Dec 19, 2018  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Policies & Procedures


The information below is accurate as of the publication of this catalog. Updates to the policies and procedures below may occur at any time and take precedence over the content of this catalog. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they are following established university policies.

Please note:  School, college, and program requirements and policies may in some areas be more restrictive than those described here. Please see individual departments for complete information.



Academic Regulations & Procedures

Graduation Requirements

Requirements for graduation are organized into three components: academic program, school/college, and university degree requirements. These requirements are determined by the year/term of entry into each, referred to as a catalog year/term.

To graduate, a student must:

  • meet the requirements of a major department or professional program and any other declared academic programs (if applicable)1;
  • fulfill the general education and other requirements of his or her college or school2; and
  • meet the following university degree requirements3:
    • maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA;
    • successfully complete at least 120 credit hours; and
    • complete a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UMass Boston.

1. Students follow the requirements and policies of their academic program(s) (major, minor, concentration, certificate, etc.) in effect for the year/term of the program’s declaration. If a student has more than one declared major, a primary major will be designated using the following rules:

  • A Bachelor of Science major takes primacy over a Bachelor of Arts major.
  • Majors in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and College of Management take primacy over majors in other schools or colleges.
  • Should a student choose to declare two Bachelor of Arts majors or two Bachelor of Science majors, assuming one is not in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences or the College of Management, the assignment of primary major shall be temporal: the first major that the student declares would be the primary major.

2. Students follow the requirements of their college or school in effect for the year/term of their entry into the college or school. General education requirements differ depending on the degree type (Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts). If a student has more than one major, their general education requirements will be those of the primary major (see above). If a student has majors in different colleges or schools, they will follow the requirements set by the primary college policy below. If a student changes their college or school, their general education requirements are not impacted unless the student is switching their degree type or inter-college transferring to or from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences or College of Management.

3. Students follow the university GPA, credit, and residency requirements in effect for the year/term of their matriculation to the university.

Note: Students have a grace period of two consecutive years in which they may maintain the catalog year/term requirements of their academic program(s), school/college, and university degree requirements after leaving the university, school/college, or academic program. If a student were to readmit or re-declare after two consecutive years, they will follow the requirements in effect for the year/term of their readmission or program redeclaration.

Examples:

  1. A student enters the university as an undecided College of Liberal Arts student in Fall 2017, declares an English major in Spring 2018 and a management minor in Fall 2018. They will follow:
    • the Fall 2017 university and College of Liberal Arts requirements;
    • the Spring 2018 English major requirements; and
    • the Fall 2018 management minor requirements.
       
  2. A student enters the university as a biology major in the College of Science and Mathematics in Fall 2017 and adds a minor in Chemistry in Spring 2018. They will follow:
    • the Fall 2017 university, College of Science and Mathematics, and biology major requirements and
    • the Spring 2018 chemistry minor requirements.
       
  3. A student enters the university as an economics major in Fall 2016 and inter-college transfers to the College of Management in Spring 2018 as an information technology major. They will follow:
    • the Fall 2016 university requirements and
    • the Spring 2018 College of Management and information technology major requirements.
       
  4. A student enters the university as a psychology major in Fall 2010, withdraws after a year, and is readmitted in Spring 2018. They will follow:
    • the Spring 2018 university, College of Liberal Arts, and psychology major requirements.

   

Second Baccalaureate Degrees

A student is considered to be seeking a second baccalaureate degree if the student has previously earned a baccalaureate degree at a college or university accredited by one of the United States’ regional accrediting bodies.   To obtain a second baccalaureate degree at UMass Boston, a student is required to complete the requirements of the declared major, complete at least thirty credits in residence and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. (Note that students whose first baccalaureate degree is from UMass Boston may be subject to additional restrictions.  Students whose degree is from another school must have a total of 120/123 credits to graduate.) (passed governance 11/2013)

See below for additional policies.

Internal Second Degree Students: 

(Students whose first degree was from UMass Boston)

  • All general education requirements will be waived, which includes:
    • Verbal Reasoning & Expression (English 101 & 102)
    • Critical Analysis (first year and intermediate seminar)
    • Writing Proficiency Requirement
    • Distribution courses
    • Diversity courses
    • Elementary Language Proficiency
    • Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
  • Students must complete 30 total credits (including major credits) in residence, and must earn a minimum 2.0 GPA.
  • Students may not repeat any course that was previously completed as part of their first degree.
  • Students must follow all university and major rules regarding repeats, pass-fail courses, GPA, and transfer credits in their second degree.
  • If a student’s first degree was a BA, s/he is not eligible to complete a BS degree in that same major.
  • Students are not eligible to complete a second degree in any program for which they have completed a previous minor.
  • Some academic departments and colleges will require specific courses.
  • Depending on the major/college, some course requirements cannot be waived. 

Notes:

  1. The College of Nursing & Health sciences requires a statistics course and EHS 320 and 260 to fulfill the diversity requirements.  The College of Management requires Econ 101, 102, and Math 134. 

External Second Degree Students:

(Students whose first degree was from an institution other than UMass Boston.)

  • All general education requirements will be waived, which includes:
    • Verbal Reasoning & Expression (English 101 & 102)
    • Critical Analysis (first year and intermediate seminar)
    • Writing Proficiency Requirement
    • Distribution courses
    • Diversity courses
    • Elementary Language Proficiency
    • Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
  • Students must complete all major requirements of their new college and major.  They must complete 120 credits (or 123 credits) which includes a minimum 30 credits in residence.  They must earn a minimum 2.0 GPA.
  • Students must follow all university and major rules regarding repeats, pass-fail courses, GPA, and transfer credits in their second degree.
  • Depending on the major/college, some course requirements cannot be waived. 

Notes:

  1. The number of credits that a student must complete depends upon which college they are in. College of Liberal Arts, College of Science & Mathematics, College of Public & Community Services, and the College of College of Management all require 120 credits. The College of Nursing & Health Sciences requires 123 credits.
  2. The College of Nursing & Health sciences requires a statistics course, EHS 320, and 260 to fulfill the diversity requirements. The College of Management requires Econ 101, 102, and Math 134.

 

Primary College

University rules and tradition both hold that an undergraduate student be identified as graduating from the college or school in which their major is housed. A student who completed majors from more than one college is a special case. For such students, the “primary college” is decided by the following principles:

  1. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) and the College of Management (CM) are primary colleges. Both colleges are certified by professional accrediting bodies and students who graduate with a major in such a college must have that college as their home, or primary, college.
  2. Should a student double major in the primary colleges, they must meet the requirements of both colleges. Students should be aware that completing both majors in this case will require additional credits and time.
  3. In all other cases, the student’s primary college is determined by the degree, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts, that they are pursuing. As a general rule for colleges other than CNHS and CM, the following will hold:
    • A Bachelor of Science major takes primacy over a Bachelor of Arts major and the primary college would be the one providing the BS major.
    • Should a student choose to declare two Bachelor of Arts majors or two Bachelor of Science majors, assuming the majors reside in different colleges, the assignment of “primary college” shall be temporal: the first degree that the student declares would determine the primary college.

(passed governance 10/7/2013)

 

Transfer of Credit

Credit for courses must have been completed at regionally accredited institutions of higher education where the grade received was at least a C- (College of Nursing & Health Sciences requires at least a C+), in order to be considered for transfer to UMass Boston.

Please note that:

  • For the granting of all transfer credit, coursework must be comparable in content and scope to those offered by UMass Boston, as determined by faculty.
  • Internships, practicums, college success, and vocational courses are generally not accepted for transfer credit.
  • Courses taken as Pass/Fail are not acceptable for transfer, unless the transcript clearly states that passing is C- or better.
  • A maximum of 90 credits can be transferred from four-year institutions. No more than 70 credits may be transferred from community colleges.
  • Some specific transfer credit policies apply by college.
  • For the purposes of transferring credit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions may require that credits taken outside the U.S. be evaluated by an independent credential evaluation service. For more information please see the international admissions section of the Undergraduate Admissions website.

Transfer Credit Equivalency

Established UMass Boston transfer course equivalencies are available for your review through Transferology.

Transferology shows students which courses from their school will most likely transfer to UMass Boston. Students will receive an official Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) after they are admitted.

At the Transferology website, you should:

  1. Create a new account.
  2. On the Courses tab – type the name of a school from which you will transfer credit (if you have attended more than one you will need to repeat this step).
  3. Select the semester and year the course was taken in.
  4. Type the department code (for example if you took an English course at UMass Boston the department code would be ENGL).
  5. Your course will likely display and then you can add it to “My Courses” by clicking the green plus sign.
  6. If your course does not display, use the “add it yourself” feature.
  7. Follow this process until all your courses have been added.
  8. Then click the “find schools that accept my courses” button.
  9. Click on University of Massachusetts Boston.
  10. Your transfer credit results will display.

NOTE: These results are unofficial. Student receive a full transfer credit evaluation after admission.

 

Credit by Examination

Course credit may be awarded by achieving minimum score requirements on the Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams. Scores must be sent directly to the University by the test issuer. Current students must seek permission to have their scores accepted before taking the exam. UMass Boston’s CEEB# is 3924.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Subject

Minimum Score

UMB Credit

UMB Equivalent

Distribution

Art History

4

6

ART 101 & ART 102

Arts

Biology

3

No Credit

Exempt from BIOL 111/112

 

Biology1

4

8

BIOL 111 & BIOL 112

Natural Sciences

Chemistry2

3

4

CHEM 903A

Natural Sciences

Chemistry3

4

8

CHEM 903A & CHEM 904A

Natural Sciences

Chinese Lang. & Lit.

3

8

CHINESE 101 & CHINESE 102

World Language

 

4

6

CHINESE 201 & CHINESE 202

World Language

Computer Science A

4

4

CS 110

Math/Technology

Computer Science AB

3

8

CS 110 & CS 210

Math/Technology

Computer Science Principles

4

4

CS 105

Math/Technology

Microeconomics

4

3

ECON 101

Social Behavioral

Macroeconomics

4

3

ECON 102

Social Behavioral

English Lit & Comp

4

3

ENGL 101

 

 

 

3

ENGL 9000

Arts

English Lang. & Comp.

4

3

ENGL 101

 

Environmental Science

3

3

ENVSCI 120

Natural Science

 

4

4

ENVSCI 120 & ENVSCI 121

Natural Science

 

5

7

ENVSCI 120 & ENVSCI 121 & ENVSCI 122

Natural Science

French Lit.4

3

3

FRENCH 9000

Arts

French Lang. & Culture

3

8

FRENCH 101 & FRENCH 102

World Language

 

4

8

FRENCH 201 & FRENCH 202

World Language

German Lit.5

3

3

GERMAN 9000

Arts

German Lang. & Culture

3

8

GERMAN 101 & GERMAN 102

World Language

 

4

8

GERMAN 201 & GERMAN 202

World Language

Human Geography

3

3

ENVSCI 109

 

Italian Lang. & Culture

3

8

ITAL 101 & ITAL 102

World Language

 

4

6

ITAL 201 & ITAL 202

World Language

Japanese Lang. & Cult

3

8

JAPAN 101 & JAPAN 102

World Language

 

4

6

JAPAN 201 & JAPAN 202

World Language

Govt. & Politics: US

3

3

POLSCI 102

Social Behavioral

Govt. & Politics: Comparative

3

3

POLSCI 201

 

US History

4

6

HIST 265 & HIST 266

Humanities

World History

4

3

HIST 213

 

 

 

3

HIST 214

Social Behavioral

European History

4

6

HIST 211 & HIST 212

Humanities

Calculus AB

4

4

MATH 140

Math/Technology

Calculus AB Subscore

4

4

MATH 140

Math/Technology

Calculus BC

4

8

MATH 140 & MATH 141

Math/Technology

Music Theory

3

3

MUSIC 9000

Arts

Physics B6,7

4

8

PHYSIC 907T & PHYSIC 908T

Natural Sciences

Physics C: Mechanics6, 8

4

4

PHYSIC 903T

Natural Sciences

Physics C: Elec. & Mag.6, 9

4

4

PHYSIC 904T

Natural Sciences

Psychology

3

3

PSYCH 100

Social Behavioral

Spanish Language & Culture

3

8

SPAN 101 & SPAN 102

World Language

 

4

6

SPAN 201 & SPAN 202

World Language

Statistics

4

3

MATH 125

Math/Technology

Virgil-Lyric Comedy

3

3

LATIN 102

World Language

 

Biology1 – You may not take BIO 111 and 112 at UMass Boston

Chemistry2 – You may not take CHEM 115 & 117 at UMass Boston

Chemistry3 – You may not take CHEM 115& 117 or CHEM 116 & 118 at UMass Boston

French4 – No longer offered German5 – No longer offered

Physics6 - Anyone who receives credit for AP Physics and is majoring in Physics, Engineering Physics or Engineering should contact their major undergraduate advisor to review their credit awards. 

Physics7 – You may not take PHYSIC 107 or 108 at UMB

Physics8 – You may not take PHYSIC 113, 181 at UMB

Physics9 – You may not take PHYSIC 114, 182 at UMB 

Environmental Science10 – Effective Spring 2015

Updated 10/18/17

 

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Students may earn credit for HL exams with grades between 4 and 7.

 

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Scores for CLEP exams taken before matriculation to UMass Boston will be accepted if minimum score requirements are met (see below). Currently matriculated students seeking to take a CLEP exam and receive UMass Boston credit, must complete a prior approval form. See the Testing Center’s CLEP page for more information.

General CLEP EXAM

Minimum

Score

UMB

Credit

UMB Equivalent

Distribution

Humanities

51

6

HUMAN 901A and HUMAN 901B

Humanities

Natural Sciences

51

6

INTR-D 901A and INTR-D 901B

Natural Sciences

Social Science/History

51

6

SOCIOL 901A and SOCIOL 901B

Social and Behavioral Sciences

College Composition

50

3

ENGL 101

 

Subject Exam

 

 

 

 

Chemistry*

50

8

CHEM 903A and CHEM 904A

Natural Sciences

Biology*

50

6

BIOL 901B and BIOL 902B

Natural Sciences

Macroeconomics

50

3

ECON 102

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Microeconomics

50

3

ECON 101

Social and Behavioral Sciences

American Government

50

3

POLSCI 102

Social and Behavioral Sciences

American History I

50

3

HIST 265

Humanities

American History II

50

3

HIST 266

Humanities

Western Civilization I

50

3

HIST 211

Humanities

Western Civilization II

50

3

HIST 212

Humanities

Psychology

50

3

PSYCH 100

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Human Growth and Development

50

3

PSYCH Elective

**

Sociology

50

3

SOCIOL 101

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Calculus

60

4

MATH 140

Mathematics

Marketing

50

3

MKT 301

****

Introductory Accounting

55

3

AF 210

 

Information Systems

55

3

MSIS 110

 

Introductory Business Law

50

3

MGT Elective

 

Principles of Management

50

3

MGT Elective

 

French

50

0

***

 

German

50

0

***

 

Spanish

50

0

***

 

*     Students receiving CLEP credit in Biology or Chemistry may not take BIOL 111, 112 or CHEM 115, 116, 117, 118. ** Psychology majors may use this only as elective credit.

***  A passing foreign language score of 50 or above will satisfy your Elementary Language Proficiency requirement. These exams will not count for credit or towards the World Language distribution requirement.

**** MANAGEMENT MAJORS MUST HAVE PERMISSION FROM DEPARTMENT TO TAKE THIS EXAM

Effective 11/17/17 and subject to change.

 

Placement Testing

Writing Assessment

The following new students are required to complete the Critical Reading and Writing Assessment:

  • All freshmen
  • Transfer students without credit for English Composition I. Acceptable substitutes for English Composition I include, Advanced Placement credit with a score of 4 or higher, or CLEP credit in English Composition or Freshmen College Composition, with a score of 50 or higher.

Other students may benefit from an assessment of their writing. In particular, we encourage transfer students and non-native speakers of English to be assessed.

New students who are required to take the writing assessment (all freshmen and transfer students without credit for English 101) must complete it at least two weeks before attending Beacon Beginnings New Student Orientation.  If you require placement testing accommodations, please contact the Ross Center for Disability Services at 617-287-7430 or Ross.Center@umb.edu 

Academic honesty matters.  Pay close attention to the UMass Boston Code of Conduct before proceeding to the test. You must do the Writing Assessment on your own, without notes, books, a dictionary, spellcheck, or help from others. Any outside assistance might place you in a course for which you would not be prepared, and it could result in a lower GPA and possibly delay your degree progress. 

In this assessment, you’ll be given one hour to read a short passage and to write a response to a question about the ideas in the text. Faculty members will read your essay and evaluate your critical reading and writing abilities. Non-native speakers of English may take an ESL version of this assessment.

This evaluation determines your placement in English Composition as well as a First-Year Seminar, Intermediate Seminar, or Critical Reading and Writing course, and your readiness to complete the Writing Proficiency requirement (WPR).  Writing Assessment is a one time writing sample used for course placement purposes and may not be re-taken. These results are proven indicators of success and will help you to start on track and stay on track here at UMass Boston. 

For more information, visit www.umb.edu/academics/vpass/uac/testing_services/critical_assessment

Math

UMass Boston requires an ALEKS assessment of all incoming first year, transfer and non-degree students who have not met their college’s math requirement or want to enroll in any math course through Calculus I. In most cases, ALEKS can be taken off-campus or anywhere you have internet access.

ALEKS is an online, adaptive math assessment which is accessible through the WISER System.  

ALEKS is more than a traditional math test because it offers a built-in, personalized Preparation and Learning module to help you improve your math skills.

The ALEKS Placement Assessment consists of thirty questions covering material from Basic Math through Pre-calculus. Each assessment is open for 24 hours but will take approximately two hours to complete. After the initial assessment, you will receive a score, which will be uploaded to Wiser and used for placement purposes.  In addition to the score, you will receive a detailed progress report of your strengths and weaknesses in the form of a pie chart, and the opportunity to access a six month personalized Preparation and Learning module and retest if necessary. The module will help you to strengthen your skills and possibly help you to receive a higher placement. It will also better prepare you for success in your upcoming math class. Your Academic Advisor will have access to your ALEKS score and can help you decide what class to take or whether you should retest.

If you are a Bachelor of Arts (BA) student, you have the opportunity to receive a waiver of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement for your degree, provided that you earn an ALEKS score of 59% or higher. Credit is not awarded, but a waiver notation will be posted on your degree progress report. You will, however, need to test in the UMass Boston Testing Center under proctored conditions. Please call 617-287-5522 to schedule an appointment.

Please understand UMass Boston’s academic honesty regulations. For ALEKS to be effective, you must do the exam on your own without notes, books, or help from others. ALEKS is not a traditional exam. Instead, it’s a tool to help you place into an appropriate course for which you have the best chance to succeed. Any outside assistance might place you in a course for which you would not be prepared, and it could result in a lower GPA and possibly delay your degree progress. Furthermore, it constitutes a violation of the university’s code of conduct.

Things to know about ALEKS:

  • You may take ALEKS a total of three times; however, you must wait 24 hours after your first assessment before retesting. You will also be required to spend time in the Preparation & Learning module between each attempt, see below:

    • Three hours between the first and second attempt

    • Five hours between the second and third attempt

  • Know when your assessment and Preparation & Learning module expire; see this graphic.

  • Make sure you have two hours of uninterrupted quiet time. Take it at a time when you feel most alert.

  • Have a pencil and plenty of scratch paper.

  • Take the assessment seriously but relax because you can re-test after your initial assessment. To improve your score, you have six months to use the Preparation and Learning module.

  • Login to WISER. (First time users, see these instructions.) Next, go to the WISER Student Center page and find the Quick Links drop down menu. Select ‘ALEKS Math Placement PPL.’ This will connect you directly to the ALEKS site so you can take the assessment.

  • When finished, you will receive the score of your initial assessment. See the Score Report Chart to determine your course placement. You can register for the course that you placed into, or any lower level course.

For more information about ALEKS, visit: www.umb.edu/academics/vpass/uac/testing_services/math

ALEKS SCORE REPORT CHART
Course

Minimum

Score

Details
Math 114Q 40 Quantitative Reasoning.  Successful completion of this course meets the prerequisite for Statistics, but NOT for Precalculus

Math 115

IT 114L

44

College Algebra.  Completion of this course with a B or better meets the prerequisite for Statistics or Precalculus

Introduction to Java

Math 125

CS 105

51

Introductory Statistics.  This course does NOT meet the prerequisite for Precalculus or Calculus

Introduction to Computer Concepts

Math 129 or 130

 

59

Precalculus for Management and Social Science Students or Precalculus

 

Math 134 or 135 66 Managerial Calculus or Survey of Calculus

Math 140 or 145

CS 110

74

Calculus I or Calculus I for Life and Environmental Sciences.

 

Introduction to Computing

Languages

Spanish

The Latin American and Iberian Studies Department recommends that students take the 20 minute online Spanish placement test, called WebCAPE, to help students place into the appropriate Spanish language level.

For instructions and more information, visit www.umb.edu/academics/vpass/uac/testing_services/spanish

Important note for heritage speakers: Heritage speakers are those who speak and understand a language but have never formally studied the language. Heritage speakers should not take WebCAPE; instead, they should visit the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department and take a short written test to determine their correct placement. 
The Latin American and Iberian Studies Department offers four levels of language study (Spanish: 101, 102, 201, 202) prior to enrolling in majors levels courses. Your WebCAPE score will place you either in one of these courses, or refer you to a 300-level course. Once you receive your score, you should register for a class at that level. Remember that university policy does not allow taking language courses out of sequence, nor enrolling in two different levels of language instruction simultaneously. If you are planning to study Spanish in the summer, notice that the College of Advancing and Professional Studies equivalents of 101 and 102 are numbered 105 and 106. You cannot get credit for both 101 and 105 or 102 and 106.

After the completion of the test, students will immediately be given their placement level score.

Below 240 Spanish 101
240-315 Spanish 102
316-426 Spanish 201
427-561 Spanish 202
above 561 Spanish 230/301 +
Other Languages

Student seeking a lnaguage assessment for Portuguese, should contact the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department .

Written language assessments are available from the Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department  for Arabic, French, German, Italian, and Japanese. Exams take approximately 30-60 minutes.

Assessments are also available for Chinese and Vietnamese. Visit www.umb.edu/academics/cla/modlang/language_assessment for more information.

 

Departmental, College, & University Honors

Departmental Honors

A student may graduate with honors in his or her major field by meeting the requirements of a departmental honors committee, which usually involve successful completion of an honors thesis or seminar or attainment of a 3.5 average in the field. Admission to honors work is governed by the departmental honors committee although a cumulative average of 3.0 is required of honors students in all departments. Students may count up to six hours of honors work toward graduation, whether or not it meets departmental standards for honors.

 

Dean’s List

Each college names students to its Dean’s List based on semester grade point average. This distinction is entered on the student’s transcript and acknowledged by a congratulatory card or letter. The colleges also elect students to membership in various national honor societies, and hold annual Honors Convocations at which outstanding student achievement is recognized.

College of Liberal Arts: 9 graded credits with a 3.50 GPA or higher and no incompletes. Courses with a grade of “P” do not count towards the 12 graded credits.

College of Science and Mathematics: At least 12 credits with a GPA of 3.5 or above and no grades below a C. Courses with a grade of “P” do not count towards the 12 graded credits.

College of Nursing and Health Sciences: Nursing: 9 credits with a 3.5 GPA or higher. Exercise and Health Sciences: 12 credits with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

College of Management: A minimum of two courses in that semester. GPA of 3.6 or higher, no incomplete grades.

College of Public and Community Service: A minimum of three classes in that semester. 3.5 GPA or higher, no incomplete grades

School for the Environment: At least 12 credits with a GPA of 3.5 or above.

 

University Honors

The University bestows three separate honors designations for scholastic excellence reflected in the cumulative average:

Summa cum laude 3.75 or above
Magna cum laude 3.50 to 3.74 inclusive
Cum laude 3.30 to 3.49 inclusive

 

 

Attendance and Course Registration

Attendance and Excused Absences

The university expects students to attend all regularly schedule class meetings. Students are responsible for adhering to course attendance policies, just as they are responsible for completing course assignments. Attendance and participation in class (including online courses) are fundamental parts of the learning process and key factors in academic success.

Instructors may require attendance in their courses.  Attendance policies should be clearly stated in each course syllabus, including whether any portion of a student’s grade is based on attendance and/or class participation.  Instructors reserve the right to adjust grades due to unexcused absences, provided they state this clearly in the course syllabus.

Students who have extended absences from class, whether excused or unexcused, should talk with their instructor to discuss whether successful completion of the course is possible.

While the university has no institutional attendance policy, it does excuse absences in the cases described below.   
 
Excused Absences
The university recognizes that there are legitimate and verifiable circumstances that may occasionally result in a student’s absence from class. It is the student’s responsibility to plan their schedules to minimize these absences. When a student has prior knowledge of an event that will require them to be absent from class, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the faculty member in writing. This notice should be given as soon as possible, preferably at the beginning of the semester. While students will not be penalized for missing class due to an excused absence, they are expected to be responsible for materials discussed in class. Students who have missed in-class work, such as tests, quizzes, or laboratory/studio assignments, are expected to make themselves available to make up this work. In all cases, students are expected to complete all course work in a timely manner and instructors are expected to offer reasonable assistance and deadlines for students to make up missed work in a timely manner.
 
Excused absences include:

  • Religious observances

    In accordance with Chapter 151C, Section 2B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, the university requires that instructors excuse any student absent due to religious observance. This section states:

    Any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational education or vocational training institute, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study, or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school.  No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity.  No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.

  • University-sanctioned or approved activities (for example, intercollegiate athletic games or competitions, student government obligations, required class field trips, presenting at conferences, etc.)
  • Jury duty, military obligations or other governmental obligations.
  • Health procedures

    Students may be asked to provide appropriate documentation from their health care providers, within the limits of the health care provider’s policy.  Note that in accordance with Title IX, absences due to pregnancy or related conditions shall be excused for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary.
     
  • Illness or injury to the student; death, injury or serious illness of an immediate family member.

    Students may be asked to provide appropriate documentation from their health care providers, within the limits of the health care providers’ policies, or other appropriate offices. Students should notify instructors as soon as possible in the event of this type of absence.
     
  • Other emergency or catastrophic events

    In the event of an emergency (automobile accident, for example), students may be asked to provide appropriate documentation and should notify instructors as soon as possible. It is expected that these events will be rare.

Additional information

  • Instructors are under no obligation to allow students to make up work for unexcused absences.
  • In cases where unusual circumstances cause a student to miss a significant amount of class time for reasons beyond the student’s control, the student should confer with the instructor to determine the best course of action. In general, students who miss a significant portion of class meetings, whether due to excused absences or unexcused absences, are advised to withdraw from the course in question.
  • Students should note that failure to attend class does not constitute withdrawal.  Instructors should assign the letter grade of “F” to students who do not drop or withdraw from a course by the published deadlines.
  • Students who are called to active duty service should consult with the Office of Veterans’ Affairs regarding the options of a complete drop of all courses, a full withdrawal or, if appropriate, the application of incomplete grades (note that regular deadlines for making up the incomplete still apply).
  • Student-athletes will notify faculty in advance about possible conflicts between scheduled class requirements and scheduled athletic contests.  At times, competition schedules change on short notice.  In all cases, students will notify faculty as soon as possible of any resulting conflicts.
  • Students who have questions about attendance policies should consult first with the instructor, and then, if necessary, with the department chair.
  • During the add-drop period, with the approval of their department, instructors may drop a student who does not attend the first class meetings (or, in the case of an online course, does not log in and participate in required work) and who has not communicated his or her intention of attending the class to the instructor or to the department chair.

 

Final Examination Schedule Changes

A student may have a final examination re-scheduled if he or she has two examinations scheduled at the same time or three examinations scheduled on the same day. The student should request such a change from the instructors involved.

 

Credit Load for Full-time Students

Undergraduate students may enroll for no more than seventeen (17) credits per semester including summer. After the first semester, however, students may ask to take additional course credits under the following conditions:

  • The student’s overall grade point average is 3.0 (or above)
  • The grade point average for the previous semester is 3.5 or higher and includes at least 15 credits
  • The permission for Credit Overload form is completed and approved by the Office of Undergraduate Studies

 

Transfer Records

The cumulative average of a transfer student at a former school is not carried over to the university. The student begins to achieve a new cumulative average upon enrollment.

A transfer student cannot be dismissed for poor grades in the first semester at the university but, for all subsequent semesters, the student must attain the cumulative average necessary for good standing in the class to which he or she was assigned (see “Academic Standing” below).

 

Registration

New students and continuing students who are in good academic and financial standing with the university may register. A student who wishes to obtain a degree from the university must be formally admitted to a program.

Registration begins at the beginning of November for the spring semester and the beginning of April for the fall semester. Check the academic calendar for the exact date. Students are assigned starting dates based on the number of earned credits so that not all students begin on the first day of registration. All continuing active students must register prior to January 1 for the spring semester and June 1 for the fall semester or they will be assessed the late fee. Students are emailed an invitation to register before each registration period. The email details the date they can begin their registration and it will also include the late registration date.

  • All new and continuing students should access their WISER accounts in order to register for courses.
  • Students looking to take continuing education courses can do so through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies.
  • If you’re looking to take a course or two as a non-matriculated students, you can do so as a non-degree student.

 

Add/Drop Period

After your initial registration, you may add (register for) one or more additional courses, or drop (cancel your registration for) any course for which you have registered. You should not drop required courses, such as a First-Year or Intermediate Seminar or a QR course, without consulting your advisor.

You may add or drop courses during the add-drop period, typically during the first week of classes. Please see the academic calendar for specific times and dates.

For more information about using the WISER system please click here.

 

Course Withdrawal Option

  • You may withdraw from any individual course.
  • If you do so you will be given a grade of “W”, which will remain on your record but will not affect your cumulative grade point average.
  • You may register for the same course in another semester.
  • You cannot withdraw from a course after the deadline.
  • There are no refunds for course withdrawals.

If you do not attend classes, you will not be withdrawn automatically. Unless your instructor takes attendance and submits a grade of “NA” to the Registrar’s Office, you will receive a grade of “F” for the course.

To withdraw from a course, use the WISER system and follow the instructions.

 

In-Semester Deadline Waivers

  • The Request for a waiver of the academic deadline applies to a drop, a withdrawal, or the declaration of pass/fail for individual courses for the current semester. (Students who wish to withdraw from the entire semester, please see the “Voluntary Withdrawal Process” instructions.)
  • The last day to submit this request is the last day of classes (not finals) for the current semester.
  • If a course withdrawal is granted, a W will appear on the transcript and all charges will still apply.
  • If a course drop is granted, the class will disappear from the transcript and charges will not apply for that course. (This may or may not change the total semester bill, depending on the number and type of credits for which the student was initially enrolled.)
  • If a pass/fail is granted, a “P” will appear on the transcript if the student passes the class; an “F” will appear on the transcript if the class is not passed. Note: Students who received financial aid for the semester must first ask the Financial Aid Office if they are eligible for waivers of the withdrawal or drop deadlines.

Who may be eligible:

  • Students who attended a class past the add-drop deadline are not eligible for a waiver of the drop deadline, but may be eligible for a waiver of the withdrawal deadline.
  • Students may be eligible for a waiver of the pass-fail deadline as long as the course in question is not required to be taken for a grade by the student’s major.
  • In-semester waivers are only granted for extreme, extenuating, documented circumstances which are not academic. Documentation for said emergencies must show that they interfered or prevented the student from adhering to the set deadlines for course activity in a given semester.
  • Typically, emergencies to be considered are medical, personal or financial. They cannot be related to concerns about course material and content, instructor, grade, etc. These are academic issues and should be addressed in the department directly.
  • The above criteria are necessary, but not sufficient to guarantee approval of the request. Each appeal receives individual consideration. The Office of Undergraduate Studies reserves the right to approve, deny, or void requests at any time. For further information or for a petition form, please visit the Undergraduate Studies Office, Campus Center, 1 st floor, Suite 1300, call 617-287-6330, or email UndergraduateStudies@umb.edu.

 

Retroactive Withdrawal and Drop

  • Retroactive withdrawals or drops are for a prior semester only. (For in-semester deadlines waivers, see in-semester deadline waiver informational sheet.)
  • Appeal must be submitted within four years of the semester in question. There are NO exceptions to the four-year limit.
  • If a retroactive withdrawal is granted, the student will be retroactively withdrawn from all classes in that semester: Ws will appear on transcript and all charges will still apply.
  • If a retroactive drop is granted, the student will be retroactively dropped from all classes in that semester: classes disappear from transcript and charges do not apply.

Note: Students who received financial aid for the semester for which they are requesting a waiver may not be eligible for waivers due to financial aid regulations. Non-attendance does NOT constitute a withdrawal.

Who may be eligible:

  • All grades from the semester in question must be non-passing (F, INC, IF, NA, W).
  • Retroactive withdrawals or drops are only granted for extreme, extenuating, documented circumstances which are not academic. Typically, emergencies to be considered are medical, personal and financial.
  • Emergencies to be considered cannot be related to concerns about course material and content, instructor, grade, etc. Academic issues should be addressed in the department.
  • Students are not eligible to appeal to withdraw/drop any course in which they have completed the course requirements (taken the final exam, submitted final project, etc.).
  • The above criteria are necessary, but not sufficient to guarantee approval of request. Each appeal receives individual consideration. The Office of Undergraduate Studies reserves the right to approve, deny, or void requests at any time.

For further information or for a petition form, please visit the Undergraduate Studies Office, Campus Center, 1st floor, Suite 1300, call 617-287-6330, or email UndergraduateStudies@umb.edu.

 

Change or Declaration of Major/Academic Program

A student who wishes to declare or change their major or other academic program(s) must obtain a Major, Minor, Concentration Declaration Form. The student must then consult with, and obtain the written approval of, the chairpersons of the former and new major departments, and return the completed form to the One Stop.

If a student declares an academic program after the add/drop deadline during a semester, or during the summer or fall, they will be placed under the program requirements for the next term (Fall or Spring).

 

Inter-College Transfer (ICT)

UMass Boston students wishing to change their collegiate affiliation must obtain an Inter-College Transfer Form and follow the written directions accompanying that form. Policies and deadlines vary among colleges. Complete information is found on the form.

Notification of approval of the transfer and information regarding registration for courses for the following semester will come from the new college.

 

Grading

Each letter grade has a grade point equivalent.

To calculate your GPA, multiply each grade point equivalent by the number of credits for each class. Total all products and divide by the total number of credits. You can also use the University Advising Center’s MyGPA calculator.

Grade Grade Point Equivalent
A 4.00
A- 3.70
B+ 3.30
B 3.00
B- 2.70
C+ 2.30
C 2.00
C- 1.70
D+ 1.30
D 1.00
D- 0.70 minimum passing
F or IF 0.00 fail
Grades that do not impact GPA
P Passing, under Pass/Fail
INC Incomplete
AUD Audit completed
NAU Audit not completed
Y Interim grade in a declared yearlong course
W Withdrawn
NA Non-attending

 

 

The Pass/Fail Option

  • You can file for the pass/fail option through WISER at any time after your initial registration until the deadline.
  • If you receive a grade of “F,” it will count as a failure and against your cumulative average.
  • If you successfully complete the course, you will earn a grade of “P” and the course will be counted toward your graduation requirements, but it will not affect your cumulative grade point average.
  • Undergraduate students may take one course each semester on a pass/fail basis, up to a maximum of eight. (Mandatory pass/fail courses do not count toward this limit.)
  • You cannot cancel a pass/fail choice after the deadline.

Please note: The requirements of your college, major, or program may not permit you to take certain courses pass/fail. Be sure to check with your college or program BEFORE you select the pass/fail option.

 

Course Audit

Students may audit a course and have the audit recorded on the official transcript as “AUD.” The course will not carry any earned credit. It will not satisfy any degree requirements, nor will it count towards official enrollment status. Tuition and fees are assessed at the regular rate. Financial aid cannot be applied to pay for audited courses.

Registration for an audit is on a space available basis and is not permitted prior to the add/drop period. To audit a class, permission from the instructor must be secured and a Course Audit Permission Form must be submitted to the One Stop. Students may not switch from audit to credit or from credit to audit after the end of add/drop period.

Conditions for the audit are negotiated by the student and the instructor. At the end of the semester, the instructor will enter an AUD to signify you have satisfactorily completed the audit and it will be so noted on the transcript. If you do not earn the audit, the instructor will enter the grade of NAU-Audit not completed. An audited course carries no academic credit and, therefore, may be audited multiple times or taken for a grade. A course may not be taken as an audit if a grade has previously been earned for the course.

 

The Not-Attending (NA) Grade

The “NA” grade may be placed on a student’s transcript if the student has registered for a course, and:

  • did not attend the course during the Add/Drop period, and
  • failed to drop the course by the published Add/Drop deadline, and
  • if course attendance is taken and faculty submit “NA” grade roster by designated deadline

The “NA” grade does not affect a student’s grade point average. The student is, however, responsible for all tuition and fees for the “NA” course. The only condition in which the “NA” grade may be removed from a student’s transcript is if the student specifically withdraws from the course on or before the published deadline.

Faculty who take attendance may submit an “NA” by the designated deadline usually during the first month of the semester.

 

The Incomplete (INC) Grade

The grade incomplete (INC) is reported only where a portion of the assigned or required class work, or the final examination, has not been completed because of serious illness, extreme personal circumstances, or scholarly reasons at the request of the instructor. If your record is such that you would fail the course regardless of your missing work, you will fail.

Permission of the instructor must be obtained and the form for Grade Incomplete must be completed.

If you are receiving the grade of incomplete (INC), you are allowed up to one year in which to complete the course. The new grade must be submitted to the Registrar by the grading deadline for that semester, i.e., by the end of the next fall for the fall semester incompletes. The grade for any course not completed by this deadline will be converted to the grade of ‘IF’.

Please Be Aware that:
  • Students need to meet with their professors to make sure the contract and terms of completing the course are determined. The Incomplete Contact form must be returned with proper signatures to the Registrar’s Office by the faculty member or departmental staff.  Incomplete contracts should be filed with the Office of the Registrar before the last day of class to ensure timely posting of grades.
  • Incomplete grades in undergraduate courses are processed by the Office of the Registrar after receipt of the signed Incomplete Contract.
  • Faculty may obtain the Incomplete Contract form and change of grade forms in departmental offices.  
  • Students should follow up with faculty to make sure the terms of the contract have been met and a grade has been submitted within the proper time limits.

 

Failed Courses

A failed course required for a degree must be repeated. If it is repeated and passed, the original failure will not be computed in the cumulative average, although it will remain on the student’s record.

 

Course Repeats

Approved through University Governance March 2016:

The university has established the following policy for undergraduate students regarding the repeating of courses.

  • You may repeat up to four different courses taken at the university, regardless of the original grade earned in these courses.  Please review the Course Sequencing Policy for additional information.
  • You may repeat a course only once.
  • If you choose to repeat a course, both grades for the course will be posted on your transcript but only the second grade will be counted toward your grade point average and you will only receive graduation credit for the second course.  The first course will be noted on your transcript as an “excluded repeat”.
  • If you take a course at the university that is equivalent to a course you transferred in to the university, you will lose credit for the transfer course.
  • The course repeated must be identical to the first course taken (same department, same course number and title, same number of credits).
  • You may not repeat a course after graduation.  

Exceptions:

  • Certain courses (such as Special Topics and Independent Study courses, among others) are designated as “repeatable for credit”.  A grade earned in such a course cannot be replaced by a grade from a later retake of the course.  This means that each grade will count toward the student’s cumulative average, and each time the student passes such a course s/he will earn credits. 
  • Certain colleges and/or majors may have additional limitations on which or how many courses may be retaken.  Students are advised to check with their major departments before repeating any course.

 

Course Sequencing

Some specific departments at the University teach subject matter that builds over multiple courses taught in a particular order, or sequence, over multiple semesters.  Courses are considered to be in sequence when concepts introduced in one course serve as direct preparation for the next course and there is a progression from one course to another.  This applies to courses taken at the university and for transfer courses.  If you pass a higher-level course in a sequence, you may not subsequently enroll for credit in a lower-level course in that sequence.

Please Be Aware That:

  • A “prerequisite” is a course that must be taken and passed before another course, however, a prerequisite need not be part of sequence.
  • A “sequence” is a set of courses that build upon each other.
  • Enrolling for credit in a lower-level course after credits have been earned in a higher-level course in a sequence completed at the University of Massachusetts Boston will result in the loss of credit in the lower-level course.
  • Enrolling for credit in a lower-level course after credits have been earned in a higher-level course not taken at the University of Massachusetts in a sequence will result in the loss of transfer credit even though it is at the higher level.  In this instance, your course work in the lower-level taken at UMass Boston will remain on your UMass Boston record.
  • Departments (spring 2016 updated) that have established sequences include: Mathematics; Computer Science; Classics and Religious Studies; Modern Languages, Literature and Cultures; and Latin American and Iberian Studies.

 

Residency Status & Reclassification

Residency, in-state versus out-of-state, for the purpose of calculating charges, is determined at the time of admission (or reentry into the university as applicable), based primarily upon the information you provide. A student’s residency status typically does not change for the duration of their studies at UMass Boston. If you were determined to be an out-of-state student upon admission, most often you will always be an out-of-state-student, barring very specific changes in circumstances, which could qualify you for an exception to the residency policy (for complete details on what constitutes a qualifying change in circumstances/exception, please review the Residency Classification Worksheet). It is important to note that someone typically may not establish residency while enrolled in a course of study.  Residency must be established prior to enrollment, barring certain very specific circumstances.

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education sets the rules regarding eligibility for in-state tuition rates at all Massachusetts public institutions.  To be considered a Massachusetts resident, eligible for in-state tuition costs, you must meet all three of the following conditions:

  • You must be a US citizen, permanent resident, eligible lawful immigrant as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education guidelines, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
  • You (or your parent if you are a dependent/unemancipated student) must have lived in Massachusetts for the 12 months immediately preceding your enrollment at a state university or at the University of Massachusetts.  You must provide acceptable documentation of such.  You do not qualify for in-state status if you have been living in Massachusetts as a student.
  • You (or your parent if you are a dependent/unemancipated student) must intend to make Massachusetts your permanent home, and be able to document such. Required documents include, but may not be limited to:  a lease or home ownership documentation, federal income tax returns, Massachusetts resident income tax returns, Massachusetts driver’s license.

If you feel you have had a qualifying change in circumstances since your original classification, or feel you have cause to request a reclassification review in general, please follow these steps:

Deadlines:  Reclassification requests must be submitted by the last day of the add/drop period of a given semester. Retroactive requests to previous semesters cannot be considered.

Please remember that in-state tuition is a benefit for permanent Massachusetts residents valued at approximately $10,000.00 per year.  Simply living in Massachusetts, even filing taxes, or owning a vacation property, does not automatically qualify someone for in-state status.

 

Regulations Governing Undergraduate Academic Standing 1

Academic Standing Description Consequence

Eligibility for

Fall and

Spring Semesters 4

Eligibility for

Summer Sessions 6

Eligibility for

Readmission

Good Standing Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher 2 n/a Yes Yes Automatic with application for readmission form 4
Alert At the end of a student’s first semester if the GPA is below  2.0 n/a Yes Yes With approval 5
Warning Any semester in which a student’s term GPA is below 2.0 and the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher n/a Yes Yes Automatic with application of readmission form 4
Probation

At the end of second or subsequent semester in which a student’s cumulative GPA is below 2.0 3

Cannot hold any official student club or center leadership position or participate on an athletic team Yes Yes With approval 5
Extended Probation After one or more semesters in which a student is on probation. Cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 but the term GPA is at or over 2.3 (based on at least six credits with grades other than Inc., P, or F.) Students may be eligible for multiple semesters of extended probation. 3 Same as for probation Yes Yes With approval 5
Suspension If after a semester on probation, a student’s GPA is below 2.0, and doesn’t meet criteria for extended probation. Ineligible to enroll for a minimum of one semester. Suspension notation made on student’s transcript. No Yes With approval and after one semester of inactive status 5
Dismissal Dismissal will occur if student doesn’t meet retention standard set by the readmitting authority. Dismissal notation made on student’s transcript. Ineligible to enroll for a minimum of one year. Ineligible to receive approval for additional transfer courses during absence. No No With approval and after one year of inactive status. 5

Notes:

1. These regulations apply to students in the College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal Arts, College of Management, College of Public and Community Service, and the College of Science and Mathematics, and the College of Advancing and Professional Studies. Students in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences follow an additional set of academic standards, which can be found on their website.

Repeating a course does not retroactively change academic standing. As such, repeated courses, even when they improve a student’s cumulative and semester GPA, will not change the original academic standing designation that was applied to the semester in which the first course was taken.

2. Cumulative GPA is calculated based on all UMass Boston grades. Term GPA is calculated based on grades in a given semester. Transfer courses are not factored into the GPA.

3. When a student’s cumulative GPA is below 2.0, the Office of Undergraduate Studies notifies students via email and/or a letter encouraging academic advising.  However, it is the student’s responsibility to know his academic standing by checking his grades and transcript on the WISER system.

4. Inactive students wishing to readmit to the university must complete an Undergraduate Readmission Application and pay a fee. However, if an active student withdraws and readmits on the same day, the fee is waived.

5. If a student with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 voluntarily withdraws, his eligibility to enroll in fall or spring courses is not automatic and is subject to approval by the readmitting authority of the student’s college, who may set conditions on the student’s schedule. Students must apply for readmission by their college deadline. See Undergraduate Readmission Application for more information.

6. Provided that the student remains active. Inactive students must apply for readmission.

 

University Withdrawal

For the fall and spring semesters you may withdraw from the university before the last day of classes of the semester, although the effective date of withdrawal is that on which all forms are completed, signed, and returned to the Office of the Registrar.

Students withdrawing receive a “W” for each course in which they are enrolled. Failure to complete a withdrawal form will result in the recording of the grade of “F” for all courses at the end of the term.

Before withdrawing from the university:

  • You must read all instructions on University Withdrawal form
  • You must complete the University Withdrawal form
  • You must consult with a member of the University Advising Center
  • International students must notify the Office of Global Programs at 617.287.5586. Failure to do so may result in termination of student status.

 

Readmission to the University

Students who leave the university in good standing may resume their studies by completing the Readmission Form with a readmission fee of $60.00 in a check or money order made payable to the University of Massachusetts Boston. You will be notified in writing of your readmission status.

Students who have been dismissed from the University and wish to resume their education should also write a letter of appeal addressed to the Standards and Credits Committee of their college or program and make an appointment for an interview with a member of the advising staff of their college or program.

All previous course work at the University remains part of the permanent record for students who have been readmitted, and the cumulative average includes all prior grades, regardless of how much time elapsed between enrollments.

For deadlines and more specific information please check with your college.

Readmitted students who have not been enrolled as a matriculated student at UMass Boston for two or more consecutive years will follow the academic program, school/college, and university degree requirements in effect for the year/term of their readmission.

 

Leave of Absence

Degree-seeking (matriculated) students intending to complete a degree at UMass Boston may take a leave of absence from the University for one or more semesters. They may request such a leave at any point during a semester before the last day of classes. Students taking a leave of absence receive a “W” for each course in which they are enrolled. Please note: Students resuming their studies after a leave of absence must apply for readmission using the procedures described above.

 

Certificate Students

Certificate students are subject to the same regulations on academic standing as matriculated students.

 

Non-degree Students

Non-degree students are subject to the following minimum retention standards:

Sum of UMass Boston Credits Minimum Required Cumulative Average
1–11 1.75
12 and above 2.00

A non-degree student who does not meet these retention standards shall be dismissed. Non-degree students wishing to appeal a dismissal must do so through the Registrar’s Office.