Non-Degree Students

Students who wish to take one or more courses, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, without applying to and being accepted to a degree program, are non-degree students.  Many students who begin as non-degree apply to and are later accepted into a degree program.

There are several ways to register for classes as a non-degree student and several dates to keep in mind depending on which specific course or courses will best meet your needs.  Seats in many of our highest demand courses are held for our degree students until close to the beginning of each semester.  After a certain date, however, most courses with space remaining will be open to non-degree students.  Non-degree students are subject to the same requirements in terms of prerequisites and departmental permission as our degree students, so it is important to understand the requirements for any course in which you are interested.  For the most part, proving a prerequisite has been met simply involves submitting an unofficial transcript from the school where you took the class.


If you know which course or courses you wish to take, many Fall 2018 classes will open for non-degree registration on July 23rd. These are classes offered by our College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS). CAPS offers online learning, evening, weekend and off campus courses as well as certificate programs. These courses are like other UMass Boston courses in terms of substance and faculty, but the registration procedures, fees, and academic calendar dates differ somewhat. You should review the schedule of courses and if you find a course that will meet your needs, you may submit a registration request via the online shopping cart. As of July 23rd, you will find the shopping cart as part of the course listing. Complete CAPS Course Offerings. Submitting the request will cause us to create a student record for you and get back to you with details regarding your request. If you have specific questions about a CAPS course, you may reach the college at or 617.287.7900. 

If the course you wish to take is not being offered by CAPS, there is a slightly different procedure.  A complete course listing, including non-CAPS courses, is available by searching our Course Wizard. Seats in our regular courses are held for our degree students until just prior to the start of each semester and registration for these courses will not open until then, but to begin the process of requesting one of our regular session courses, the first step is to complete our online Non-Degree Application. The non-degree online application will open for the fall semester on July 30th.  You will be able to access it from this page as of that date. This application will create a student record for you OR reactivate a record you have from a past semester.  You will receive an email with credentials to access our systems from our IT Department.  This will also include instructions on how to enroll via self-service on WISER, our student information system.  Self-service, online registration will open for all courses on August 20th, 2018.  If you are not able to register via self-service, you likely will need to either prove a prerequisite, or obtain permission from the individual department or instructor.  You may be issued a permission number, which will allow you to register on WISER.  If you have questions about why you cannot register, or need assistance once you have received permission, always contact the Registrar’s Office.

If you would like assistance from an academic advisor in choosing your fall courses, we are offering three workshops in August:

Please review full details at Advising and Registration Workshops for Non-Degree Students (Sign-up link available as of July 9th)

Please Note:  Some courses are only open to matriculated degree students.

Placement into Math Courses

Before registering for math courses up through Math 140, computer science courses up through Computer Science 110, or any Quantitative Reasoning course, you must demonstrate your skills by taking a placement test, unless you have completed the appropriate prerequisite course(s) at UMass Boston. See below for more details regarding ALEKS, our online placement test.

Graduate Courses

Registration schedules and approval procedures do vary by program.  Contact the specific department for details regarding individual policies on non-degree student registration.  Complete the online Non-Degree Application above in advance.  Some departments will register you directly if you have an active student record. For more graduate program contact information click here

Academic Regulations for Non-Degree Students

Consult the university's Undergraduate Catalog or Graduate Bulletin for information about academic programs and requirements. The following regulations are of critical importance to non-degree students.

Regulations Undergraduate Graduate
Academic Programs and Policies Undergraduate Catalog

Graduate Bulletin

Minimum GPA required to maintain enrollment 2.0 GPA 3.0 GPA
Pass/Fail Option Up to 8 courses allowed Not Permitted
Maximum # of Non-degree Credits Applied Toward Degree subject to approval Up to 16 credits Up to 6 credits


We want to be certain that you have the skills you need for success before you take certain introductory courses. We use diagnostic testing to place you in the courses that will serve you best. You may be instructed to take one or both of the following tests. 

The Math Diagnostic Test:


Before registering for math courses up through Math 140, computer science courses up through Computer Science 110, or any Quantitative Reasoning course, you must demonstrate your skills by taking a placement test, unless you have completed the appropriate prerequisite course(s) at UMass Boston.
For information on taking ALEKS Math PPL, our online Math Placement Test, please click here.

The Writing Assessment

New degree-seeking students are required to take a diagnostic placement test in reading and writing as part of the orientation process. Non-degree students who wish to take English composition courses (English 101, 101E, 102, and 102E) or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses (ESL 100A through 100F) will be required to have their writing skills tested during your first class session.

Academic Policies

Your Financial Obligations

Billing Deadlines for Dropping or Withdrawing 

If you register for any course, and are accepted into it, you must pay for the course in full unless you:

You will be financially responsible for any course for which you remain registered after the last day of add drop even if you:

NOTE:  There are different add/drop and refund dates for College of Advancing and Professional Studies courses. Please refer to the CAPS Academic Calendar.

Quick References for Answers to Your Questions

One Stop Walk-in Our Specialties
Registrar 617.287.6200 Add Drop; Registration; Residency
Bursar 617.287.5350 Payments; Tuition and Fees
University Advising Center 617.287.5500 Prerequisites, Course Selection, Planning
Testing Center 617.287.5522 Walk-in Math and Reading/Writing Tests 

International Students

If you have F-1 visa status, you may not register at UMass Boston as a non-degree student unless you are also registered for a full course of study at the institution that issued your I-20.

If you are not studying full-time at the school that issued your I-20, you are out of status with The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Students on other visa statuses (such as F-2, J-2, H-4, H-1B) usually do not need to be studying full-time or in a degree program. Check the conditions for your particular status. For more information, call the University Advising Center at 617.287.5500.

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