12 credits with a 3.5 GPA
College of Management: 12 credits with a 3.40 GPA and no F’s;
part-time, a 3.60 GPA and no F’s
Step #2 is to run a WHAT-IF Degree Audit and find out how your new major will change your academic plan. The Degree Audit will help you understand what new requirements you need to fulfill in order to receive a degree in your new major and consequently help you plan course schedules for the upcoming semesters.
Step #3, once you’re comfortable with your decision, is to officially change your major. If you’re changing your major within the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Science and Mathematics, fill out a Declaration or Change of Major form.
If you’re changing your college – for example, from College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) to College of Liberal Arts (CLA), or from College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) to College of Management (CM), fill out an Intercollege Transfer Application.
Visit the websites of the College of Management or the Department of Nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences for more information on their specific admission criteria.
If you don’t meet the admission criteria for the College of Management or College of Nursing and Health Sciences, please meet with your academic advisor to further discuss your major change.
- geographic considerations
- lack of availability of required courses
- participation in UMass intercampus registration agreements
You’ll need to file a formal request.
Once you figure out the cause of your problem, you can work to remedy it. You may work with your instructor by visiting him/her during office hours. You may form or join a study group with your classmates, or work with a tutor. Academic Support Programs offer free tutoring services and time management workshops for university students.
If you believe you are in danger of failing a course: see question 13.
If you feel the root of the problem is other than academic: see question 16.
Once you’ve decided what to do, log on to WISER, go to your registration page, and choose the appropriate option.
Be aware that there are some restrictions. For instance:
If you are an international student on a student visa or you are an athlete, you may not withdraw from a course if by doing so you would drop below 12 credits.
If you have financial aid, and you are considering withdrawing from a course, speak with a counselor in the One Stop to determine how this would affect your status.
If you are in the College of Management, you may only take a course pass/fail if it is a non-business or free elective.
Some majors do not allow you to take any major requirements pass/fail.
- Health Services
- The Health Education and Wellness Program
- The Ross Center for Disability Services
- The Counseling Center
- Interfaith Campus Ministry
- Veteran’s Affairs
- The Student Referral Program
Join a sport and play for the university.
- Participate in one of our many student clubs to meet people with common interests.
- Work closely with the university through student governing bodies.
- Find on-campus job opportunities through Student Employment Services.
- Take advantage of your special skills and knowledge to tutor students in need.
- Volunteer through departmental organizations such as Delta Sigma Pi and Asian American Studies Outreach Program.