UMass Boston

Directions for Student Potential

A Summer Enrichment Program at UMass Boston

Continue Your Success Story

The Directions for Student Potential (DSP) program is a free, 6-week, pre-admission summer program that prepares you for academic success at UMass Boston by guiding you to improve your college reading, writing, and math skills. It's designed for students who demonstrate the potential to succeed at the college level. Successful completion of the program guarantees you admission to most majors at UMass Boston this fall.

How Directions for Student Potential Works

  • Takes place June 17 to July 25
  • Program is free, and we'll waive the $250 New Student Deposit fee
  • Courses meet Monday through Thursday
  • In-person classes for daytime and remote for evening
  • Attendance policy applies

What Directions for Student Potential Offers

  • A culturally relevant curriculum that honors the knowledge and experiences of students
  • Carefully designed courses that contribute to your academic success and community engagement
  • The advantage of working with dedicated and experienced advisors for fall registration
  • The chance to meet and work with UMass Boston faculty prior to the start of the semester
  • Small class sizes and individualized attention through embedded tutoring
  • The opportunity to make new friends, network, and become part of the UMass Boston community
  • Weekly workshops provided by Student Support Services (SSS) to learn and engage with campus resources

DSP students may request on-campus housing for the fall semester (a $300 Housing Reservation Fee is required to begin the fall housing process). Summer housing is available for the 6-week period. Contact for more information.


DSP courses provide a solid foundation for your future academic success at UMass Boston. They have been carefully designed to meet the needs of a talented group of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Assessment exams are used to place you in Directions for Student Potential classes most appropriate to your level of academic development.

  • College Reading and Writing Courses provide you the opportunity to strengthen your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
  • Math Skills Courses help you to build a firm foundation in mathematical concepts, analysis, and the problem-solving approach to college-level mathematics.
  • Elective Courses for students to experience the general education curriculum and dive into disciplines of interest.
  • USkills Community Courses help you access campus resources, from WISER and Blackboard, to financial aid, and building a strong campus community.

Next Steps

Complete these steps to secure your place in the Directions for Student Potential Program

  1. Log into Beacon Gateway to confirm your participation in the Directions for Student Potential Program and submit your Housing Reservation Fee if you wish to live on campus.
  2. Complete both the Writing and Math assessments and attend the Directions for Student Potential Onboarding Session.
  3. Attend the Directions for Student Potential summer program June 17 through July 25, 2024.

Next Steps to Enroll at UMass Boston

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the program cost?

The Directions for Student Potential Program is free! The $250 enrollment deposit is waived.

What are the dates?

DSP will run June 17 - July 25, Monday through Thursdays in the day or evening.

  • Day classes will run 9:00 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. (with a 60-minute break). Classes will operate on-campus.
  • Evening classes will run 4:30 p.m. – 8:50 p.m. (with a 40-minute break). Evening classes will operate on a fully remote basis.
  • Students will have the ability to request their preferred modality on the DSP Onboarding Session Registration Form.

Is the program mandatory?

Yes, this a mandatory program. Students must complete this program in order to enroll as a degree-seeking UMass Boston student for the fall.

What are the benefits of this program?

Students who join this program will have the advantage of working closely with UMass Boston faculty, advisors, and tutors over the summer. Small classes accompanied with College Success Workshops, the opportunity to make new friends and become of member of the UMass Boston community will enhance your college preparedness for the fall. DSP also also offers a special curriculum for ESL (English as a Second Language) students.

Can I apply to the Directions for Student Potential Program?

No, this is not a direct entry program, it is by invitation only.

How do I secure my place in this program?

The first step to secure your place is to submit your DSP Enrollment Confirmation Form by June 1 (remember, the $250 enrollment deposit is waived).

After I have submitted my DSP Confirmation Form, what do I do?

Your next step, after we have received your DSP Enrollment Confirmation Form, is to take the online ALEKS Math Placement and the online Writing Placement. The links to access each will be emailed to you.

How do I secure on-campus housing for the fall?

If you wish to be considered for on-campus housing for the fall semester, the first step is to submit your $300 housing reservation fee via Beacon Gateway. Please note that housing is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and is not guaranteed. The deadline to submit your housing reservation fee is June 1.  Once we have processed your $300 housing reservation fee you will receive an email to submit your Housing Application (step 2); once this is successfully completed you will receive an email to submit your Housing License Agreement (step 3). All three steps must be completed within specified timeframes to confirm a housing space.

When and how will I be registered for fall classes?

There will be several DSP Onboarding Sessions offered within May and June. You will be invited to register for one session after you have completed both your online ALEKS Math Placement and your online Writing Placement. Registration and attendance for one DSP Onboarding Session is required. During the Onboarding Session you will meet your classmates, as well as faculty, and you will learn about the expectations for the six-week program. Fall class registration will take place toward the end of the six-week summer program and your faculty advisors will work with you to get you registered for fall classes.

How do I register for a DSP Onboarding Session?

Once we have received your DSP Enrollment Confirmation Form and you have taken the ALEKS Math Placement and the Writing Placement, you will be emailed a link to register for a DSP Onboarding Session. Sessions will be offered in May and June and attendance is required to participate in the DSP Program.

How do I change majors, if I didn’t get the major I choose?

If you would like to change your major to a non-competitive major you may do so right away by submitting a change of major form. Students who are referred to the DSP program and who successfully complete the 6-week summer program will not be admitted into a competitive program (Nursing, Management, or Engineering). Students may be considered for these programs through the inter-college transfer process. Be sure to speak with your academic advisor about your future educational goals.

Am I able to live on campus for the summer DSP program?

Students are not required to live on campus for the DSP program, but summer housing is an option. Costs and room types are available through the Summer and Conference Housing website. Students participating in the DSP program will pay the Summer Session I UMass Boston student summer housing rates. Questions about on-campus parking for residential summer students, as well as a summer meal plan should be directed to each office.

Will you consider AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses for transfer credit?

Yes! Students who complete AP/IB exams or have completed college courses (through a regionally accredited institution) are welcome to submit official test scores and/or official college transcripts to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Transfer credit will be considered upon receipt of official documents.