The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst now provides free COVID-19 tests for local community members. Tests will be offered by appointment only at the Mullins Center. For more information, go to
UMass Amherst has announced its Spring 2021 operating plan, inviting additional students to return to campus to advance their studies. The plan prioritizes public health and safety, including expansion of the university’s successful COVID-19 testing program. For more information, go to


Future Students

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Why Humanities & Fine Arts?

Find your balance.

Find Your Balance

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 superior writing and communication skills, strong critical abilities, a facility for language, and the ability to connect ideas across fields of study and inquiry?

While also pursuing their passions, students in HFA develop useful and transferable skills that are invaluable to employers. Striking this unique balance allows today's students of humanities and fine arts to develop into tomorrow's artists, teachers, pioneers, inventors, and leaders.

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With 38 majors and 26 minors—from Afro-American Studies to Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, and everything in between—the College of Humanities & Fine Arts is the creative and cultural heart of UMass Amherst.

World-Class Faculty

Gretchen Gerzina

Professor of English, former dean of the Commonwealth Honors College, and Paul Murray Kendall Chair in Biography at UMass Amherst, Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is a prolific author and media host. She has written or edited nine books. From 1997 to 2012 she hosted the nationally-syndicated public radio program "The Book Show," and interviewed guests like Toni Morrison, Julian Barnes, Kazuo Ishiguro, A.S. Byatt, Salman Rushdie, Tracy Chevalier, Maya Angelou, and Philip Roth. In 2020, she has experienced heightened interest in her work as writer specializing in Black British Studies.

First Year Experience

Exploratory Track

Upon first entering UMass Amherst, many students are not ready to choose a specific major or want to find out more about the many majors offered. First-year students who are undeclared or undecided on their major are placed in the Exploratory Track program. This program allows students to explore majors and enables them to take advantage of the advising and support programs embedded within schools and colleges.  

The Humanities and Fine Arts Exploratory Track encourages students to discover a major that allows them to pursue their passions—in art, literature, design, music, language, history, and many other areas of study—while gaining valuable skills. 

Dancers in class at Totman Gym

Departments & Centers

The College of Humanities & Fine Arts is the creative and cultural heart of UMass Amherst. With 14 academic departments and 12 world-class research centers, institutes, and interdisciplinary program, our students — undergraduate and graduate — have the opportunity to study with the best scholars, thinkers, and artists.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Advising & Career Center

The College of Humanities and Fine Arts Advising and Career Center provides comprehensive academic support, internship assistance and career counseling. Our dedicated advisors can help with individualized degree planning, scheduling courses, General Education requirements, internship placement, and more.

Do you have further questions? Reach out to our departments.

Next Steps

Choosing the right college is all about finding the right fit. The best way to experience UMass Amherst is to discover our campus.

About Amherst

Amherst has long been recognized as one of America’s best college towns, and the University of Massachusetts is proud to be part of this exciting and vibrant community. The university is dedicated to being a good neighbor and committed to developing and maintaining community partnerships that support area citizens, businesses, and organizations. We invite you to explore the Amherst area, learn about its history and traditions, and discover its attractions. From restaurants to shops to museums, there is plenty to see and do.

Students walk through campus in front of Old Chapel

Everything you need to know about the UMass Amherst application process and required materials.