I'm a five-college student. Why can't I access my course material?

It is possible that your registration information was just processed and you have been added to the course since the last time you tried to access it. If you haven't tried recently, try again.

If you can't access the site at all

First, remember that each college's Moodle site is separate. See the instructions on logging into Moodle at Amherst. If you log into your college's Moodle server, you wouldn't see Amherst courses.

The most common reason five-college students can't access it is that they don't have their Amherst username or password. Normally, usernames are in the form of

(school initial)5(firstname initial)(lastname)

where the school initial is

  • u for University of Massachusetts
  • s for Smith
  • m for Mount Holyoke
  • h for Hampshire

For example, if you are a Smith student with the name Mary Doe you would have a username of s5mdoe.

You can reset your password by looking at the top of this web page and using the Campus Tools menu in the upper right and selecting Change/Manage Password and then following the instructions. You will need to provide your email address at your home institution, and then check your e-mail for the information that will be sent to you there.

If you have your username and password, It is possible that your paperwork has not made it through the system yet.  Assuming that you can't afford to wait, it is possible for you to get access before the registration process is complete. On the main Moodle page, moodle.amherst.edu, in the Welcome section, there is a link to where you can request temporary access. You need to answer the questions and provide the information requested. Please note that at one point you will be asked whether youare currently registered. You should answer No to that question since your registration has not been completely processed. It should normally take about one business day for you to be added to the course.

Students with temporary access will be given the role of petitioner. Petitioners have the same privileges as registered students. The petitioner role will be changed to the student role when the registration has been processed.

Temporary access is just that - temporary.  Getting temporary access does NOT register you for the course. Shortly after the end of the add/drop period (enough extra time will be provided for all five-college registrations to be processed) students with the petitoner role will be dropped from the course. If you thought you were registered for the course but are dropped at this time you need to talk with the registrar as this indicates that there was some problem with your registration.

If you can get to the course site but can't access some E-reserves

Some e-reserves may not be available to users off-campus using the standard network connection.  The solution to this is to set up a VPN connection.  This causes the provider of the e-reserve to treat you as if you are on-campus.  You must have an Amherst College username to set up a VPN connection.