UMass Amherst Graduate School Has More International Students, Higher Selectivity and an Overall Increase in Applications

AMHERST, Mass. – This fall’s Graduate School class at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has an increased number of international students, a slightly higher overall number enrolled than last year, and reflects more selectivity in choosing who will pursue graduate degrees, university officials say.

The incoming class includes 1,586 students, up from 1,540 in the fall of 2011. Overall, the Graduate School has about 6,300 students pursuing advanced degrees, including those enrolled in online programs.

John McCarthy is vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School. He is also a Distinguished University Professor. McCarthy says the class profile reveals several things. “UMass Amherst continues to buck the national trend of declining graduate enrollments. We are also seeing especially strong demand for our programs from students abroad, with India likely to soon surpass China as our biggest source of international students. Graduate students are attracted by strong faculty, and the very high quality of our faculty is known around the world.”

The number of new international students is 421, or 38.1 percent of the incoming class. There were 5,153 applications from international students, or 48.3 percent of the overall pool of applicants. In the fall of 2010, there were 337 new international students enrolled in the Graduate School, and 347 in the fall of 2011.          

The Graduate School saw an overall increase in applications this year, with 10,659, the highest number since 2003, when 11,246 applications were received. The school accepted 3,328, down from 3,398 in 2011, indicating that departments and programs across the campus were more selective this year, McCarthy says.    

With a graduate faculty of 1,100, McCarthy says, UMass Amherst is the major research institution in the five-campus UMass system. It offers 51 programs leading to a doctorate and 73 programs toward a master’s degree.

UMass Amherst has offered graduate study since 1896, awarding more than 13,100 doctoral and 45,200 master’s degrees as of 2011.