UMass Amherst Moves Up to No. 24 Among Public Universities in Latest U.S. News Rankings

Flagship Campus Stands Out as One of the Fastest-Rising Publics in the Nation

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has climbed into the Top 25 of the nation’s premier public universities, coming in at No. 24 among the 146 public institutions ranked in the Best Colleges 2020 guide published by U.S. News & World Report.


The Commonwealth’s flagship campus moved up two slots this year as a top ranking college. With student success, graduation rates, and other key metrics on the rise, the university continued its ascent as one of the fastest-rising, top-tier public-research universities in the country, advancing from No. 52 in 2010 to No. 24 in 2020. A destination of choice, UMass Amherst this fall welcomed its largest entering class in history.

“UMass Amherst’s rise to national prominence reflects our commitment to excellence and innovative thinking,” said Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy. “We are dedicated to serving the people of Massachusetts, by providing a public university that produces revolutionary ideas and impact on par with the best universities in the nation and the world. As the largest producer of undergraduate STEM degrees in the Commonwealth, the flagship campus plays a vital role in filling the talent pipeline that drives the Massachusetts knowledge economy. We are preparing the scientists, leaders and innovators who will advance solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges and will help to maintain Massachusetts’ competitive edge.”

Essential to the Massachusetts Economy

UMass Amherst’s rising national profile correlates with its growing role in providing talent essential to the success of the Massachusetts innovation economy. The university educates more students from Massachusetts than the eight top-ranked private national universities in the Commonwealth combined, and it also awards more undergraduate STEM degrees than any other college or university in the Commonwealth, public or private. More than 60 percent of UMass Amherst alumni remain in Massachusetts.

The university stands out as world-class leader in research and innovation. In fiscal 2019, the campus received more than 1,000 sponsored research awards, totaling over $195 million, an all-time high. Total research grant funding has increased 42 percent over the past 10 years.

For six years running, UMass Amherst has been ranked in the top 30 public universities. UMass Amherst also ranks No. 64 in the U.S. News & World Report Best National Universities category, moving up six places from last year’s rankings among 312 public and private institutions rated by U.S. News. According to the federal Department of Education, there are more than 3,400 four-year colleges and universities in the United States of which approximately 750 are public.

The U.S. News rankings are based on a variety of weighted factors: graduation rate performance, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, graduation and retention rates, social mobility, alumni giving, financial resources, student selectivity and high school counselor ratings. All of the schools in the National Universities category offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees while emphasizing faculty research.

UMass Amherst: Destination of Choice

The academic year began this month at UMass Amherst with the university welcoming an outstanding academic entering class, and the largest in university history.

The size of the entering class, approximately 5,800 students, represents an increase of 790 compared to last year. The university received a record 42,110 applications. Overall undergraduate enrollment this fall is projected to be 22,700.

The first-year class includes 4,300 in-state students, an increase of 800 over last fall. Massachusetts students represent 74 percent of the first-year class. Out-of-state enrollment remained strong at 1,500, including 470 international students.