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The rich history of Massachusetts includes an amazing commitment to quality higher education institutions. It may come as a surprise to learn the state of Massachusetts is home to over 200 accredited universities and colleges. The public colleges in the state are no exception to the quality of other schools in the state. Top rated public colleges in Massachusetts include the University of Massachusetts (Boston, Amherst, Dartmouth, Lowell), Bridgewater State University, Worcester State College, Salem State College, Westfield State College, Fitchburg State College, Farmington State College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

2021 Best Public Colleges in Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts - Amherst (UMass Amherst) is an institute of research and higher learning that is situated on a 1,450-acre campus in Western Massachusetts.  It is 90 miles from Boston. More than 80 areas of academic study are available, many of them in high-ranked programs. UMass Amherst offers six associate's degree programs, 86 bachelor's degree programs, 73 master's degree programs and 51 doctoral degree programs.  It has eight schools and colleges.

History

The University of Massachusetts - Amherst was founded in 1863 as a land-grant agricultural college. It was situated on 310 acres, with four buildings. It offered courses in modern farming, science, technical fields, and liberal arts. When it opened, UMass had four faculty members and 56 students.  The school grew over time, expanding its curriculum. It enrolled its first female student in 1892; the same year graduate degrees were authorized. In 1931, the school changed its name to Massachusetts State College.

Post World War II, the school underwent rapid growth and further expanded its curriculum, facilities and enrollment. By 1964, the student enrollment had increased to 10,500. By the 1970s, UMass had expanded to include a renowned Fine Arts Center, Library, and at least one fine dining restaurant.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, UMass evolved into a major research center. Its other programs expanded and gained an international reputation for excellence.

Academics

The academic calendar for the University of Massachusetts - Amherst follows the semester format, with a fall semester, shorter winter term, spring semester, and a summer session.

Colleges and Schools

  • Commonwealth Honors College
  • Graduate School
  • School of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Isenberg School of Management
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Public Health and Health Sciences
  • College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Student Life

The UMass has more than 200 student clubs and organizations on campus, focusing on a wide range of interests and missions. Included in these clubs are community service groups, student government, cultural groups, religious organizations, media-related groups, academic groups, fraternities and sororities, and more. Intramural sports clubs are also available, as are campus events and activities for politics, socializing, arts and entertainment.

The Fine Arts Center at UMass offers performances in theater, music and dance throughout the year. It also houses six art galleries that host many art exhibits. Student

The UMass library is an excellent resource for students, with more than 8 million items.

On campus housing is available, and there is a wide selection of dining services on campus, including the Berkshire Dining Commons. Student services include Student Success Centers, the Minuteman Marching Band, the Center for Student Development, Campus Recreation and Sports Clubs, and more.

Traditions

The school mascot is the minuteman. The UMass athletic teams are known as the "UMass Minutemen" or "UMass Minutewomen." Until the late 1960s, the UMass athletic teams were known as the "Redmen," but a group of Native Americans from New York wrote a letter requesting that the school curtail the use of "Redmen," as it was defamatory.  Through a student poll in 1972, the new school mascot and name for the athletic teams was chosen.

Athletics

The UMass "Minutemen" athletic teams compete in 21 sports at the NCAA Division I level. The UMass Minutemen and Minutewomen athletic teams include:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Track and Field

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field

Community Life

The Amherst area of Massachusetts is historic and picturesque, with forested hills and valleys and river plains.  It has many comfortable inns and restaurants offering fine dining. Amherst offers the charms of New England's country traditions, many museums, galleries, arts and crafts fairs, antique shops, boutiques and bookstores. The museums include the Emily Dickinson Museum.

Other schools in the area are Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts. There are many public services and the area is known for its safe and quiet neighborhoods.

Enrollment

30,593

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a public school that has a large selection of majors and degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Buzzards Bay, MA, in a predominantly suburban area. Massachusetts Maritime Academy has a yearly student enrollment of nearly a thousand. Areas of study offered at Massachusetts Maritime Academy include but are not limited to:

  • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Marine Science, Merchant Marine Officer
  • Security and Protective Services
The admissions process starts with the submission of an application, transcripts, and standardized test scores, which are then reviewed by admissions staff. A SAT or ACT exam may be required prior to applying, with scores between 930 to 1150 for the SAT exam and within the range of 22 to 25 for the ACT exam is common among students admitted to this school. Roughly 60% of all applicant were admitted at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, with 58% of those admitted choosing to enroll. The tuition at Massachusetts Maritime Academy varies based on the state of residence of the student. In-state residents pay approximately $7,600 per year and out-of-state residents are charged $23,000 per year. School housing is available on-campus for students. The annual cost of housing is approximately $5,800. Massachusetts Maritime Academy may offer financial aid for students who are eligible by way of grants and loans. The mascot for Massachusetts Maritime Academy is the "Buccaneers", and they participate in intercollegiate athletic programs through the NCAA. Available athletic programs offered:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Football (NCAA Division III)
  • Lacrosse (NCAA Division III)
  • Rifle (NCAA Division III)
Contact information, tuition information, programs, and much more may be viewed on school's website at maritime.edu.

Enrollment

1,802

Student to Faculty Ratio

16:1

University of Massachusetts - Lowell provides a variety of educational opportunities for students to assist them in their growth and development. The school is located in Lowell, MA and publically funded. Enrollment at UMass exceeds 15,000 yearly.

A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Security And Protective Services
  • Computer And Information Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Liberal Arts And Sciences

To be considered for admissions, applicants may be asked to fill out an application, write a personal statement, and submit any transcripts or test scores, which are then evaluated by the admissions office. Most students accepted to this school earn an SAT score within the range of 1000 - 1210, or an ACT score between 21 - 26. 64% of those who apply are admitted to this school, of which 29% choose to attend. More information from the admissions office can be found at uml.edu.

The tuition at UMass varies based on the state of residence of the student. In-state residents pay close to $12,000 per year, while out-of-state residents are charged $26,000 for the year. Housing may be available for students that would like to live on-campus at an estimated cost of $7,000 for the year. Students enrolled at this school may be eligible for aid which is generally scholarships, grants, and loans.

The UMass "River Hawks" compete in a number of intercollegiate sports through participation in the NCAA. Athletic programs that are available include:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division II)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division II)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division II)

Students should visit the school's http://www.uml.edu to view additional information.

Enrollment

18,242

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Bridgewater State University is a public college that has a large selection of degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, in a predominantly suburban area. Bridgewater State University has a yearly student enrollment of around 11,000.

A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Psychology
  • Security And Protective Services
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Communications And Journalism
  • English Language And Literature

To be considered for admissions, you may be asked to complete an application, provide letters of recommendations, and submit high school records and test scores, which are then reviewed by admissions staff. An ACT or SAT exam may be required prior to applying, with scores within the range of 930 to 1108 for the SAT exam and between 21 to 24 for the ACT exam is common among students accepted to BSU. BSU admits approximately 70% of applicants. Of those admitted, about 33% of students attended the school. More information on admissions can be found at bridgew.edu.

Tuition & fees at this school are different for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state tuition costs close to $8,300 per year with out-of-state tuition costing $15,000 for the year. Housing is available on-campus for students. The annual cost of housing is approximately $7,500. Students at Bridgewater State University may qualify for aid which is typically scholarships, grants, and loans.

Athletic programs are available at BSU through the NCAA, allowing students to compete in intercollegiate sports. Athletic programs available include:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Field Hockey (NCAA Division III)
  • Football (NCAA Division III)
  • Lacrosse (NCAA Division III)

Contact information, tuition information, programs offered, and much more can be viewed on school's website at http://www.bridgew.edu.

Enrollment

10,990

Student to Faculty Ratio

19:1

MCLA is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and assists students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is located in North Adams, MA, which is a predominantly rural area. Over two thousand students enroll at MCLA annually.

Students can select from several areas of study, including but not limited to:

  • English
  • Business Administration
  • Sociology
  • Education
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

Students applying for admission are required to submit an application, school records, test scores and any requested letters of recommendations, which will then be reviewed by the admissions committee. Either the SAT or ACT exam can be taken in order to be able to apply to MCLA. Scores in a range of 19 - 23 on the ACT or 890 - 1110 on the SAT are needed to greatly increase the chance of acceptance. 67% of those students that apply are admitted to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, of which 27 percent choose to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found here.

The tuition at this school varies based on the state of residence of the student. In-state residents pay close to $8,900 per year, while out-of-state residents are charged $19,000 annually. Housing may be available for students that would like to live on-campus at an estimated cost of $5,300 for the year. Students attending MCLA may qualify for aid which is usually loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs.

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts "Trailblazers" compete in a number of intercollegiate sports through participation in the NCAA. Athletic programs available may include:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Golf (NCAA Division III)
  • Soccer (NCAA Division III)
  • Softball (NCAA Division III)

Students who wish to learn more about MCLA may take a look at their website at http://www.mcla.edu.

Enrollment

1,452

Student to Faculty Ratio

11:1

Westfield State University was formerly known as Westfield State College.  WSU provides a variety of degree programs for students to aid them in their growth and development. The school is located in Westfield, MA and publically funded. Approximately 5,900 students are enrolled annually at Westfield State University. Areas of study available at WSU include:

  • Security And Protective Services
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Communications And Journalism
  • Psychology
To be considered for admissions, students may be asked to fill out an application, write a personal statement, and submit any transcripts or test scores, which are then reviewed by the admissions committee. A SAT or ACT exam is required prior to applying, with scores within the range of 920 - 1110 on the SAT and within the range of 19 - 24 for the ACT exam is typical among students admitted to WSU. This school has an admissions rate of about 61% of which only 36% chose to attend. More information regarding admissions can be found at westfield.ma.edu. Tuition & fees at WSU vary for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state tuition costs approximately $8,700 per year, while out-of-state tuition costing $15,000 per year. The cost of on-campus housing is estimated to be $6,000 annually. Some students at Westfield State University may be eligible for financial aid, which is typically offered in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. The Westfield State College "Owls" have a number of intercollegiate athletic programs through participation in the NCAA. Available athletic programs offered:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division III)
  • Field Hockey (NCAA Division III)
Students should visit the school's http://www.westfield.ma.edu/ to view additional information.

Enrollment

6,100

Student to Faculty Ratio

16:1

Framingham State College is a public school that has a large number of majors available for students to choose from. The school is located in Framingham, Massachusetts, in a predominantly urban area. Framingham State College has a yearly student enrollment of nearly six thousand. Here is a list of some of the popular programs Framingham State College offers:

  • Education
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Communication Technology
  • Family And Consumer Sciences
Students applying for admission are usually asked to submit an application, transcripts, test scores and any requested personal statements, which will then be reviewed by the admissions staff. Most students admitted to Framingham State College earn an SAT score in a range of 1400 - 1660, or an ACT score in a range of 20 - 25. 66% of those who apply are admitted to this school, of which 32% choose to attend. More information on admissions can be found at framingham.edu. Tuition & fees at FSC vary for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state tuition costs around $8,300 per year and out-of-state tuition costing $15,000 annually. Student housing is available for students and costs approximately $6,700 annually. Financial aid may be offered to students that meet the required requirements by way of scholarships, grants, and loans. The FSC "Rams" compete in a number of intercollegiate sports through participation in the NCAA. Available athletic programs offered:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Field Hockey (NCAA Division III)
Students may visit the school's www.framingham.edu to view additional information.

Enrollment

5,565

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

UMass Dartmouth is a public school that has many degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in a predominantly suburban area. Approximately 9,400 students are enrolled per year at UMass Dartmouth. Students may select from several areas of study, including:

  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Psychology
  • Education
  • English Language And Literature
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
The admissions process will include the submission of an application, transcripts, records, and standardized test scores, which are then evaluated by the admissions office. Either the ACT or SAT exam can be taken in order to apply to this school. Scores within the range of 20 to 25 on the ACT or 1390 to 1710 on the SAT are required to increase your chances for getting accepted. This school has an admissions rate of around 71 percent of which only 26 percent decided to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found here. Tuition & fees at University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth are different for in-state and nonresidents. In-state tuition costs approximately $12,000 per year, while out-of-state tuition costing $24,000 for the year. On-campus housing is available for students, which costs about $7,200 annually. Some students at this school may be eligible for financial aid, which is typically provided in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. Athletic programs are available at UMass Dartmouth through the NCAA, allowing students to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Sports available may include:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Field Hockey (NCAA Division III)

Enrollment

8,513

Student to Faculty Ratio

16:1

Fitchburg State University is a public four year institution founded in 1894 in Fitchburg Massachusetts. Originally known as the State Normal School in Fitchburg, the school has taken on various names throughout its history, including State Teacher's College at Fitchburg, State College at Fitchburg and Fitchburg State College. Fitchburg State College became Fitchburg State University when the Massachusetts State Legislature voted to grant it University status in 2010.

Academics

Fitchburg State University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses for its students. The school believes in providing a liberal arts education to its students in order to produce well rounded, analytical individuals. Fitchburg requires fulltime students to have four classes per semester, and requires five classes per semester to graduate a within four years. The length of graduate programs may vary, and some offering are available through online courses.

Some programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Students interested in applying to Fitchburg State University must have a competitive GPA, 3.0 or higher, or a GPA between 2.0 and 2.99 and exceptionally high SAT scores. Students who meet the admissions criteria should complete and submit the application in total and await review and response from the university. Admissions requirements for transfer students and adults may vary.

Financial aid is available to eligible students. Students interested in determining eligibility for financial aid should contact or visit the Fitchburg State University financial aid office.

Athletics

The Fitchburg Falcons participate in the NCAA Division III.

Athletic programs offered:

  • Baseball/Softball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Ice Hockey/Field Hockey

Additionally, FSU offers intramural sports for students within the school to participate and play against one another. The sports offered change year after year but have included such sports as Flag Football, Kickball, Ultimate Frisbee, and Dodgeball alongside more traditional sport offerings.

Enrollment

7,199

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

Worcester State College is a public institution located in Worcester, MA and provides a large number of degree programs for students. Worcester State College has an annual student enrollment of nearly 5,700. A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Psychology
  • Security And Protective Services
  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
  • History
Students applying for admission are generally asked to submit an application, school records, test scores and any requested personal statements, which will then be reviewed by admissions officials. An ACT or SAT exam is required prior to applying, with scores between 1370 - 1640 on the SAT and in a range of 19 - 24 for the ACT exam is typical among students admitted to this school. An estimated 70 percent of all students that applied were admitted at Worcester State College, with 33 percent of those admitted choosing to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found here. The tuition at Worcester State College varies based on the state of residence of the student. In-state residents pay approximately $8,400 per year, while out-of-state residents are charged $15,000 annually. School housing is available on-campus for students. The annual cost of housing is about $8,200. Financial aid may be provided to students that meet the necessary requirements by way of grants or student loans. The Worcester State College "Lancers" compete in a number of intercollegiate sports through participation in the NCAA. Athletic programs offered may include:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Field Hockey (NCAA Division III)
  • Football (NCAA Division III)
Students may take a look at the school's http://www.worcester.edu to view additional information.

Enrollment

6,217

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Salem State College is a public school that has many majors and degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Salem, MA, in a predominantly suburban area. Approximately nine thousand students are enrolled yearly at Salem State College. A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Security And Protective Services
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Public Administration And Social Services
  • Psychology
To be considered for admissions, students may be asked to complete an application, write a personal statement, and submit high school records and test scores, which are then reviewed by the admissions staff. Most students admitted to this school score in a range of 1330 to 1620 on the SAT exam. 57% of students that apply are admitted to this school, of which 31% choose to enroll. More information on admissions can be found at salemstate.edu. The cost of undergraduate tuition varies for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state residents pay around $8,400 and nonresidents pay $15,000 annually. Housing may be available for students that would like to live on-campus for around a cost of $8,900 per year. Students attending Salem State College may qualify for aid which is generally grants and loans. The Salem State College "Vikings" have a number of intercollegiate athletic programs through participation in the NCAA. Available sports offered may include the following:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Field Hockey (NCAA Division III)
  • Golf (NCAA Division III)
  • Ice Hockey (NCAA Division III)
To see a full list of programs offered, enrollment information, student services, and more, please take a look at the school's website at www.salemstate.edu.

Enrollment

8,338

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

UMass Boston is a public institution located in Boston, MA and provides a large number of degree programs for students. Enrollment at UMass Boston is nearly 15,000 per year. Students may pick from several areas of study, including but not limited to:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Security And Protective Services
Students applying for admission are usually required to submit an application, transcripts, standardized test scores and any requested letters of recommendations, which will then be reviewed by the admissions office. The majority of students at UMass Boston scored between 880 - 1110 on the SAT exam. 68% of those who apply are accepted to University of Massachusetts - Boston, of which 29 percent choose to enroll. Tuition & fees at University of Massachusetts - Boston are different for in-state and nonresidents. In-state tuition costs approximately $13,000 per year with out-of-state tuition costing $27,000 for the year. Some students at University of Massachusetts - Boston may qualify for financial aid, which is generally provided as scholarships, grants, and loans. The UMass Boston Beacons participate in several athletic programs, within the NCAA organization. Sports available may include but not limited to:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Ice Hockey (NCAA Division III)
  • Lacrosse (NCAA Division III)
Students may visit the school's www.umb.edu to see additional information.

Enrollment

16,164

Student to Faculty Ratio

16:1

Degree Programs at Massachusetts Public Colleges

Degree programs offered by large and small public colleges is as diverse as the employers in the area. As the 15thlargest state by population, Massachusetts has created a school system that rivals much larger states. The areas of study you will find at a state college include specialty degrees, traditional programs, and professional degrees of all types. A cross-section of professional degrees includesphysical therapy,veterinary medicine,nursing,law,medical school, andpharmacy. Examples of traditional degree pathways includebusiness,engineering,healthcare administration,English,political science, andeconomics. Meanwhile, specialty degree programs offered by public universities in the state of Massachusetts include programs such as:toxicology,gerontology,immunology,cartography,materials engineering,physiology,sustainability studies, andentomology.

-2

The 6 schools listed below are part of the -2 system. By following the links below, you can view each school's profile in detail.

Institution Name Number Students Information Virtual Tour
Adrian College in Worcester, MA5,000 to 9,999info
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Framingham, MA5,000 to 9,999info
Bristol Community College in Bridgewater, MA10,000 to 19,999info
Framingham State College in Fitchburg, MA5,000 to 9,999info
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, MA1,000 to 4,999info
Wheaton College - Norton in Westfield, MA5,000 to 9,999info

University of Massachusetts

The 4 schools listed below are part of the University of Massachusetts system. By following the links below, you can view each school's profile in detail.

Institution Name Number Students Information Virtual Tour
Massachusetts Bay Community College in Boston, MA10,000 to 19,999info
Stonehill College in North Dartmouth, MA5,000 to 9,999info
University of Massachusetts - Boston in Amherst, MAMore Than 20,000info
University of Massachusetts Amherst in Lowell, MA10,000 to 19,999info

Notes: Tuition & fee amounts are for both Massachusetts in-state residents and out of state students, unless noted otherwise. The tuition information displayed is an estimate, which we calculated based on historical data and should be solely used for informational purposes only. Please contact the respective school for information about the current school year.

Source: IPEDS Survey 2012-2020: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.

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