Information for Five College Students


Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke and Smith College students must contact the registrar's office at their home school for information on how to participate in the Five College Interchange.

After Registration

As a Five College student coming to UMass, you are automatically issued a NetID when you register for a class through the Five College registration process.  No other account application process is required. Your logon credentials will be sent to your home college email account as provided on the interchange form:  You must activate your account, which will then provide you access to SPIRE, SPARK, email, etc, at UMass.

UMass Calendar

For current information on delayed College openings, early closings, or cancellations, call the Emergency Closing Hotline at 413-545-3630 or go to

You should check the UMass Academic Calendar at, so that you are aware of any holidays or other schedule differences between the UMass calendar and your home campus'.


As a Five College student, you will have access to certain features of SPIRE.  You will logon using your NetID and associated password.  You will be limited to changing your personal information, including emergency contacts, and viewing grades.  You will not be able to add or drop courses or request a transcript.


Also note that the NetID email mentioned above also will include your 8 digit SPIRE ID.  This is a useful number for you to know; you will use this to log into OWL for some classes and is helpful if you have a registration problem that needs the Registrar's Office to fix.


Once your registration has been entered for a SPARK-enabled course in SPIRE, it will take another day before you will be able to get into SPARK and see your course materials.  You will use your NetID to logon to SPARK.  You cannot get into SPARK unless your registration has been processed and you use the NetID.  Note: Logons cannot be created manually for Five College students.


Since Five College registrations are processed manually in both the home and UMass Registrar's offices, it may be several days before you can use SPARK after filling out the Five College Registration Form.  For this reason, it is important to register as early as possible.


OWL is an online learning environment used for quizzes and homework.

Some courses that use OWL are connected to SPARK, so after you log into SPARK, you will see a button that gets you into OWL.  You don't get a separate OWL logon for those courses.  Some courses that use OWL are not connected to SPARK, and for these, you need a separate OWL logon. Most of the time, either the instructor or the OWL administrator creates the logon from the class roster and you will probably log in with your 8 digit SPIRE ID (UMass Student ID) and your last name as the password.   If that doesn't work, follow the instructions on the OWL logon page to report a problem or request a logon.


Pamela R. Marsh-Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Provost & Dean

This website is part of Undergraduate Advising & Learning Communities. We provide undergraduate students a variety of opportunities and services designed to facilitate the best academic experience possible. 609 Goodell Building, UMass Amherst.

UA&LC Units: Undergraduate Advising, Residential Academic Programs, Domestic Exchange Programs, Five College Interchange