Definitions of General Campus Terms

Academic Dean
Dean Baker and Dean Wileden handle general academic advising and information regarding academic matters such as registration, add/drop procedures. repeat options, withdrawals, academic discipline, referral information.
Add/Drop
The period at the beginning of each semester (ends on the 14th day of the semester) when you can change your course schedule without any implications.
Commonwealth College
The Honors college at the University. Located in 508 Goodell.
CNS
College of Natural Sciences
CUM: Cumulative Grade Point Average
This calculates a student's GPA earned over a student's total academic history.
FAFSA
Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Application required for the Financial Aid Office, 255 Whitmore.
FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
This is a federal law protecting the confidentiality of student records. In compliance with FERPA, the University of Massachusetts Amherst must have a student's expressed written permission in order to release information from her/his records to any third party, including parents, spouse, or employer.
GPA: Grade Point Average
An average arrived at by multiplying the grade received by the number of course credit(s) then dividing by the total number of credits assessed on a semesterly basis.
GEN ED
General Education requirements, the core curriculum required by the University for every student.
IPO: International Program Office
In charge of the international exchange program. Located in 467 Hills South.
RAC: Registration Access Code
A number assigned to some students at registration time. If assigned, this number is needed to use the SPIRE system.
R1
Tier One (Basic Math Skills) University Math requirement.
R2
Tier Two (Analytical Reasoning) University Math Requirement.
Prior Approval Form
A necessary form to complete if you want to study at another school and have those courses transfer back to the University.
Units
Credits
SPIRE
The web site for the student information system, used by students, instructors, and authorized academic staff. Log on to Spire using the Campus ID number located on the Ucard.
Spire ID
All students are randomly assigned an 8-digit Campus ID number—also your SPIRE logon ID—which is printed on the Ucard. It has no association with your social security number or any other identifier.
Term
Semester