Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Advising Forms and Policies

Select below for information:

Credit Overload
Course Withdrawal
Faculty Notification of Class Absence (Dean of Students)

Course Late Add
Course Repeat (Three-peat)
Academic Plan Form (SAPA/Return from Suspension or Dismissal)


Credit Overload Petition


- Fall/Spring: More than 19 credits in the fall or spring semesters
- Summer: More than 16 credits total over the Summer, more than 8 credits in Summer Session I or II
- Winter Term: More than 8 credits in the Winter

CICS Students must complete a full semester and have an established UMass GPA to be eligible. If you have not yet completed a full semester you must wait until your first semester grades are viewable in SPIRE.


General approval guidelines for overloads during the fall/spring:
- 3.0 GPA for 20 credits;
- 3.3 GPA for 21 credits;
- 3.5 GPA for 22 credits;
- 3.7 GPA for 23-25 credits.
- No overloads over 25 credits will be allowed.
- No overloads will be approved if students have any incomplete (INC) grades.
- No overloads will be approved for first-semester students (both first year and transfer).

General approval guidelines for summer and winter sessions:
- Credit overloads will not be considered for students who have an incomplete (INC) grade from a previous semester. 
- A minimum overall GPA of at least 3.0 is expected.
- Winter overload approvals are rare and at the discretion of the academic dean

Credit overload petitions may be approved on a rolling basis, but will not activate in SPIRE until  the start of the approved semester (by University policy). If the overload is approved it is the student's responsibility to add the course in SPIRE on or after the date indicated in the approval. All approvals are at the discretion of the Academic Dean.

Requests for credit overload are also evaluated on:
Past number of credits taken in a semester
Composition of classes (be sure to list all courses, those you plan to take as well as those you want to add.)
Year of graduation

Fall/Spring Credit Overload Form
Winter/Summer Credit Overload Form



Course Withdrawal


During add/drop students may use SPIRE to change their course selection with no record.

Between the end of add/drop and the mid-semester withdrawal deadline (viewable at the Registrar website) students can use SPIRE to withdraw from a course (with a W on their transcript). To do so, log into SPIRE and at the top of the page select Main Menu > Enrollment > Drop Classes - W/DR grade.

After the mid-semester date, students must submit a Late Withdrawal Petition in order to appeal to withdraw from a course.


A low grade in a course is NOT a reason to request a late withdrawal.There must be extenuating circumstances to justify your request, e.g. illness, family emergency, etc. International student petitions are also subject to a minimum credit consideration (due to visa regulations). Students must provide verification of circumstances. The CICS Advising Committee will review all requests for late withdrawals and will notify the student of the final decision.



For adding classes after the end of add/drop.

Students may add courses until the end of the add/drop period in a given semester.  After that period ends, you can only add a course witha the written permission of the instructor and at the discretion of the academic dean.  To request a late add, the student should get written permission from the instructor (email is acceptable) and send it to studentdean@cics.umass.edu as early as possible.  

Please provide a rationale for the late add and consider whether catching up with the coursework is feasible.  If the add would result in enrollment over the limit for the term, a credit overload petition will also be required.



Course Repeat Petition

REQUEST to take a course for the THIRD time.

The University Academic Regulations specify that a course for which a grade of C-,D+, D or F was earned may be repeated one time without permission. (No course for which a grade of C or higher was earned may be repeated.) A course may be repeated a second time, for a total of three times, only with prior permission of the academic dean of the school or college in which the student is enrolled. Under no circumstances may a student take a course more than three times. All enrollments and all grades will appear on the transcript, but the last grade will be calculated in the GPA. Repeating a UMass Amherst course at another of the Five Colleges, at another campus of the University of Massachusetts, or at any other institution will not result in grade substitution.

Students seeking permission to take a course for the third time must submit a Course Repeat Petition.


There must be extenuating circumstances to justify your request, e.g. illness, family emergency, etc.  Students must provide verification of circumstances. Poor performance in two previous attempts at a course will generally NOT be sufficient justification for a third attempt. The fact that a course is required for a major or minor requirement will generally NOT be sufficient justification for a third attempt.

The CICS Advising Committee will review all requests for course repetitions and will notify the student of the final decision.

NOTE: Repeating a course can have negative consequences. For example, if a passing grade of C-, D+ or D was received in the first enrollment, but a failing grade is received when the course is repeated, no credit would be earned for either attempt. Repeating a previously passed course may also have an effect on financial aid eligibility. Students considering repeating previously passed courses should also consult Financial Aid staff.



Academic Plan Form


You will need to bring a completed copy of the Academic Plan Form when you meet with the Academic Dean for the following: 

1. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal (SAPA) notification from Financial Aid.
2. Additional semester(s) to meet graduation requirements according to the Registrar.
3. Returning from suspension or dismissal and need to work out a plan for the upcoming semester.

Before meeting with the Academic Dean regarding regarding any of the above you should complete this form. Also bring a letter with your name, Spire ID number, UMASS email address, and an explanation of the extenuating circumstances that led to the current academic standing and the plan for moving forward.

Bring the completed Academic Plan Form when you meet with the Academic Dean.