The University of Massachusetts is the five-campus public university system of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The system includes four universities, a medical school, and a satellite campus.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the flagship and largest school in the UMass system, offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Like many colleges and universities, the Massachusetts Agricultural College (as it was originally called) in Amherst was founded as a land-grant college in 1863, receiving initial start-up funding as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. It became "Massachusetts State College" in 1931 and "University of Massachusetts" in 1947.
In 2016 The Times Higher Education ranked UMass 165 globally and 57 nationally.
Among UMass notable alumni are astronaut Catherine Coleman, former Global co-CEO of Deutsche Bank Anshu Jain, former FBI head James Kallstrom, actor Richard Gere and many others.
UMass Amherst, located in Amherst, Massachusetts, sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. The campus provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers.
UMass Amherst is the flagship and the largest of the UMass campuses, as well as the first established. The library system is the largest state-supported library system in New England with over 6.1 million items. The campus has many architecturally distinctive buildings commissioned by the Commonwealth and designed by world-renowned architects.