UMASS Amherst Vibe

My daughter was just accepted with a great scholarship. We haven’t visited like most high school seniors due to COVID.

She’s planning on majoring in Biology.

My DD was not accepted into honors. Are there living learning communities at UMASS? Is there a way in housing to find more serious students? What can you tell me about the academic environment at UMASS good or bad?


I am only a high school student who has two older cousins who have attended or are attending Umass. It is a party school which a lot of students hence the name Zoo mass. But don’t let that hold you and your daughter back because a lot of friendships can be made through the big social life that Umass has. Both my cousins were in frats/sororities and are still doing great academically. My oldest cousin graduated last year and is off to Law school while his younger sister still attends.

It seems like a fun school that still gives you the education you need to succeed. Just because people party, doesn’t take from their intelligence. Don’t let that stop you from allowing your daughter to attend. That’s just my two cents!

Congrats on your daughters acceptance!

Congrats! My daughter is in the same situation (good merit, no honors). Her older sister is in honors at the university of Delaware, also on pretty much all party school lists. It is a party school, big Greek life and a lot of daging. However, academics also come first and she and her friends have always made the deans list in spite of their social lives.

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Yes I know probably most big state schools make party lists. It’s just too bad we can’t visit and see students on campus to get a true feel for UMASS before having to make a decision. We live 7 hours away and few kids from our area apply there so I don’t really have a local connection which makes it harder.

I know UDEL has a party reputation too but we adored our honors visit back in January. Hoping that she gets honors but we aren’t counting on it as her SAT is borderline. We were so impressed by the students and faculty we met. I’m glad your older daughter is enjoying her time at UDEL. It sure seems like a great school.

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She absolutely loves it and was devastated in March. Fortunately she’s in an off campus apartment so still having fun. Mo oldest was between Rutgers and UMASS and we convinced her to choose Rutgers without even seeing UMASS (time crunch). Now I wish we visited UMASS!

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Graduated from “ZooMass” back in the 80s. I realize that was a long time ago and not indicative of today, however back then I think it was considered even more of a party school AND you/ your daughter will find many bright and serious students attending. Kids party at all colleges. There may be lots of kids who seem to overdo it, but there are plenty of kids at state schools who are looking for a great education and take things more seriously. Sometimes you have to look a little harder to find it, but it’s there. And, just because some kids party doesn’t mean they aren’t really bright. Know plenty of them from the zoo that have done quite well in life: lawyers, doctors, bankers, business leaders, scientists, etc.


I have worked with many graduates from U.Mass (mostly computer science majors, a few math majors). I have had a couple of doctors who were U.Mass graduates. All of the above have made U.Mass Amherst look very good (of course the doctors went to U.Mass Worcester for the last four of their eight years).

It does have a reputation as a party school. However, there are clearly quite a few very good and very serious students there.

Massachusetts has a lot of strong high school students. Many are the children of graduates of some of the well known top universities in MA. As the cost of university keeps going up, the number of these strong students who attend U.Mass Amherst rather than an expensive private school gradually increases.

I think that your daughter could find her crowd there.