University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Below you'll find a number of answers to some frequently asked questions.  If you can't find what you're looking for or need more information, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 413-545-3653 or 800-922-8211.


Occasionally CPE classes are cancelled due to underenrollment. If your class is cancelled, we will notify you by email and/or phone.


UMass Amherst aims to resolve all student complaints in a fair and expedient manner. Students wishing to file a formal complaint about an online course are encouraged to first contact the school or college offering the online program. The next step is to follow the formal Academic Grievance Procedure. Students can also receive assistance from the Ombuds Office.

If online students residing in another state wish to file a formal complaint with their home state authorizing agency after exhausting internal avenues, they may do so using the contact information listed here.


Maximum credit amounts are as follows:

Fall/Spring: 11 credits
Winter: 4 credits

  • Undergraduates: 16 credits total, up to 8 credits for each session
  • Graduates: 9 credits total

Complete a Credit Overload Petition form* if you need to take additional credits.

*If you are a non-degree, undergraduate-level student and wish to study full time (12 credits or more per term) on a regular basis, you should apply for admission to a degree-granting program.


Add/Drop deadlines for term-length classes can be found on the Academic Calendar. For variable-length classes, check the class description or SPIRE under Class Notes.


It's important to note that notifying the instructor or not attending class does not constitute an official drop or withdrawal. More info...


The following populations can take UMass Amherst CPE classes:

  • Non-credit classes are open to anyone, with no requirements
  • Undergraduate classes require a minimum of a high school diploma or a GED. Exceptions may be granted to high school students with written permission of their guidance counselor and parent/guardian
  • Graduate degree programs and classes require at least a bachelor's degree
  • Some classes may require prerequisite college-level work
  • You may enroll in classes before being formally admitted to a degree program, however, enrollment does not imply acceptance into a degree program.
  • In accordance with UMass Amherst policy, UMass Amherst students under academic suspension/dismissal, or trespassed from the UMass Amherst campus may not enroll in courses through CPE.

Find out how to enroll by clicking here.

Missed the add deadline?

Graduate students: Complete a Graduate Late Add/Drop form

Undergraduate students: Complete a Undergraduate Late Add Petition


Grades will be posted in SPIRE approximately two weeks after the end of finals. Check the academic calendar for exact dates and to determine when grades will show on transcripts for each term. Grades will not be mailed to you.

Note: Grades for Summer Session 1 will not be reflected on transcripts until the summer term has ended.

Taking a class Pass/Fail

Undergraduate classes: Choose the pass/fail grading option when you enroll in SPIRE or send us a pass/fail card. Your request must be submitted to CPE before the end of the withdrawal period for the class.  

You may use the pass/fail option for one class each semester or session and may not take more than 15 classes pass/fail during your undergraduate career.

See Academic Regulations for more information.

Graduate classes: Ask your instructor for Pass/Fail grading.

Auditing a class

  1. Enroll in class and pay all tuition and fees
  2. Complete Audit Request form
  3. Satisfy all audit criteria as stipulated, in advance, by the instructor

Need details? See Academic Regulations

Non-degree status

Non-degree students are those who are enrolled in credit-bearing classes but have not submitted an application for admission to a degree program at UMass Amherst or are taking credit-bearing classes in a term prior to their official admit term into a degree program at UMass Amherst. Credit taken as a non-degree student will appear on a UMass Amherst transcript, and may be transferable into a degree program at the discretion of the program/institution granting the degree.


Non-degree students are not required to be coded in SPIRE as having met course prerequisites before enrolling. If you get a prerequisite error while trying to enroll, contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 413-545-3653, giving us your name, student ID, semester, and the class (including subject, course number, and 5-digit class #) that you are trying to enroll in. We will add permission into SPIRE to override the prerequisite and then you will be able to self-enroll. Note: It is always a good idea to have satisfied the prerequisite before enrolling.

For ECON classes, students must have met all prerequisites. Non-UMass students should email a copy of their transcript to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for permission to enroll.


Requests for transcripts of classes taken through CPE are ordered through SPIRE. For transcript requests, click here.

University-scheduled (non-CPE) classes

Only undergraduates in degree programs offered through CPE and non-degree undergraduate students can enroll in university-scheduled classes through CPE.

If you are a graduate student, including a non-degree graduate, contact Graduate Records at 413-545-0024 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to enroll in these classes.


Before classes begin, students are enrolled on a daily basis as seats become available. If enrolled, you will be sent a confirmation email to your UMass email address. You can also check your enrollment status in a class in SPIRE.

On the last Sunday before classes begin:

  • Waitlists cease to exist
  • Check available space using SPIRE and enroll yourself
  • Contact the instructor to request written permission to enroll in a full class. Instructor should forward permission to CPE Registration Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
100 Venture Way • Hadley, MA 01035-9430 • 413-545-2414 •
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