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Undergraduate Admissions

First-Year Admissions Requirements

Thank you for your interest in UMass Amherst. Admission to the first-year class is selective and is contingent upon successful completion of required high school courses at a level consistent with the university’s admissions standards. When you apply, we consider everything we learn about you from your application and decisions are never based on any single factor. You can help us get to know you by submitting the required items outlined below. We use a holistic review process to select students who will benefit from the UMass Amherst academic environment and enrich the entire student body.

Note: Admission for all students is determined in accordance with minimum standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE). However, meeting the DHE's minimum standards does not guarantee admission, since the university considers a wide range of factors when making admission decisions. All offers of admission are contingent upon completion of current coursework at a level consistent with admissions standards. Please note that all documents submitted with an application for admission are the property of UMass Amherst and cannot be released to the student or to another party.

A complete application includes the following material:

  • A complete Common Application (including the UMass questions)
  • Official high school transcript (grades 9 -11) 
  • Official transcripts for all completed college coursework 
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Application fee of $85
  • (Optional) SAT and/or ACT scores 
    Please refer to our test-optional policy page for more information

Minimum subject matter requirements must be met (see below). The rigor of the curriculum is strongly considered. We appreciate applicants who take challenging courses, including honors, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, if available.

When assessing academic achievement, course grades as well as grade trends are important, including course selection and grades in relation to the desired major. A strong senior schedule helps show the applicant’s commitment to higher education. If the high school provides a class rank, that is taken into consideration as well.

Unit Requirements

  • English: 4

  • Mathematics (Algebra II minimum): 4 including math in the senior year of high school

  • Natural Science (3 labs): 3

  • Social Science (one course in US history): 2

  • Foreign Language: 2 of same language (waived for MA vocational tech high schools)

  • Electives (from areas above, arts and humanities, or computer science): 2

Applicants to the College of Engineering, Isenberg School of Management, or the computer science major must have four math units including an advanced math course, such as pre-calculus, calculus or trigonometry. Applicants to the College of Engineering must also have chemistry and physics.

Applicants to the Architecture, Art, Dance, and Music majors are encouraged to contact the appropriate department and apply as early as possible to allow enough time for an audition or portfolio review. Students must have their admission application on file with Undergraduate Admissions before major-specific requirements or portfolio reviews will be scheduled.

UMass Amherst seeks to admit students who will contribute fully to campus life, inside and outside the classroom. Therefore, all non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The following are ways in which you can satisfy the English language proficiency requirement:

  • TOEFL: minimum composite score of 80 no subscore lower than 20 (code #3917). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Scores.

  • IELTS: minimum composite score of 6.5 on the academic test with no subscore lower than 6.0 (We will not accept paper IELTS test report forms).

  • English education: Entire secondary education (four years) is at a school where English is the primary language of instruction and the British or American curriculum is followed. 

  • Unscripted interview: While not required for admission, all international students may choose to submit a third-party unscripted interview.  If you choose to submit an interview, companies that provide this service include InitialView.

We are committed to reducing barriers caused by COVID-19 disruptions for students who plan to apply for admission. Therefore, beginning with the spring 2021 term the following tests will temporarily be accepted as approved examinations for English proficiency:

  • TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition: minimum score of 80 is required (code #3917).

  • IELTS Indicator: minimum composite score of 6.5 on the academic test with no subscore lower than 6.0 (We will not accept paper IELTS test report forms).

  • Duolingo English Test (DET): minimum score of 105 is required (Use the same email address as used with the Common Application).

If you are providing proof of English language proficiency based on one of the test scores listed above, please note that the score reports must be less than two years old and come to Undergraduate Admissions directly from the testing service. Also note that we do not superscore language tests (e.g. We do not accept MyBest scores from TOEFL).

The University of Massachusetts Amherst downloads IELTS scores that have been transmitted to our e-download account. Please contact your test center and request that your scores be sent to the following IELTS e-download account:

University of Massachusetts Amherst
534 Goodell Building
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333

Please note: Waiver of the English proficiency testing requirement will be granted only after our verification that the applicant has satisfied one of the above waiver criteria, based on official documentation contained in the student's application materials. The official verification process will be conducted after the student's application has been submitted and reviewed.

Home-schooled applicants are required to submit all of the application materials required for first-year applicants, including a personal statement, and a transcript. It is understood that the transcript of a home-schooled student may differ from that of a traditional high school student. Regardless of the format, a transcript should include all 9th to 12th grade courses (including those in progress) and the timeframe of each course (academic year and semester). In addition, an assessment of performance (a letter grade, percentage, narrative assessment, etc.) is needed. Occasionally, applicants are asked to submit additional information describing the curriculum and/or texts used.

Home-schooled applicants, who are in an approved curriculum, are not required to submit a standardized test score. Learn more about our test-optional policy.

Home-schooled students who are admitted are required to provide the university with proof of graduation in one of the following ways:

  • An official final transcript from the local school district.

  • An official final transcript from a home-school association or agency.

  • An official GED/HiSET score report. (Not required for Fall 2021 entering students).

  • An official college transcript(s) showing successful completion of 27 college credits

Home-schooled students who have completed AP exams and/or college coursework must request that those official score reports and transcripts be sent directly to the Admissions Office.

If you have questions, please contact us.