Welcome Commonwealth Honors College class of 2016. Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and to Commonwealth Honors College! We are pleased to hear that you plan to attend the University and encourage you to jump right into the Honors community.


NSO Honors Meeting:

During your New Student Orientation (NSO) session, a required Commonwealth Honors College Meeting will be held at 3:15PM on your first day of NSO (which will be either Monday or Thursday), followed by dinner with a Commonwealth Honors College Peer Advisor. At this meeting you and other new honors students will discover more about Commonwealth Honors College, its requirements and many academic and social opportunities. In addition, you will:

  • connect with Honors Advisors and other new Commonwealth Honors College students
  • sign a membership contract confirming your agreement to complete the Honors College requirements
  • explore the Honors and other University Residential Academic Program (RAP) options
  • have an opportunity to ask questions about Commonwealth Honors College



Advising & Course Registration During NSO

During your second day of NSO, all students will meet with an advisor and register for classes. CHC students who have declared a major will meet with an advisor in that department. CHC students who have not declared a major will meet with an Commonwealth Honors College advisor. All honors students should register for at least one honors course during their advising appointment. Honors course suggestions are as follows:

  • HONORS Seminar 1 291A: Ideas that Changed the World -All CHC student are required to take this course during their first year.
  • ENGLWRIT 112H – All CHC students are required to take this course in their first year. Please see Writing Placement Exam information if you believe you might qualify to be exempt from this requirement.
  • Any HONORS version of a General Education course – CHC students can often fulfill a University Gen Ed requirement and a CHC requirement with a single course.


Housing Choices:

If you are interested in a RAP and have yet to join it, we strongly recommend that you reserve your place as soon as possible; spaces are filled on a first-come basis. Please view our website to see the Honors RAPs offered to students for Fall 2012. You can select or change your RAP until the end of your NSO session. You will also confirm your housing selection during NSO.


Honors Fall Orientation:

In addition to attending Summer NSO, please plan to arrive on Wednesday, August 29, 2012, for the Honors Fall Orientation (immediately preceding the UMass Orientation). At the honors orientation you will meet honors advisors, orientation leaders, and your full honors class. Your family is invited to attend your Honors Induction which is the opening event. You and your family will be receiving more information about Honors Fall Orientation soon, so stay tuned!    


SPIRE Tutorials:

Students at UMass Amherst use SPIRE to enroll in classes, take a few minutes to view the tutorials before you arrive, you can do so by clicking on the hyperlinks below:

Getting Started

Searching for Classes

Enrolling in Classes


Honors Online Handbook:

Now that you are a current student, it may be helpful for you to check out the Student Handbook so you can become more familiar with all aspects of the Honors College.