UMass Boston

custom graduation hats at Commencement


Parents and families are a big part of any student’s success at any university. As the parent or family member of a UMass Boston student, you are an important member of our community. We deeply appreciate the role that you have played and will continue to play in your student’s success. It is our desire to support you in reaching our common goal: success for the student. You probably have many questions, including how to navigate campus, pay tuition, and stay on top of campus calendars and policies. You may also be thinking about how this new transition will affect your relationship with your student. Family Programs is here to assist with the transition.  Please feel free to email us at any time you have a question or need assistance. Our goal is to help you support your student as they navigate the college experience from the first day to graduation. 

The following information has been collected and organized to give you the tools necessary to support your student and answer any lingering questions.

University Resources 

As a companion to the information you will receive at Parent and Family Orientation, we have also organized the following additional resources here for your convenience. 


Our staff is bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). When a student reaches the age of 18, or begins attending a post-secondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student. Therefore, with the exception of a crisis situation, the Dean of Students Office shares information about student concerns only on a need-to-know basis to the extent permitted by FERPA. There are three ways you may legally receive access to your student’s education records:

  • Your student signs a FERPA Release Form granting you permission; 
  • You provide evidence that you claimed the student as a financial dependent on your most recent Federal income Tax form;
  • Through a lawfully-issued subpoena or court order.  

Parent and Family Association

The UMass Boston Parent and Family Association is committed to strengthening the partnership between the university and parents and families as well as enhancing the parent and student experience. Programs and activities are focused on engaging all interested parents of the university that parallel and support the mission and goals of UMass Boston. If you are interested in joining, fill out the Parent and Family Information Form

All parents and families of current students are welcome to join the UMass Boston Parent and Family Association. If you would like to attend the next meeting, RSVP by contacting Casey McDonagh at 617.287.5344 or

Parent and Family Newsletter

Subscribe to the Parent and Family Newsletter to stay up to date with campus events, resources, and relevant information for UMass Boston parents and families. The quarterly newsletter features updates on Academic Support Services, Financial Aid, Housing, Student Health Services, and more. If you are not yet receiving the newsletter, please provide us with your contact information by filling out the Parent and Family Information Form

Parent and Family Day

Hosted in the fall semester, we invite parents and families back to campus to reconnect with your student and connect with the rest of the campus community. Information about the schedule of events and how to register will be available in September 2019. 

Parent and Family Orientation

Knowing what your student is experiencing during college and what questions to ask are just some of the helpful pieces of advice that parents and families can receive at Parent and Family Orientation. 

The Parent and Family Orientation program includes sessions that will describe many of the opportunities and challenges new students face when they begin their college experience and how their families can support them. Information sessions will cover topics such as: 

All programs will provide plenty of opportunities to have all of your questions and concerns addressed before you leave campus. 

At this time, Parent and Family Orientation is only available for parents and family members of new first-year students. The program coincides with the first day of your student’s program. To attend the Parent and Family Orientation, your student must register you through their myUMB portal when they select their orientation day. If you decide to attend after your student registered, your student may log back into their portal and register you at any time within 48 business hours of their orientation session.

Before attending orientation, there are many things that your student will need to do. We ask that you help us empower them to master their checklist. First-year students can find their steps here and transfer students can find their steps here. 

If you are joining us at orientation, check-in will begin at 9:00am and the day will conclude around 5:30pm. Your student will be emailed with more specific information, including parking options, prior to your orientation. We encourage you to have a conversation with your student about the orientation day!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a selection of the most frequently asked questions that we hear from parents and families, along with answers and additional information.  

  1. Is housing provided at orientation? Unfortunately, housing is not provided on campus for orientation. You can find a list of places to stay in the area by visiting the Admissions website
  2. What is the nearest bank to campus? Bank of America ATMs are available on campus. The nearest branch bank is Santander, which is a five minute walk from the JFK/UMass MBTA station.
  3. What are the hours of the campus shuttles? Shuttle bus details, including schedules and stop locations, can be found on the Parking and Transportation website.
  4. What type of police does UMass Boston have? Public Safety officers have the same training and authority as police officers throughout Massachusetts. They are on duty 24/7, 365. Additionally, the JFK library is on site which has its own security, the South Boston State Police barracks is five minutes away, the C-11 Boston Police station is 10 minutes from campus, and the MBTA station is patrolled by the MBTA police.  
  5. How big are classes? Our faculty to student ratio is around 16:1, which is low for a research university. Large lecture rooms on campus are minimal and many majors feature intensive discussion based courses. Classes that do have a large lecture component are often paired with small lab or discussion sections.  
  6. Does UMass Boston have a parent portal? Student can add an additional user(s) to their WISER (student information system) account. Access can include bill pay, student schedules, and viewing access for holds on a student’s record. Get the steps students need to take to give their parents access to their WISER account here
  7. How does parking for students work? Parking options, including multi-park passes, can be found on our Parking and Transportation site. 
  8. Does UMass Boston have a meal plan? UMass Boston offers a meal plan for residents and non-residents. Details on meal plans can be found here.  
  9. How can I learn more about campus construction? UMass Boston’s Construction Updates page contains the latest information about the projects that are currently in progress and are under development.  
  10. What is available for outfitting an apartment/residence hall room? There is a Target about a 10-minute drive/MBTA bus ride from campus. Apartment Guide offers a College Apartment Essentials Checklist.     
  11. What MBTA buses serve campus? The number 8 and 16 buses serve campus. Schedules and maps are on the MBTA’s site.  
  12. How can I join the Parent and Family Association? Information about the Parent and Family Association can be found here.    

Outside Resources