Summer New Students Orientation

About Summer NSO

At Summer NSO, you will explore the opportunities at UMass Amherst, receive advising, choose classes, and select housing. 

What to Expect as an Honors Student

As an Honors student, you will receive information from the Honors college during your Summer NSO. You should expect and explore the following:

NSO Honors Meeting:

During your New Student Orientation (NSO) session, a required Commonwealth Honors College Meeting will be held at 9 AM on your first day of NSO (which will be either Monday or Thursday) in the Commonwealth Honors College.

Note: Honors students should check in for Summer NSO by 8:15 AM in the Northeast Quad. This will allow time to walk to the 9:00 AM CHC Meeting. You may park in Lot 44, 21 Eastman Lane.

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 other new CHC students and meet CHC advisors
  • Learn about Advising Services at CHC
  • Review the CHC Terms of Agreement as well as Honors requirements
  • Hear more about honors housing and Honors Residential Academic Program (RAP) options
  • Have an opportunity to ask questions about CHC

Students will also be able to view a first-year room in the CHC Residential Community following the CHC Meeting. 

Advising & Course Registration During NSO

Students will meet with an advisor in their major while they are on campus for New Student Orientation. In most colleges, there will also be a CHC Advisor available to answer honors questions that you have. All honors students should register for one or two honors courses during their advising appointment. Honors course suggestions are as follows:

  • If in an Honors RAP, students only need to take the honors courses listed for the RAP.  
  • HONORS 201: 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 for an exemption 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:

Learn more about first-year honors students and housing

During NSO, all RAP students will confirm their RAP.  Anyone not in a RAP will submit their housing preferences on line. All students must confirm their housing. 

Parents Meeting:

Parents are invited to attend a CHC Information Session for Parents during your Summer NSO. It will be held on the first day of your NSO session at 4:00 PM in the CHC Events Hall. 

What to Think About

At Summer NSO, you will receive a lot of information and will have to make many decisions in the span of two days. Therefore, get a head start by considering what courses you want to take and where you want to live.

Here is the Curriculum Overview, which will give you a general outline of the courses you should take. Every year, many honors courses are offered in all the disciplines. To find these courses, simply view the Honors Course Guide.

If you have any other questions about the Commonwealth Honors College, view the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us by phone 413.545.2483.

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