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CNS Advising

The College of Natural Sciences (CNS) is committed to providing our students with personalized academic guidance throughout their college career through our CNS Advising Office.

Campus Forms Overview

Change of Major Form

Changes of major no longer require a form and are processed by the department receiving the student. At least one person in each department has been trained to process changes of major. Contact your Chief Undergraduate Advisor or the CNS Advising office for more information.

Change of Grade Form

Many grade changes can be done on SPIRE. If the change cannot be done on SPIRE, use a change of grade form. Students do not 'handle' this form. Changing an INC, blank or NR grade ONLY requires faculty signature only. Changing an incorrect grade (including INC- F) requires faculty, head of the department and Academic Dean's signatures. Change of Grade Instructions on SPIRE.

Information Release Form

According to FERPA regulations, faculty cannot discuss a student's academic record with parents, etc. If a student wishes his/her academic records to be shared, the Information Release Form must be completed and signed. The form is available in the CNS Advising office.

Course Change Request Form

Used for late adds, no record drops, withdrawals, section changes, credit changes, pass/fail option and audit. Students must secure faculty signature when withdrawing from a class after add/drop period through the mid semester date. After the mid-semester date, students will only be allowed to withdraw from a class for extenuating and verifiable circumstances.

Credit Overload Petition

Students interested in requesting a credit overload must submit the online Credit Overload Petition to the Academic Dean. Students in CNS can register for 19 credits without requesting a credit overload. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Chemistry students can register for 20 credits).

Incomplete Grade Form

Used when students need to take an Incomplete in a course. Incompletes are given when severe medical or personal issues prevent the student from competing a minority of course requirements. The form clearly identifies the work that must be completed and how and when the work will be submitted. Students MUST be passing the course at the time of the request. Students need to complete the course requirements by the end of the following semester and faculty need to submit a change of grade. Incompletes count as a "F" in the student's GPA. Students not completing the course requirements by the end of the semester will receive an IF on their transcript.  IF also counts as an F in the GPA.

Pass/Fail Option

Students can only take elective courses Pass/Fail (No Gen. Eds or major requirements). The P/F option must be declared by the mid semester date. At any time during a student's academic stay at UMass, he/she may revoke the Pass/Fail option off their record. Forms are available in Registrar's Office. More about the P/F option can be found in the UMass Amherst Academic Regulations.

Late Withdrawal Petition Form

The online Late Withdrawal Petition Form is used when students request to withdraw from a class after the mid semester date. The only way students can withdraw at this late date is for extenuating and verifiable circumstances. Students must petition (online) for withdrawal from a class after the mid-semester date and demonstrate extenuating circumstances. Poor performance is not a sufficient reason to grant a late withdrawal. It is not simply a matter of faculty recommending or giving their permission for a late withdrawal.

Prior Approval for Transfer Work

Whenever a student wishes to take courses at another institution and transfer them to UMass to meet degree requirements, the Prior Approval for Transfer Work form must be completed. If the course is a major requirement, the faculty advisor must sign off; if the course is a general education requirement, a transfer affairs counselor must sign off. (Grades from another institution do not factor into the UMass GPA). Students with senior status use the Prior Approval for Senior Year in Absentia form (see below) for prior approval of transfer courses.

Senior Year in Absentia Form

The Prior Approval for Senior Year in Absentia form is used when a student intends to complete his/her final degree requirements at another institution. (Grades from another institution do not factor into students' GPA).

Repeat Course Substitution Form

With academic dean’s permission, students can substitute one course for another for specific courses. For instance: a student fails ResEcon 211, the advisor refer the student to the CNS advising office to request that he/she substitute ResEcon 212 and the grade repeat policy will apply. But the request should come to the Academic Dean no later than the add/drop period for the semester the substitute course is being taken.

Course Repeat Petition-Three-Repeat Form

Permission to take a course a third time is requested using the online Three-Repeat Form. Students can take a course twice without approval, but a third time, students are required to use this form to petition the Academic Dean. A third repeat will only be allowed for extenuating and verifiable circumstances, and is only available for grades of C- or lower. Approval of third repeats is very rare for introductory level classes.

Withdrawal from the University

A Withdrawal Form is completed when a student voluntarily withdraws from the University for personal, financial or medical situations A Medical Withdrawal is processed through University Health Services. Withdrawals for personal, financial, or academic reasons need to be signed by a dean in the CNS Advising Office.  Students who withdraw after the mid semester date are usually not allowed to return the following semester.

Application for Readmission

When planning to return to the University, students should follow the instructions provided on the Re-Enrollment Information page of the University Registrar website.

UMass Amherst Academic Regulations

Comprehensive information about campus regulations are found in the UMass Amherst Academic Regulations.

Useful Campus Offices

Academic Honesty Board

Academic Honesty Board. Faculty MUST report all incidents of academic dishonesty.

BDIC (Bachelor Degree with Individual Concentration)

BDIC: 608 Goodell, 545-2504.

Career Services

Campus Career Services: 511 Goodell, 545-2224. CNS Career Services: 337 Morrill II South.

Center for Counseling and Psychological Health

Center for Counseling and Psychological Health: Middlesex House. Confidential services include crisis intervention, short-term therapy for individuals, couples and families, support and therapy groups, behavioral medicine, psychiatric services and eating disorders consultations.

Center for Health Promotion

The Center for Health Promotion offers innovative programs, entertaining events, important health information, and outreach and consultation services. Its Peer Health Educators are active across campus, with information, support and fun activities.

Center for Women & Community

Center for Women & Community: New Africa House, (413) 545-0883.  24-Crisis Hotline: 413-545-0800. CWC's mission is “to provide innovative and informed education, leadership opportunities, advocacy and support services that address the cause and impact of sexism and recognize the multiple oppressions experienced by women. We serve people of all gender identities within the diverse communities of Hampshire County, the Five Colleges and the University of Massachusetts.”  CWC provides information and referral services, education services, general counseling services, rape crisis services, and is also the home of the Women of Color Leadership Network.

Dean of Students Office

Dean of Students Office: 227 Whitmore, (413) 545-2784. Offering a single point of contact within the university for students and their families in time of crisis. Counseling and referral for students contemplating withdrawal from or re-enrollment at the University. Implementing and monitoring the University Judicial System. Provides short-term emergency loans.

Disabilities Services

Disabilities Services: 231 Whitmore, (413) 545-9892.

Domestic Exchange

Domestic Exchange: 614 Goodell, (413) 545-5351. Assists students seeking to study at another institution in the USA on an exchange program.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid: : 243 Whitmore, (413) 545-0801.

Five College Interchange

Five College Interchange: 614 Goodell, (413) 545-5352.

International Programs

International Programs: 467 Hills South, (413) 545-2710. The IPO helps students plan study abroad as well as working with international students studying at UMass Amherst.

Learning Resource Center

Learning Resource Center: 10th floor, Dubois Library, (413) 545-5334. Peer tutors and supplemental instruction available 6 days a week for wide range of courses, especially gen. ed. courses.

Ombuds Office

Ombuds Office: 823 Campus Center, (413) 545-0867. Deals with interpersonal conflicts, personnel issues, administrative matters, academic disputes, ethical concerns. Faculty MUST report all incidents of academic dishonesty to the Ombuds Office.

Registrar's Office

Registrar's Office: 213 Whitmore. (413) 545-0555

Student Employment Office

Student Employment Office: 243 Whitmore, (413) 545-1530. Whether students are looking for a job on or off campus, a work-study or non-work-study position, the undergraduate Student Employment Office (SEO) is the place to start. The SEO provides a listing service with a wide-variety of student jobs. The SEO also works with students and employers to make sure they understand all regulations involving student employment and work-study and complete all necessary forms.

Veteran Services

Veteran Services Office at UMass Amherst is committed to offering quality services and support programs for student veterans, active military, and their families.

Writing Center

Writing Center: Learning Commons, Dubois Library, (413) 577-1293. Help for students needing consultation on their writing projects.

UMass Academic Services (for student athletes)

UMass Academic Services: 251 Boyden, (413) 545-4379. Provides student athletes with academic counseling (in addition to a major advisor), monitoring of academic progress, tutorial services, and consultation with other campus resources.