UMass Campus Vista
Undergraduate Admissions

First-Year Application Instructions

The Common Application

UMass Amherst uses the Common Application.

In Completing your Application please be mindful of the following sections:

Use your full legal name on all documents. Use this same full legal name on all of your application materials (including test scores, if you submit them). For U.S. citizens, this should be the name listed on your Social Security card. For non-U.S. citizens, this should be your name as listed exactly on your passport.

If you intend to apply for financial aid, please enter your Social Security number accurately on your application. An omission or error will delay processing of your financial aid award.

Confirm that your mail address is correct and provide an email address that you will check frequently. Don’t forget to notify us if your mail or email address changes. Please add to your address book so that important emails from us do not go to your spam folder.

Note: We recommend not using a school email address, since some schools block outside emails, and you may not have access to that address after graduating.

Providing this optional information on your ethnic background will assist the university in complying with state and federal laws and reporting requirements.

Selecting a Major

You are required to select an intended major, and you have the option to select an additional major of interest.

Should space limitations or your academic background preclude admission to your choice of major(s), you may be considered for our Exploratory Track Program. You can also apply to an Exploratory Track if you are undecided about a major. 

Note: Exploratory Track programs are listed as Undecided on the Common App. 

Certain majors have special requirements for admission. Additionally, architecture, art, dance, and music majors should file an admission application with the Admissions Office early to facilitate the audition or portfolio review process.


This is a required part of the application. Take your time writing your essay. Get feedback from your parents, a favorite teacher, or your school counselor. Proofread it carefully. We want to know something about you. This is an ideal opportunity to provide further information not apparent in your transcripts and other materials. 

Student Union

Essay-writing tips from an admissions counselor

Letters of Recommendation

First-year applicants require at least one academic letter of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation should be sent by the recommender via the Common App or college counseling systems including Naviance, SCOIR, etc. or by emailing a PDF to

Transcripts & Test Scores

Request that your high school send or transmit the Common Application School Report and an official transcript directly to Undergraduate Admissions. Transcripts for grades 9-11 must be issued from the high school in which you completed junior year and must include a listing of all high school courses and grades.

We prefer the transcript be sent through the Common Application. It can also be submitted via email to If it needs to be mailed the address is:

UMass Amherst Undergraduate Admissions Office
Mather Building
37 Mather Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

At UMass Amherst, standardized tests are optional for first-year entering applicants. UMass Amherst will review applications with or without standardized test scores. Students who have taken the SAT/ACT exams are welcome to send their scores. Please refer to our test-optional policy page for more information.

We will accept both redesigned and old SAT results. The SAT essay and ACT writing component are neither recommended nor required. All scores must be sent directly from the testing agency, which may take up to two weeks. The UMass Amherst SAT code is 3917 and the ACT code is 1924. All test scores are processed upon receipt. Check your status page to learn whether your score has been processed. 

Other Application Information

Applicants who are non-native speakers of English are required to demonstrate their English language proficiency. Please see the International Application Procedures.

Please do not send non-required supporting documents or items such as photographs, recordings, writing samples, awards or commendations, etc. If you would like us to know about a relevant activity, talent or award, please include that information in your essay.

Although we request that you disclose criminal history on your application, any information you provide will not be used to determine your candidacy for admission. Candidacy will be based only on your academic performance, test scores, activities, essay, recommendations, and so on. If you are admissible, only then will one of our directors look at the criminal history information you provided. This separate evaluation will be done to determine whether the criminal activity was serious enough to have a bearing on the final admissions decision. In the rare event that we determine prior criminal history may adversely affect your candidacy for admission, we typically ask an applicant to first provide additional information to help us in making our determination.

(Note: You are not required to answer “yes” to the criminal history question if the criminal adjudication or conviction: (1) has been expunged, sealed, annulled, pardoned, destroyed, erased, impounded, or otherwise ordered by a court to be kept confidential; (2) was a first conviction for misdemeanor drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, or disturbance of the peace; or (3) any conviction of a misdemeanor where the conviction occurred more than five years prior to the date of this application, unless you were sentenced to imprisonment upon conviction of the misdemeanor, or you have been convicted of another criminal offense within the five-year period.)

If you have not been enrolled in college coursework for one or more semesters after high school graduation, please provide an explanation about the reason for the gap/s in your education. This may take the form of a resume, a list of activities, or an essay.

Submit Your Application

Pay the nonrefundable $85 application fee online through the Common Application process. Once you have submitted your application, please allow 7-10 days for it to be received and processed (note that it may take longer than 7-10 days if your application is submitted close to our busiest deadlines or if you submit a paper application).

It is important that you check the status of your application regularly. To help you with this, we provide you with a link to your Student Status Page, your Username and PIN, which gives you the ability to check the status of your application online and identify any missing credentials. Note that UMass Amherst is no longer mailing admissions decisions; all decisions will be found online.

Approximately 24-48 hours after you submit your application, you will be sent an email to the email address you provided on your application. The email will include a link to your Student Status Page, your Username and a PIN. You will then be requested to create a password for yourself. (Note that this email may be delayed slightly during our busiest periods.) This link will give you access to your Student Status page throughout the admissions process. 

If you have any questions about your account or you have general questions related to the admissions process, please call Undergraduate Admissions at 413-545-0222.