Frequently Asked Questions
Please review the following commonly asked questions when you are organizing your classes and before your advising appointments:
How Does SPIRE Work?
OIT has put together a great video on how you can enroll in classes on SPIRE:
More OIT videos are here.
BCT Major Requirements
- Which courses are currently required for the BCT major? We keep an updated list here. Please note that we sometimes drop courses that are not offered anymore but may still appear on your Spire account as required classes.
- What should I do if I can’t get into a BCT class? This sometimes happens – especially for freshmen or sophomores. As juniors and seniors, you will have an earlier enrollment appointment and it will get easier to get into classes. There is no need to panic – check with your advisor when you can and should take a specific class. Every BCT major is typically able to take all required classes in the 4-year time frame. If you are a senior, also check with the instructor and ask them to override you into the class.
- Must I take a 300-level course in my Junior year? Course numbering in BCT is not as strict as you may know from other programs. While the number roughly means that this course should at the earliest be taken in your Junior year, you are actually free to take it whenever you like. We organized our courses this way realizing that students often transfer into our program.
- How can I get rid of the advisor hold on my record? This hold is there to make sure you meet with your advisor once a semester to check on your progress. Just sign up for an advising appointment during advising week. This is typically the week before the first students can register for classes.
- How can I get an override form? The link to the form is on this page. Fill it out and bring it to the course instructor. Please remember that it is left to the instructor’s discretion if he/she will give you an override.
- Can I take more than 19 credits a semester? Yes, but you will have to appeal for a credit overload here.
- How do I sign up for an independent study or practicum? The link to the form is on this page. Talk to the instructor who you want to do this with and get their okay before filling out the form.
- What happens when I re-take a course? You cannot re-take a course where you received a C or better. All others can be repeated max. twice. All enrollments and grades will appear on your transcript but only the last grade will go into your GPA. Please note: Therefore, repeating a course can have negative consequences.
- Can I take courses as pass/fail? You can take one course per semester as pass/fail. Gen-Ed courses, required writing courses and BCT major requirements cannot be taken as pass/fail.
- Can I drop a course after the “last day to drop with W” day? All adds and late withdrawals at that point require a Dean’s signature. Late withdrawals are based on extenuating and documented circumstances; poor performance does not constitute an extenuating circumstance.
- How many credits have I taken? You can always check your Academic Requirement Report on SPIRE but only the official transcript will have the accurate credit count.
- Who do I contact if I need to talk to the Academic Dean? Associate Dean Martha Baker, 220 Morrill II Science Center, 545-1969 or Associate Dean Jack Wileden, 220 Morrill II Science Center, 545-1969
Minors and Double-Majors
- Which minors work well with BCT? The ECON , RES-ECON and IT minors have a good number of overlapping courses. You can find the links here. There are many other minors at UMass, though. A list is here.
- How do I sign up for a minor? Check out the minor’s description. You typically have to do the required courses (15-18 credits) and afterwards get someone in the offering department to sign off on your completion. Prior authorization is typically not required.
- What are the requirements if I want to double-major? You can specify a second major using the Change of Majors form, which you can get from the main ECO office. Double majors are required to identify one major as primary, making the other one secondary. You still have to satisfy the requirements of both majors, but the choice of primary major determines in what department or college you will fulfill some of those requirements. For example, you may have to complete the university-wide Junior Year Writing requirement in your primary major. Double-majors must be completed in ten semesters.
- Is there more specific guidance for all of this? Yes, there is the official Academic Regulations handbook. You can also always check with your advisor or the Registrar’s office.
- How can I do an internship and get credit for it? Check out this Career Services page. If you want to get credit for your internship, contact your BCT advisor and set this up with them.
- How can I spend a semester abroad? It is a great idea to do this and will provide you with tremendous experience for your personal life and career. Check out the International Programs Office site to learn more.
PLEASE NOTE: While we took care to assemble this list, please be aware that official university and program regulations always have precendence over what has been presented here.
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Last updated: September 12, 2013