University of Massachusetts Amherst
#132 Overall Influence#953 Desirability Rank

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Public university in Massachusetts, USA

University of Massachusetts Amherst Rankings

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Massachusetts traces its roots to the Massachusetts Agricultural College, founded in 1863 (though the first classes were not held until four years later, in 1867).

The agricultural college grew quickly, particularly after the turn of the twentieth century. A broader curriculum was introduced to serve the increased enrollment, and in 1931 the name was changed to Massachusetts State College.

In 1947, the state college was reorganized into a statewide, public university system (UMass). Today, the UMass system comprises five campuses and one center. The five campuses are in Amherst (the flagship campus), in Boston, in Dartmouth, in Lowell, and in Worcester (UMass Medical School). The special center is in Springfield; administratively, it is a satellite campus of UMass-Amherst.

UMass-Amherst is also part of a five-college consortium whose students are permitted to take each other’s classes and check out books from each other’s libraries. The other four colleges are Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College.

UMass-Amherst has a student body approaching 31,000.

Prominent UMass-Amherst-associated individuals include the following:

  • Poets, Ted Hughes & James Tate
  • Philosopher, Robert Paul Wolff
  • Painter, Chuck Close
  • Folk singer, Buffy St. Marie
  • Singer and songwriter, Natalie Cole
  • Jazz musicians, Taj Mahal (Henry Fredericks) & Max Roach
  • Screenwriter, William Monahan
  • Actors, Bill Cosby, Bill Paxton, Bill Pullman & Richard Gere
  • Physicists, Russell Hulse (Nobel laureate), Joseph Taylor, Jr. (Nobel laureate)
  • Evolutionary theorist, Lynn Margulis
  • Entomologist and behavioral neuroscientist, Vincent Dethier
  • TV reporter, Jake Tapper
  • Former General Electric Chairman, Jack Welch
  • Former US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairperson, Sheila Bair


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


374 Whitmore Building 181 Presidents Drive, Amherst MA 01003

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

6 per 100k

Violent Crime

2 per 100k

What is University of Massachusetts Amherst known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#95 World Rank #33 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#72 World Rank #40 USA Rank
#64 World Rank #41 USA Rank
Computer Science
#93 World Rank #45 USA Rank
#70 World Rank #56 USA Rank
Social Work
#67 World Rank #57 USA Rank
#85 World Rank #57 USA Rank
#98 World Rank #67 USA Rank
Political Science
#84 World Rank #68 USA Rank
#90 World Rank #68 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#187 World Rank #71 USA Rank
#195 World Rank #74 USA Rank
#198 World Rank #74 USA Rank
#137 World Rank #75 USA Rank
#103 World Rank #78 USA Rank
#170 World Rank #82 USA Rank
#146 World Rank #83 USA Rank
#163 World Rank #85 USA Rank
#199 World Rank #92 USA Rank
#158 World Rank #95 USA Rank
#301 World Rank #108 USA Rank
#322 World Rank #164 USA Rank
#370 World Rank #178 USA Rank
#458 World Rank #224 USA Rank
Religious Studies

Influential People

Who are University of Massachusetts Amherst's Most influential alumni?

University of Massachusetts Amherst's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Computer Science, Business, and Social Work. University of Massachusetts Amherst’s most academically influential people include Lynn Margulis, Samuel R. Delany, and Ted Hughes.

Lynn Margulis
Lynn Margulis

American evolutionary biologist

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Samuel R. Delany
Samuel R. Delany

American author, professor and literary critic

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Ted Hughes
Ted Hughes

English poet and children's writer

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Jack Welch
Jack Welch

American executive: General Electric CEO

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Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby

American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and convicted sex offender

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Vernon L. Smith
Vernon L. Smith

American economist

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Michael E. Mann
Michael E. Mann

American physicist and climatologist

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader and risk analyst

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Nancy Folbre
Nancy Folbre

Feminist economist

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Natasha Trethewey
Natasha Trethewey

American poet

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Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux

American travel writer and novelist

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Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson

American novelist and essayist

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