Academic Highlights: UMass Amherst is the sole public institution in New England offering Astronomy at either undergraduate or graduate level. The Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) is a member of the multi-observatory "Event Horizon Telescope" project that successfully imaged the shadow of the event horizon of the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy M87. The efforts of UMass Amherst astronomers, students, and engineers were critical to building and fielding the EHT instruments for LMT. 

Research Areas: Understanding the beginning of the universe, birth and life of galaxies through cosmic time, ecology of galaxies, the universe in x-rays, the lives of stars from nurseries to black holes, comets as probes of the early solar system, and interstellar chemistry and the origins of life.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD; part of the Five-College Astronomy Program.


  • Tenure-track faculty: 14
  • Research faculty: 4
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 4
  • Undergraduate majors: 86
  • Graduate students: 25

Research Awards: $1.88M

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Academic Highlights: The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B.S. degree is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), which recognizes the highest standards of quality and innovation in BMB education. Fifty percent of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology majors are on the Dean's List, and all Biochemistry and Molecular Biology undergraduates participate in authentic, course-based laboratory research experiences (CUREs).

Research Areas: Protein homeostasis and associated diseases, plant and environmental interactions, mechanisms of cellular signal transduction

Degrees: B.S. / M.S. and Ph.D. through interdisciplinary graduate programs:

  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Plant Biology
  • Neuroscience and Behavior
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology


  • Tenure-track faculty: 12
  • Extension Faculty: 1
  • Research Faculty: 2
  • Lecturers: 5
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 10
  • Undergraduate Major Students: 700
  • Graduate students: 30

Research Awards: $5.2M


Academic Highlights: Dedicated teachers who have been nominated and awarded for many teaching awards, the Biology department offers Biology Undergraduate Research apprenticeships, an online application system which places students in world-class research labs. The department are contributors to 4 interdisciplinary MS/PhD degree programs, and offers BioTAP and BIOS — residential programs developed to advance the studies and develop communities within the program. HHMI Introductory Biology Labs, a new project in combination with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is redesigning introductory labs into inquiry-based labs.

Research Areas: Evolutionary biology, physiology, molecular biology, plant biology, neurobiology, and ecology

Degrees: BS, MS, PhS, PhD


  • Tenure-track faculty: 34
  • Lecturers: 14
  • Research faculty: 2
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 24
  • Undergraduate majors: 1,736
  • Graduate students: 61

Research Awards: $9.5M


Academic Highlights: Widely regarded for its educational teaching innovations, including the ongoing development of computer-aided learning environments, the Chemistry department provides the bulk of laboratory-based undergraduate training on campus, teaching thousands of students in dozens of majors. Mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students engaged in laboratory research is a high priority; all BS majors do research. Leader in developing iCons: integrated Concentration in Science program to train tomorrow's leaders. Thirteen winners of the University's Distinguished Teaching Award; the most on campus.

Research Areas: Chemistry-Biology Interface: researching the chemical basis for disease, using approaches such as crystallography, high-performance computing, spectroscopy, and protein engineering. Materials: synthesis, fabrication, characterization and theory of novel materials.

Degrees: BS, MS, PhD


  • Tenure Faculty: 23
  • Lecturers: 12 
  • Postdoctoral Fellows: 9
  • Undergraduate Major Students: 186
  • Graduate Students: 142

Research Awards: $10.8M

Earth, Geographic, and Climate Sciences

Academic Highlights: Top Microprobe Laboratory in the World, and internationally recognized Biochemistry Laboratory, the department which emphasizes opportunities for field work across the globe, provides students the close faculty interaction characteristic of a small school and the extensive research facilities and projects characteristic of a large university. Ranked 4th in the U.S. based on percentage of women faculty, home to the N.E. Climate Science Center — 1 of 8 such institutions in the U.S., home to the Massachusetts Geological Survey, and home to the world-class Climate System Research Center.

Research Areas: Paleoclimate studies, coastal processes, regional tectonics and structure, origin of magmas, fault system mechanics, geophysics, surface and groundwater systems, hydrogeology, landscape evolution and hazards, urban geography, water and energy geography, geographic information systems.

Degrees: BS, BA, MS, PhD


  • Tenure-track faculty: 19
  • Lecturers: 4
  • Research faculty: 6
  • Extension faculty: 3
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 4
  • Undergraduate major students: 65
  • Graduate students: 67

Research Awards: $3.33M

Environmental Conservation

Academic Highlights: ECo programs offer real-world experiences, both in the classroom and beyond with hands-on training in the field and laboratories, internships, research experiences with faculty, and international exchange. ECo ranks amongst the highest in the college for student satisfaction. Student fieldwork spans the world from Western Massachusetts to Africa and Asia, and over 90% of our MS and PhD graduates find employment in their field after graduation. ECo is also a proud partner in the new School of Earth and Sustainability. 

Research Areas: Sustainability in the Natural & Built Environment, Climate Change, Ecology & Conservation, and Natural, Built, and Coupled Systems 

Degrees: BS, MS, PhD


  • Tenure-track faculty: 19
  • Lecturers: 15
  • Adjunct research faculty: 14
  • Extension faculty: 6 
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 15
  • Undergraduate majors: 456
  • Graduate students: 157

Research awards: $8.3M

Food Science

Academic Highlights: UMass Amherst Department of Food Science was recently ranked 1st in the US and 2nd globally by the US News & World Report 2022 Global Subject Rankings for Food Science and Technology. The department is home to three of the world's top 10 highly-cited agricultural faculty members. The Undergraduate program is accredited by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). The Food Science undergraduate and graduate students have received top awards from our professional organizations and won international research competitions hosted by organizations such as Alltech and Millipore. In addition, the Department of Food Science has strong industrial ties through our Alumni Advisory Board and an Industrial Research Alliance.

Research Areas: Molecular properties of foods, the safety of foods, food for health and wellness, sustainable food material processing

Degrees: BS, MS, PhD


  • Tenure faculty: 12
  • Lecturers: 2
  • Extension faculty: 1
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 10
  • Undergraduate major students: 78
  • Graduate students: 72

Research Awards: $5.34M

Mathematics and Statistics

Academic Highlights: The department’s curriculum offers a complete spectrum, from introductory-level general education courses to research opportunities for undergraduates; from an innovative MS program in applied mathematics and statistics for careers in high-tech industry to doctoral direction and postdoctoral mentoring.

Research Areas: Pure and applied mathematics and statistics

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD


  • Tenure-track faculty: 43
  • Lecturers: 22
  • Teaching Postdocs: 16
  • Research Postdocs: 3
  • Research faculty: 2
  • Undergraduate majors: 561
  • Graduate students: 128

Research Awards: $5.3M


Academic Highlights: The curriculum offers undergraduate and graduate students focused training in Microbiology in a small classroom environment with personalized academic advising. More than 90% of Applied Molecular Biotechnology MS alumni are placed in biotech companies, research institutions, and PhD programs.

Research Areas: Pathogenic microbiology, environmental microbiology, microbial biotechnology

Degrees: BS, PhD, Five-year BS/MS, One-year MS in Applied Molecular Biotechnology, Two-year MS 


  • Tenure-track faculty: 9
  • Lecturers: 5
  • Research Faculty: 4
  • Postdoctoral Research Associates: 4
  • Undergraduate major students: 200
  • Graduate students: 37

Research Awards: $2.9M


Academic Highlights: The multi-track undergraduate program for majors includes a flexible curriculum and diverse career-development opportunities in research, teaching and outreach. The comprehensive graduate program offers opportunities for MS and doctoral studies in forefront areas of physics research. The department values quality and innovation in teaching. We have approximately 260 undergraduate majors (including second majors) and 100 graduate students.

Research Areas: heoretical cosmology, gravity, nuclear, and particle physics, both formal and phenomenological. Experimental astrophysics nuclear, and particle physics, dark-matter and neutrino experiments, and collider particle physics. The Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions unites our research in nuclear and particle physics. Theoretical and experimental hard and soft condensed­matter physics, quantum matter, and quantum information.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD.


  • Tenure-track faculty: 31
  • Lecturers: 7
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 14
  • Undergraduate majors: 260
  • Graduate students: 109

Research Expenditures: $5.6M

Polymer Science and Engineering

Academic Highlights: One of the largest academic polymer and soft materials centers in the world from which more PhDs have graduated than any other U.S. polymer program, with an average of 15 to 20 PhDs awarded each year. Faculty research projects are currently supported by DOE, FAA, NSF, NIH, EPA, DOD, and other federal agencies as well as 40+ industrial sponsors. Leveraging over $40M of instrumentation housed in staff-run shared instrument facilities research groups make fundamental findings, publish in the most prestigious journals, and leverage expertise to create knowledge that continues to define the forefront of their disciplines.

Research Areas: Bio-inspired materials, electronic polymers/devices, energy and sustainability, high-performance composites, nanostructured materials, soft materials physics/mechanics, synthetic polymer chemistry, stimuli-responsive polymers

Degrees: MS, PhD


  • Tenure-track faculty: 17
  • Research faculty: 1
  • Lecturers: 2
  • Graduate students: 85
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 14

Research Awards: $10.178M

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Academic Highlights: The undergraduate program provides students with broad exposure to the behavioral sciences with a focus on research tools. The BS neuroscience track and developmental disabilities and human services program implement a specialized set of courses and experiences. PhD programs provide students with extensive research facilities and opportunities to conduct collaborative and independent research. The Clinical Psychology Program is a member in the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, placing it among the best clinical science programs in the country.

Research Areas: Behavioral neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, developmental science, social psychology

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD


  • Tenure-track faculty: 42
  • Lecturers: 15
  • Research faculty: 1
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 12
  • Undergraduate major students: 2,200
  • Graduate students: 96

Research Awards: $5.4M

School of Earth and Sustainability

Academic Highlights: The School of Earth and Sustainability (SES) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides students, faculty, the campus community, and the Commonwealth with a central hub for innovation, research, education, and outreach related to earth, sustainability, and environmental sciences. SES brings together 10 undergraduate majors and 5 graduate degree programs, and provides students with the knowledge and professional training to address the environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Academic Highlights: Stockbridge is unique in the College and UMass, functioning as both a department and a school with AS programs in addition to our BS and graduate programs. We emphasize experiential education and the application of science to agricultural and environmental sustainability. We are led by one of the most highly cited researchers in the world, contributing to UMass Amherst’s US News rank of #1 in agricultural sciences in the US. Students have multiple internship and practicum opportunities in department labs, farms, green-industry businesses, Extension, and non-profits. Majors in Sustainable Food & Farming run the UMass Student Farm, which produces and distributes more than 50 tons of fresh food per year. A graduate of our top-ranked turf management program is Superintendent at the golf course hosting this year’s US Open. Our emphasis on sustainability in our research and education programs gives students the knowledge they need to deal with global challenges in climate change and food security. Through our close collaboration with UMass Extension, educational programs give growers and other professionals the tools they need to be environmentally and economically sustainable.

Research Areas: Agronomy, agroecology, carbon, soils, and climate change, entomology, horticultural science, environmental sciences, integrated pest management, molecular biology, nanotechnology in agriculture and the environment, permaculture, plant pathology, plant stress, physiology, and nutrition, soil science, soil chemistry, and soil health, sustainable agriculture and food systems

Degrees: AS, BS, MS, PhD


  • Tenure-track faculty: 13
  • Lecturers: 6
  • Extension faculty: 4
  • Undergraduate majors: 400
  • Graduate students: 27
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 1

Research Awards: $1.77M

Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Academic Highlights: The department offers three undergraduate majors, animal science, pre-veterinary science, and veterinary technology with a student/faculty ratio of 22:1. Students work directly with large and small animals and engage in research at several campus farm and livestock facilities as well as the opportunity to work in the laboratories of nationally and internationally recognized scientists studying immunology, reproduction and development, genetics, and toxicology. The BS-Vet Tech program begins with two years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus learning in state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and farms, followed by two years near Boston in the dedicated Veterinary Technology facility at the UMass Amherst-Mt. Ida campus in Newton, Massachusetts.

Research Areas: Autoimmune diseases, breast cancer, developmental biology, environmental toxicology, fertility research, infection and immunity, lymphoid development, reproductive biology, stem cell biology, and veterinary immunopathology

Degrees: BS, MS, PhD


  • Tenure faculty: 13
  • Research faculty: 7
  • Lecturers: 16
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 4
  • Undergraduate major students: 645
  • Graduate students: 20

Research Awards: $7.506M