Location: Amherst, MA
Size: 22,134 undergraduate
Percent Women: 49%
Tuition (w/ room and board): In-State: $24,215; Out of State: $39,770
Most Popular Majors: Business Administration and Management, Psychology, Communication, Political Science
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: 63%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit UMass Amherst’s website at www.umass.edu/gateway/admissions.
Why Choose UMass?
"I loved the campus and it was not too far from home, which was perfect for me. The size of the campus is awesome and there are so many different majors and classes I could choose from. I knew there was a lot of stuff I could do outside of academics as well. Plus they seemed to have a strong study abroad program."
"I first applied to UMass Amherst because, as a Massachusetts resident, it was affordable. I also knew a few people who went here and they told me that they really loved living and studying here. I really enjoyed my tour and my visit on the campus, this being the final confirmation that I would apply here."
"I applied to UMass Amherst because they provide a quality education at a fraction of the cost of private universities. It is a large school, so there are endless opportunities for you both academically and socially. I applied to school as an undeclared student so choosing UMass was a great decision for me. It ensured that when it did come time for me to select a major I wasn't limited in any way."
"A teacher at my high school told me about how much he liked the school so I looked into it and applied. I liked its diversity, its wide range of majors and minors, the five-college exchange program, and just the endless possibilities of going to a large, research university."
"I really wanted a large school, so immediately UMass came to mind. As I knew I would be coming into school very undeclared and having no idea what I wanted, a large school with many options was a good fit for me. Plus, being a resident of Massachusetts, the price of attending was much more reasonable than other schools."
“There’s always something to do at UMass. You’re never stuck in the same routine. One of my favorite events is Blarney Blowout. I also love the first day of warm weather during spring semester and going outside to play sports and hang out with friends,”
“The best part about UMass is that everywhere you go you meet new people. I love laying on Southwest Beach when it gets warm out and of course, the Ski and Board Club’s Quebec City trips!”
“I like Isenberg a lot. It’s one of the best business programs in the country. I also like the library.” (2nd tallest library in the world, 1st tallest in the world out of all universities)
“I really love the food at the dining hall and the newly renovated Recreation center. The intramural teams there are wicked fun and organized.”
"I don't like all of the stereotypes that come with being a UMass student such as, that you party constantly or that it's a safety school."
"I don't like how the two best dining halls are located in Southwest. I think Worcester definitely needs a major redo and Frank could probably benefit from some updates too. I know most students live in Southwest, but it's really annoying for people in Sylvan, Central, and Northeast."
"There's construction on campus all the time, and the fact that though this is at times a better institution than many of the much more prestigious colleges (I had a professor who teaches both here and at Harvard, Brown, and Morehouse and infinitely prefers here and brings his A game when he's teaching here) we're still seen as a safety school. However, with it being not as prestigious, I like that we get everybody and it becomes a much more diverse crowd."
"I sometimes don't like the noise. We live on a huge campus and even though I live in a part of campus that isn't loud, sometimes the noise will make its way over to my dorm."
"At first the size really intimidated me. I applied to several small, private schools and then UMass. I am a pretty quiet person so I was nervous about getting lost here. I have learned that as long as you get involved you will meet tons of great people and you will find your niche. Even though I am still a very quiet person, I think that coming to UMass brought me out of my shell a bit. One other complaint is that I wish sports were bigger here. During my time at UMass, the football team hasn't played on-campus so we've never had fun tailgates to go to or anything like that. The Basketball team is really good, but everything else is pretty much mediocre."
New Collegiette On Campus
"Freshman year is amazing, you meet so many new people everyday, and you get to learn so much about yourself as a person and as a scholar. Freshman year is not too difficult, it is definitely a big transition, but if you make the most of it, you will certainly fall in love with the school."
"Freshman year is truly an amazing experience, you are exposed to so many new and different things that at times it's almost overwhelming. The best thing however is the people you meet, unlike high school where things can be clique-y and exclusive, everyone whether it's in your hall or classes is so open and welcoming and the friendships you make are so special."
"Freshman year at UMass Amherst is incredibly fun! In order to make it fun, however, you have to get involved with something. It is a huge campus and a freshman can easily get lost if there isn't something for her to latch onto. By getting involved, being a freshman here can be amazing."
"It's a little overwhelming, but the university is so good at integrating freshmen into their school that it's definitely not too stressful. There are so many social events catered specifically to freshmen, professors are so kind and helpful, and the RAs and Peer Mentors are experienced and a great tool when you need guidance."
"Freshman year so far has been a blast! I love taking classes that I'm passionate about and discovering all that UMass has to offer. From clubs, to intramural sports, it's been very nice to find a niche and make UMass home."
"I think freshman year is a really important year, no matter where you are. UMass does a great job at keeping freshmen students near one another so that they can really find their group of friends on campus. Just make sure you're really putting yourself out there your first year - it gets harder once you're an upperclassman."
All About Academics
"When it's warm outside my favorite place to study is outside in a small nook in the Fine Arts Center; my spot overlooks the campus pond and the library. Most people don't know about it and it's really peaceful! But when it's cold, I usually stick to the fifteenth floor of the library." - Michele Thorkelsen, Senior, Journalism major.
"The workload here isn't bad, but it depends on your major and your professors. I think the best way to go about it is to get your general requirements out of the way first, but always keep an active checklist of your major requirements too. I did this my freshman year and now I'm on track to graduate a year early." - R.T., Junior, English major.
"It can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to get into classes that aren't your major. The key is not to be defeated, but to see the professor who is teaching it. A lot of professors will make exceptions, especially if the class hasn't hit capacity yet."
"Take advantage of all the resources. Find your academic advisor and make an appointment to see them. They can help you pick classes, customize your major through specializations, and provide contact information for people in other departments who can help you. Also, don't be afraid to try and get academic credit for any internships you have." -Kristen Mouris, Senior, English major.
Learn From the Best
"My favorite professor so far is Christopher Overtree, Abnormal Psychology 380. He is ridiculously funny and treats the students as equals and not like he is superior. He makes jokes with us and always tries to help. He also knows a lot about his field and makes sure to help us understand in the best possible way."
"That's a tie between Mason Lowance in the English department, Thom Hannum in the Music department, and Nick McBride in the Journalism department. Lowance is great because of his depth and breadth of knowledge, not putting up with any sh*t, inexhaustible vaults of sarcastic comebacks, and his experience. Thom Hannum because he's pretty much the premier marching drummer in the entire world, has put together the best percussion section in the United States, and is overall just a great guy. McBride is great because he's very understanding, thought-provoking, and a lot more laconic than other professors. He will let the students speak well before he does, and will draw on their points a lot.""Bob Lowry would have to be my favorite professor so far. His classes have opened my eyes to new things and he has helped me grow as a person and a student through his teachings and outlook on life. As my BDIC sponsor, he has helped me tremendously and has opened new doors for my future.""Sut Jhally is my favorite professor. The topics he teaches are so interesting and he does a great job applying concepts to real life. I can say with certainty I've learned the most from Sut's classes and I recommend them to everyone, no matter what major you are."
"My favorite professor is Professor Clingman because he makes it clear how much he wants to get to know his students. Every class, while students are still arriving and getting settled in, he will go around and introduce himself to a few more students he hasn't yet met."
Interests & Involvement
"There are so many clubs here at UMass! It's actually a little overwhelming. Make sure you're going to the Activities Expo each semester to check out all the organizations. I found out about the Archery Club at one of these fairs and I've been hooked on archery ever since. Don't be afraid to try something new! All the organizations are super friendly and want people to get involved."
"We have Greek life here at UMass, but it's not as big as it is at other schools. There are definitely pros and cons to this, but so far I think it's been great to get to know so many people on a personal level. The recruitment process was actually a lot of fun and I personally have not experienced any type of hazing. I definitely recommend getting involved early. It'll make your time here a lot more enjoyable."
"I was intimidated to join a sports team at first, but once I did, I felt like I really found my place at UMass. I started with very little knowledge, but the intramural sport teams are really friendly and will help teach you to become a better player and an overall more disciplined person."
"I'm part of the Vietnamese Student Association here and it's been a great experience. I felt really lost my first couple months at UMass but once I found a group to get really involved with and dedicate my energy to, I feel like my time here has been so much more worthwhile."
"I actually am not involved with any student-run organizations on campus but I do work in the Career Services office. I think being involved on campus can mean a few different things. To me, my job has been my involvement, and I've met so many great people here. Plus, getting paid doesn't hurt."
"Get involved! Seriously. I didn't get involved until my senior year and I always think about what I could have accomplished if I started sooner. There are endless opportunities, so there really is no excuse. Check out the Campus Pulse page and browse the list. That's how I found clubs I was interested in."
“I love that UMass is such a large school, but when you sit in the student section at the games or go to the tailgates, it makes it feel like a smaller school.”
“I would say that from going to another school for some time, it has really made me appreciate how open-minded UMass culture is. There’s no place like the zoo.”
"Going to the hockey games is a must!!! They are absolutely wild and once you learn the chants, it's a great experience. Nothing beats a Friday night hockey win, such a great way to start the weekend."
"The students here love supporting the teams. We pride ourselves on being 'Zoo Mass Animals' and the energy of the games are incredible. I remember my first hockey game here and it's been one of my favorite UMass memories. There is nothing like it."
“UMass girls wear lots of yoga pants, UGGs, hoodies, and beanies."
“Everybody here has their own style: comfy causal, sporty, and girls who dress up. It's a personal preference."
“I think it's pretty safe on campus, I think they do a good job. It could be better but I don’t feel threatened.”
“I feel like the ratio is pretty equal. From where I am it feels like 50/50."
Food & Drink
“Berk and Hamp are the best dining halls on campus but they’re also the farthest away for people who live outside of Southwest. Frank is good too, but Worcester isn’t. But with YCMP I can eat anywhere on campus so I have more options.”
“The food here is so much better than my old school’s. There’s more options every night like sushi and stir fry and even healthier choices too, especially at Hamp.”
“The food here is amazing. There are so many options between the dining halls and all the different places around campus. I really love how there are food trucks here. You can follow Baby Berk on Twitter to find out where they’ll be each day.”
“Hamp is my favorite dining hall. It’s newly renovated and has tons of healthy options. Their lemonade is the best too.”
"The food is great! With so many different options on campus, it's hard to not find something you'll love. UMass prides itself on its food. I currently live off campus and work in one of the dining halls, so even in my third year I haven't grown sick of the food!"
"I LOVE THE FOOD. The food here rocks, especially compared to other schools. We are seriously so spoiled here at UMass when it comes to the food. I mean, lobster dinner on Halloween night?! Come on, that is just amazing."
"UMass is known for being a party school. The social scene is out of this world, especially for someone like me who comes from a small town in Massachusetts. Every Thursday through Sunday is a wild time. There's always dorm parties, a random house party, or typical frat parties. I always have a good time on the weekends."
"The party scene is great. I have never felt unsafe at a party at UMass."
"Obviously due to the massive size of UMass Amherst, the party scene is pretty awesome. If you are a low key person, you can find smaller get-togethers, and if you are a wild child, there are also a magnitude of places that you can go."
"The party scene is interesting. Everybody says UMass is the zoo, and maybe it's because I'm a freshman but I haven't found the zoo yet. There are some good parties, and some are bad. Every weekend is a hit or miss."
"If you want to go to one [party], there's tons of them to choose from. If you don't, you don't have to. Personally, I'm not a big partier, but I've played in a band at some of the parties and it's pretty sweet."
"With so many kids attending one school we're bound to have a great party scene, and I think it's true! Being a part of Greek life it's great to have a balance between the mixers we have with other fraternities as well as attending non-Greek parties."
"UMass Amherst has been given the nickname 'Zoomass' to compliment its wild reputation. However in my opinion the party scene here is pretty typical for a college. There are definitely plenty of opportunities to have fun. The culture at UMass involves everyone going out on the weekends, but I wouldn't say that there is anything particularly wild about our party scene. Even though it seems like everyone goes out every weekend, if you need to stay in and do homework I've never had trouble finding a buddy to stay in with."
“The dorms are very safe, as your UCard only opens the door to your dorm. Also, there are security monitors in every dorm at 8pm every night where students and guests need to show ID."
“You can pick a roommate if you would like to. Some people found a roommate at the orientation over the summer. If you don't have someone in mind then you can always choose to room with a random person. They match roommates up by comparing how people respond to a housing preference form."
“It is definitely popular to live off-campus as an upperclassman. It seems like that is a lot of people's goal - to eventually move off campus. I think what's attractive is the freedom that comes along with living in a house or apartment with friends.”
"I lived in Southwest. The environment of the dorms is awesome with kids everywhere at all times, but the dorms could be nicer. I wish there was more of a variety such as suites, apartments, etc."
"I live in Sylvan and everyone says it's terrible, but aside from the distance I think it's a nice place to live. I really like living in suites and I actually have a single now which is amazing. Because I live in a transfer hall (McNamara) there's definitely more parties there than the rest of Sylvan but overall it's a peaceful place to live. I like knowing that if it's too cold to go to the library that I can still get work done in my dorm."
"If you're expecting 5-star accommodations, you're not going to find them here, but they do what they need to do and I haven't had any real problems with them."
"The dorms are great, for the most part. Last year I had a great room in Pierpont in Southwest and absolutely loved it, it was spacious and had large enough closets. First semester sophomore year however me and my roommate were smushed into a 'corner room' in John Adams. It was so tight we could barely find an arrangement that fit all our stuff. We now moved into a 'z-room' which I could not be happier with!"
"I live in Maple, Honors College, and my suite is honestly nicer than a hotel. It feels unreal that I live here! Although many people sh*t on Southwest, I think the z-rooms are pretty cool and they're a good place to be."
"I love living in Central mostly because of the people here. Plus, Van Meter was recently renovated so it's very nice on the inside. Each building has its own set of small drawbacks, for example at Southwest it may be too noisy at times, and O-Hill is kind of far away from classes, but I think every person grows to love the dorm they live in."
“Amherst is a great date spot but I would never want to actually live here as an adult.”
“Downtown is a great place to hang out on a nice day and grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat with friends.”
“There are plenty of things to do in town and buses can easily take you to Northampton which is located about 25 minutes away. There are lots of different people in town.”
“UMass is located in Amherst, MA. I love running through the neighborhoods in Amherst during the Autumn because there are so many original older homes to look at. I think that out of any of the five colleges in the Amherst area, UMass is one of the closest in walking distance to Amherst Center which is perfect for Starbucks runs, late night Antonio’s pizza or Go Berry froyo. The Amherst area is also great for hiking with mountains only a quick bus ride away, making it easy for students to enjoy a Saturday.”
"Amherst is too cute. There are so many good places to eat. I love that Amherst is a very artsy fartsy town, and it is a great place to go for the day with friends just to poke around, get your nails done, and eat some serious food."
"It's actually a really cute little town with lots of independent stores, restaurants, and music places and I really like that about a town. It reminds me a lot of Concord, MA, a town right next to the one I grew up in. However, instead of the rich snobs you'd find in Concord you have an incredibly diverse cast of characters populating this little town, and I'm glad it's like that because it makes the place infinitely more interesting."
"The town of Amherst is beautiful. It's clean and safe, which are usually the biggest factors. I love eating at the restaurants in town because they're affordable and absolutely delicious! With the amount of colleges around us, Amherst is always lively and filled with people."
HC's Complete College Guide: University of Massachusetts Amherst
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