Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Registration & Advising


Exact appointment date/time varies per student; check SPIRE.

  Preliminary CS course list available to view on CICS Courses webpage
  CS Advising Period for appointment with advisor for hold release
~ April 4 Fall 2022 Schedule available to view on SPIRE
April 11-12 Seniors register on SPIRE (87 credits and above)
April 14-15 Juniors register on SPIRE (57-86 credits)
April 20-22 Sophomores register on SPIRE (27-56 credits)
April 25-26     Freshmen register on SPIRE (26 credits and below)
  Approximate date to open Override Form for specific course requests
(Instructor Consent, Honors Colloqs, CS600+; not to be used if a course is FULL)

Advising Appointment vs. Enrollment Appointment on SPIRE

ADVISING APPOINTMENT (Make an appointment to meet before your Enrollment Date opens on SPIRE):  Your advising appointment is when you get advising and then your RAC (or Advising) Hold is released.

ENROLLMENT APPOINTMENT (or DATES):  Your enrollment appointment is when you can actually start to enroll on SPIRE.  You will see a date and time in your Student Center on SPIRE when you may begin registering for classes.  The opening day of Registration may not be your time to register.


CS & INFORM Majors


  • RAC Holds are assigned by your primary major (if used) and because you are not yet a CS major, CICS Advisors will not authorize RAC release.  NOTE:  Applicants are still required to follow the advising protocol for their current major.
  • See Major Change To CS.
  • Email specific questions to csapply@cs.umass.edu.

CS Minors List

Exploratory Track Students

Exploratory Track students who wish to apply to the Computer Science major should follow their current College's advising protocol.  Students in the Computing and Informatics Exploratory Track are advised by the assigned CICS Advisor regarding the CS major as well as creating a back-up academic plan. 


 Override Information 

CS Course Listing (or visit SPIRE)

Undergrad Independent Study Information 

University Pass/Fail Grading Policy for Spring 2021  

CICS UG Program Rule Changes in Response to COVID-19 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I want to take a course pass/fail, but I was not given the proper permissions on SPIRE.  It's not letting me complete the action.  Is there anything I can do to fix that issue?
A: It looks like you're trying to change the course to pass/fail through your enrollment screen by using the Normal Maintenance option.  After add/drop is over, there's a different way.
If you still have trouble, contact regtrans@registrar.umass.edu.

Q: What is a RAC Hold and why do I have one?
A: A RAC is a Registration Access hold on SPIRE that prevents you from registering until you have been advised by your primary major department. The College of Information and Computer Sciences requires advising, and therefore uses RACs to make sure that you communicate with an advisor.

Primary CS majors (BS-CS/BA-CS) cannot register on SPIRE without a RAC Hold release.  Secondary CS majors (SM-CS/SM-CS) should see their assigned CS advisor for Advising Hold release.  Any RAC Holds are for the primary major so must be released by that department.

Q: What is an Advising Hold and why do I have one?
A: Advising Holds are placed on CS majors (both primary and secondary) when your expected graduation date (EGD) is such that you won't need to register for the next term, i.e., EGD of February 2022 (finishing after Fall 2021 or Winter 2022), so Spring 2022 registration is not needed. This hold on SPIRE will prevent you from registering if you change your graduation date and wish to enroll in the upcoming term.  This hold (like the RAC hold) serves a special purpose to enforce advising.  Contact your advisor.

A: Advising Holds are placed on secondary CS majors.  Secondary majors must follow the advising protocol of their primary major (RAC release, if used) as well as the protocol for CS Advising. We have placed these holds on secondary CS majors since registration for Spring 2015.

A: Advising Holds are placed on CS BA majors (both primary and secondary) prior to registration for their last semester according to their graduation date on SPIRE.  This hold on SPIRE will prevent you from registering until your Four-Course Concentration for the BA has been approved by the Undergraduate Program Director.  The Four-Course Concentration needs to be approved prior to registration for your last semester.  This hold serves a special purpose to ensure approval prior to senior year.

Q: We cannot register for any classes at all until the RAC or Advising Hold is released? Or is this just COMPSCI courses?
A: You need the RAC or Advising Hold released to register for all classes. These holds are required by the College of Information and Computer Sciences so that you will get advising and/or submit required paperwork prior to enrolling in classes.

Q: How can I get my RAC Released if my assigned advisor is not available to meet?
A: First, be sure that you have planned well in advance of your registration appointment time on SPIRE.  You may seek general advising from CICS/Peer Advising, however, your assigned advisor needs to approve your plan and release your RAC.

Q: What if I am planning to change from CS to another major?
A: You must follow the Advising protocol/Hold release of the Undergraduate Program in Computer Science.  You should also seek advising from the department that you will change into, however, your holds will be released by CS.

Q: What if I am planning to change into CS?  How do I get advising?
A: You must follow the protocol of your current major for Advising/Hold release, if applicable.  You should also visit CICS Advising or Peer Advising. If you are still in need of assistance, email csapply@cs.umass.edu.