University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Continuing and Professional Education
Hadley, Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) was founded in 1863 under the Land-Grant College Act of 1862 and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. UMass Amherst Continuing and Professional Education, founded in 1971, provides access to the academic resources of the University to students from the local, national, and international communities. Faculty members from the University teach both on-campus and online courses days, evenings, and weekends, allowing students to earn certificates and bachelor's and master's degrees and attend seminars and workshops in a wide range of subjects and majors.

Distance Learning Program

UMass Amherst Continuing and Professional Education, in partnership with the University's schools and colleges, began offering distance education courses in 1995. Online courses have the same rigorous academic requirements as on-campus courses.

Delivery Media

Continuing and Professional Education at UMass Amherst utilizes the Internet to deliver Web-based courses. Students interact with instructors via e-mail, threaded discussions, online office hours, telephone, fax, and mail.

Programs of Study

In addition to online credit courses in accounting, English, journalism, management, marketing, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and wildlife and fisheries conservation, seven online degree programs are offered.

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program offers a broad-based, comprehensive, graduate-level public health curriculum designed for health professionals currently working in the field. Working health professionals may expand their knowledge base in public health, extend and sharpen their professional skills, broaden their perspective of public health problems, and prepare to assume greater professional responsibility.

The Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Public Health dual-degree program builds on previous nursing education and clinical experience and prepares graduates for leadership positions in public health. The 60-credit program includes 30 credits in nursing and 30 credits in public health; it integrates nursing science, public health science, administration, and leadership.

The RN-to-Bachelor of Science degree program is designed to meet the educational goals of Massachusetts registered nurses. Under faculty guidance, students provide nursing care to clients of all ages and develop skills in critical thinking, leadership, and research utilization.

The Professional M.B.A. program is an accelerated program for professionals who want to continue their education in the management field but cannot attend traditional classes because of full-time career commitments. The program is fully accredited by AACSB International–The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and is offered by the Isenberg School of Management.

The Bachelor of Business Administration degree program is geared toward individuals who are working full-time and need flexibility in completing the degree; the curriculum is delivered in an asynchronous format, allowing courses to be taken anytime and anywhere. The program is offered by the Isenberg School of Management and is accredited by AACSB International.

The Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality and tourism management is for working adults, both international and domestic, who are unable to pursue a residential degree program on the Amherst campus. The program integrates a variety of courses in the humanities and social and physical sciences, with a heavy concentration of business and hospitality/tourism courses.

A Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree may be earned from UMass Amherst through the University Without Walls programs. Adult learners completing a degree can choose from among eight programs to find the one that best suits their educational goals and scheduling needs. Two of these programs are now online, with more planned for fall 2007. [email protected] requires students attend the Amherst campus two weekends a month, with the balance of learning done online. Early Care and Education, a program for those interested in a concentration in education with a focus on pre-K children, is done entirely online. In all UWW programs, students have an opportunity to design an interdisciplinary major that matches their interests and incorporates appropriate courses. They can also receive credit for learning gained from life and work experiences.

Special Programs

The Certificate of Business Studies is a credit-based program intended for students who want to broaden their academic background with business courses without completing a bachelor's degree program. It is ideal for students who intend to pursue graduate-level work in business or for those who are looking to further their professional goals.

The Online Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management is a broadly based introductory program that is intended for individuals who wish to develop their practical managerial skills and gain a base for pursuing a career in the industry. It includes general management courses and introductory courses from each of the three areas of specialization within the hospitality and tourism management degree program.

The Online Certificate in Casino Management is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn the casino industry business, learn about the legal and regulatory aspects of gaming, and recognize the relationship of the casino industry to the overall tourism environment.

The Online Certificate in Food Service Management is designed to prepare students to manage at a competent level of knowledge and skill in the food service industry and help students gain a deeper insight into food management areas for job enrichment, promotional consideration, or possible future positions.

Food Safety FIRST is an online training program for secondary science teachers who help with the implementation of active food safety education lessons in their classrooms. Learning activities encourage inquiry, experimentation, and theory. Emphasis is given to creating educational opportunities that encourage middle and high school students to describe, investigate, and explain phenomena and raise questions consistent with the National Science Education Standards.

The Certificate of Online Journalism Program equips students with skills in reporting, writing, and online research. The program welcomes students from any discipline who wish to gain an understanding of this exciting new area of journalism. It provides assessments of the current state of online journalism as well as the future of information technology.

The Criminal Justice Studies Certificate Program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the field of criminal justice and is intended to attract those planning or developing careers ranging from law enforcement to probation and from the courts to corrections.

The Basics in Exercise and Nutrition for Health and Human Performance Program is a collaboration between the Departments of Exercise Science and Nutrition and the School of Public Health and Health Services. It is designed to meet the needs of individuals with degrees in such fields as exercise physiology, nutrition, athletic training, and other health-related disciplines.

The Certificate of Individual Study in Arts Management is a valuable professional development opportunity for arts managers as well as people employed by nonprofit organizations or agencies. Courses teach strategic planning, board development, fund-raising, marketing, and arts programming and may also be taken for University of Massachusetts undergraduate credit.

Student Services

Academic advisers are available by phone, e-mail, and fax and in person to assist students in course selection and academic matters. Continuing and Professional Education has its own registration and business offices, which can provide assistance in registration, transcripts, financial aid, and billings.

Credit Options

Credits earned through distance education are University of Massachusetts Amherst credits and may be transferable to other colleges and universities.


The distance education courses are taught by UMass Amherst faculty members who hold doctorates or terminal degrees in their respective fields or by qualified adjunct faculty members or graduate teaching assistants.


UMass Amherst Continuing and Professional Education allows any person with a high school diploma or its equivalent to register for courses. Some courses require prerequisite college-level work. Enrollment does not imply acceptance into a degree program. For both graduate and undergraduate degree programs, students must apply to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for admission.

Tuition and Fees

Fees vary depending on whether the course offered is noncredit or for credit and whether the level of that credit is undergraduate or graduate. Generally, a noncredit course costs from $195 to $350, while an undergraduate course costs from $240 to $400 per credit; graduate-level courses vary in cost from $270 to $670 per credit. All students, regardless of location, pay the same tuition.

Financial Aid

Availability of financial aid varies depending on course status and matriculation. Financial assistance may be available from employers, from The Education Resources Institute (TERI) Continuing Education loans, for eligible military personnel under the G.I. Bill, or from UMass Amherst financial aid (


Students can find information regarding application and registration procedures for degree programs and individual courses on the UMass Amherst Continuing and Professional Education's Web site.


Director, Continuing and Professional Education
University of Massachusetts Amherst
100 Venture Way, Suite 201
Hadley, Massachusetts 01035-9430
Phone: 413-545-2111
Fax: 413-545-3351
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

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