My Experience at University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Tayla received her bachelor’s degree in finance in 2012 from University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She specializes in algebra tutoring, geometry tutoring, and more. Read on for her review of her experience at University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Describe the campus setting and transportation options.

Tayla: The University of Massachusetts, Amherst has a large beautiful campus, in a rural area. They have a public transportation system to take you all across campus (it’s a 40-minute walk from one end to the other), and the buses are free for all students. The buses can also take you to the surrounding areas which include shopping, downtowns, and neighboring schools. I felt safe on campus; they have emergency telephone stations spread throughout campus, as well as their own police department on campus. I would say due to the rural area of Amherst, one may want to own a car. A bike is also helpful, but only an option for so many months out of the year due to cold weather and snow/icy conditions.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Tayla: Being that the school is so large, most of the introductory courses have 300+ students, and you are able to meet with the teaching assistants for extra support. However, as you move up in your major the classes become much smaller, and it is easy to access professors during office hours.

How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Tayla: UMass has the best dining experiences, with their award-winning dining commons and chefs! The options are vast, and I heard they recently opened up a new dining hall with all healthy/alternative options. As for dorm life, the campus is very large with many housing areas. They also have a section for apartments and special housing for honors students.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?

Tayla: Majors and programs that are best supported are the STEM majors and the Isenberg School of Management (which I attended). Most School of Management students had to apply into the school and take prerequisites. I applied into the School of Management and majored in finance. I would say the university did a good job of supporting my area of study.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Tayla: It was easy for me to meet people and make friends as a freshman. The university sets up a very social atmosphere for the first-year students so that they can make friends and have a great social life. I would say, however, that transfer students may struggle socially with the transition to a new school.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services?

Tayla: The Isenberg School of Management had its own career center that was separate from the rest of the university, and it was pretty helpful. They held many career fairs and many reputable companies recruit on campus.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Tayla: UMass Amherst is home to the tallest library in the world, the W.E.B. Dubois library with over 20 floors. The library is open 24 hours and is equipped with a tutor/learning resource center, café, and many floors and areas to study. The lower levels can get crowded and more social-like, but the upper floors have designated quiet areas and you can usually always find a place to study. Other areas, like classroom buildings, dorms, and student lounges are also areas where people can study.

Describe the surrounding town. 

Tayla: UMass has an exchange program with four other highly accredited schools in the surrounding area. They include Amherst College, Holyoke, Smith, and Hampshire; and you can take classes at any of these institutions. There are also events that are held at these schools, in addition to downtown Amherst and Amherst Center. Students stay on campus and travel for fun; it all depends on what you’re doing for the day/night.

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Tayla: I was generally pleased with the typical class size. To me, it is more about how the material taught by the instructor, rather than how many students are around.

Check out Tayla’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.