Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

About the University

The University of Massachusetts Boston is nationally recognized as a model of excellence for urban public universities. The scenic waterfront campus, with easy access to downtown Boston, is located next to the John F. Kennedy Library and Presidential Museum, the Commonwealth Museum and Massachusetts State Archives, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

Part of the UMass system, UMass Boston combines a small-college experience with the vast resources of a major research university. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students easily interact with professors because most teaching occurs in small class sizes. Ninety-three percent of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their fields.

UMass Boston’s academic excellence is reflected by a student body of 15,989 undergraduate and graduate students. In fall 2019, the university’s nine colleges and schools offered 79 undergraduate programs (bachelor’s degrees, undergraduate certificates, post-baccalaureate certificates) and 114 graduate programs (master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, graduate certificates, CAGS, and post-master’s certificates). The Honors College serves 692 students who thrive on intellectual challenge. Enriched courses probe more deeply into theory or venture further into application.

UMass Boston’s diverse student body provides a global context for student learning, and its location in a major U.S. city provides connections to employers in industries such as finance, health care, technology, service, and education, offering students opportunities to gain valuable in-school experience via internships, clinicals, and other career-related placements.

More than 100 student organizations — including clubs, literary magazines, newspaperradio stationart gallery, and 16 NCAA Division III sports teams — offer a rich campus life. Students live throughout Greater Boston and in apartment communities just steps from the campus, and enjoy the rich amenities, cultural attractions, and educational opportunities that make the city the biggest and best college town in the nation.


The University of Massachusetts Boston is a public research university with a dynamic culture of teaching and learning, and a special commitment to urban and global engagement. Our vibrant, multi-cultural educational environment encourages our broadly diverse campus community to thrive and succeed. Our distinguished scholarship, dedicated teaching, and engaged public service are mutually reinforcing, creating new knowledge while serving the public good of our city, our commonwealth, our nation, and our world.


Inquiry, Creativity, and Discovery

The University of Massachusetts Boston is an educational institution dedicated to rigorous, open, critical inquiry—a gateway to intellectual discovery in all branches of knowledge, and a crucible for artistic expression. Our campus culture fosters imagination, creativity, and intellectual vitality. Responsive to the call of diverse disciplines, schools of thought, and public constituencies, we expect and welcome divergent views, honoring our shared commitment to expanding, creating, and disseminating knowledge. We celebrate our research culture, with its diversity of methods, commitments, and outcomes. We promote a culture of lifelong learning, and serve as a catalyst for intellectual interactions with scholarly communities, students, alumni, and the public.


Our work can transform the lives, careers, and social contexts of all members of our community. We seek to help our students to realize their potential in the pursuit of education. We support our students, faculty, and staff in their efforts to create knowledge, gain new understandings, and assume the responsibilities of leadership and civic participation.

Diversity and Inclusion

Our multi-faceted diversity is an educational asset for all members of our community. We value and provide a learning environment that nurtures respect for differences, excites curiosity, and embodies civility. Our campus culture encourages us all to negotiate variant perspectives and values, and to strive for open and frank encounters. In providing a supportive environment for the academic and social development of a broad array of students of all ages who represent many national and cultural origins, we seek to serve as a model for inclusive community-building.


As a campus community, we address critical social issues and contribute to the public good, both local and global. We participate in teaching and public service, as well as in basic, applied, and engaged research, to support the intellectual, scientific, cultural, artistic, social, political, and economic development of the communities we serve. We forge partnerships with communities, the private sector, government, health care organizations, other colleges and universities, and K-12 public education, and bring the intellectual, technical, and human resources of our faculty, staff, and students to bear on pressing economic and social needs.

Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

We seek to foster a consciousness of nature’s centrality to the human experience and our collective obligation to environmental sustainability. Since our founding, we have emphasized teaching, research, and service activities that promote environmental protection and nurture sustainability, strive for responsible stewardship and conservation of resources, and enhance the natural environment—not least the marine environment around our campus on Dorchester Bay and Boston Harbor.

Economic and Cultural Development

We make significant contributions to the cultural and economic life of a major American city and enhance the Commonwealth’s vital participation in the global community. We educate artists, writers, archivists, nurses, teachers, environmentalists, managers, scientists, scholars, and others whose lifelong efforts enrich the culture and environment of many communities. Through our research, teaching, and service, we work cooperatively with businesses and industries, and with local, state, and federal governments, to strengthen our contribution to the state’s, the nation’s, and the world’s cultural and economic development.

An Urban Commitment

Our work is marked by a particular commitment to urban places, people, culture, and issues, and by an acknowledgement of their complex local, national, and global connections. Our university is located in a great city—Boston—the Commonwealth’s capital and major population center. We are proud to provide an excellent and accessible university education, as well as highly informed research and service, to residents of Boston and other cities, regions, and countries. Partnering with urban institutions and residents, we help to create sustainable and healthy social fabrics, economies, service organizations, and civic and cultural institutions.  


Vision Statement

The University of Massachusetts Boston in 2025

The University of Massachusetts Boston is evolving rapidly. The worlds of teaching, research, and service; the many communities our university serves; and the university itself all face different challenges than they did when the university was created. As Boston’s only public university, while we honor our origins as a teaching institution and our tradition of public service, we must also move forward as the increasingly sophisticated research university that we are and continue to become.

In fulfilling complementary roles as an educator of people of all ages and an economic and cultural engine for the Commonwealth, we will expand our teaching and learning activities to prepare students to succeed in a transnational world. We will graduate greater numbers of alumni to meet the demand for a well-educated workforce, and the need for independent, creative, and compassionate citizens and leaders who will shape the quality of individual and social life. Serving our students well will require us to pursue deeply engaged research, teaching, and service; to internationalize our reach and our campus life itself; to build safe, modern, and technologically advanced academic and student-life facilities; and to meet or exceed the best-practice student-success standards of our peer universities. Consistent with our traditions, we will maintain a strong commitment to educating modest-income and first-generation students from urban areas, and to promoting the best interests of the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the nation, and the world.

We will conduct research that has both local and global reach, that creates new knowledge in all major areas of human concern, and that helps our students acquire the refined and complex knowledge, values, and skills of inquiry that the highest levels of research foster and the globalized world requires. Our scholars will conduct funded and unfunded research and scholarship across a broad range of intra-and interdisciplinary areas. We will join the ranks of institutions designated by the Carnegie Foundation as “Research University/High,” having achieved the requisite increases in enrollments, program offerings, advanced degrees granted, research support, and scholarly productivity.*

By the end of the next phase of our development, in 2025, this vision will have been realized, and the University of Massachusetts Boston will be transformed, having fulfilled its aspiration to become an “outstanding public research university with a teaching soul.”