What is the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Known For?

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass or UMass Amherst) is a public research university located in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Founded in 1863, it has a 1,463-acre suburban campus with 32,045 students, 76% of which are undergraduates.

UMass is ranked #67 in National Universities and #26 in Top Public Schools by US News.

More than 100 majors are offered by the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, the most popular of which include communications, economics, liberal arts, psychology and public health.

It has an acceptance rate of 66%, and more than 50% of admitted students have an average 4.0 GPA.

UMass is also considered the top party school in Massachusetts.

Want more facts about the UMass Amherst before you decide to add it to your college list?

  • Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Founding date: 1863
  • Motto: Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty)
  • Campus size: 1,450 acres
  • Campus type: Rural
  • School type: Liberal public land-grant research university
  • Reputation: Party school
  • Selectivity level: Somewhat selective
  • Number of majors: Over 100
  • Popular majors: Accounting, Business, Computer Science, Psychology, Social Sciences
  • Student body: 31,350
  • Students per class: 10 to 19 in most classes
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Retention rate: 89%
  • Graduation rate: 76%
  • Athletic affiliation: NCAA Division I
  • Color: Maroon, white and black
  • Mascot: Sam the Minuteman
  • Number of varsity teams: 21
  • Sports: Baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field
UMass Amherst
UMass Amherst

University of Massachusetts – Amherst Rankings

US News ranks the University of Massachusetts – Amherst #26 in Top Public Schools and #68 in National Universities.

Meanwhile, College Simply ranks it #42 in Best Public Colleges in the US.

Locally, Niche ranks UMass Amherst #1 in Top Public Universities and #6 in Most Liberal Colleges in Massachusetts.

It’s not uncommon for flagship schools to make a splash in college rankings.

True enough, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, which is the flagship and largest school of the UMass System, tends to appear in many college rankings and rank highly, too.

As a matter of fact, UMass Amherst is #16 in America’s Top Colleges by Forbes.

The public institution, on the other hand, is #47 in Best Public Colleges by Money.

And, as mentioned earlier, UMass Amherst is #26 in Top Public Schools and #68 in National Universities by US News.

Besides across the land, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst also tends to dominate various local college rankings. Just take a look at the following rankings of UMass Amherst by Niche:

  • #4 in Colleges With the Best Student Life in Massachusetts
  • #9 in Colleges With the Best Professors in Massachusetts
  • #16 in Best Colleges in Massachusetts
  • #17 in Colleges With the Best Academics in Massachusetts
  • #20 in Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts

And now, here are the various local rankings of the school by College Simply:

  • #1 in Best Public Colleges in Massachusetts
  • #15 in Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts
  • #16 in Best Colleges in Massachusetts

More than 100 majors are available for undergraduate students to choose from.

One of them is referred to as the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC), whose name pretty much explains what it is.

Some of the most popular and highly ranked majors the UMass Amherst offers include:

  • Accounting
  • Architecture
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Finance
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences

UMass Amherst’s 21 NCAA Division I varsity teams are referred to as Minutemen and Minutewomen.

The top sports at the school are basketball, football, and hockey — the Minutemen won their very first national hockey championship in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, beating St. Cloud State University.

Related Article: Is UMass Amherst a Good School?

Is the University of Massachusetts-Amherst a Party School?

Many years ago, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst was one of the biggest party schools in the US.

The reputation, however, has declined.

While UMass Amherst no longer shows up in all rankings of the top party schools nationwide, in Massachusetts, it’s still one of the best party schools.

There was a time when UMass Amherst was called ZooMass due to its out-of-control parties.

However, the school administration did its best to get rid of such a reputation.

It’s because of this that, although still a party school, the university is no longer a place for rowdy shindigs and frenzied violence, although some of its students and alumni members insist on keeping the school’s former character intact.

Fret not if you like to have some fun and excitement while working hard for a degree. That’s because UMass Amherst remains as a party school, albeit a mellower version of its former self.

As a matter of fact, it’s #1 in Top Party Schools in Massachusetts by Niche.

Having no social life in college should also be the least of your worries.

The same college ranker has also ranked UMass Amherst #1 in Best Greek Life Colleges in Massachusetts (out of 21 schools) and #4 in Colleges With the Best Student Life in Massachusetts (out of 58 schools).

Facts About University of Massachusetts – Amherst Campus

The university is literally the largest school in the entire UMass System, for it has a massive 1,450-acre campus.

The enormous public school with a rural setting is located in a small town, which, despite being inclusive, remains diverse and exudes a metropolitan culture.

UMass Amherst is one of the most beautiful campuses in the Bay State.

This is evidenced by the fact that the public school is #5 in Best College Campuses in Massachusetts by Niche.

With a spectacular backdrop, wide-open spaces, and lots of trees — the institution has an unmistakable rural vibe.

But feeling isolated while completing a program should not keep you from putting the University of Massachusetts-Amherst on your college list.

That’s because its colossal campus is within a relatively short distance from various major northeastern cities such as Boston, Rhode Island, Providence, and New York City.

As mentioned earlier, UMass Amherst is the biggest of all UMass System campuses.

It’s the most populous, too.

Here’s a table comparing the sizes and populations of the different campuses making up the system:

UMass Amherst1,400 acres31,350
UMass Dartmouth710 acres8,154
UMass Medical School174 acres1,234
UMass Lowell142 acres18,338
UMass Boston120 acres15,989
UMass Honors College Campus
UMass Honors College Campus

Schools Similar to the University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Looking for UMass Amherst’s overlap schools because you have a clear idea of your dream college experience and career path?

There are many of them you may also put on your college list.

Some of the most comparable colleges and universities to UMass Amherst are, of course, those that are located in Massachusetts.

Let’s take a quick look at some institutions similar to the flagship school of the UMass System:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT is a private land-grant research university. Since its founding in the mid-1800s, it’s been a major role player in the development of modern science and technology.
  • Amherst College. The third-oldest institution for higher education, Amherst College is a private liberal arts school in Amherst, Massachusetts. When it was first established in 1821, only men were accepted. However, in 1975, Amherst College accepted women, too.
  • Williams College. Like Amherst College, Williams College is a private liberal arts school and used to admit male students only. However, in 1969, the trustees of the Williamstown, Massachusetts-based school unanimously decided to accept female students as well.
  • Tufts University. When it was established in 1852, Tufts University was known as Tufts College. But what started out as a small New England school became a large research university in the 1970s. The school is well-known for its superb study-abroad programs.
  • Wellesley College. As the name suggests, Wellesley College is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. It’s a private liberal arts school that accepts women only, although it now also admits transgender, non-binary and queer applicants. Wellesley College is one of the Seven Sisters Colleges.
  • Boston University. A private research university situated in Boston, Massachusetts, Boston University is one of the city’s largest employers, with more than 4,000 faculty members. The institution is particularly known for its beautiful location and hockey varsity team.
  • Boston College. Despite the fact that Boston College is a research university, it still refers to itself as a college. That’s because it wants to keep its heritage intact, which is starting out as a small liberal arts school. Boston College was founded in 1863 as a Jesuit school.
  • Northeastern University. Established in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research institution whose main campus is in Boston. It has satellite campuses in North Carolina, Washington, California (two), Maine, and even in Toronto and Vancouver in Canada.
  • Brandeis University. The founding of Brandeis University in 1948 was sponsored by the Jewish community. Despite this, it’s a non-sectarian school. The private research university in Waltham, Massachusetts was named after Louis Brandeis, the first US Supreme Court Jewish Justice.

How Much Do the Graduates Make?

Six years after enrolling at the UMass for the first time, graduates make $41,500 a year.

The amount of money they earn ten years after initially attending UMass Amherst climbs up to $55,200 a year.

The major is a factor in the graduates’ average annual earnings.

Because it’s a flagship and highly ranked institution, too, you can have peace of mind that any degree you could earn from UMass Amherst will be respected by employers when it’s time to hunt for a job.

Make sure that you pick your major very well because it will have a considerable impact on how much money you could make per year after graduating from the school.

Other factors that could affect your future earnings include work experience, industry, position and employer.

Want to have an idea on how much money you could be making a year armed with a UMass degree?

Then check out this table comparing the estimated annual earnings of the school’s employed alumni members by major six years from the time they became UMass freshmen students:

Computer Science$75,400
Computer Engineering$75,100
Electrical Engineering$66,000
Communications Engineering$66,000
Registered Nursing$65,400
Nursing Administration$65,400
Mechanical Engineering$63,700
Civil Engineering$59,400
Chemical Engineering$57,100
Food Science and Technology$45,300
Public Health$37,600
Political Science$36,200
English Language and Literature$30,800

What Makes UMass Amherst Unique

It may not be an Ivy League school, but UMass Amherst is a prestigious institution in its own right, ranking highly in various college rankings of national universities.

The college is known for being the largest flagship school of the UMass System.

It also has a party school reputation, boasting of a diverse student body and excellent Greek life.

Some of its most popular majors are business, computer science and social sciences.

Here’s a fun UMass Amherst fact that will surely make your mouth water: There are lots of five-star food options around campus for everyone.

As a matter of fact, the school is #3 in Best College Food in America by Niche.

The university is known as the largest and most populated campus of the UMass System.

Needless to say, being a flagship school makes it desirable to a lot of college-bound kids who want nothing but the best college experience as well as the best college degree that employers will respect.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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