University of Massachusetts - Amherst Review

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has been a leader in nursing education for nearly 60 years and offers access to highly-rated master's and doctorate degrees.

Learn More

The Good

Doctorate of Nursing Practice with two concentration areas

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass-Amherst) offers the highest clinical credential available with their online doctorate of nursing practice degree. The degree program gives you the choice of two concentrations as public health nursing leader or as a family nurse practitioner. You are able to enter the program from two different academic tracks. If you have earned a bachelor’s degree, your plan of study will include 83 credits and take about four or five years to complete. If you have earned a master’s degree in nursing, you will have less credits to complete and an individual plan of study will be created for you based on your master’s degree courses. The online DNP degree offers all courses online, with internships arranged in your own local area.

Clinical nurse leader master's degree

The College of Nursing at UMass-Amherst offers an online master’s of science in nursing (MSN) degree with the specialization of clinical nurse leader. The 37-credit degree is made up of 12 online classes, including three practicums which can be arranged to be completed at clinics located close to your own residence. The entire program will take you two years to complete as a full-time student, or three to four years at a part-time pace. The clinical nurse leader speciality prepares you for advanced practice in a variety of healthcare settings and organizations, and it can also serve as the foundation for a doctoral nursing degree if you later want to pursue the highest nursing degree credential.

Non-degree status available

You are allowed you to take courses before being accepted into an online degree program at UMass-Amherst’s college of nursing. You first need to fill out an application to become a non-degree seeking student, and then you can take up to six credits, or two classes, as a non-degree seeking student. When you are accepted into the nursing program you can apply the credits you earned as a non-degree student towards your online nursing degree. Additionally, you can also transfer up to six credits earned at another institution towards your degree, as long as those courses fulfill UMass-Amherst nursing degree requirements.

The Bad

Higher application fee

The application fee at the UMass-Amherst is $75. It is common for students interested in graduate programs to apply to multiple schools, and these application fees can get expensive. The fee for most other online graduate nursing programs come in below $50, and some schools even allow you to apply online for free. Considering the amount of money you’re about to spend on tuition, getting a little break on the application fee would be nice.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2006-2007
  • Application Deadline: December 15
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Location: MA
  • Number of Graduate Nursing Programs: 5
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Costs (per Credit)

  • In-State: $750
  • Out-of-State: $750


  • Masters of Science in Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice
  • PhD in Nursing


  • Clinical Nurse Leader


  • N/A

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 96%
  • Average Student Age: 38
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.59
  • Gender Ratio: 92.5% female, 7.5% male
  • Maximum Class Size: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 40


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 4 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 11
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 4

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 82%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 86%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 89%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 86%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2009-2010): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2010-2011): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 97%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 95%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 4
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 97/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 1
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 100/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 29
  • Student Engagement Score: 77/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 16
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 66/100

Similar Products