Faculty Recruiting Support CICS


Important Registration Dates

Registration begins for Spring 2021: Monday, November 2, 2020

First Day of classes: Monday, February 1, 2021

Last Day to add or drop any class with no record: Friday, February 12, 2021

Last Day to Drop with "DR": Monday, March 29, 2021


Spring 2021 course registration begins on Monday, November 2, 2020 with staggared enrollment for current and new students.

Enrollment ends on Friday, February 12, 2021. For additional important academic and registration dates and processes, please visit the Graduate School Academic Calendar

Registration takes place online using the University's SPIRE student information system. Degree-seeking graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment each semester until the degree/certificate is awarded.


If you would like to enroll in more than 12 credits, please make this request by sending an email to Eileen Hamel at ehamel@cs.umass.edu

Masters Project AND SYNTHESIS *

Submit the appropriate form to enroll in the master's project.  After project approval from your faculty readers and the Graduate Program Director, the graduate program staff will enroll you in CMPSCI 701Y or 701 (701Y - 6 credits over two semesters; 701 - 6 credits over one semester). At the end of the semester your two faculty readers will submit either an agreed upon grade if completed or INC if the project is not completed.

* The College of Information and Computer Sciences does not have a Masters Thesis option.


You must have passed Portfolio in order to be enrolled in 899. The enrollment request form opens on November 2, 2020. The form can be found here: 899 Form. After approval from the Graduate Program Director, you will be enrolled in 899 by the Graduate Program Manager. Do not request more than 18 dissertation credits throughout your program.


Some classes will offer automated waitlists through SPIRE while others will not. If you see that a class is full, enroll yourself onto the automated waitlist if one exists (you can tell because the class will show a non-zero waitlist capacity in the SPIRE Schedule of Classes), or wait until the start of the term approaches to see if new spaces are freed.

You will be assigned a position number on the waitlist, but departments and instructors may exercise their own judgment in altering students' positions on the waitlist. A position on a waitlist indicates a possibility, not a promise. You will never move from the waitlist to the class if the move would cause a time conflict in your schedule, if you are fully registered into another section of the same course, or if you are already registered for the maximum number of credits in your unit limit!

If you are on a waitlist and there is a time conflict in your schedule, you may be removed from the waitlist without notice if your position number on the waitlist prevents others with no time conflicts to register. Once classes have begun, CICS is in total control of which students, if any, will be moved from a waitlist into newly-opened seats in classes. Students still seeking admission to a full class after classes start should attend the first class meeting and continue to seek admission to the class via SPIRE.

More information about waitlists can be found on this webpage: Registrar Waitlist


You do not need to contact the Graduate Program Manager about earning a SAT grade or auditing a course. This is a discussion you have with the instructor of the course. Graduate student policies are different than undergraduate Pass/Fail and audit policies.

 Steps you need to complete for Pass/Fail:

  1. Ask your course instructor if they will permit you to take the course for a SAT grade which is recorded as SAT (satisfactory) or F (failure) on your transcript. Your instructor is under no obligation to say yes. Your instructor may tell you it is too late in the semester for a SAT grade option.
  2. You must complete the requirements of the course.
  3. Remind your instructor at the end of the course about your agreement so the correct grade is entered in SPIRE. 
  4. Your instructor is under no obligation to retract the p/f if you request it at the end of the semester.

Steps you need to complete for Audit:

PLEASE NOTE:  Once you've enrolled in a course as an audit, you can't change back to a letter grade.

1. Before the end of the add/drop period you can enter audit in SPIRE when you enroll in a course. If you have already enrolled in a course for a grade, and would like to change it to audit before the end of the add/drop period you will need to complete an add/drop form.

2. After the end of add/drop period fill out the late Add/Drop form which can be found on this webpage: Late Add/Drop Form

3. After the Instructor signs the form, drop it off to the Graduate School in Goodell or deliver it to the Graduate Program Assistant and it will be sent to the Graduate School.

PhD students only - No course enrollment

If you are not enrolling in any courses in Fall 2020 you must enroll in Continuous Enrollment/Program Fee, GRADSCH 999 using the University's SPIRE student information system.

An incomplete course from a previous semester does not maintain your enrollment.

You can find this Continuous Enrollment course in the Schedule of Classes under GRADSCH 999. The cost for Continuous Enrollment/Program Fee is $275.00 which will be billed by the Bursar's Office. Students on Continuous Enrollment are also assessed half of the Graduate Student Senate Tax.

First semester students are not eligible for Continuous Enrollment.


If you do not register by the last day to add or drop classes for the semester, you will be withdrawn from the CICS graduate program. If you wish to enroll after the deadline, you will be required to obtain readmission authorization from the Graduate Program Manager and will be required to pay the Readmission Fee of $125.00 in addition to any course fees or retroactive Continuous Enrollment/Program Fees. Readmission under this condition is subject to graduate program approval and is not guaranteed.

Independent Study Enrollment

Complete the Graduate Independent Study Form by downloading it from the CICS webpage: Graduate Program Forms. Follow the instructions included with the form.