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UMass Amherst

Academic Programs and Opportunities

Courses - Social and Cultural Diversity Requirement

Understanding other people includes understanding people whose life experience may be very different from our own. The University has a General Education diversity requirement to make sure that students choose some courses with this focus. There are two course designations in this area: U (Diversity: United States) and G (Diversity: Global).

Visit Gen Ed Course Offerings for a list of courses for the current semester that meet this requirement.

Academic Programs

Below is a sampling of diversity-related academic programs, departments, and majors at UMass Amherst.


Career Services helps undergraduate and graduate students connect their UMass Amherst education to meaningful field experience opportunities.

Community Engagement Program at Commonwealth Honors College
A unique aspect of Commonwealth Honors College is its focus on community service learning, an enriching strategy combining classroom instruction with service in the community.

Student Bridges Internship Program
General education courses combined with community service in Springfield and Holyoke. Also offering individualized volunteer, internship or independent study opportunities.

Mentoring Programs 

Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS)
CMASS offers leadership trainings, mentoring connections, career development and graduate school preparation, and many more opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Ernst & Young Partners in Education
The Isenberg School of Management has received a commitment of $500,000 from the Ernst & Young Foundation University Fund for an initiative that will help the school to strengthen its commitment to students from African-American, Latino, Native American, and Cape Verdean backgrounds.

Isenberg Fellows Residential Academic Program
The Isenberg Fellows RAP is a first-year residential academic program divided into two areas; Business in Society, and Diversity & International Business.

The Research and Mentoring Program
The Research and Mentoring Program (R.A.M.P.) was created to encourage and assist minority students and students from underserved populations to consider and pursue graduate study in psychology.

Women of Color Leadership Network (WOCLN)
The WOCLN celebrates and supports the accomplishments and endeavors of Black/African American, African, Latina, South American, Chicana, Asian-Pacific Islander, South Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, Arab/Arab American, Caribbean, Biracial and Multiracial, and all Indigenous women in the Five College region of Western Massachusetts.


There are numerous need and merit-based scholarships available for University of Massachusetts undergraduate and graduate students. Here are some examples of scholarships that promote diversity available to UMass Amherst students:

  • The Gates Millennium Scholarship: Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this scholarship was established to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education.
  • Scholarships for Students with Disabilities: Each year the Office of Disability Services awards scholarships to students with disabilities.
  • Ernst & Young Partners in Education Program: Established in 2008, this grant provides scholarship support for students from African-American, Latino, Native American, and Cape Verdean backgrounds.


For more information on scholarships visit the Financial Aid Services Web site.

Recruitment and Retention

Descriptive and contact information is provided for key diversity support programs at UMass Amherst that students may want to consider as they plan their college career.

Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS)
CMASS is working in partnership with Admissions and the Alumni Association to increase diversity.

Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE)
Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) is a statewide alliance that designs and carries out outreach programs and facilitates pathways to higher education for students who are traditionally underrepresented in the Massachusetts innovation working in partnership with Admissions and the Alumni Association to increase diversity.

DiMES - Diversity in Management Education Services
DiMES is a multi-faceted program promoting diversity within the Isenberg School of Management community.

Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) Diversity Commitment to Outreach & Education
CASA's goa isl to provide a diverse pipeline of engineering and science students who will enter the future workforce, graduate programs, or faculty ranks.

College of Engineering: Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP)
The mission of the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) is to provide comprehensive support services to increase the enrollment, retention, and graduation of students of African-American, Native American, Hispanic, and Cape Verdean descent in the engineering field.

College of Engineering: Women in Engineering Program (WEP)
WEP is a support program that provides academic and non-academic assistance for women to help them realize their potential as students and as engineering and technical professionals.

Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NEAGEP)
Sponsors activities to address the shortage of U.S. students, particularly underrepresented minority students, who receive Ph.D.s in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and become professors

Louis S. Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP)
Students with interests in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics and who are from under-represented populations, will find support through the Northeastern Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program.

STEM Diversity Institute The STEM Diversity Institute (SDI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst facilitates the diversification of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce.

STEM Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)

STEM Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)

Office of Graduate Student Recruitment and Retention—ALANA Diversity and Opportunity Program
The program works to increase the overall diversity of the graduate student body.

Five College Programs

Five Colleges, Inc. is a nonprofit educational consortium established in 1965 to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions, which include: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and UMass Amherst. The Five Colleges website includes an extensive listing of departments, majors, programs, certificates, committees and centers; many with an emphasis on diversity.
UMass Amherst students who qualify are eligible to enroll for classes.  For more information, see UMass Five College Interchange Office.