University of Massachusetts-Amherst Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Sarah

UMass Amherst is very big. I don't find it too big, but for someone looking for a small school it may not be the best choice. The town is definitely a college town, because of all the colleges located within a small area. The businesses in the area reflect that. There are lots of pizza places and other restaurants that are open late and deliver late. It's also kind of a hippie area. Unfortunately, there isn't much to do off campus. There is one mall pretty close, and a plaza of stores, and a movie theater in the mall. There is a larger mall about a half hour from campus (the Holyoke Mall). The dorms are separated into different sections all around campus: Northeast, Central, Orchard Hill, Southwest, Sylvan, and North Apartments. Sylvan has suite-style living with about 8 girls or 8 boys per suite and one bathroom and common room per suite. It's kind of secluded. Southwest is the more urban "party" area. The North Apartments are nice, but more expensive. There are always events going on on campus, and some of them are pretty fun.

Charlie

So Umass was my last choice school, when my parents made me come to this school I found something to get involved in, which happened to be greek life. Greek life here on campus is very small, its about 4.7% of the entire umass pop. Since I am very involved in greek life here I find that I spend most of my off time either at my sorority house, in the greek office, at the student union and at meetings. I hardly go into town unless my sisters want to go, you do not really need a car here because everything is pretty close to campus and there are buses that travel all around town. Its a quiet town and neighbors do not appreciate having Umass students around. Students will find that the neighbors around the areas hate the students and are not friendly at all. The biggest controversy on campus is violence, a lot of stabbings, breaking into cars, vandalism, hate crimes etc. It makes me feel really unsafe knowing this happens on campus but in return to help students the school has made sure to have a lot of cops on bikes to stop all these situations from happening. Having Umass be my last choice and not wanting to be here the first week I came, now I look back and am glad to say I go here. Greek life made me stay, most students do not connect to the school and thats why they transfer. Joining an RSO on campus is possibly the best thing you can do and I reccomend it for everyone!

CJ

Umass has a huge campus, but really the school can be as big or as small as you want it to be. It's a pretty decent school overall, the area is nice, northampton is great, and that's really most of what i've noticed. i don't pay much attention when it comes to campus news or administration, i tend to stay in the dark, mostly because i'm uninterested and partially because they make it uninteresting. the classes sizes can be huge, which makes for great slacking and extra daytime for the brave, or just the generally bored. i also generally stay away from the type of people i'm not fond of, and the segregated living areas make that really easy. i would say that the worst thing on campus is the food. god awful, after about the first week. it may not seem like it, but give it time. you too will hate the slop they provide. i'm convinced they give themselves awards just to prove some kind of point or retain a small amount of dignity. but they know what they're doing.

Amy

The campus is beautiful. Yes, the campus is large but its divided into academic colleges which makes is smaller. Depending on your major, most will have the majority of their classes in an area on campus. The campus size is perfect. I spend most of my time in Stockbridge Hall which is the College of Natural Resources and the Environment which my major is apart of. There definitely is a lot of school pride. The sports are big here, and hundreds of students attend all the games wearing our school colors and routing for UMass!

Kris

There is a stereotype that Umass-Amherst students are dumb. However, that is not the case. I spend most of the time in the college town. The administration is competent and makes an effort to rectify problems on campus as well as offer a wide range of extracurriculars activities and dining options. There is a decent amount of school pride but it is not over the top. One thing that is great about the school is that the students are pretty chill. In addition, there is a myriad of courses to choose from. Furthermore, the library is huge.

Greg

I love UMass. I think it's the perfect size. You can meet new people everyday, but then you always have a smaller close group of friends. Some people that don't know anything about the school just think it's a party school which it isn't. There is a lot of research by professors and students done here and is doing great things for this country. Another thing I like is being able to get off campus and do stuff such as kayaking, eating in Amherst or Northampton, seeing a movie, going bowling etc. It's all very close and with free public transportation.

Nick

My personal favorite part of being at UMass is the Boxing Club. Since about 2005, I became a HUGE boxing fan, and follow it somewhat religiously. When I found out that the school had a Boxing Club, I was estatic, and immediately joined up. Tom McDevitt, who started the club last year in the 2006-2007 school year, has a boxing backround growing up in South Boston, and was an integral figure in shaping not only myself, but many of the club's members to become better boxers all around. Though some enjoy it as a workout, and that alone (trust me, it's GREAT!) I personally get the satisfaction of learning the sport's delicacy and craft, and being able to execute it. Working combinations on the punch mitts, various strength and conditioning drills and controlled sparring are only a few of the attributes that the UMass Boxing Club gives to it's members. In the shadow of our extremely popular football, basketball and hockey teams, the club is at times overlooked, especially being that it is not a Varsity sport. However, the same amount of preparation, determination, and will goes into preparing to box as does preparing for any of the above sports. Being in a safe, controlled environment with a great group of people who all look to lend advice to one another, The UMass Boxing Club is one of the school's best kept secrets.

Brett

I feel like Umass Amherst is truly the perfect sized school. Although many might think that it is too big, I have to disagree. My dorm is located in the Northeast section of campus but because since I'm pursuing engineering as my major this is the area where I have all of my classes. I feel that this is the perfect environment to be in since I do have a lot of work most of the time. However whenever I feel it is too much and I am overwhelmed by it, it is always nice to know that there are other areas of the university that I can go to that will help me clear my mind. Some of these include areas down in Southwest like the track since I used to do hurdles in high school, the gym where I do boxing, or simply just the dinning commons where I like to spend time eating with my friends. Overall, it's truly a great environment to be in and I would encourage anybody to come visit whenever.

Elizabeth

I think the greatest thing about UMass is its vast and diverse population. You never know who or what you are going to see walking (or biking, my preferred method of transport) around campus. However, I admit at times, I feel a bit lost in the shuffle--It is rare that I see a familiar face when walking around. Honestly, for grad school, I hope to seek out a school that has a slightly more...connected feeling. I am from Niagara Falls, New York. Most people in my neck of the woods are not very familiar with UMass Amherst, but they seem to think it's a good school--in Boston. I frequent the library--I love the quiet floors (2nd and 3rd) and the coffee is great! It is a bustling hub of campus, and I like the acitivity. I also spend much of my time in the BlueWall. In the nice weather, I try to take advantage of the sunshine, and hang out by the Campus Pond. I love all the vibes each part of campus has to offer!

Jennifer

Do not go here unless you are motivated and able to teach yourself. The classes are huge and nobody cares whether or not you show up. If you don't have the motivation to go to class you will fail. Also, the administration does not care about you. You will pay way too much for food and housing, and if the school owes you money you will have to fight with them to get it.

Evan

Umass is like a town in itself. It is amazing to have so many people around, and because it is so big, if you dont want to see someone you dont have to. The sporting events here are awesome, and we have some of the biggest fans. Greek Life is also awesome, I would highly suggest it..most of the time people think of greek life as only partying, and what they see in movies, however, in reality, we do so much community service, and focus highly on our academics

Billy Pilgrim

School size is good, although it can be too large at times. I spent most time at the DCs or at the library when I wasn't around the dorm. The administration has recently been criticized as it seems to be out to make a buck as opposed to helping out the student body

Vanessa

I think UMass Amherst provides a great atmosphere...Western Massachusetts in general is a great place to get your college education no matter what school you go to. Amherst is a great, diverse town.

Brett

The best thing about UMASS Amherst is the campus, not only is it beautiful, but it is in a quaint little college town and always bustling with people. One thing I would change at UMASS if I could is the size of the classes and offer more online classes to undergrads. I think the school is very large but you come acustom to it. Usually when I tell people that I go to UMASS they usually know someone that has gone, and do I love it etc. When I tell someone my age there like how are the parties etc. The place I spend the most time on campus is the campus center. Very big college town. UMASS Amherst administration go only two ways extremley nice, or horrible. Biggest recent controversey on campus was some bad discretions by the Lacrosse players. There is alot of school pride, everyday someone has UMASS clothes on, but the best place to see bleeding white and maroon is the actual sporting events. I have never been to a different campus, but what I think is weird at UMASS is the way housing is planned. One experience I will always remember is haning out at certain fraternities, they guys are so nice and they make everyday eventful. Student complaints are not getting classes they want, the internship process, parking, that starbucks is only open to 1pm etc.

Lindsay

UMass has variety. If you're an engineer but you like literature, you can take a lit class as an elective or for a gen ed. If you go to a type specific school you're not going to find that. UMass also has the biggest base of support I've ever seen. My visiting friends agree. If you need something here, you can find someone to help you get it. Many people think that the campus is too big but I disagree. The thing that makes it big is the large number of residence halls. The academic buildings are all clustered in the center and you can get anywhere you need to within ten minutes, no sweat. The residence halls are sprawled out from that center and that's what I think makes it so big. Plus, being an engineer, I feel very close with that particular college. That makes the university seem smaller to me because I have a core group of peers, faculty and administrators that I know. They can, in turn, identify me. Most of the time when I say I go to UMass Amherst, people roll their eyes because they think I'm nuts...particularly frieneds of my parents who sent their children elsewhere. I set them straight pretty well. Most of my time spent on campus is in the engineering quad. Between classes, labs and part time work..many hours are dropped there. There's a cute downtown area with shops, lots of food and bars for those of age and busy Northampton is nearby. I'm not sure how much school pride there is..but I know there are always lots of fans that come out for the sporting events so that's good. I think most students complain about the cold. It does get rather cold and miserable in February.

Vincent

I think one of the best things about UMass is the surrounding area. Coming from a big city I was excited to get away from all the noise and live in the country. The area around campus is beautiful, with lots of foliage, mountains, and beautiful scenery. The towns around Amherst are small and quiant and I think they fit the college town stereotype. You can go get a slice of pizza at Antonio's, shop in Hadley, or go into Northampton which is the quintessential college town.

Ashley

The best thing about UMass Amherst is the amount of opportunities available, both academic and extracurricular. Even if UMass Amherst doesn't offer specifically what you want, which is rare, there's an extremely good chance that another school in the Five College System does. One thing I would change about the schools is the quality of some of the buildings. We have some really nice new buildings but some of the older ones are really ugly on the outside, falling apart on the inside, or both. A misconception about UMass is that it is too large. It is a much larger campus than most schools in the area, but once you know where everything is and you get involved with more activities, the school shrinks because you know the hidden shortcuts and you know so many people that it seems like a much smaller place than it is. When I tell people I go to UMass usually they respond with "Oh, Zoomass?" Then I have to explain that UMass isn't just about the riots and the parties and the violence that you see in the media - I am getting a great education there and I have found it a very safe place to live. Amherst, Mass is definitely a huge college town. Along with UMass, it also has Amherst College so you can basically assume that the majority of people you see around town are somehow connected to one of these two colleges.

Dawson

There's a lot of people to meet. I would change the faculty. Some of them just don't care. Too Large, but in a good way. They react by saying, "really umass? do you remember annnything?" Spend most of my time in my dorm room or outside playing. Def college town. Administration BLOWS. Recent controversy was a threat letter found in a classroom building and a black kid who got charged for 2 white kids (who didnt even go here) starting trouble with him. Yeah I'd say a lot fo school pride.

Ryan

UMass Amherst is not as it is described by the faculty and advertisements. The tours show you certain areas on campus and only the nicer buildings. The school is poorly run at best. The school's more worried about making money than helping the students succeed. You feel like you were just thrown into this school with no guidance. you make your own schedules, the faculty is worthless and doesn't give a damn about your personal needs. Be prepared to become a number. Your professor will never know your name, your classes will have a few hundred kids, and your tests will all be a scantron. You often feel lost and alone because you are thrown into a mix of people you don't know with no guidance. Make friends quickly or youll quickly hate everything about the school as opposed to just most of it. Everything is far away from your dorm, be prepared to walk far to every class and be overcharged for everything. Everything that says UMass on it is sold for a ridiculoud amount of money. No one cares about you individually because there are 25,000 other students here. It is sink or swim and you are on your own. This school is the definition of baptism by fire. Think twice before you decide to go here, and speak to a current student, not a tour guide, or an admissions person...they skip parts of the truth and you do not get the whole story.

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