How to Get Into UMass Amherst: Acceptance Rate & Strategies
UMass Amherst is one the top public universities on the East Coast. Yet, in 2022, as acceptance rates at highly-ranked schools plummet nationwide, the University of Massachusetts still lets two-thirds of applicants enter its Amherst campus. While the overall UMass acceptance rate is still far from intimidating, certain programs are extremely competitive. Highly-rated Nursing, Business, Computer Science, and Engineering programs have helped to raise UMass’s profile with students from around the world.
The intent of this article is to give those considering applying to the UMass Amherst and understanding of the following topics:
- UMass Amherst acceptance rate
- UMass Amherst’s Early Action acceptance rate
- SAT, GPA, and class rank of accepted UMass Amherst applicants
- Admissions trends
- UMass Amherst Admissions Data by College
- System for rating applicants
- A look at the demographics of current UMass Amherst undergraduates
- The percent of accepted students that attend the UMass Amherst (yield rate)
- Tips for applying to the University of Massachusetts
- How to assess whether applying to the UMass Amherst is even worth the $85 application fee (for you)
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How to Get Into:
Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.
UMass Amherst Acceptance Rate
There were 42,540 applications for admission into the Class of 2025. Only 27,877 or 66% of that group were accepted to the Amherst campus. This is comparable to the UMass acceptance rate the previous year of 65%. The acceptance for out-of-state applicants tends to be a few points higher than for residents. This is somewhat unusual among public flagship universities.
UMass Amherst Early Action Acceptance Rate
Based on the most recent data available, applying to the UMass Amherst during the Early Action round gives you an edge. The Class of 2024 saw 71% of EA applicants accepted compared with 59% of Regular Decision applicants achieving the same positive result.
UMass Amherst Admissions – SAT, GPA, and Class Rank
For Class of 2025 members, the mid-50% SAT range for enrolled freshmen was 1270-1450, the ACT range was 28-33. Moreover, 53% possessed a weighted GPA of 4.0 or greater. Among enrolled 2021-22 first-year students, 30% hailed from the top 10% of their high school class, while 69% earned a place in the top 25%.
Admissions Data by College
As noted in the introduction, some programs at UMass Amherst have more stringent admissions standards than others. Here are some examples:
College of Humanities
- Acceptance Rate: 73%
- Mean SAT: 1332
College of Information and Computer Sciences
- Acceptance Rate: 47%
- Mean SAT: 1465
Isenberg School of Management
- Acceptance Rate: 59%
- Mean SAT: 1316
College of Engineering
- Acceptance Rate: 73%
- Mean SAT: 1380
College of Nursing
- Acceptance Rate: 21%
- Mean SAT: 1417
Admissions Trends & Notes
- Firstly, 77% of the Class of 2025 are Massachusetts residents.
- Further, 1,046 members of the cohort are out-of-state domestic students. Another 390 are international students.
- 38% of the Class of 2025 are ALANA students (African-American, Latino, Asian, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Native American).
- The number of applicants rose from roughly 40,300 to almost 42,500.
- Lastly, UMass was test-optional for the fall 2022 admissions cycle and will be again for the 2023 cycle as well.
How the UMass Amherst Rates Applicants
UMass Amherst considers just two factors as “very important” to the admissions process: rigor of high school course load and GPA. Items that are “important” as part of the admissions process are: class rank, first-generation status, essays, recommendations, talent/ability, first-generation status, character/personal qualities, and extracurricular activities. “Considered” factors include standardized test scores.
Straight from the UMass admissions office:
- “The University of Massachusetts Amherst uses a holistic review process to carefully consider applicants in an individualized context. This requires a deep, comprehensive understanding of the academic context from which you are applying.”
- “Since we receive applications from across the country and around the world, our Admissions Counselors work diligently to understand the nuance of each learning environment, which in turn informs the context in which your application is evaluated.”
- “In addition to academic achievements, we are interested in the behaviors and attitudes, such as a love of learning and intellectual curiosity, that make students great learners and full contributors to the vibrancy of a campus community.”
UMass Amherst Demographics
Let’s now take a look at the demographics of the UMass Amherst undergraduate student body.
The states that sent the highest number of students to the UMass Class of 2025 are:
- New York
- New Jersey
The fewest students come from the following states:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
The greatest number of international students come from the following countries:
- South Korea
In terms of ethnic identity, the breakdown is as follows:
- White: 61%
- Asian: 11%
- Hispanic: 8%
- African American: 5%
- Two or More Races: 3%
- International: 7%
A look at the gender split reveals that university enrolls more men than women.
- Men: 49%
- Women: 51%
UMass Amherst’s “Yield Rate”
UMass Amherst’s yield rate is 17%. In other words, 17% of those accepted went on to enroll. This figure is significantly lower than other powerhouse state universities like the University of Florida (47%), University of Michigan (45%), and UVA (43%).
Tips for Applying to the University of Massachusetts Amherst
If you plan on joining the 42,000+ UMass Amherst hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:
- UMass Amherst does not use interviews as part of their evaluation process.
- However, the UMass Amherst does not consider “demonstrated interest” so you will not be judged on whether or not you made a campus visit, contacted an admissions officer, etc.
- Certain highly-selective majors at UMass have particular application requirements.
- Lastly, make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the two optional essays required by the University of Massachusetts. In the 2021-22 cycle, they were as follows:
- Please tell us why you want to attend UMass Amherst? (100 words)
- Please tell us why you chose the Majors you did? (100 words)
Should I Apply to University of Massachusetts Amherst?
In conclusion, those with SAT/ACT scores within the mid-50% mark for the UMass Amherst who are also in the top quarter of their respective high school class are absolutely viable candidates to this excellent institution.
Of course, it goes without saying that all teens applying to a school of the UMass Amherst’s caliber also need to also have a proper mix or “target” and “safety” schools on their college list. More on creating a balanced college list can be found here.
Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).