Frequently Asked Questions
Funding and Assistantships
Transition to Isenberg & the Pioneer Valley
Funding and Assistantships
For a cost breakdown of the two year MBA program, click here.
It typically takes a few weeks before the federal aid money is dispersed (Stafford loans, etc.). Funds are generally available no sooner than mid-to-late September. If you have any more specific questions, please contact the Bursar's Office over the summer to avoid the rush.
Some MBA students are offered assistantships. Other graduate assistantships may also be available through the Graduate Assistantship Office. The majority of MBA assistantships will be either teaching or project based and will typically be assigned to a specific professor in the first few weeks of the Fall semester. Those with an assistantship will be sent further information by email.
Transition to Isenberg and the Pioneer Valley
For Information on Housing, Transportation, Meals, etc. please visit the Student Life page.
The International Programs Office (IPO) is a great resource for incoming international students. Specifically, take a look at their "Degree Program" for important information and tips that all incoming international students should be aware of.
You will have an UMass email account, and you should receive your user name and temporary password in the mail sometime during the summer. Most email communication to MBA students are made via the "MBA Email Listt," a group which can be used by any MBA student. However, some professors choose other methods of communication and share with students at the beginning of classes.
The MBA Office will provide all incoming students the opportunity to join GBA (Graduate Business Association) Connections at the beginning of the summer. This program is led by the 2nd year MBA students. For those students who desire to participate, they will receive an assigned 2nd year student link/mentor who can answer a range of questions from the student perspective.
For your first year in the MBA program you will not need to register for your courses, as the MBA office will automatically register you. For your second year you will register for class through the Spire system. You will use your OIT NetID and Password to access this webpage.
Once inside Spire, you will be able to search for classes and build your schedule. Please see the MBA Office if you have any questions on this process.
First year classes are run on a "quarter" system. This means you have three or four classes for the first half of the semester and then begin new classes in late October. Thus, the pace is accelerated and you will be learning a semester's worth of work in seven to eight weeks. For a breakdown of classes by term, click here.
The length of class periods varies from three hours for some classes to an hour and a half for others. You will have some classes every day, and some only a few times per week. You will be given a detailed class schedule at least two weeks prior to the start of classes. Plan on being in class for the majority of the day your first semester. Some classes begin as early as 8AM. MBA classes are not held during the Winter Session, so we are on holiday break from mid-December until the last week in January. View the UMass Amherst Academic Calendar.
Textbooks may be purchased or rented as physical books or ebooks. Due to the quarter system, you will not be able to buy all of your books for the year at one time. You will buy the books needed for the first quarter at the beginning of the year, and then the books for the remaining quarters at the start of each new quarter. Professors often do not announce their choice of textbooks until several days before their classes begin, so it is not always possible to plan ahead.
You can purchase or rent your text books from the University bookstore (called the Textbook Annex). Books can often be purchased on-line through discount retailers such as Amazon. Second year students may also be willing to sell used books for those classes where the professor uses the same textbooks as in the previous year.
For information regarding UMass' new student immunization requirement please visit UMass Health Services (UHS) Immunizations.
Please note you will need to "submit the immunization form before your first semester on campus. If you haven't turned it in by the end of the Add/Drop period, a hold will be placed on your record, preventing you from registering for classes." Do not delay on making sure you have the required immunizations.
If you have an assistantship, you will receive health and dental insurance coverage. You will be given information on when and how to complete the registration for this insurance, as well as details about the plans, during orientation. Prescriptions are partially covered by the insurance, and the local pharmacies can access your information before you receive your membership card in the mail.
For more information on the specifics of the health plan, visit the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) website: http://www.geouaw.org.
A laptop, while useful, is not required for the program, however you must have access to a personal computer (Mac or Windows) and be familiar with basic computer skills. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) provides a technology checklist for new students. They also provide recommendations of hardware configurations if you are purchasing a computer, as well as offering free and low cost software. The campus store also offers discounts on computer purchases.