Visited April 18, 2016 by Ms. Minty
Location: Dartmouth, MA. About an hour south of Burlington; west of Cape Cod, near New Bedford and Fall River. About 30 minutes from Providence and Newport, RI and 15 minutes from the beach.
Population of School: 7300 undergraduates and 1600 graduate or law students (smallest of the UMasses). 79% of freshmen live on campus. 86% are from MA and 30% are students of color.
Campus type: Residential campus with ponds in a suburban town, about a mile from the mall, AMC theater and restaurants. $10 bus service between Boston and campus. Plenty of parking.
Most Popular Majors
All classes are taught by professors (no teaching assistants) and most have around 25 students. Only one lecture hall on campus which holds 100 students. UMass Dartmouth prides themselves on providing something similar to a small private college experience. Study abroad opportunities are available in all majors and financial aid transfers. All students are required to complete a study abroad experience, internship, or senior project before they graduate. They have an honors program called “Commonwealth Scholars.” Very strong students (especially if they are women and/or students of color) can be offered nearly a full ride as an “Endeavor Scholar.” Notable programs include a new “data science” major, the Charlton College of Business, nursing, engineering (many students are lured by the opportunity to design a formula one race car or the nearby naval submarine program), and SMAST (a top marine science research facility in New Bedford). It is the only MA public university with a law school. There is also a special collaboration between the engineering and visual & performing arts programs. If students are not admitted into the College of Engineering as freshmen, there is now a pre-engineering path that would allow students to transfer later.
Public, co educational, medium-sized university with 5 colleges and 82 undergraduate programs. The average accepted student has a 3.2 GPA and 1030 on the SAT. The campus building style is unusual, designed by famed architect Paul Rudolph. The students’ motto is “embrace the concrete” because the walls, inside and out, are all made of gray concrete. Though some find this ugly, my impression was more that it creates a minimalist backdrop for nice landscaping and colorful interior furniture. The interior of the library is especially cozy, including a first floor called the “Library Living Room”, complete with lounge furniture, fireplaces, and a cafe. There are also multiple free tutoring centers on campus, including ones for science/engineering and math, as well as writing. The campus attracts impressive special guests- the previous night, Jane Goodall had visited. Special internship and research opportunities abound- our Biology major tour guide said her mother asked if she could help arrange something for her brother who was at a selective private institution because, at UMass Dartmouth, she had been involved in research since her freshman year and the school had funded her to present at conferences at Harvard and in Washington DC as well as an upcoming summer internship at Cornell. Athletics are Division III and the basketball, cricket, and women’s rugby teams are especially strong. Students and staff both rave about the local Portuguese food, though there are plenty of familiar chain restaurants nearby as well. The Portuguese presence is also felt in unique opportunities such as a study abroad opportunity for nursing and medical students in the Azores. On weekends, the student panel gave the impression that many are studious and hang out together in their residence halls, but are also involved in a number of social organizations, including fraternities and sororities that focus on philanthropy. All freshmen live together in the “first year quad”, but housing shifts to apartments and singles starting sophomore year.