The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is a research university in Amherst in Massachusetts.
It is the flagship university of the University of Massachusetts system, and it is the largest public university in New England.
The impressive 1,450-acre campus is based in the town Amherst, and it extends about one mile from the Campus Centre in all directions.
While the university is large, through the Five College Interchange, students can also take courses at smaller liberal arts colleges nearby: Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College and Hampshire College. As part of the consortium, students can attend classes, borrow books, and work with professors at the different colleges.
The university offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees, but it is also categorised as a Research University with very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Sustainability is key for the university, and is now an integral part of life on campus. In 2010, the UMass Climate Action Plan was approved, which documented the campus’ plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Furthermore, this is one of the only public universities to use the fresh fruits and vegetables in the dining commons from its very own gardens.
Athletic teams at UMass are members of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The university is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Sports on offer for students to take part in include: baseball, basketball, cross country, ice hockey, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, and track and field.
Notable alumni include the famous actor Richard Gere who notably played alongside Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Jack Welch, Jr., a retired American business executive, author, and chemical engineer who was chairman and CEO of General Electric, and Natalie Cole, an American singer-songwriter and daughter of Nat King Cole.