Academics

Location
Amherst, MA
Undergrads
20,306
Tuition (in-state)
$26,830 ($13,415)
Admission Difficulty
Average
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: I love it! The workload is definitely tough, but all of my professors have been accomplished and great teachers. The sciences are really strong here, I'm surrounded by smart people.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: The business school is highly rated, and the science department is great, but other than that the other departments are average, from what I hear. The workload isn't too bad in my opinion, and the library is a popular study area.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: As a biology major I have to dedicate a fair amount of time to reading of topics that we have or will learn in class, which at times can seem overwhelming. But I 'm never completly on my own because there are many places where i can get if I don't understand something I read.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: The professors i have met so far have been really good, they are really patient with me as a student and they really want to see me succeed. This is shown in their willingness to set time outside their office hours to help struggling students

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: The whole school is great

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 46th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 111st
    Best Course Variety
  • 136th
    Best Online Course Options
  • 811st
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 1007th
    Most Manageable Workloads

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Leah Kahan
Hometown
New York City
Major
Communications
Grad Year
2015
View all previous student authors
The most popular and nationally acclaimed departments at UMass are business, communications, computer science, engineering, and psychology. Students must complete general education requirements in addition to the requirements for their major, and most find this a positive experience because it allows both declared and undeclared students to explore fields they may not have previously considered. And don't worry about doing it all on your own—advisers are available to help make sure you meet all your requirements. Class sizes tend to be large for introduction courses, but they get smaller as they become more specific to a particular major. Lectures can be as large as 500 students, but many classes of this size break up into discussion sections, so students can still get more individual attention. Discussions are taught by TAs who are often graduate students, and most are very helpful in class and during office hours. UMass professors are very good at making themselves available to students on an individual basis. Whether through e-mail, office hours, or weekly tutoring sessions, they are readily accessible. Evaluations conducted by students at the end of each semester are taken quite seriously by the faculty and help keep the class formats up-to-date. A unique aspect of UMass is the Five-College Interchange. UMass students can take courses Hampshire, Holyoke, Smith, or Amherst at no additional charge. So, if UMass does not offer a particular class you are interested in, you will most likely be able to find it at one of the other area colleges. The Honors College is rather competitive as well and holds academics to a very high level. A very competitive atmosphere can be found amongst students not participating in the Honors College as well.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
18:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,221
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
246
Total FT Faculty
1,531
Faculty with Terminal Degree
94%
Average Faculty Salary
$93,358
Full-Time Retention Rate
88%
Part-Time Retention Rate
22%
Transfer-Out Rate
22%
Graduation Rate
70%
Programs/Majors Offered
116
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 44%
  • 20 to 49 students: 38%
  • 50 or more students: 18%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: Yes
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: Yes
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: Yes
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Humanities & Fine Arts
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Commonwealth Honors College
  • Isenberg School of Management
  • School of Education
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Public Health & Health Sciences
  • Stockbridge School of Agriculture
Degrees Awarded
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 3%
  • Communication Studies: 2%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 2%
  • Psychology: 3%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Integrative Experience
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social & Cultural Diversity
  • Social Science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
  • Weekend/evening college
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cooperative education program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Liberal arts/career combination
  • Student-designed major
  • University Without Walls
Online Courses
UMass Amherst's University Without Walls program is available for adult learners looking to finish their bachelor's degree.
Best Places to Study
  • Campus Pond
  • Dorm classrooms and lounges
  • Dorm room
  • Integrated Sciences & Engineering Library
  • Integrated Sciences Building
  • Isenberg School of Management atrium and breakout rooms
  • W.E.B. Du Bois Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Complete an internship.
  • Find a balance between working hard and playing hard.
  • Get involved. It's a great way to meet people, build your résumé, and gain references.
  • Go to class—it sounds like common sense but is very important.
  • Go to sporting events. They are fun, free, and great for school pride.
  • Keep an assignment book, and write down and mark off all of your assignments.
  • Stay open-minded.
  • Take advantage of the Five College Program.
  • Take every extra credit opportunity you can—don't be lazy.
  • Try to develop a schedule for studying.
Did You Know?
Students can design their own major through the Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) program.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 17 responses

  • 38% Bill Cosby (MA, Ed.D.) - entertainer
  • 10% Jack Welch - former CEO of General Electric
  • 10% Julius Erving - NBA hall of famer
  • 8% Jeff Corwin (MS) - conservationist, TV host
  • 8% Natalie Cole - Grammy-winning singer
  • 5% Robert Meers - former president and CEO of Reebok
  • 5% Rick Pitino - basketball coach
  • 2% Jack Canfield - co-creator, "Chicken Soup for the Soul"
  • 2% Briana Scurry - soccer player, 1999 World Cup winner
  • 2% Michael Vespoli - Olympic rower
  • 2% Jonathan Quick (NHL goalie)
  • 2% Victor Cruz-Pro football player
  • 2% Theo Epstein
  • 2% Jonathan Quick
  • 0% Paul Theroux - travel writer, novelist
  • 0% Jeff Taylor - founder of Monster.com
  • 0% Bruce MacCombie - composer
  • 0% Bill Pullman (MFA) - actor
  • 0% Jeffrey Donovan - actor

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 119 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 120 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

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