The University of Massachusetts
at Amherst is the flagship campus of the Massachusetts
state school system, situated in (oddly enough) Amherst
. With an enrollment of approximately 25,000 students (undergrad and graduate) and thousands of faculty and staff, it is one of the largest universities in the northeastern US
and is therefore situated on a rather large campus
The University offers a large number of degrees, although the number has been dropping as of late thanks to budget cuts (and those are thanks to the last few Republican governors). There are a large number of student organizations in almost any area one can think of (for example, a theater guild, an anime club, various ethnic student organizations, etc) so there is usually a lot going on during the school year.
In addition the place is a Tier 1 research university, with many graduate students and professors researching in various fields; its computer science program is highly ranked nationally (although not on the same level as MIT or Carnegie Mellon); and it is home to the Sylvio O. Conte National Polymer Research Center, the foremost plastics research building in the country at this time.
As previously mentioned, the architecture could use a bit of work, although this particular noder thinks it's not all that bad. Concrete and brick play a large role as building materials, and there is, as a rule, always at least 3 or 4 construction projects of varying magnitude at any given time. Highlights include the W.E.B. DuBois Library, the somewhat 60's style brutalist Fine Arts Center, the Lederle Graduate Research Tower and the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center.
There are many domitories in clusters around the edges of campus: Central, Orchard Hill, Northeast, Southwest, and Sylvan. Southwest is well known for its towering 22-story highrises, as well as for the riots that break out on various occasions (such as when the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox or any other New England team win or lose a big game; same for many New York teams). Central is where all the druggies are; Orchard Hill is for the honors college students, and by association the geeks and nerds; Northeast has many students of Asian descent; and Sylvan is off by its lonesome, a place of suite style dorms and, so it is said, the highest suicide rate.
Sports play a large role at the school, although the author doesn't care for them much. The UMass Minutemen are often nationally ranked basketball players and are also highly competitive in football and various other sports; and don't let the name fool you, there are many women's sports teams as well, although the title used to refer to them changes at times so the author isn't sure what they're called at present.
All in all, UMass Amherst is a fairly decent state university, although the aforementioned budget cuts are putting a serious damper on things at the moment. It has something for everyone and its alumni often go on to good jobs and occasionally are even famous (like Bill Cosby, for example).