The University of Massachusetts Amherst is land-grant and public research university that was founded in 1863 as the Massachusetts Agriculture College. It was not until 1867 that the university opened with 50 students and has since grown to well over 27,000 students. One of the amazing things about the student body is that the students are the highest achieving students in the country as far as grades and test scores are concerned. The university earned the Fulbright Award during the 2008-2009 as a top producer of high achieving students. Another notable aspect of the University of Massachusetts is the faculty. The faculty members received recognition as a top performer in research activities ($140 million per year), recognitions, and rewards.
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredit the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The school currently offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 90 undergraduate and more than 120 graduate programs. The University of Massachusetts has 9 schools and colleges that include College of Engineering, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, College of Natural Sciences, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing, Isenberg School of Management, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Additionally, there are two adult and continuing education programs, which include University Without Walls and Continuing and Professional Education.
A few of the departments within the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s colleges and schools are Department of Anthropology, Department of Accounting & Information Systems, Department of Entomology, Department of Finance and Operations Management, and Department of Veterinary & Animal Sciences.
The university offers online degrees in such areas as business administration, hospitality and tourism management, public health and nutrition, and nursing. Students can also take continuing education courses, adult education courses, and individualized degree concentration courses online.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The deadlines for admission applications are early May for the fall semester and early October for the spring semester. Incoming freshman have two applications to complete for admission: a common application and a supplemental application. The common application is for general admission into the university and the supplemental application allows students to choose two intended majors. The application process is not complete unless students submit both applications. Incoming freshman must also pay an application fee or waiver fee, submit an official high school transcript, ACT or SAT-I scores, letters of recommendation, an essay, and verification of English language proficiency for non-native English speakers.
International students entering the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a freshman must complete the above requirements and submit IELTS or TOEFL scores if English is not the first language and financial documents (sponsor statements and bank statement) must be submitted prior to visa process to the International Programs Office.
Undergraduate students applying for admission into the art or music and dance departments have a few additional considerations. These students need to apply as early as possible for admission. Additionally, students must also take part in auditions and have portfolios reviewed. All necessary applications and paperwork must be on file before auditions and portfolio reviews can take place.
Graduate students have similar requirements for admission. Students must submit a completed application along with an application fee, transcripts, GRE/GMAT score reports or waiver forms, a minimum of two
letters of recommendation, personal statement, and TOEFL scores if applicable.
The registration dates for freshman who wish to exercise the Earyl Action (EA) for admission is early November for the fall semester. The Early Action process allows students to receive early admission into the upcoming fall semester, selects students for a Regular Decision applicant pool for reexamination, or denies students whose records are not competitive enough for the overall pool.
The first step in the financial aid process is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form determines eligibility for state, federal, and university aid that students receive. It is advised that students begin completing the application as soon as all applicable documentation is available. Students can begin completing the Application as early as early January although early March is the priority deadline. Students may receive different awards such as tuition waivers, loans, grants, assistantships, scholarships, and work-study programs. Awards can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the need for financial assistance.
There are a number of ways to finance an education these days. There are specific types of finance aid that students may qualify for after completing the FAFSA form. Students qualify for grants based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Lower EFC means a greater chance of receiving grants. Current Federal Pell Grant awards for the 2010-2011 school year range from $555 to $5,550. A few of the grants in which students may qualify for are National SMART (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent) Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and TEACH Grants. Students may also qualify for Massgrants for Massachusetts natives, high-need fields grants, and other state grants.
Students may qualify for many scholarships based on the information in the FAFSA form. There are other scholarships independent from the FAFSA form. Students can find assistance using the University of Massachusetts Scholarship Database, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Graduate students may qualify for TEACH Grants, graduate assistantships, and fellowships. Graduate students should consult with the Office of Graduate Student Recruitment and Retention (OGSRR) to qualify for the Opportunity Scholar Fellows Program. The deadline to file for admission is early January.
Student Financial Aid Details
There are 6 residential areas on campus that consist of Northeast, Central, North, Sylvan, Southwest, and Orchard Hill. Currently, approximately 12,000 students live on campus. First and second year students must to live on campus. A few of the residential buildings are Anna M. Johnson House, Roscoe W. Thatcher House, Edwin D. Gormer House, Emily E. Dickinson House, Charles H. Patterson House, and Henry D. Brown House. There are also the Lincoln Apartments as another residential living choice.
There are many artistic venues on the campus. The Fine Arts Center (FAC) brings nationally known music, dance, and theatre performances to the campus throughout the year. A few of the performance halls that students may want to visit to see various performances are Bezanson Recital Hall, Bowker Auditorium, and the Concert Hall.
Fraternities and sororities are popular on many campuses around the country. The University of Massachusetts Amherst has many to choose to choose from, including Alpha Epsilon Phi, Phi Iota Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Lambda Beta, Delta Xi Phi, Kappa Pi, Theta Chi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Chi Omega, Zeta Psi. The Greek groups have annual traditions that include Greek Week and UDance in which these organizations compete against each other through various challenges.
The campus also has a student-operated television station (UVC-TV 19) and radio station (WMUA 91.1 FM). The television station also serves as a learning tool for students interested in learning about aspects of cablecasting, television, and video production. The student employers cover guest lectures, films and documentaries, and events on campus. The students even produce original shows. The student operated radio station is located in the basement of the Lincoln campus center. The radio station broadcasts public affairs, sports, music, and news programming.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s teams are members of Division I of the NCAA. The teams participate in the Atlantic Ten Conference. Maroon and white are the school’ colors, and Sam the Minuteman is the school’s mascot. The sports at this university include swim & diving, track & field, tennis, baseball, basketball, cross-country, field hockey, football, lacrosse, ice hockey, rowing, softball, skiing, and hockey. The biggest rivals for these teams are University of Connecticut, Boston College, and University of New Hampshire.
The university has won three national championships in women’s lacrosse, skiing and snowboarding, and football. In 1982, the women’s lacrosse team won the Division I title. In 2008, the skiing team won the Collegiate Skiing and Snowboard Association National Championship. In 1998, the football team won the Division I-AA NCAA national title.
There are several sports clubs that students can join, including women’s ice hockey, women’s rugby, men’s crew, men’s and women’s bicycle racing, men’s and women’s fencing, men’s rugby, men’s wrestling, and men’s and women’s volleyball.
There are also intramural sports teams for those interested. A few of the teams are racquetball doubles, dodgeball, softball, basketball, wallyball, billiards, co-rec soccer, co-rec volleyball, sports trivia, and bowling.
Students have the opportunity to utilized fitness and wellness programs on campus that include group fitness, personal fitness, yoga, and lifeguard certification. The recreation center has tennis courts, handball courts, pools, and a gym for student enjoyment.
Notable athletes who graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst include Chad Paronto, relief pitcher for the Houston Astros; Bob Hansen, first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers; Gary Forbes, basketball player for the Denver Nuggets; Al Skinner, basketball coach for Boston College in 1974; Mike Tannerbaum, general manager for the New York Jets; Danielle Henderson, 1999 Olympic Gold Medalist, and Doc Schneider, lacrosse player for the Toronto Nationals.
- Sullivan, Steven R. University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MA) (Campus History). Mount Pleasant: Arcadia Publishing, 2004. Print.
- Sullivan, Steven R. University of Massachusetts Amherst Athletics (MA) (Images of Sports). Mount Pleasant: Arcadia Publishing, 2006. Print.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. 14 April 2011. Web. 14 April 2011.