University of Massachusetts Amherst

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#85, overall score 52.75/100

Fun Fact:

At 28 stories, UMass’ W. E. B. Du Bois Library is the second-tallest library in the world.

Why should Jewish students attend UMass Amherst? Consistently ranked among the nation’s top public research universities, UMass Amherst is home to a rich and diverse cultural and academic environment that includes New England’s premier honors college and eight schools and colleges offering a full range of undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs, many counted among the top programs in the nation and the world. As part of the Five College Consortium, UMass Amherst provides a wealth of professional and artistic opportunities as well. Nestled within the expansive and tranquil Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, the Jewish community of UMass Amherst reflects that vibrant and serene atmosphere. UMass Hillel along with the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, UMass Chabad, Chabad at the Four Colleges and the talented, passionate and creative Jewish and non-Jewish students on campus, who make it all run, all work together to foster a humble, open and active Jewish community filled with warmth, joy, and really special people of all backgrounds and practices. In addition to social events, Torah learning, cultural opportunities, social justice, activism, and interfaith work, the smaller scale nature of the Jewish community lends itself to unlimited opportunities for student leadership, co-creativity and innovative community building in whatever way students choose to make happen. — Raffi and Ariella Leicht, OU-JLIC Educators

UMass Amherst has a small but warm and vibrant Jewish population. Every student is a valuable member of our community. Kosher food is available on campus and Chabad hosts services and meals for Shabbat and all holidays. We have a packed schedule of social events, learning and leadership opportunities, and community service programs so that each individual student can find a place to shine and enjoy making a difference. Chabad at UMass Amherst is truly a home away from home. — Yocheved Adelman, co-director, Chabad at UMass Amherst


  • Location: Amherst, Mass.
  • Region: New England
  • Campus type: College town
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 23,373
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 2,000
  • Jewish population share: 9%
  • Student origin: 82% in-state / 18% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Daily Collegian
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Minutemen
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Zoodisc / Lady Zoo

COST & AID Score: 1.67/15

  • Score: 1.67/15
  • In-state tuition: $15,596
  • Out-of-state tuition: $33,662
  • Room & board costs: $12,258
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $9,312
  • Average loan debt: $31,860
  • Starting median salary: $53,500

ACADEMICS Score: 6.67/20

  • Score: 6.67/20
  • Acceptance rate: 57%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Median SAT range: 1180-1360
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: Minor

ISRAEL Score: 14/20

SAFETY Score: 9.67/11

  • Score: 9.67/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 2.1/1,000 students (medium-low)
  • City crime rate: 8.16/1,000 people (low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 20.75/34

  • Score: 20.75/34
  • Hillel: Hillel UMass Amherst
  • Chabad: Chabad House at Amherst
  • OU-JLIC: Yes
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi, SDT
  • Jewish dorm: Max Goldberg Jewish Living and Learning Community
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 90
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 10
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 2 (1 Conservative, 1 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Jane Yolen
  • Kosher food details: Kosher dining is easily accessible in the main cafeteria at the center of campus in Franklin Dining Commons, providing an opportunity for students to be integrated completely into University dining options. The chef even takes requests from students when deciding the weekly menu, which includes a few different options each day and the particular dietary needs of each student.

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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