The University of Massachusetts Lowell (also known as UMass Lowell) is an urban public research university in Lowell, Massachusetts, United States, and part of the University of Massachusetts system. With nearly 1,200 faculty members and more than 17,000 students, it is the largest university in the Merrimack Valley and the second-largest public institution in the state behind UMass Amherst.
The university offers 120 bachelor's, 39 master's and 33 doctoral degree programs, including nationally recognized programs in engineering, criminal justice, education, music, science and technology. Academically, UMass Lowell is organized into six schools and colleges: College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Health Sciences; College of Sciences; the Francis College of Engineering; the Graduate School of Education; and the Manning School of Business.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell owes its origins to two institutions founded in the 1890s: Lowell State College on the south side of the Merrimack River and Lowell Technological Institute on the north side. Each would follow its own path of expansion through the 20th century.
Lowell State College
Lowell State College got its start as the Lowell Normal School, which was chartered in 1894 as a teacher training institution for women. The 10th and final normal school to be established in Massachusetts, it opened in 1898 with 108 students and five faculty members. The original classroom building opened the next year at the corner of Broadway and Wilder streets, and quickly became a landmark in the city. Designed by local firm Stickney & Austin, it reflects the fashion of the time: high-style Beaux Arts with classical symmetry, arches, cast-iron lampposts and yellow brick. Its design was influenced in part by Lowell High School, which was also designed by Lowell native Frederick W. Stickney. Frank Coburn, for whom the hall was later named, served as the school's first principal until 1908.
After being threatened with closure during the Great Depression, school administrators rallied local support to help keep it open. A delegation of prominent individuals representing Lowell's powerful interest groups traveled to Boston and convinced state officials of the school's importance. The result was that the school not only survived but continued to grow and expand. In 1950, Dr. Daniel O'Leary assumed the presidency and initiated an ambitious building program. The physical plant of the campus expanded during post-war era from a single structure to a multi-building complex, forming an area now known as UMass Lowell's South Campus.
As the demand for more qualified teachers grew, the legislature reorganized the Normal School into Lowell State College in 1960 with a curriculum that expanded beyond education to include baccalaureate degrees in other fields including nursing and music. Beginning in 1967, the college was authorized to confer two more degrees: Master of Education and Master of Music Education.
Lowell Technological Institute
Established in 1895 as the Lowell Textile School, the institution was founded to train technicians and managers for work in Lowellâs booming textile industry. Modeled after the now-defunct Polytechnic College of Pennsylvania, Lowell Textile was the combined effort of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and corporations eager to form a school dedicated to textile education. Under the guidance of founder James T. Smith, Lowell Textile opened its doors in February 1897 in the upper floors of a downtown commercial block located on Middle Street. The school offered three-year training programs in cotton and wool manufacturing, design, textile chemistry and dyeing.
In 1903, the school moved from downtown to its permanent location just northwest of the Merrimack River. The yellow brick mill-like Southwick Hall was dedicated to Royal and Dierexa Southwick. Grandparents of the wealthy businessman Frederick Ayer, the Southwicks were Quakers and abolitionists who came to Lowell in the 1820s to help establish the Lowell Carpet Company. Ten years later, the school granted its first bachelor's degrees in textile dyeing and textile engineering.
In 1953, President Martin Lydon expanded the curriculum to include programs in plastics, leather, paper, and electronics technology, increased the liberal arts offerings and renamed the school the Lowell Technological Institute. He moved the institute decisively toward general engineering, setting up a bachelorâs program in 1956. The textile program was closed in 1971, reflecting the closure of most of the mills in the city.
A new university
In 1972, a feasibility study was conducted on merging Lowell State College with Lowell Technological Institute. Lowell State and Lowell Tech merged in 1975 as the University of Lowell. In 1991, the Lowell campus joined the University of Massachusetts system under its current name. . Under Chapter 142, the UMass system was restructured to combine the Amherst, Boston, and Worcester campuses with the University of Lowell and Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMass Dartmouth).
The University of Massachusetts Lowell has a freshman retention rate of 78.2 percent, a four-year graduation rate of 30 percent, and a six year graduation rate of fifty-four percent. The average combined SAT score (Critical Reading and Math) for incoming freshmen for fall 2014 was 1150 and the average entering GPA was a 3.43.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers over 150 fully accredited academic programs in six colleges.
Manning School of Business
The Robert J. Manning School of Business offers Bachelor's, graduate certificate, Master's, and PhD programs in a variety of disciplines, including accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain and operations management. As of fall 2012, the school had 1,805 undergraduate students, 737 graduate students, and 82 full-time faculty members. The school is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The Manning School of Business is named after Robert J. Manning, the chairman and CEO of MFS Investment Management. The school was named after Manning, a 1984 graduate of UMass Lowell, after he and his wife donated $5 million in 2011. A new business school building, the Pulichino Tong Business Building, is currently under construction and will be open in 2017. The new building is named after alumnus John Pulichino and his wife, Joy Tong, who contributed $4 million in 2012. The school is currently housed in Falmouth Hall and Pasteur Hall on the university's North Campus.
The Manning School of Business houses multiple, nationally ranked degree programs. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the part-time MBA program is ranked No. 86, the online MBA program is ranked No. 97, and the online graduate business program is ranked No. 78 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report. The school's undergraduate program is also nationally ranked by U.S. News. Princeton Review lists the Manning School of Business as one of their best 296 business schools.
Francis College of Engineering
The Francis College of Engineering is well known for applied research and for several programs focused on "on the rise" technologies (e.g., the field of nanotechnology). It was the first ABET accredited university in the United States to offer a bachelor's degree in plastics engineering and it is one of a few public universities in the United States to offer degrees in meteorology and sound recording technology. UMass Lowell has a radiation laboratory with a research reactor and Van de Graaff accelerator that provides students with real-world experience in particle physics, nuclear engineering and health physics. The college also boasts a baseball research center that is the official baseball bat and ball testing center for Major League Baseball.
The Francis College of Engineering is named after James B. Francis, a world renowned hydraulic engineer who began his career in Lowell during the Industrial Revolution. The college is currently is home to over 100 full-time faculty members and 14 different research centers The college is currently ranked No. 129 by U.S. News and World Report.
College of Health Sciences
The College of Health Sciences is a leader in fields such as work environment and clinical lab sciences. The School of Nursing, elevated from a department as of June 1, 2013, is housed in College of Health Sciences. The college currently has 1,267 undergraduate students, 44 graduate students, 82 faculty members, and 6 research centers. The college offers 7 signature degree degree and certificate programs, including the only doctorate of physical therapy degree program (DPT) offered by a public institution in Massachusetts. The graduate nursing program is ranked No. 127 while the graduate physical therapy program is ranked No. 99 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report.
College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
The College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences includes the School of Criminology and Justice Studies, as well as signature programs including sound recording technology, music business and more. The College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is largest college at UMass Lowell and currently offers 24 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and houses 7 centers and institutes, including the Kerouac Center for Public Humanities.
Graduate School of Education
The Graduate School of Education offers master's and doctoral degree programs and undergraduate minor programs. The school is home to 13 tenure-track faculty members and 4 clinical faculty members. The school has a 100% pass rate on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. The online graduate education program is currently ranked No. 68 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report.
College of Sciences
The College of Sciences offers degree and certificate programs in Biological Sciences, Bio-Cheminformatics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Applied Physics, and Robotics. The college is home to over 100 full-faculty members. The graduate Chemistry program is ranked No. 148 and the graduate Physics program is ranked No. 131 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
U.S. News & World Report ranks UMass Lowell No. 156 on its top-tier National Universities list in the Best Colleges of 2015. UMass Lowell is one of only six institutions to advance in the standings every year since 2010 and the university's four-year, 27-spot gain in the ranking is the second-fastest in the nation. U.S. News & World Report also named UMass Lowell No. 84 in the top public universities and second among public universities in Massachusetts. Washington Monthly ranked UMass Lowell No. 170 nationally for 2014, representing a 24 spot jump from 2013. Forbes ranked UMass Lowell No. 176 amongst research universities and No. 456 overall. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed the entire University of Massachusetts system at 91 in the world.
UMass Lowell is known for having one of the highest returns-on-investment (ROI) in the country. Forbes ranked UMass Lowell as the 10th best value amongst all universities and colleges nationwide for 2013 and 4th best value amongst non-military academies. UMass Lowell is one of just 75 in the nation whose graduates have a 30-year net ROI of more than $1 million. The university is in the top 1 percent in the United States for ROI, according to Affordable Colleges Online, which also placed UMass Lowell at No. 10 nationally. Similarly, PayScale.com found that UMass Lowell provides the 10th best ROI among 437 public universities in the U.S. and 50th out of 1,060 colleges and universities for 2013. PayScale also ranked UMass Lowell 40th in the Northeast Region for highest mid-career salary amongst state universities ($95,100) and 80th overall (tied with Boston College).
UMass Lowell's Francis College of Engineering is ranked No. 140 in the country for graduate engineering programs, and No. 122 in electrical engineering and No. 85 in computer engineering.
UMass Lowell's Manning School of Business is ranked No. 94 for their part-time MBA program while their undergraduate program is ranked in the top 100, according to U.S. News & World Report.
UMass Lowell's Graduate School of Education is ranked No. 103 in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
UMass Lowell's online program ranked sixth in the U.S. overall among online colleges on Guide to Online Schoolsâ 2013 Online College Rankings.
UMass Lowell has been listed as one of the most underrated colleges in America on multiple occasions. In 2013, Business Insider named UMass Lowell as the "Most Underrated College in America." The 2015 edition has named UMass Lowell as the second most underrated college in the U.S. behind NJIT.
The Big Seven
The Big Seven are the main organizations on campus funded directly from the student activities fee (other registered student organizations have budgets granted through the Student Government Association). They are:
- Student Government Association (SGA)
- The UMass Lowell Connector(student newspaper)
- WUML (student-run radio station)
- Campus Activities Programming Association (CAPA)
- Off-Broadway Players (student theater group)
- University of Massachusetts Lowell Riverhawk Marching Band
- Greek Council (student-run Governing Body of Greek Life Organizations)
UMass Lowell athletic teams compete in a variety of men's and women's sports in Division I. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, track and field, and soccer. Women's sports are basketball, cross country, track and field, field hockey, soccer, rowing, softball, and volleyball. The university will add men's and women's lacrosse next year. As of July 1, 2013, 14 of UMass Lowell's Division II teams moved up to Division I, joining the America East Conference. The River Hawks formerly competed in the Northeast-10 Conference at the Division II level. Past champions include the 1988 men's basketball team, the 1991 men's cross country team, the ice hockey team (three times) and the field hockey team twice (2005, 2010). The 2010 field hockey team finished its season with a perfect 24-0 record.
The university's men's hockey team plays in the Hockey East Association and plays its home games at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. In 2013, the men's hockey team won the Hockey East regular-season and tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA Division I Championship "Frozen Four," all for the first time in the university's history. The men's hockey team repeated as Hockey East champions in 2014 while advancing to the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship for the third straight year and sixth time overall. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck is the only Hockey East player to receive the league tournament's Most Valuable Player Award in two consecutive years, earning the honor in 2013 and 2014.
The nickname "River Hawks" came about during the school's transition from the University of Lowell to UMass Lowell and was inspired by the campus's location along the Merrimack River. The University of Lowell's nickname was the Chiefs, which was abandoned in favor of the current name. A campus-wide poll was conducted for student input and final candidates included the Ospreys and the Raging Rapids, according to the Connector student newspaper.
Total enrollment for the 2014-2015 academic year is 17,184. In-state enrollment represents 87.6 percent of undergraduates and 58.4 percent of graduate students. International students make up 2.8 percent of the undergraduate population and 21.7 percent of the graduate population. Students of color represent 27 percent of the total undergraduate population and 18 percent of the graduate population. The male-female ratio, in 2012, was 61/39 for undergraduates and 52/48 for the graduate population. The total enrollment has increased 48 percent since 2007 and UMass Lowell is now the second-largest campus in the University of Massachusetts system.
Located in the historic industrial city of Lowell, 25 miles (40Â km) northwest of Boston, the campus is located on both sides of 150 acres (0.61Â km2) the Merrimack River. UMass Lowell has three campus clusters: North, South and East. The university has increased student housing by more than 1,800 beds in the last four years, including opening two new, all-suites residence halls in August 2013.
UMass Lowell and the city reached an agreement in 2009 for the school to acquire the Tsongas Arena and the 3 acres (12,000Â m2) of land adjacent to it. The transfer was finalized in February 2010 and the venue was renamed the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.
The university bought the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Lowell in 2009. Now called the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, the building includes student housing, year-round lodging for the public and is home to events for the university and community, a restaurant called 50 Warren that is open to the public year-round, business and cultural programs, conferences and more.
The university broke ground in June 2010 on the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, the first new academic building built from the ground up on campus in 30 years. The building, originally called just the "Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center" or "ETIC," is located on the former site of Smith Hall (demolished in July 2010), cost $80 million to construct with funding from a variety of sources including the state, federal government, alumni and other private donors. On March 30, 2011, the university held a topping-off ceremony marking the completion of the ETIC's steel frame. The ceremony also included the opening of a time capsule that was placed in the cornerstone of Smith Hall during its 1947 construction, as well as the compilation of a new time capsule to be included in the Saab Center. The building's grand opening was on Oct. 11, 2012. The center was renamed as the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center in December 2012 in honor of the Lowell couple's generous support for the building and the university overall.
In January 2011, the university announced that it had acquired the former St. Joseph's Hospital in Lowell for $6.3 million. The complex, renamed University Crossing, consisted of approximately 300,000 square feet (28,000Â m2) of developable space. In the summer of 2014, the university completed the construction of a new student center at the site that includes a cafe and bookstore open to the public and a single location for all student services and activities. The University Police and most administrative functions are located in an existing, renovated building at University Crossing. The complex is located near the university's North, South and East campuses and serves as a central point uniting all three.
The university broke ground in April 2011 on the new Health and Social Sciences Building on South Campus. Construction of the building was completed in spring 2013 and it officially opened with a ceremony on April 18, 2013. The 69,000-square-foot (6,400Â m2) building, construction of which was funded by the state's Higher Education Bond Bill of 2008, is home to the School of Criminology and Justice Studies, School of Nursing and Department of Psychology, which include some of the university's most popular majors.
In November 2011, the university broke ground on a $16 million parking garage on North Campus. The garage is a six-story, 650-space parking facility that opened in Fall 2012. A second new garage was built on South Campus and opened for the Fall 2013 semester.
In January 2012, construction of a new residence hall on East Campus, to be named University Suites, began with the demolition of the former Institute of Plastics Innovation Building. The suite-style residence hall opened in August 2013 and houses 472 students. It also features the Hawk's Nest, a cafe that is open to the public; a multipurpose room; learning commons and other amenities. An apartment-style residence hall, Riverview Suites, also opened for the Fall 2013 semester and was constructed by a developer on private property adjacent to the university's South Campus.
In May 2012, it was announced that a new building to house the Manning School of Business will be erected in the name of alumnus John Pulichino '67 and his wife, Joy Tong, who donated $4 million for student scholarships. The new Pulichino Tong Business Building will offer students a world-class business education with top facilities, including a trading room. A ceremony to break ground on the building was held in May 2014. The building is expected to be completed in 2017.
- William Blake, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Cray The Supercomputer Company
- Bonnie Comley, Broadway and film producer
- Jerry Bergonzi, jazz musician
- Michael Casey, poet
- Craig Charron, former professional ice hockey player
- Christopher J. Coyne, Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis
- Roger W. Cressey Former U.S. National Security Council staff, president of Good Harbor Consulting Group
- Edson deCastro, President and founder, Data General Corporation
- Jeff Daw Former NHL player with the Colorado Avalanche
- Stephen Potter De Mallie Decorated U.S. Navy officer and respected textile researcher
- Tim DiFrancesco Physical therapist, strength and conditioning coach for the Los Angeles Lakers
- Mark Eshbaugh, Artist, author, musician and former professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell
- Scott Fankhouser Former NHL player with the Atlanta Thrashers
- Sean Garballey, (B.A.), member of the Mass. House of Representatives (served 2008-present)
- Ron Hainsey, NHL player with the Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, Atlanta Thrashers and the Winnipeg Jets
- Harish Hande, Social entrepreneur who is expanding solar energy across India
- Ben Holmstrom NHL hockey player with the Philadelphia Flyers
- Dean Jenkins Former NHL hockey player with the Los Angeles Kings
- Greg Koehler Former NHL hockey player with the Carolina Hurricanes
- Mark Kumpel Member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Hockey team and former NHL player with the Quebec Nordiques and the Winnipeg Jets
- Mike LaValliere Former Major League Baseball catcher and Gold Glove award winner
- Bernie Lynch Lowell city manager, 2006â"2014
- Craig MacTavish, Former NHL player with Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers and former coach of the Edmonton Oilers, where he serves as senior vice president.
- Marty Meehan, Former congressman (served 1993 - 2007) and UMass Lowell chancellor, 2007â"present
- Rich Miner, Creator of Wildfire, co-founder of Android Inc., and investment partner on the Google Ventures team
- Jon Morris Former NHL player with the New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins
- John Ogonowski, Pilot of American Airlines Flight 11 on 9/11/2001
- John Pinette, comedian
- Dwayne Roloson, NHL player with the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers
- Robert Silvers, Photomosaic artist
- Bob Squires, guitarist
- Thelma Todd, movie actress
- John Traphagan, Former director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Professor of Religious Studies and Centennial Commission in the Liberal Arts Fellow
- Ben Walter Former NHL player with the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils
- Scott Waugh Physical therapist with the Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox and director at the Massachusetts General Hospital Sports Physical Therapy Service
- Jack Weinstein, U.S. Air Force Major General
- Shelagh Donohoe, Olympic Silver Medalist in Women's Rowing
- Eunice Alberts, opera and concert singer
- Arno Rafael Minkkinen, fine art photographer
- Andre Dubus III, bestselling author
- Robert Karasek, sociologist, ergonomist, creator of the job strain, demand/control model of occupational stress
- William Lazonick, economist and business historian who directs the Center for Industrial Competitiveness
- Richard Farrell, author, filmmaker, teacher and journalist
- Jack M. Wilson, former UMass president
- Terry Michael Chance, former guitarist for Conway Twitty
- George Chigas, Khmer scholar and author of the first English translation of The Story of Tum Teav
- University of Massachusetts Lowell Radiation Laboratory
- Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute
- UMass Lowell River Hawks
- UMass Lowell River Hawks men's ice hockey
- University of Massachusetts Lowell
- UMass Lowell Athletics