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#146 Overall Influence #953 Desirability Rank

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Public university in Massachusetts, USA
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

From Wikipedia

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public land-grant research university in Amherst, Massachusetts. Founded in 1863 as an agricultural college, it is the flagship and the largest campus in the University of Massachusetts system, as well as the first established. It is also a member of the Five College Consortium, along with four other colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and Hampshire College.

Source: Wikipedia


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




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How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

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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

#60 World Rank
Computer Science
#104 World Rank
#105 World Rank
#101 World Rank
#205 World Rank
#114 World Rank
#100 World Rank
Political Science
#81 World Rank
#210 World Rank
#113 World Rank
#124 World Rank
#261 World Rank
#114 World Rank
#312 World Rank
#232 World Rank
#281 World Rank
#269 World Rank
#95 World Rank
#158 World Rank
#166 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#129 World Rank
#93 World Rank
Social Work
#745 World Rank
Religious Studies
#272 World Rank
Criminal Justice

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, Economics, and Social Work

Dan Riccio

Vivek Paul

Indian businessman

Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr.

Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr.

American astronomer

Rick Pitino

American basketball coach

Marc Randazza

Marc Randazza

American writer

Bruce Allen Murphy

Bruce Allen Murphy

American writer

Richard Gere

Richard Gere

American actor

Garret John LoPorto

Garret John LoPorto

American political activist

David Pakman

American journalist

Gerry Callahan

American sports journalist

Agha Shahid Ali

Agha Shahid Ali


Carol Rosenberg

Carol Rosenberg

American journalist