Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

CS Advising for Registration

CS Advising Period: March 25-April 11


REGISTRATION DATES (exact date varies per student; check SPIRE).

Seniors (87 credits and above) Apr 1, 2 (Mon, Tue)
Juniors (57-86 credits) Apr 4, 5 (Thu, Fri)
Sophomores (27-56 credits) Apr 8, 9 (Mon, Tue)
Freshmen (26 credits and below) Apr 11 (Thu)

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 Advisors (Juniors & Seniors)

  • Meet with your CS Advisor. Check SPIRE for your advisor assignment.
  • CS Advisors will be available (March 25-April 11) and should contact students with available times.
  • Email your advisor starting Thur March 21 to make a 15 minute appointment between March 25-April 11, but before the date when you can first register.  Expect that CS advisors will try to arrange things so that they talk with their Seniors first, then Juniors. Sophomores and Freshmen will attend group advising meetings.
  • 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 Advisor is the only one who can release your RAC Hold (see FAQ below).

CS Majors (Sophomores & Freshmen) - Options

  • Attend CS Group Advising Meeting.  Bring your CS Advising Sheet and your updated TRACKING FORM for Advising/RAC release to either meeting:
    • Wed March 27 @4:30 PM in ILC S331
    • Thur March 28 @4:30 PM in ELABII 119
  • Visit CS Undergrad Advising Center (ACEfor Advising/RAC release. Be sure to also bring your CS Advising Sheet and your updated TRACKING FORM.

Applicants On Contract (AOC)

  • Visit CS Undergrad Advising Center (ACE). Bring your contract email with you for advising and your updated TRACKING FORM.  CICS Exploratory Track students should seek advising from Greg Boisseau, CICS Advisor.
  • RACs are assigned by your primary major (if used) and because you are not yet a CS major, CS advising staff will not authorize RAC release.  NOTE:  AOCs are still required to follow the advising protocol for their current major (have a Plan B).
  • See Major Change To CS and refer to Undergrad Orientation slides.
  • If you still have questions after visiting ACE, email specific questions to the Undergraduate Program Director (upd@cs.umass.edu).

CS Minors List

  • Visit CS Undergrad Advising Center (ACE). If you still have questions after visiting ACE, email specific questions to askCSminor@cs.umass.edu.

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 advisor for the students in the Computing and Informatics Exploratory Track is Greg Boisseau, and he can appropriately advise you regarding the CS major as well as creating a back-up academic plan. 

Other Students Interested in CS Major or CS Minor

  • Attend CS Orientation for Students Interested in CS Majors held at the beginning of each semester. See Orientation slides from the most recent session.
  • Visit CS Undergrad Advising Center (ACE). Other students interested in applying to the CS Major or intending to minor may visit ACE for advising, but should make note of specific instructions/deadlines for submitting paperwork:
  • If you have specific questions not answered, email questions to csapply@cs.umass.edu or askCSminor@cs.umass.edu


ACE Hours

 F19 Override Information Override form for Fall 2019 now closed

CS Course Listing (or visit SPIRE)


Frequently Asked Questions

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, either directly, via email, by attending the CS Group Advising Meeting (Freshmen/Sophomore CS Majors by invitation) or visiting the CS Undergraduate Advising Center (ACE).

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 (meeting or ACE) 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 or Sept 2019 (finishing after Summer 2019), so Fall 2019 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. This is new, starting with 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 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 ACE, however, your CS 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 ACE for CS Advising.