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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have plenty of questions about your first year at UMass Dartmouth—and beyond. We've gathered the most frequently asked questions for you here. Your parents may want to check our FAQs for parents.

If you have a question that hasn't been answered here, please contact us.

Our most frequently asked question

Yes, all students, including first-years, may bring a car to campus; all students with cars must purchase parking decals to park on campus.

Getting started at UMass Dartmouth

Orientation is mandatory for all first-year students. It's your opportunity to explore the campus, get to know other students, participate in academic advising, and learn more about college life.

Our Family Orientation sessions cover subjects such as financial aid and the issues that first-year students typically face.

The courses you'll take as a first-year student depend on your decision about a major. Working with advisors and staff, you'll select your courses at Orientation. Many first-year students take 5 courses, while others decide to take 4.

UMass Dartmouth requires a placement test in math, and if your academic program requires it, a placement test in a foreign language. These tests enable us to place you in the appropriate courses.

Register for placement testing

In most cases, students who have declared a major are assigned a faculty advisor in their department or college. In addition, a broad network of professionals, faculty, staff, and students supports the university’s advising mission.

Many first-year students are uncertain about a major. Depending on your interests, you may consider enrolling initially as "undeclared" within the colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, or Engineering—or as "Studio Arts Undeclared" within the College of Visual & Performing Arts.

Your first-year courses will encompass a range of disciplines, giving you the opportunity and the time to decide what field most appeals to you; then you select a specific major by your junior year. Support programs during the first year provide guidance about your plans for the future.

There's really no such thing—programs of study vary with each student's major. But there are a number of courses in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences that first-year students frequently take, giving you an opportunity to meet many other students.

About academics

The STAR Center (Student Transition and Achievement Resource Center) offers academic advice and referral to all students. The office's faculty and professional staff can help you select courses, explore majors, and discuss other academic issues.

Your faculty advisor can also help you understand UMass Dartmouth's academic regulations and procedures.

Finally, the Undergraduate Catalog is the official resource for all university policies for undergraduates.

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides peer tutoring, study groups, small group review sessions, help with writing papers, assistance with study skills, and workshops on academic issues—at no cost to students. Professionals and faculty-nominated students serve as tutors. The ARC includes these centers:

Grades are not mailed or emailed home. It is the student's responsibility to use the COIN student information system—accessible through the web portal—to access grades.

Because UMass Dartmouth is a university with many colleges and many majors, there's not a single or a simple answer to that question. The Undergraduate Catalog is the most comprehensive resource at your disposal to review the specific academic requirements of your college and your major.

Use the Catalog in consultation with your advisor to plan your academic career here at UMass Dartmouth. Start with the section called "Academic Regulations and Procedures" and then review the specific requirements for your college and major.

Students at UMass Dartmouth complete a general education curriculum called University Studies. This program offers you the opportunity to expand your skills and abilities while providing the breadth of study that is the hallmark of a liberal education.

All students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0; that is, a C average. Any student whose cumulative GPA falls below this level is placed on Academic Probation.

For complete and official information about academic sanctions and other academic regulations and procedures, refer to the "Academic Regulations and Procedures/Academic Sanctions" section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Attendance policies vary from professor to professor. You should check with each professor at the beginning of the semester to be clear about what his or her policy is.

The Office of Student Accessibility Services provides support to learning disabled and physically disabled students by helping them pursue their educational goals while adjusting to the university environment. UMass Dartmouth's policy regarding admission and access to programs prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

While applicants and enrolled students are not required to disclose a disability, it is recommended they contact Office of Student Accessibility Services to discuss, in confidence, accommodations that may be needed. These conferences are kept entirely separate from the admissions decision.

Residence life

If two students know that they want to be roommates, they must both direct such a request, in writing, to the Housing Office. This must be done by the middle of May. Students typically make this request when they complete and return their housing contracts, following acceptance.

Part of the adjustment to university life is learning to live with a roommate. However, if you are having trouble getting along with a roommate, the first step is to speak with your Resident Assistant, who will work with you and your roommate to help resolve conflicts.

If conflict resolution is not successful, you may work with the Resident Assistant to initiate a room change. Room changes are permitted on a space-available basis.

Many resident students stay here for the weekend, either to participate in on-campus activities and events or to explore and enjoy the surrounding communities of southeastern Massachusetts. The town of Dartmouth offers shopping, restaurants, a cinema complex, beautiful ocean beaches, nature trails, and more—just moments away from campus.

The Director and Associate Directors of Housing & Residential Education supervise the university's student residences. Each residence hall is staffed with a Resident Director, who is a full-time, live-in professional. Resident Directors, in turn, oversee a staff of student Resident Assistants assigned to each residence hall.

You may be insured through your policies at home. However, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have adequate coverage and to seek additional coverage if necessary.

Health concerns

The Health Services Office is an outpatient facility that can evaluate and treat most student health issues.

When a student has a problem that Health Services can't handle, we may refer to an off-campus health care provider, consult with the student's primary care provider or with the student's permission, call the parents.

Health Services has a nurse practitioner on call when the office is closed.

Yes. As long as you are enrolled at UMass Dartmouth, you are eligible to use the university's health services.

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