First established in 1863 under the Federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is the state’s major flagship public research-intensive institution. As the largest New England college, UMass Amherst enrolls more than 22,200 undergraduates and 6,300 post-graduates annually. With expenditures over $181 million, UMass Amherst is classified as a university with “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation. UMass sprawls over 1,463 acres of suburban land in Amherst within just 90 miles of coastal Boston. The University of Massachusetts – Amherst also participates in the Five College Consortium, so students can take courses at smaller nearby liberal arts schools.
The U.S. News has ranked UMass Amherst as the 75th best national university, 29th top public school, and 62nd best college for veterans. In particular, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is lauded for hosting America’s 12nd best online MBA and 15th best online graduate nursing programs. Forbes magazine named UMass Amherst the 92nd best research university nationwide. Along with being among the Princeton Review’s “Best 380 Colleges,” UMass Amherst was recognized for the country’s #2 Best Campus Food. UMass has been awarded two National Climate Leadership Awards for sustainability. Times Higher Education also rated the University of Massachusetts – Amherst as the globe’s 91st top university.
University of Massachusetts – Amherst Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed in 2009, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is institutionally accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This accrediting agency is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for approving schools in six states. Several professional accreditations have awarded programmatic accreditations too. For instance, business degrees are approved by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Technology programs meet the standards of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board of the ABET. Health science degrees are accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
University of Massachusetts – Amherst Application Requirements
With an acceptance rate of 61 percent, UMass Amherst has a selective admissions process that requires incoming applicants to fulfill certain criteria. First-year freshmen must have successfully completed a college-preparatory curriculum leading to a high school diploma. Grades from 9th to 12th grade are evaluated. Admitted students have an average high school GPA of 3.78. Standardized test scores are sent electronically via code 3917. Freshmen have scored an average composite score of 1208 on the SAT and 27 on the ACT. Home-schooled applicants must present an official GED/HiSET score report or have at least 27 college credits.
Undergraduate transfers may be accepted from other regionally accredited colleges with minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7. Having completed at least one year full-time is preferred. Students who completed an approved MassTransfer associate’s degree must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Transfers must be in good academic and disciplinary status. International applicants must score at least 213 (computer-based) or 80 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL. At the graduate level, UMass Amherst applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is mandated in most programs.
Prior to the January 15th deadline, students wishing to attend the University of Massachusetts – Amherst should apply to the Admissions Office by sending the following:
• Common Application form
• Official academic transcripts
• College entrance exam scores
• At least one letter of recommendation
• English proficiency test scores
• Online personal statement essay
• Payment for the $75 application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduates from Massachusetts will be charged $14,171 in tuition and fees each year. Non-resident undergraduate students enrolling at UMass Amherst full-time must pay $30,504 in tuition and fees annually. Room and board is estimated to cost an additional $11,503 each academic year. Half-time students taking six credits will pay $9,660 (in-state) or $19,177 (out-of-state) annually. Graduate students living in Massachusetts are billed $110 per credit hour. Out-of-state graduates must afford $414 per credit hour. UMass Amherst also has a Regional Program for graduate students from New England to pay $192.50 per credit.
Around 90 percent of beginning full-time students at University of Massachusetts – Amherst earn some form of financial aid. After filing the FAFSA, students can borrow up to $31,000 through the Perkins, Direct, or PLUS loans. Free gift aid can be provided through the Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, National SMART Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state students could qualify for the MASS Grant, Gilbert Matching Grant, Massachusetts Cash Grant, or Foster Child Grant. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available at 100 on- and off-campus community agencies. Tuition waivers like the Chancellor’s Talent Award are offered. Scholarship opportunities are numerous, including the Dean’s Scholarship, Community Scholarship, ROTC Scholarship, and Honors-to-Honors Scholarship.
The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is a major public research institute known for having powerhouse academics. Students can select from over 100 undergraduate and 75 graduate areas of study in 10 schools. Some unique undergraduate majors include Arboriculture, Astronomy, Comparative Literature, Francophone Studies, Judaic Studies, Natural Resources Conservation, Public Health Sciences, and Turfgrass Management. There’s also a Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) program. Returning adult students can choose a B.A. or B.S. degree completion program through UMass Amherst’s University Without Walls (UWW). Around 45 percent of classes have under 20 students for peer and professor interaction.
Outside the classroom, UMass Amherst provides plentiful options for internships and hands-on learning. Researchers love the Innovation Institute, which allows students to conduct applied industry-sponsored research and develop new technologies. Students can find resources in the 26-story W.E.B. DuBois Library, America’s tallest library. More than 14,000 students live in the university’s 52 residence halls and two apartment complexes. Highly motivated learners can live in the Commonwealth Honors College. UMass Amherst is known for having a safe campus with over 350 security cameras and 110 emergency “HELP” phones. There are also 70 sponsored study abroad programs taking students to Colombia, South Africa, Australia, and beyond.
UMass Amherst is home to over 200 registered student organizations (RSOs). In fact, the university has one of America’s first university permaculture clubs. Students can give back to their community with the Red Cross Club, UCAN Volunteer, Engineers without Borders, and the Civil Rights Clinical Project. Theater and music lovers can enjoy performances at the 9,000-seat Mullins Center. Athletically inclined students could play in NCAA Division I for the UMass Minutemen. There are nine varsity men’s sports and 10 women’s sports teams from rowing to basketball and hockey. The University of Massachusetts – Amherst has appeared in three FCS National Championship games.