The University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Home / About / Find your balance.

Find your balance.

On the fence about majoring in what inspires you?

"No matter what you do in life, you will have a huge advantage if you can read a paragraph and discern its meaning (a rarer talent than you might suppose). You will have enormous power if you are the person in the office who can write a clear and concise memo."

– David Brooks, New York Times

Today’s students are increasingly pressured to major in “practical” fields of study in order to improve their chances of finding a job after graduation. What could be more practical than strong writing and communication skills, keen critical abilities, a facility for language, and the ability to connect ideas and see the big picture?

Students in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at UMas Amherst develop useful and durable skills while pursuing their passions. Striking this unique balance allows today's students of humanities and fine arts to become tomorrow's artists, teachers, pioneers, inventors, and leaders.

Study what inspires you. That passion will inform your professional life.


The humanities and fine arts provide foundation for students who wish to move on to business, law, or medical schools after graduation. As globalization collides businesses and diplomacy, an understanding of other cultures, their histories, and their languages is invaluable. Law schools want students who have a grasp of the sweep of human history and the forces that have shaped human experience, who can think critically and write with grace and skill. And an empathetic and humane point of view and the ability to communicate clearly are essential for a successful practice of medicine.

In an increasingly digital world, visual and written communications are integrated, and an artistic eye necessary for any website, marketing campaign, media production, or publication to come to life. At UMass Amherst, creative students can hone their craft—whether it's acting, set or costume design, music composition, digital art, painting, or sculpture—with a strong liberal arts foundation and find themselves adaptable to multi-media careers.

When you study what inspires you, you're more likely to excel throughout your time at UMass Amherst, catch the eye of a prospective employer or graduate admissions board with an excellent transcript, and carry that excellence throughout your professional career.

Find out more about the majors and minors offered at HFA.