UMASS or Emmanuel? Any advice is appreciated!

   Hello! This is gonna be long in advance so just a little warning! So I am really torn between attending UMASS Amherst or Emmanuel College (Boston) and was wondering what you all would recommend :) Price isn’t really a factor in my decision as they both equate to around the same amount. I applied for Biology at UMASS (thinking about switching to kinesiology) and Biology with a specialty in Health Sciences for Emmanuel. I plan on becoming a PA and want to go to a school that not only gives me good internship and research opportunities but a place I enjoy going back to every year. 
    I visited Emmanuel and loved the pretty campus and opportunities available in the surrounding area (especially Longwood Medical Area). I loved that you have a close relationship with professors and that there is a 100% internship participation rate, as it really helps prepare for graduate school and give life experience. Furthermore the fact that this previous year of graduates had a 95% (something like that) placement rate for graduate schools is really impressive. I LOVED being in Boston as well, and all my friends that are going to school in Boston are telling me to go (I am not making my decision based off of friends however lol) ! Despite the great academic opportunities I want to go to college for the experience as well (and not just focus 100% on school work and job offerings). After looking at reviews I heard the school gets some hate. I didn’t see this when touring campus so I was slightly curious. I saw the low retention rate and heard that the school lacks pride and spirit (idk how true this is).  I am not a party person by any means but I heard the school is “boring” and that the staff is very strict. This, combined with being a very small school (and thus a lack of big varsity sports and I am a huge sports fan) has made me question my decision. Is the night life off campus (Boston sports, boating other schools, restaurants, shops, etc....) and experience of being in Boston worth the “boring”

campus? Is the hate unjustified or based on some truth?
I also applied for Biology at UMASS and got into their honors college and an invite to BIOTAP (probably did not get in as I have not heard anything back yet lol). I heard that UMASS’s sciences are stronger than Emmanuels, which is good for kids like me seeking to go to graduate school. This makes UMASS a more solid choice academically. After further researching I am also interested in their Kinesiology program (as a pre-PA major) if Biology doesn’t work out. The perks of attending a large school in my opinion is that there are loads of people to meet (you will find friends), school pride and a bunch of majors to pick from. Everyone I met that went to UMASS has loved it, including close friends and family. I am just afraid that at UMASS I will not be presented the same opportunities and internship/research experiences that Emmanuel offers for my career path. UMASS for starters is a large school so I feel that it must be more selective about who can participate in undergrad research compared to Emmanuel’s much smaller picking pool. Amherst is also quite isolated compared to Boston (for example I plan to be an EMT/CNA off campus and feel it would be easier to get experience in Boston compared to Amherst). Socially I am worried that UMASS may be too wild for me if I do not get housing in the honors college. I am not a huge party person but I do like going out, tailgating, working out and having fun if I’m caught up on studies :slight_smile: I also want to avoid being just being another number, and want to have a connection with my professors that graduate schools look for. Does the honors program make learning that much more personal compared to the normal UMASS environment? Will UMASS give me an advantage or disadvantage applying to PA school compared to Emmanuel in Boston?
I toured both places and loved and didn’t like them for different reasons. I am torn. One is a beautiful and personal school that has plenty of connections but unfortunately has a bad rap online and “no name”. The other is a refreshing, new, fun and academically “stronger” school where I might unfortunately not get get the same opportunities seen in Boston. I loved being in Boston and closer to home in general, but am willing to go to Amherst considering UMASS is such a good school (for me). Anyways, I can always go to Boston for grad school (hopefully)!
I thank you for reading this and hopefully some advice can help me make up my mind sooner! What school do you feel is better for graduate school (or are they equal)? Are any of the stereotypes/assumptions false? Where would you go/recommend I go? Any other advice, from students, parents, tecaheds, high schoolers ??Much appreciation ty!!

Hard to compare these two schools as they are so different! I would disregard the bad reviews on Emmanuel. If you look hard enough you will find bad reviews on Harvard and MIT. Go with your own feelings based on campus visits and preferences for City or College Town. Umass Honors College is a plus. Both schools are good choice.

I’m going to be quite frank. UMass is a much better university than Emmanuel. I wouldn’t worry about research as there is a lot of research going on in UMass, you just need to connect with professors. They are pretty spirited.

I would choose UMass 100%. It’s a GREAT school.

Here are some volunteering opportunities you could do in UMass: https://www.cns.umass.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/volunteer_opportunities_near_umass_amherst_0.pdf

Emmanuel… I don’t know a lot about it. I did tour it, but I didn’t like it. It’s kind of not well-known and a bit perceived as a lower level versus UMass. Their academics are eh.

If you look at the rankings, you’ll see that UMass is much better than Emmanuel. Also, you got into the Honors college which is definitely a plus.

You don’t have to party if you don’t want to. You can find various personalities because it is such a large campus. One of my friends is going to UMass and she is the opposite of a party person. Also, UMass keeps increasing their rank every year. They spend their money on renovating and updating their campus.

I suppose the only downside is that it may be a bit more difficult to find opportunities in hospitals as there are not that many in Amherst. However, they will help you find internships you can do over the summer in Boston.

I would say UMass, but in the end, it is your decision. I may not know the full story.

If you really like Emmanuel, go for it!

Good luck! :smile:

I would choose UMASS Amherst 100%. It has an awesome college town that would be great to live in as well. You can also take classes at any of the other area colleges in the consortium, Amherst, Smith, Mt. Holyoke etc. It is not just a party school. It is a school with diversity and strong academics as well. You will find a niche and group. There are endless opportunities for internships, research etc. It is what you make of it. I do understand about the allure of Boston, but I would choose the higher academics at UMASS and go to grad school in Boston if you want. Best of luck.

It is Oct 2020 and stumbled on this post. I always wonder what did the student decide? @waverlywizzard if you are out there, let us know! :smiley: Hope it worked out for the best for you!