The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Taking Classes outside UMass Amherst

  • Undergraduate students are allowed to take classes at institutions outside the University and transfer the credits into the University.

  • Prior approval is needed before you take a class somewhere else, otherwise the course might not fulfill any degree requirements. For courses to satisfy the University's General Education requirements, you should contact the Registrar's office for prior approval. For courses to satisfy other degree requirements in CSE or EE, you should contact the Director of Transfer Affairs.

  • If you are taking classes outside of the University during your last semester, you will need to fill out a Senior Year in Absentia form, even if it is only one course. A signed form will constitute prior approval.

  • CSE and EE majors are allowed to transfer all 100- and 200-level classes.

  • CSE and EE majors are allowed to transfer only 8 credits above the 200 level.


  • Do NOT sign up for a course outside of the University until you have a signed Prior Approval of Course Work form.

  • Good candidates for courses to take at local community college are: PHYS 151 and 152; MATH 131, 132, 233, 235, and 331; and CHEM 111. Note, however, that if you have already taken one of these courses at UMass Amherst, and you have earned below C, then you need to retake the class at UMass Amherst in order to earn a grade replacement. In other words, when you take a course outside of UMass Amherst, only the credits transfer; the grade does not transfer.

  • Other courses that have been recently taken at other universities are COMPSCI 250; and ECE 313, 323, and 344.

  • The Division of Continuing and Professional Education (CPE, offers UMass Amherst courses during the winter and summer terms. Courses include COMPSCI 121 and 187; MATH 131, 132, 233, 235, and 331; and ECE 211, 212, 232, and possibly 221; as well as dozens of Social World electives. You do NOT need prior approval to take these classes, and the grade will count in your GPA. (In some cases, you will need the instructor's permission to enroll.)

  • CPE courses can be particularly useful for Social World electives, as these can be very hard to find at other institutions, because they must be 4-credit courses. These can also be useful for fulfilling the Diversity requirements (U and G), because it can be difficult to find equivalent courses outside the University.

  • The Director of Transfer Affairs for ECE is Bill Leonard, Marcus 8B, 413.545.3513, Contact him for more information about any of these topics.