The University of Massachusetts Amherst was founded in 1863 as a land-grant university dedicated to educating its citizens, generating new knowledge, and applying discoveries to the betterment of society. Through the generations, the original “agricultural and mechanical” focus has broadened into nearly every aspect of modern life and into a larger obligation to the community we serve.

The Mission Statement for the University of Massachusetts, approved by the Board of Trustees in 2005 (Document T05-024), is as follows:

"The University's mission is to provide an affordable and accessible education of high quality and to conduct programs of research and public service that advance knowledge and improve the lives of the people of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world."

The University of Massachusetts Amherst strategic plan launched by Chancellor Subbaswamy in 2012, and refreshed in 2018, builds on the foundation of the university’s mission and the special obligations of the flagship campus. As expressed in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, we seek to, “create positive impact on the Commonwealth and the broader society we serve through education and advancing knowledge. As the flagship public university in Massachusetts, we cherish and add to the Commonwealth’s long tradition of intellectual and educational leadership. Our institution is rooted in the idea that any qualified individual, regardless of wealth or social status, should have access to high quality higher education. We draw from and support diverse experiences and perspectives as an essential strength of this learning community and accept for ourselves and instill in our students an ongoing commitment to create a better, more just world.”