“Beyond the Guidebook”  College Representative Questionnaire


9/20/2018 @ 10:15 AM

Name of College:

UMASS, Amherst

Name of Representative:

Kathleen Callahan

Email Address:


Phone Number:

Office: 413-545-0222

College Web Page:


Please give some examples of high profile events held on campus last year  (i.e. concerts. speakers, political debates, etc.):        

There are many events/speakers/presentations  in a given week on various topics!  One important ongoing campus initiative is “Hate Has No Home at UMass.”

What percentage of students stay on campus during the weekends?

High:  14,000 students live on campus and many of them stay for weekend activities at UMass Amherst and in the surrounding 5-college area

New initiatives on campus and/or institutional goals?

New major:  biomedical engineering

What is something you might find at the school that may not exist at any other school?

  1. Carnegie I doctoral research institution:  only 7% of colleges and universities are so designated
  2. The Commonwealth’s flagship campus, ranked 29th among the nation’s public research universities
  3. 90 different academic majors; with minors, 117 programs
  4. Part of 5-college consortium
  5. Commonwealth Honors College
  6. ICONS research project:  students from various STEM fields work on real-world problems

If located outside of New England, what New England area schools is your institution similar to?

Hard to say:  we are the largest public institution around with 29,000 total students.  Consistently listed among best college towns in America

What is the distance to the nearest big city? And what is that city?

Springfield:  20 minute drive

What is the approximate distance from Westborough, driving and/or flying?

Approximately 1 hr 30 minute drive

What are your most popular majors?

STEM majors:  Business; Computer Science; Engineering; all of the life sciences (including Pre-Med track); Sport Management; Psychology

What are your newest and/or most unique majors?

STPEC:  Social Thought and Political Economy:  only program in the nation.  Has a strong social justice theme.  We also have a build-your-own-major program (Bachelors Degree of Individual Concentration/BDIC)

What majors are you hoping to grow?

Humanities and Fine Arts; Agriculture-related majors; Biomedical Engineering (new this year)

Will applying “undecided” for a major affect a student’s chances for acceptance?

There is no more Undecided major.  Students can choose from various exploratory tracks.  Those interested in Nursing MUST declare Nursing.  For our competitive majors like Business, Comp. Sci., Engineering, and so on, students should declare those at application.  Trying to transfer in while enrolled is possible but a more difficult path (very difficult for Business>

Is there a statistical advantage to applying early decision or early action?

More students are accepted during Early Action but that is because they are stronger students.  The requirements are the same.  We recommend EA for students comfortable with their marks from 9/10/11th grade and test scores as of 11/1.  We do not recommend EA if UMass Amherst or a specific program is a reach, or if the student believes seni

or grades and additional test scores would help their case.

If interviews are required or recommended, where and by whom are they conducted?

Evaluative interviews are not offered

Are students automatically considered for merit scholarships with the application to the school?


What percentage of demonstrated financial aid do you meet?

Approximately 75 to 80% of our students receive financial aid.  For the 8th consecutive year, we have been selected as a Kiplinger’s best value public college (#46)  

Is there anything else a student should know that they will not easily find in a guidebook or online?

Best food in the nation, second year in a row!

Campus information sessions and tours are general in nature.  If students want to visit a specific department, they should contact the department directly.