News 2024: UMass Dartmouth is trending up

News 2024: UMass Dartmouth is trending up
UMass Dartmouth is trending up

Highlights of an extraordinary academic year

Aerial view of UMass Dartmouth's main quad.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's reputation as a top research institution is growing. The university continued its climb of the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings this year, becoming the 3rd highest-ranked public university in Massachusetts. Notably, the undergraduate nursing program moved into the top 8%, and the online bachelor's in business programs moved into the top 5% of U.S. programs in their respective categories.

Many institutions claim to change students' lives. As the second highest-ranked public university in New England on social mobility – meaning that we connect students to high-earning careers – UMass Dartmouth is being recognized for doing so. View more UMassD rankings.

Extraordinary outcomes

In critical junctures after graduating, the class of 2023 excelled, with 96% of nursing students passing the NCLEX, beating the national average of 90%, and 80% of UMass Law students passing the Bar on their first try, the 5th highest rate in MA, ahead of Suffolk University, Western New England University, and New England Law. More than 90% of undergraduate students in the class of 2023 found jobs and 28% were enrolled in graduate or professional school within 6 months of graduating.

Impactful research

UMass Dartmouth's research is groundbreaking. Associate Professor Xiaofei Jia's lab began work on two NIH grants that attempt to solve and eradicate HIV. The cybersecurity program earned a $3.5 million National Science Foundation grant and a designation of Academic Excellence in Cyber Research from the NSA. Assistant Professor Nefeli Bompoti received $1 million in Environmental Protection Agency grants in her first year on the job.

Giving back to our communities

Recognition comes from making a difference, and our students and faculty are doing just that. Linking learning with volunteerism, students applied lessons and skills in their majors to support SouthCoast communities and gain real-world experience.

Dartmouth

With emergency shelters nearing their limit to house homeless and migrant families in November, Massachusetts turned to its only public law school to help alleviate an urgent need. Twenty four UMass Law students volunteered as interviewers and interpreters at the Baymont Hotel in Dartmouth, assisting 30 newly arrived families needing to be screened to assess their legal situation.

Fall River

To our west, students and faculty in our colleges of business, engineering, and visual and performing arts advised key community stakeholders on the future of the port city. In November, the Charlton College of Business hosted Fall River Entrepreneurship Day, where faculty presented SouthCoast tourism research to develop ideas for increasing the volume of visitors to the region. One month later, civil engineering and interior architecture + design students put their skills together to design proposals for the redevelopment of the city's waterfront.

New Bedford

In the nation's most valuable fishing port, the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) is driving efforts to promote clean energy and economic prosperity on the SouthCoast and beyond. Part of a national team recently selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to create an $11.9M Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind (ARROW), SMAST will work to provide new opportunities for education and training for the growing offshore wind workforce including the new wind farms being built off New Bedford. SMAST students and faculty are also conducting research to better understand how the development of the offshore wind industry in the SouthCoast will affect the fishing industry in New Bedford and other areas, partnering with local fishermen and including New Bedford school students to pique their interest in marine science.

Through the New Bedford Economic Development Council's NB100! entrepreneurship support program, marketing majors partnered with small businesses to create brand identities and strategic marketing plans for organizations with no advertising budget.

CVPA students raised $11,000 for hunger alleviation, continuing a 10-year tradition. The school's students also embarked on the Envision Resilience Challenge, a coastal resilience initiative that inspires coastal communities to envision innovative approaches to the impacts of climate change.

Through the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement over 150 students served at New Bedford's YMCA Share the Harvest Farm, harvesting and planting vegetables for those in need. Nearly 100 students participated in America Reads and America Counts programs at the New Bedford Boys & Girls Club, the Winslow School, New Bedford Housing Authority, and Dennison Memorial Community Center. Throughout the year, students participated in over a dozen shoreline cleanups, culminating in the creation of the "sculpture monster" which debuted in the Earth Eve fair in New Bedford's April AHA! night.

Chancellor Mark Fuller (bottom right) and Representative Chris Hendricks (top left) visit the North Star Learning Center in New Bedford.
Chancellor Mark Fuller (bottom right) and Representative Chris Hendricks (top left) visit the North Star Learning Center in New Bedford

Exceptional students

A growing number of top local high school students are making UMass Dartmouth their destination of choice for college. As such, enrollment in the Honors College has increased by 32% in just three years. Among them are the next two Founders' Scholars, who both received a four-year "full ride" scholarship.

Exceptional value

Maintaining a commitment to social mobility in the SouthCoast and beyond, the university has also enrolled nearly 200 students from Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton into the early college program through the Commonwealth Collegiate Academy, which allows high school juniors and seniors to receive college credit at no cost.

Athletics

For the second year in a row, the Corsair football team finished first in their conference en route to their second New England Bowl in three years. Women's volleyball won their first league championship, capping off their most successful season in program history. Women's basketball rode a 22-3 regular season record into the second round of the NCAA tournament. Senior Cameron Rogers returned to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field national championships for the fourth consecutive year.

Clubs take off

Corsair Racing drove coast to coast for a national competition, Model UN won two awards in Germany, Corsair Esports cut the ribbon on a new gaming lab, and the UMassD Investment Fund garnered the best returns in the UMass System, which will help fund future financial aid and scholarships from the UMass Foundation. Read about more clubs & orgs at UMassD.

UMass Dartmouth is on the rise. Stay tuned for more great achievements.