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Fresh Start Policy Print E-mail

Students who return to the University after an absence of at least three years may have their prior work excluded from the calculation of their cumulative grade point average subject to certain conditions. This is known as the Fresh Start policy, because you begin a new cumulative GPA upon readmission. 

NOTE: Enrolling in classes as a non-degree student at UMass Amherst before the entering admitted semester will nullify the Fresh Start option, even if you had been eligible before then.

IMPORTANT: Once you have chosen the Fresh Start policy, you may NOT reverse the decision, and will remain subject to the below conditions. If you have questions about whether or not to pursue Fresh Start, please contact the advisor in the program you are applying to before submitting your application.

If you are eligible, and choose to elect Fresh Start, the following conditions will apply:

  1. A minimum of 45 credits must be completed in residence on the UMass Amherst campus in a matriculated      program of study after the Fresh Start.

  2. All courses and grades attempted and earned in prior periods of enrollment, including academic notations, will remain a permanent part of your record.  They will appear on your transcript, along with a notation that the courses and grades are not included in your cumulative grade point average.

  3. Students who are readmitted under the Fresh Start option will be subject to University graduation requirements in effect at the time of readmission.  (Exceptions may be made to the General Education requirements for those students who, in earlier enrollment periods, had completed then-existing distribution or core requirements.)

  4. Courses which are passed in earlier periods of enrollment with grades of CD or D will not be accepted in satisfaction of any degree requirements following readmission.  You will lose credits previously earned in courses graded CD or D.

  5. Courses which were passed in earlier periods of enrollment with grades of C or better will be accepted toward satisfaction of the University requirement that 120 credits be completed for a baccalaureate degree.  General Education courses which were passed in earlier periods of enrollment with grades of C or better will be accepted toward satisfaction of appropriate General Education requirements.

  6. Courses which were passed in earlier periods of enrollment with grades of C or better will be accepted toward satisfaction of major requirements if so approved by the major department, but they will not be included in the calculation of the major GPA.

  7. The restrictions detailed in this document apply to degree requirements only.  Individual programs on campus may place additional restrictions on eligibility for participation following readmission.  (These may include internship, cooperative education, and international or national exchange programs, and other programs not listed here.)

  8. As a reminder - Once you have chosen the Fresh Start policy, you may NOT reverse the decision, and will remain subject to the above conditions. If you have questions about whether or not to pursue Fresh Start, please contact the advisor in the program you are applying to before submitting your application.

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