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University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts includes four campus locations as well as an online college. Each of the five locations has its own unique history.

The Massachusetts Agricultural College, which became Mass Aggie, began under the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to provide citizens with instruction in agricultural, mechanical and military arts. The college taught only men until 1890 when the first female student enrolled. During World War I, in an effort to bolster the war effort, students were given credit for 12 weeks of farm work. The college lost 51 students to the first world war. In 1931, Mass Aggie became known as the Massachusetts State College and, in 1933, 70 women were denied admittance due to lack of residence space for them. In 1941, enrollment was 1,263, but by 1944, the war effort had dropped enrollment to 725. The campus was used for military training during the war, starting in 1942. By 1946, the G.I. Bill caused enrollment to explode, requiring new residential halls and buildings that dramatically changed the campus. In 1947, the school became the University of Massachusetts. For almost 20 years, the only public university in the state was the original UMass campus which was located in Amherst.

Meanwhile, in 1895, the state legislature chartered the New Bedford Textile School and Bradford Durfee Textile School in Fall River. The economic base in the area shifted from textiles to more diverse manufacturing and the two schools diversified their curriculum to meet those needs. By the middle of the 20th century, the schools had forged new identities as the new Bedford Institute of Technology and the Bradford Durfee College of Technology. In 1960, state legislators merged the two schools into the Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute.

The Lowell Normal School, founded in 1894, was also created to educate teachers while the Lowell Textile School was founded a year later to train technicians and managers for the town of Lowell's growing textile industry. Lowell Normal School became Lowell State and Lowell Textile School became Lowell Tech.

In 1964, applications from baby boomers overwhelmed colleges and universities. UMass was unable to accommodate so many students and, that year alone, 8,000 students were denied enrollment. Of those were 1,400 qualified students from metropolitan Boston who could not afford private college education. It became clear to legislators that there was a need to offer affordable university education to Boston residents.

In 1965, reacting to social upheaval and the growing demand for higher education, Massachusetts legislature created the second university in the University of Massachusetts system. UMass Boston opened in a renovated building in Park Square downtown and the campus moved to its present location on Columbia Point in Dorchester in 1974.

Southern Massachusetts Technological Institute, standing on a 710-acre campus in North Dartmouth continued to grow, becoming Southern Massachusetts University. The first residence halls were built in the 1970s while research and studio facilities were created in the 1980s. In 1975, Lowell Tech and Lowell State merged to create the University of Lowell.

In 1981, the decision was made to close Boston State College which was founded in 1852 as a normal school for teacher education. The college offered evening programs for non-traditional students as well as programs that UMass Boston did not offer. The two merged in 1982, allowing UMass Boston to begin offering undergraduate programs in education, criminal justice, nursing and regional studies as well as an evening division.

In 1991, Southern Massachusetts University joined the UMass system, becoming UMass Dartmouth. In addition to Southern Massachusetts, the University of Lowell also joined the UMass system in 1991, becoming UMass Lowell.

University of Massachusetts Accreditation Details

The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Specific programs at the college are also accredited by specialized accrediting organizations.

University of Massachusetts Application Requirements

First-time undergraduate students must submit official high school transcripts as well as official SAT and/or ACT scores. All students must provide a letter of recommendation and an application fee. Students transferring from other colleges or universities must submit official transcripts from every college or university attended. Those with fewer than 27 semester credits or who attend a college with a non-standard grading system must submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Graduate students must hold a bachelor's degree or higher for admittance. In addition, they must submit a personal statement, residency statement and official transcripts showing the issuance of a degree. Two letters of recommendation are also required and students must provide official GRE test scores. Students entering Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management or Sports Management must provide official GMAT scores.

UMass does not consider applications for online degree programs from students who reside in Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas due to recent legislation changes. UMass does not consider applicants for online degrees or certificate programs in nursing who reside in Minnesota and North Carolina due to recent legislation changes.

University of Massachusetts Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for full-time undergraduate students at the University of Massachusetts is $857 per semester for residents and $4,968.50 for non-residents. Undergraduate part-time tuition rates for residents is $71.50 per credit hour and $414 for non-residents. Graduate tuition for residents is $110 per credit hour and for non-residents $414 per credit hour. Online course tuition is $490 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships and loans. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for financial aid.

University of Massachusetts Online Degree(s) Available

Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling prepares students for professional careers in a variety of community settings. Graduates have found positions in:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Rehabilitation Agencies
  • Career Planning Centers
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Clinics
  • Residential Treatment Facilities
  • Mental Health Agencies

The program operates on a cohort model in which all participants complete the same course of study. Two weeks of on-campus study are required during the first summer of the program in order to complete two clinical courses. Those who successfully complete the program are qualified for licensure in the state of Massachusetts as a Mental Health Counselor. The program is accredited by the Board of Allied Mental Health through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

With the need for mental health counselors growing, those who complete the online Mental Health Counselor graduate degree at the University of Massachusetts may have better opportunities for advancement in their career than those who do not complete such programs.