The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Advising and Registration Information for Biomedical Engineering (BME) Majors

Fall 2021 Registration Notes

Summary of Steps

1. Review your ARR & complete the fillable Course Selection Form (CSF) provided via the advising email from your advisor and available on the BME Undergraduate Students webpage.
2. Email the Course Selection Form to Natalia Kolk at before your enrollment appointment (see below for a schedule). Students who do not submit the CSF will not have their advising (or RAC) hold removed and will not be able to register for classes.
3. Optional: Schedule a remote advising appointment as directed via an advisor provided link (sent out the week of March 15), or visit their Zoom drop-in hours.
4. Enroll in classes once your enrollment appointment opens (beginning April 5, check SPIRE for your enrollment appointment day & time).
5. Fall 2021 Override requests can be submitted online beginning April 5.  This link is also provided on the BME Undergraduate Students webpage.

Academic level (for the upcoming year)

Spring SPIRE enrollment appointment dates

Submit CSF no later than:

Schedule an advising appointment during these dates:


April 5 & 6

Tuesday, March 30

Tuesday, March 23 - Tuesday, April 6


April 12 & 13

Tuesday, April 6

Tuesday, March 30 - Tuesday, April 13


April 22 & 23

Thursday, April 15

Thursday, April 8 - Friday, April 23

Freshmen (up to 26 credits) & Make-up appointments

April 28

Tuesday, April 20 or ASAP

Monday, April 26 - Monday, May 10

Required Registration Process

Pre-Registration Advising is mandatory for undergraduates in Engineering to enroll in courses on SPIRE for next semester. See SPIRE to determine when your enrollment appointment opens. Students must discuss their course plan with an advisor before they can enroll as advising holds will need to be lifted prior to class registration. Additionally, if you fail to contact your advisor before April 28, you are not guaranteed a seat in the class(es) you need.

All BME Advising will be done remotely. All students assigned a BME advisor will receive an email with detailed instructions. The first step will be to complete the Course Selection Form (CSF) and email the PDF to Natalia Kolk. After that, there will be options to make an appointment (phone or Zoom) with Natalia if you feel you need additional guidance. 

Advisor Contact Info: 

Natalia Kolk,
Zoom Drop-in advising
Mondays & Fridays 1:00-3:00pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00-11:30am

Admission to the Major

To be admitted to the BME major a student must complete, with a grade of C or better, the following courses: Math 131 and Math 132, Engineering 100, or any of the following: Engineering 110-114; CS 119, ECE 122, or CS 121; Physics 151; and either Chemistry 111 or Physics 152. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and the most recent semester GPA of 2.0 are also required. NOTE: transfer students from on- or off-campus who have not completed the Introduction to Engineering course (100, 110-114) should contact Natalia Kolk to discuss their course options.

Curriculum Planning

Advisors offer assistance, but they do not plan the student’s course of study. Curriculum worksheets are only guides as not all required courses are offered every semester. Please inform Natalia Kolk now about any problems that arise from anticipated course offerings. NOTE: The BME time scheduling grid will be available late March on the BME Undergraduate Students webpage if you are planning your schedule before classes are available in SPIRE (March 29).

Academic Requirements Report (ARR)

This report is used for graduation clearance. Each student should check their ARR on SPIRE and let Natalia Kolk ( know if there are any errors or omissions, particularly regarding transfer credits, AP credits, elective courses, and GenEd courses. Please review your ARR prior to your advising meeting.

Course Selection Form (CSF)

The BME Course Selection Form (CSF) is available online as a fillable PDF on the BME Undergraduate Students webpage. Please complete as much information as you can and email the form to Natalia Kolk ( for her approval. Students who do not submit the CSF will not have their advising hold removed.

Scheduling an Appointment

During the week of March 15, you should receive an email from your advisor (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Your advisor will send you an email like this containing your appointment link.

In order to make an appointment, please click on the appointment link provided in the email, select a time that works with your schedule, and click Save (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Once you click “Schedule an Appointment,” pick a time that works for you.

You will receive an email confirming the appointment time and details (including the Zoom link). You will also receive a reminder text or email before the appointment.  NOTE: please schedule your appointment at least 24 hours before you meet with your advisor. If you do not, your appointment may be cancelled.

Enrollment Issues

Register as soon as your SPIRE enrollment appointment opens if you need a specific class or section.  BME courses are currently offered once per year and we will do our best to accommodate enrollment issues, however, we cannot guarantee enrollment for students with non-standard schedules or missing prerequisites.  

Fall 2021 Override requests for BME courses can be submitted online.  The link will be provided on the BME Undergraduate Students webpage under the Fall 2021 Registration section.

BME Technical Electives

You can find a list of the current pre-approved Technical Electives for BME, as well as the alternative elective request form, on the BME Undergraduate Students webpage.  Please contact your advisor if you have questions about alternative technical elective courses. A list of BME-offered courses and technical electives will also be posted on this above webpage under the Fall 2021 Registration section.

Independent Study

It is often possible to arrange an independent study which can be used as BME Tech Elective. Students are encouraged to approach faculty to discuss topics of mutual interest. Note that only one Tech Elective can be satisfied with BME 296, 396 or 496 (3 credits total). The Independent Study Contract can be found on the BME Undergraduate Students webpage, and submitted to Natalia Kolk. NOTE: honors students may not complete an independent study to meet a technical elective requirement; the honors thesis counts for 2 technical electives.

Study Abroad

BME students have studied abroad. The spring semester of your sophomore or fall semester of your junior years are the best suited for this opportunity. Please see an International Programs Office advisor if you are interested. Students interested in the 5-year double major in German and engineering iSTEP program which includes a year in Germany (one semester of classes and then an internship with a German manufacturing company) should visit Upon return from abroad, students should meet with Natalia Kolk to ensure all courses transfer correctly.

Summer or Winter Classes

If you are interested in UMass Amherst summer or winter classes, request an enrollment appointment through SPIRE.  Typically, KIN 270 is offered during the winter. Classes offered during summer 2021 include ECE 122 (in lieu of CS 119 or CS 121 – these may be offered as well, check course listings), ECE 361, ENGIN 351, and KIN 270. Other courses, including technical electives in other departments, may also be offered during the summer or winter. To enroll in a summer or winter class, first logon to SPIRE: Enrollment > Summer/Wtr/Non-deg Enroll Appt; then add the appropriate summer or winter session.

Transfer Credit

Before taking classes at another campus, students must complete a prior approval form; this is to prevent students from spending time and money on a class that will not transfer in for credit towards your undergraduate degree. Classes completed elsewhere do not impact your UMass cum GPA and will not count for credit unless a grade of “C-“ or above is earned. The Registrar’s Office approves all general education requirements, the Office of Student Affairs in 126 Marston Hall approves all science and math courses, and the Academic Advisor approves all BME courses. If you have any problems with transfer credit, email your name, student ID, and course information (both course description and syllabus) to the Academic Advisor. Note: course(s) you completed elsewhere must appear on your UMass transcript before BME course credit can be awarded. Courses taken elsewhere for the 3rd or greater time need approval from the Academic Dean.