Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Registration & Advising


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

Mar 13 CS Schedule available to view on Courses webpage
Mar 9-13 Schedule an appointment with your assigned advisor
Mar 16 Fall 2020 Schedule available to view on SPIRE
Mar 23-27 CS Advising Period for appointment with advisor for hold release
Apr 8-9 Seniors register on SPIRE (87 credits and above)
Apr 15-16 Juniors register on SPIRE (57-86 credits)
Apr 22-23 Sophomores register on SPIRE (27-56 credits)
Apr 24 Freshmen register on SPIRE (26 credits and below)
~ Apr 28 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 Majors with Assigned Faculty Advisors

  • Meet with your CS Faculty Advisor. Check SPIRE for your advisor assignment.
  • CS Advisors will be available (March 23-27) and should contact students with available times.
  • Email your advisor to make a 15 minute appointment between March 23-27, but before the date when you can first register. Expect that CS Faculty advisors will try to arrange things so that they talk with their Seniors first, then Juniors.
  • Be prepared to discuss your course selection with your advisor, as well as summer internships and such. IMPORTANT: Bring your updated TRACKING FORM.  Your CS Faculty Advisor is the only one who can release your RAC Hold (see FAQ below).

CS Majors With Assigned Professional Advisors

Applicants On Contract (AOC)

  • Visit CICS Undergraduate Advising.  Bring your contract email with you for advising and your updated TRACKING FORM.  CICS Exploratory Track students should see either Greg Boisseau or Ben Conrick, CICS ET Advisors.
  • 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:  AOCs are still required to follow the advising protocol for their current major.
  • See Major Change To CS and refer to Undergraduate Orientation slides.
  • If you still have questions after visiting CICS Advising, 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 the process outlined below.  However, please note that the advisors for the students in the Computing and Informatics Exploratory Track are Greg Boisseau and Ben Conrick, and they advise students regarding the CS major as well as creating a back-up academic plan. 


 F20 Override Information Override form for Fall 2020 opened on April 28.

CS Course Listing (or visit SPIRE)


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.  Since 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 May 2020 (finishing after Spring 2020), so Fall 2020 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 CS Faculty 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 Advising, however, your CS Faculty Advisor needs to approve your plan (via your updated tracking form) 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 if still in need of assistance, email csapply@cs.umass.edu.