University of Massachusetts

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Updated August 7, 2020

Since being founded in 1863 as the Massachusetts Agricultural College, the University of Massachusetts has grown drastically into a major multi-campus public research institution. UMass offers courses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, Springfield, and the Merrimack Valley as well as through UMassOnline. The entire UMass system enrolls more than 73,000 students annually. Featuring an average student-faculty ratio of 17:1, students have close interaction with their professors, which include Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize recipients, and Guggenheim fellows. 12 UMass faculty have been named to the "World's Most Influential Scientific Minds" list. The University of Massachusetts is committed to providing high-quality, affordable education across over 350 academic areas.

Thanks to the system's long-standing reputation for excellence, UMass has been ranked the 75th best university, 29th top public school, and 62nd best college for veterans by the USNWR. UMass has been included among Kiplinger's Personal Finance "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" for five straight years. UMass ranks third in total research and development expenditures in Massachusetts at nearly $600 million each year. The Times Higher Education has honored the University of Massachusetts for being in the top 100 institutions worldwide and #1 public university in New England. UMass also stands proudly as one of America's "Top Producers of Fulbright Students."

University of Massachusetts Accreditation Details

As a whole, the University of Massachusetts is formally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This is one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for reviewing the area's six states. Many of each campus' academic departments have pursued discipline-specific approvals. For instance, teaching programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Business programs meet the standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Health sciences degrees are given the stamp of approval from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

University of Massachusetts Application Requirements

UMass is quite selective with an acceptance rate of 61 percent, so incoming online master's students must fulfill certain academic criteria. Graduate applicants must possess at least a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or non-U.S. equivalent. Residents of Alabama, Arkansas, and Kansas can't be currently accepted for online degree programs due to regulation changes. Most master's programs require students to obtain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the final 60 credits of undergraduate work. Satisfactory test scores must be submitted using the GRE or GMAT code 3917. Residents of non-English speaking countries are required to score at least 80 on the TOEFL.

Prior to the January 2nd and October 1st deadlines, interested students must apply online via the UMass Graduate School with these submitted materials:

  • Completed online admissions application
  • Payment for the $75 non-refundable fee
  • One-page personal goals statement
  • Official transcripts from each college attended
  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • Graduate entrance exam scores
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae

Tuition and Financial Aid

Regardless of residency, all students attending UMassOnline pay the same tuition price per credit hour. Non-credit and undergraduate courses typically range from $125 to $1,980 each. Graduate courses at the master's or doctoral level can be anywhere from $1,230 to $2,250 apiece. Most online master's students should be expected to pay the first-year graduate student services fee of $200. Online registration fees are also $30 per semester. Full-time master's students at the University of Massachusetts have an average yearly tuition rate of $14,051, but the amount varies based on the program chosen.

Around 70 percent of matriculated UMass students are awarded some form of financial aid to help cover these expenses. After filing the FAFSA form, certain students may qualify for free gifted money via the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state students could receive the MASS Grant, Massachusetts Cash Grant, or Gilbert Matching Student Grant (GMSGP). Borrowing money through the Perkins, Stafford, and Grad PLUS loans is possible, but funding must be repaid with interest. MA State Employee Waivers are available for eligible working professionals. Veterans military benefits are offered in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Scholarships are also abundant, including the Jack Wilson Scholarship, Honors-to-Honors Scholarship, Dean's Scholarship, and Community Scholarship.

Online Degree(s) Available

UMassOnline offers a wealth of highly accessible degree programs completed via Blackboard with little to no campus residency requirements. At this time, students can select from 40 online master's programs ranging from finance to history and public health. Since being created in 2001, UMassOnline has served thousands of online degrees for non-traditional students needing more flexibility in their course scheduling. The online master's programs include:

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Offered entirely online, the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction at UMass is designed for licensed classroom teachers to enhance the curriculum development process in their K-12 school district for improved student learning. Featuring a 30-credit online curriculum, the program conveniently allows experienced practitioners to examine new instructional tactics. Specialization is available in Autism Studies, Science Education, Special Education, or Mathematics Education. The advanced program ends with an Action Research Capstone. There's an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Education of Diverse Populations too.

M.S. in Gerontology

Consisting of 36 credits, the M.S. in Gerontology is delivered by the University of Massachusetts fully online from anywhere for healthcare professionals looking to move into management positions in aging services. Online students develop the skills to lead geriatric healthcare in rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and adult daycares. Coursework will delve into topics on human resources, financial management, marketing, senior transportation, leadership ethics, long-term care administration, health management, and public policy. A culminating capstone field research project is required.

Isenberg Online MBA

Noted as America's 12th best online MBA by the U.S. News, the Isenberg Online MBA is available to provide advanced AACSB-accredited training to business professionals seeking advancement into upper-level management roles. The 37-credit curriculum can be completed 100% online with focus areas in Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health Care Administration, Marketing, or Sport Management. MBA students gather the in-depth quantitative, reasoning, communication, and problem-solving skills required of executives in today's cutthroat business world. Students benefit from interactive, high-tech classroom sessions, including a two-day Online Business Simulation Workshop.

Graduate students wishing to attend the University of Massachusetts could also select other innovative online programs, including the M.A. in Criminal Justice, M.Ed. in School Counseling, MPH in Nutrition, M.S. in Engineering Management, and M.S. in Family Therapy.

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