1. I am a new student and have already made my reservation for an Advising and Registration session. How can I best prepare?We look forward to meeting you at your Advising & Registration session. Preparing for this session will ensure a productive and successful registration experience; follow this preparation guide to help you get ready.
2. I'm a freshman and want to graduate in four years. How do I do this?To earn 120 credits in four years, you will need to complete 30 credits each year. Remember that you have five opportunities every year to take courses: fall and spring semesters, winter session and two summer sessions. Balance out your credits each year in a way that works best given your time management needs.
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
3. How many credits per semester should I take?First assess your priorities. Ask yourself, which needs to come first: school, work, or family obligations? Each student's needs are different.
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.
4. Can I exceed my credit limit?Students are eligible to take up to 17 credits per semester. Credit overloads are normally only allowed for students whose overall GPA is at least 3.0 or whose most recent regular semester GPA is at least 3.5. You will need to complete a Request for Credit Overload or visit the Undergraduate Studies Office, Campus Center, 2nd Floor.
5. What courses should I take next semester?Choosing courses for an upcoming semester is a process that begins with logging on to WISER and printing your Degree Progress Report.
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
6. I'm in the College of Liberal Arts. How many electives do I need?Think of the 120 credits as being separated into three areas: general education, major and electives. After you have completed the general education and the major the gap of credits leading to 120 represent the elective component. Electives can be structured into a second major, minor, or program of study. Or, they can remain unstructured where you can take any courses you choose.
7. I want to major in an area that the university doesn't offer. What do I do?Consider the Individual Major option. This is intended for students whose interests and goals indicate an individualized program of study with non-standard requirements. A student may develop a major program from existing interdisciplinary concentrations, or design a major program drawn several academic areas in the university. The curriculum for an Individual Major in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) needs to be equivalent in coherence, depth, and breadth to the major programs offered by departments in those colleges. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Studies Office in the Campus Center, 2nd Floor.
8. How can I pursue Honors level studies?The Honors College offers a multi-year interdisciplinary curriculum of accelerated and enriched courses to students eager and able to do the rigorous work necessary to meet high academic aspirations. The capstone is a senior thesis or project. Honors College students take up to one quarter of their graduation credits in honors courses. Contact the Honors College for more information.
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
9. I want to change my major (or transfer into the College of Management or the College of Nursing and Health Sciences). What do I do?Step #1 is to meet with your academic advisor to start the exploration process. You want to make sure your desired new major (or program) is the right choice. You may also want to visit the Office of Career Services & Internships, and take a computerized assessment of your vocational options, called Focus 2. Career counselors can help you choose a major which satisfies your interests. Faculty advisors in departments and programs also help you understand how your new major relates to your career goal. Before you settle on a new major, please plan a counseling session with a career counselor and/or faculty advisor.
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.
10. I am a continuing student and want to take a course at another school. How does this work?UMass Boston does not accept additional transfer credits once a student has matriculated. Exceptions to this policy may be considered in cases like these:
- geographic considerations
- lack of availability of required courses
- participation in UMass intercampus registration agreements
You’ll need to file a formal request.
11. I'm having problems with WISER. Can anybody help?If you have any questions and/or difficulties with WISER, please contact Information Technology.
12. I'm having difficulties in a class. What can I do?The most important thing for you to do when you find your class difficult is to find out what is not working out for you. There can be more than one reason why you are not succeeding academically — time management, study strategies, family issues, health concerns, etc. Start by speaking with your instructor to discuss your academic performance. The instructor’s ultimate goal is to help you succeed academically through positive learning experiences. Ask your instructor to help you understand and pinpoint your academic strengths and weaknesses.
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.
13. I think I'm failing a course. What should I do?First, speak with your professor before the course withdrawal and pass-fail deadline to determine your status. Also be sure to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your options. If you are failing, the professor might suggest that you withdraw. If you are passing but with a grade that might negatively affect your GPA, you might want to take the course pass/fail.
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.
14. What will happen if my GPA drops below 2.0?If your cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0, you will receive a letter from the Office of Undergraduate Studies informing you of your academic status, which may be one of the following: academic alert, warning, probation, suspension or dismissal. For definitions of these different terms, please consult regulations governing these academic standings on the website of the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
15. My professor and I don't seem to be getting along. What should I do?Many disagreements arise from misunderstandings, so the first thing to do is to make an appointment to see the professor during office hours. Before your meeting, write down your concerns; this helps to organize your thoughts. It is very likely that you will be able to come to an understanding in this one meeting. If that is not the case, you may speak to the chair of the department.
16. I have some personal problems that are affecting my schoolwork and I am worried. What should I do?It can be very difficult to juggle school, work and personal lives. We have many support services on campus to help our students address difficulties they may be experiencing. In addition to the University Advising Center, other resources include:
- 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
17. I want to become more involved in campus life. What can I do?There are many great ways to become involved in campus life at UMass Boston. Here are some examples:
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.