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0-30 credits

You’re considered a first-year student if you have 0-30 earned college credits

First year of college can be challenging in many ways. You’re responsible for yourself, need to get to classes, manage your class and study time, juggle academic challenges and more. We provide a supportive structure for you and offer strategies and tactics to help make your first year successful. 


  • Complete Online Orientation found on your UMassD portal in the new student section, under orientation.
  • Complete financial aid—confirm no outstanding documentation
  • Do at least one thing from each of the three areas—explore, maximize, engage—to enhance your experience.
  • Find something you are passionate about and get involved. 
  • Step outside of your comfort zone and expand your group of friends. 
  • Explore your options, then go with your heart for your major. 
  • Meet your professors—Don't be intimidated.
  • Don't try to do everything—it's easy to spread yourself too thin.
  • Be ready to go your own way. 



  • Complete the required interactive online prevention education program Not Anymore.
  • Attend all classes even when attendance is not taken.
  • Assignments outlined in syllabus—it’s your job to get your work done on time.
  • Instructors do not necessarily give reminders.
  • Be respectful—refer to professors as Dr. or professor in person and email unless otherwise instructed
  • Remember your responsibilities.
  • Time Management is very important—remain mindful of how you use your time. College appears to have more free time than High School.
  • Expect to put more time into your studies (2-3hrs study/1hr class): rewrite notes, read assignments more than once.
  • Class size can be large—sit in front and center—know your instructor.


  • Know your advisor—don’t wait for registration period.
  • Review your major class requirements.
  • Know your college requirements.
  • Get your track sheet (What is a track sheet? Ask your advisor.)
  • Consider declaring a minor after earning 24 credits.


  • Get involved—participate in extra-curricular activities.
  • Research information during your second semester about service learning.
  • Utilize strengths inventories and resume workshops offered by the Career Development Center.
  • Participate in study groups.


  • Complete the FAFSA by the March 1 deadline. (You may submit as early as October 1.)
  • Check your school bill and make arrangements for payment or ensure loan funding is in place. 
  • Check for scholarships. Don’t let loans exceed your bill.
  • Limit working hours (<20 hrs/wk.)


  • Join an organization; however, remain mindful of time commitment

Checklist for students with 31-60 credits.
Links to help you on your path to graduation.

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