The University of Massachusetts (UMass) is a world class public university and one of the largest in Massachusetts. It comprises 5 different college campuses, with the majority of students being placed into UMass Amherst. UMass has a reputation as being a really friendly and accepting college, with it topping the leagues for the most LGBTQ+ accepting college as well as placing top 20 for most students of colour enrollment at a public university.

UMass also has plenty to offer, with a variety of undergraduate degrees and being one of the best-funded research institutions in the state. UMass Alumni have become Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, Breakthrough Prize winners, and much more. If UMass sounds like the place for you, keep reading to find out more about how you can boost your chances of being accepted!!

Research most competitive courses 

So you’ve decided that Imperial is THE university for you, great! Now it’s time to figure out what you want to study. UMass has a range of different courses from Business to Psychology to Politics, and it is renowned for its Nursing and Computing programmes. However, these programs are also the most competitive, with the University having special requirements for students who want to study them. 

Here is a list of the most highly selective majors at UMass, and the requirements that you’ll need to get in.

MajorAcceptance rate/requirements
Business Isenberg school of ManagementWith an acceptance rate of  59%, admission is selective to the majors of business, finance, marketing, and accounting.First-year applicants must have a strong academic record in maths through pre-calculus to be competitive for admission to any Isenberg major.
Computer ScienceAdmission is highly selective with an acceptance rate of 47%. First-year applicants with a strong academic record in maths through pre-calculus are given priority.
Engineering Admission is selective with majors to the College of Engineering requiring a strong academic record in maths and science coursework, including chemistry and physics.First-Year ApplicantsAdmitted first-year students are granted general admission to the College of Engineering and at the end of their first year, they choose a specific engineering major.
Nursing With an acceptance rate of 21% Admission to the nursing major is arguably the most highly selective.Admission is restricted to first-year students. If first-year applicants are not admitted to nursing, they will not be able to change their major to nursing after enrollment. 
Sports ManagementAdmission to the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management is based on the strength of the applicant’s overall academic record, and sport management-related activities. Applicants must have a strong academic record in maths through pre-calculus.

Meet the entry requirements 

UMass uses GPA and course rigour as one of its main parameters for its admissions process. 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%. However different subjects have different entry requirements, with some courses even being specific about the grades they require for individual subjects, such as engineering and computer science. 

Unlike other Universities in the US, UMass does not require SAT/ACT scores and they are an optional component. For students who did sit the SAT exam, they had a score of  around the mid 50%, and an ACT range of between 28-33.

For international students, the University Website does not outline any specific grade requirements, however you can expect them to be aligned with the requirements for its home students. Students should be aiming to place in the top 25% of their year groups in order to be sure that they secure a place. 

There is also an English language requirement that all overseas students must meet in order for their applications to be considered. Currently UMass has a wide array of qualifications that International students can use to show their proficiency in English including the TOEFL and IELTS exam scores. 

In order to demonstrate competency in English, all undergraduate applicants must either achieve the minimum score in one of the English tests the university accepts, or prove that they are exempt from the English language requirement.

For details on the full list of English qualifications accepted and the rules on English language exemption, please visit the university’s website.

Prepare documents 

College Essay

Moving onto one of the most important steps of your UMass application: the college essay. Your college essay is your opportunity to show off your unique personality and interests, use it to convince the admissions officer that you deserve a place on your course because you will make the absolute most of it!

Top tips for the perfect college essay.

Find your Why 

Many students might want to study a subject because they like how it sounds or they think they might make a lot of money doing it in future, but you can make money studying any degree, so why choose this one? In order for your personal statement to be successful, you have to get to the root of why you want to study your course at your chosen university. Is it because you want to make an impact on other people’s lives? Is it because you think you can be a source of innovation? Because you’re passionate about political movements or because you have always been the person your family called to fix broken remotes and laptops? Whatever reason you have for wanting to study your chosen degree, don’t be afraid of sharing the parts of your life that it comes from.

Don’t be stereotypical 

As much as it is important to share your reason for studying your chosen course, starting off your personal statement with “since I was 5 years old I’ve wanted to be a … ” might be the quickest way to bore the admissions officers. Instead of using well rehearsed lines about thoughts you definitely didn’t have at 5 years old, speak about the lessons you found interesting at school, the museum that you went to, the ted talk you watched or the business you shadowed. These are much more likely to keep the admissions officers attention, and show that you have made efforts outside of school to pursue and further your academic interests.

Keep it relevant

While the admissions officer wants to get to know more about you and your interests, they do not need to know that you have a purple belt in karate or that you’ve had a pet dog since you were 8. Make sure that everything you mention in your personal statement can be linked back to either 1) what makes you interested in the course and 2) what makes you suitable for the course (and karate lessons don’t really go hand in hand with your interest in …). 

Spelling, grammar and clarity of voice

My final tip is this – Please read over your work – out loud. In the excitement of getting all your thoughts down on paper you may have made a few (or a lot) of grammatical errors, which is why you have to read over your work. If you can’t read it out loud, then an admissions officer probably won’t be able to either, and then you’ve written a thousand words worth of brilliance that the world will never get to appreciate. So make sure that you watch out for things like run-on sentences, that your paragraphs have a clear flow and that your personal statement has a beginning, middle and end. 

Letter of recommendation/reference

What a lot of students don’t realise, is that your UCAS application will have to be sent with a letter of endorsement from a referee at your school. For those students who are able to choose who writes their letters, I would suggest setting up a meeting with them early on in the application cycle, so both you and your referee have more than enough time.

When choosing a referee it is important to consider the following factors: 

  • How long has this member of staff taught you?
  • Do they teach a subject relevant to the course you are applying for at university? 
  • Can they speak to your character?

For those students who are not able to choose their referee, do not panic, there are still a couple things you can do to try and make sure you have the best recommendation possible.

  • Increase your class participation:

If you’re not someone who usually answers questions in class, well you are now! If a teacher notices you are engaging with the subject then they are more likely to write about it in your reference

  • Ask them questions:

Asking questions shows you have a genuine interest in the subject and want to deepen your understanding. The questions don’t have to be based solely on the work you do in class, you can ask them about the application of the topic you are covering, or about relevant things you may have heard on the news. 

  • Offer to help out:

Everybody appreciates being helped out now and again, and so do teachers. Ask them if they need help with anything during lessons or after school – the more likely you are to leave a good impression, the better they will reflect about you and the more positive your letter of recommendation will be.

Apply for scholarships and financial aid

Lastly you should know how you are going to be funding your studies. There are many different funding opportunities, with most universities offering scholarships,bursaries or grants! Read the website to find out what’s on offer for your circumstances, as the scholarships may vary based on whether you are a home or overseas student, your subject and your socioeconomic circumstances, so make sure to filter through the results to find one that’s best for you!

Also be sure to make a note of deadlines, it’s best to start looking at the scholarship offers after you have finished your application to give yourself the best shot at being chosen. 

Top tips for getting into University of Massachusetts

1. Research, Research, Research. The more you know about your chosen subject, the more dedicated and passionate you come across in your application. 

2. Super Curriculars over extracurriculars. The admissions officers want to know that you’ve made an effort outside of your school curriculum to learn more about your future course. So tell them all the lectures you’ve attended, programmes you helped run and mentoring that you’ve done with younger students that’s relevant to your course. Do not tell them about how you like to play guitar or your favourite meet up spots, as interesting as it may be, they do not need to know.  

3. Stay Organised! Keep track of upcoming deadlines and make sure you have scheduled in time for preparation in between your revision schedule.

4. Attend Open days. Open days are a great way to see what life at UMass would be like! As well as talk to current students and staff and get a feel for your future course. Why not ask them what they like best about the University/course and use that in your interview.

5. Be yourself. The most important piece of advice I can share is to be yourself! Be genuine about your interests and passions, and really show the University how much they can gain by having you as a student there!

6. Stay off of chat rooms/student groups/social media threads, or anything that will make you think more negatively or question your worth and ability! The fact that you are aiming for a world class education already speaks volumes about yourself, you do not need to be a Nobel laureate or a CEO to be able to get into the university you want to go to, and having those things won’t guarantee you a place either! 


What is the UMass acceptance rate?

The UMass acceptance rate is around 63 %, making it far from intimidating. The acceptance rate also varies by subject, with some subjects, notoriously nursing and computer science, being harder to get into than others. 

Is UMass a good university?

UMass is a world class university, ranking within the top 200 universities globally

Is Imperial a Russell Group / Ivy League university?

UMass is not a Russell Group or an Ivy league university

How hard is it to get into UMass?

It is not difficult to get into UMass, with an acceptance rate of around 63%, as long as you have the right GPA then the University is likely to accept you. 

Does UMass give contextual offers?

As affirmative action has been ruled out by the supreme court in the US, it is hard to say for certain.

Getting Into UMASS: The Verdict

UMass is a good non selective university, which means as long as you have the grades necessary to study there, getting accepted should be smooth sailing from there. By following all the advice on this thread you can ensure your chances of getting accepted and acing the