Points of Pride

As the flagship campus of America’s education state, UMass Amherst is the leader of the public higher education system of the Commonwealth, making a profound, transformative contribution to the common good. We are the largest public research university in New England, distinguished by the excellence and breadth of our academic, research and community outreach programs now in their 151st year.


  • Our students are bright, bold, unconventional thinkers. Applications doubled during the past decade, and more than 37,000 students applied this year for 4,650 seats in the upcoming freshman class. Academic quality stands at an all-time high with combined SATs at 1218 and high school GPAs at 3.78.
  • The Commonwealth Honors College recruits the best and the brightest, with SATs at 1357 and GPAs at 4.21. This fall, opened one of the nation’s premier residential honors colleges, a $188 million, six-building complex featuring 1,500 beds, nine classrooms and faculty residences as well as space for gathering, advising and administration.
  • The range and quality of UMass Amherst’s academic offerings are nationally recognized. Students come from 69 countries and 49 states. In Massachusetts, we recruit students from every region in the state and its 351 cities and towns.


  • UMass Amherst ranks among the nation’s Top 30 public universities, moving up 10 spots during the past year in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide.
  • Our undergraduate business degree program has jumped from the 78th to 36th spot in the Business Week rankings over the last five years.
  • For a fifth consecutive year, UMass Amherst is among the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges compiled by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.
  • Innovation in sustainability is a campus calling card, and we are ranked among the top 10 research universities nationwide for our commitment to leadership in sustainability. The campus received a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking Assessment Rating System (STARS). Only 16 U.S. universities have received this distinction.


  • UMass Amherst is a research powerhouse. We’re an engine that touches—and often transforms—communities in the Commonwealth and around the world.
  • We compete at the highest level of research activity. In Massachusetts, we rank third in grant funding from the National Science Foundation behind only MIT and Harvard. In fiscal 2014, overall research funding exceeded $190 million.
  • The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awarded UMass Amherst $95 million to partner with life sciences companies to develop new products and services. The investment is designed to extend the fast-growing sector to western Massachusetts. Faculty in three new research centers will be housed in the new, $160 million Life Science Laboratories complex.
  • Our climate scientists are among the best in the world. The federal government selected UMass Amherst to lead a consortium of seven universities and host a major new initiative, the Northeast Climate Science Center, funded with a $7.5 million grant.
  • Geckskin, a super-strong adhesive developed by our scientists, that can hold 700 pounds on a smooth wall, was named one of the top five science breakthroughs of 2012 by CNN Money. Inspired by the footpads of geckos, Geckskin was invented by doctoral student Michael Bartlett, polymer scientist Alfred Crosby along with biologist Duncan Irschick, an expert in how geckos climb and cling.
  • Research by our economics department earned widespread acclaim and prompted an international debate. Thomas Herndon, a graduate student in economics, received national and international news coverage about his published report that highlights serious errors in a study used as the framework for government austerity policies. Written with Michael Ash, economics, and Robert Pollin, economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, the report found flaws in the methodology of data selection in the original study, as well as a basic spreadsheet error, that when combined, significantly altered the impact of a high national debt ratio on gross domestic product.

Community Outreach and Impact

  • UMass Amherst’s operations contribute $1.9 billion in economic activity to the Massachusetts economy.
  • Our graduates are an indispensable part of the state’s knowledge economy, a huge swath of its professional workforce. They study here and remain in the Commonwealth in greater numbers than any other school’s alumni. The campus has more in-state alumni than any other college in Massachusetts, private or public.
  • In Wareham, the Cranberry Experiment Station helps maintain and enhance the viability of the state’s cranberry industry through research and outreach. More than 60,000 acres are devoted to cranberry production in southeastern Massachusetts.
  • In Gloucester, our researchers are working with the state to explore mysteries that are critical to preserving the state’s commercial fishing future. The work of UMass Amherst’s marine research station includes electronic tagging of tuna and lobster reproduction experiments.
  • UMass Extension has 13 field offices located in each region of the state. Many of them are devoted to an individual program, such as the Extension Nutrition Education Program or the 4-H Youth Development Program.