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How to Write the UMass Supplement Essays: Why is UMass Amherst Right for You?

The UMass supplement prompts ask you to explain your interest in the school. The prompts are simple, but if you want your essays to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to point to specific examples of why you’re excited about UMass Amherst College.

Let’s take a look at the first prompt!

Why Major?

Please tell us why you chose the Majors you did. (100 words max)

In this UMass supplement essay, you’ll have 100 words to explain why you want to study your major at UMass Amherst.

Research is the key to an awesome “Why Major” essay. Grab a pen and paper, and dive into UMass Amherst’s website. Find your intended major, and look for opportunities that excite you, like courses, concentrations, internships, and research or study abroad opportunities.

Try to find examples that are unique to UMass. For example, instead of just saying that the anthropology department has interesting internship opportunities, you could specify that you’re interested in the UMass Field School in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology.

Have you visited UMass Amherst? If so, it’s great to include details from your visit! What’s a moment from your visit made you excited to study at UMass? For example, did you enjoy visiting a class or talking to students about their experiences?

Let’s look at an example student’s brainstorming list:

  • Major: Journalism
  • Why study at UMass Amherst?
    • The Undergraduate Sports Journalism concentration will prepare me for my career
    • Many journalism internship opportunities, including New England Sports News
    • When I visited, I enjoyed the energetic environment of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian



Why UMass Amherst?

Please tell us why you want to attend UMass Amherst? (100 words max)

You’ll want to start this UMass supplement essay by doing research, just like you did for your “Why Major” essay. What else do you like about UMass Amherst, beyond your major?

As you research, consider these brainstorming questions:

Experiences: What experiences can UMass Amherst offer you?

For example: Maybe you want to get involved in the arts on campus by staffing the Student Union Art Gallery. You might love the fact that the Linguistics Department allows non-majors to earn Interpreter’s Studies certificates. Maybe you want to work for social change through the Community Scholars Program. What are you looking forward to?

Traits: Do you like any specific traits of UMass Amherst students?

Try to include an example! For example, if you like the fact that many students participate in undergraduate research, you could support this with a statistic - “X percent of STEM majors are involved in undergraduate research.”

Values: Do you share any of UMass Amherst’s values?

Try to provide a specific example of how they practice these values. For example, if you like that they value community service, you could provide specific examples of the ways they encourage students to get involved.

With a word limit of 100 words, this essay will be very short, so think “quality over quantity!” Instead of trying to list every single thing you like about UMass, pick 2-3 features of the school. This will allow enough space for you to add specific examples.

Get started with our free brainstorming tools!

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