The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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RISE Scholars Program & Engineering Connect RAPs

Programs such as Revolutionary, Inclusive, Sustainable Engineering (RISE) and Engineering Connect RAP (Residential Academic Program) help with the adjustment to college life and offer a variety of specialized opportunities. From the minute you arrive at UMass, you'll be part of a group. 

Please note that you may apply for RISE and/or RAP even if you have not yet decided whether to attend UMass. Questions can be directed to



About RISE

The Revolutionary, Inclusive, Sustainable Engineering (RISE) Scholar’s Program is a new initiative in the College of Engineering (COE) launching in Fall 2022. Participation in RISE offers students a variety of specialized opportunities both academic and social.

Involvement in programs such as RISE helps new students adjust to life at college. A large, research-oriented university like UMass offers incredible advantages and opportunities to engineering students, but the large size of the institution also means that coming here from high school can be a little bit overwhelming.

RISE will help you make the transition as it creates a small college feel within a large university, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds. RISE is specially designed for first year women, students of color, LGBTQIA+, and those who are first generation entering the College of Engineering in Fall 2022 but open to all engineering students. 

RISE Programming and Benefits

Through the RISE program, we want to introduce you to the huge array of engineering related activities and opportunities across campus. We also want to give you the opportunity to meet faculty members “up close and personal,” because getting to know faculty is probably the single most important thing you can do to make your education truly excellent. RISE will offer you a variety of specialized opportunities, both academic and social. 

On the academic side, RISE offers students opportunities to meet and learn from faculty, current students, and alumni you would not otherwise have. We'll have four programmatic focus areas you can participate in: 

  • Leadership, 
  • Community, 
  • Sustainability, and 
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

We’ll have a large selection of events to accommodate interests and schedules. These will include workshops, luncheons, dinners, symposiums, and more. We’ll mix it up so that everyone can find something of interest to them. We will also connect you with Undergraduate Peer Mentors and provide you with specialized tutoring support.

On the social side, RISE will create a small college feel within a larger college and university. As part of the RISE community, you’ll have priority to live in one of our Engineering Connect RAPs (application required) and the opportunity to participate in a free early arrival to campus program. Living with other engineering students makes it easy to discuss coursework with your peers, study together in your residence hall, and feel comfortable knowing that your neighbors won't think you're weird if you want to talk about math or chemistry or have a quiet night the day before a big exam. The resulting environment enhances academic performance and sharpens your focus (without cutting into your fun!). So, as part of RISE and one of the Engineering Connect RAPs, from the minute you arrive at UMass, you'll be part of a group. You'll be able to go to dinner with friends on your very first night away from home, and you'll likely see those same friends in class on the first day of school. Many of the people you meet on day one will remain as your friends for the next four years. We've seen it over and over again. 

Between the academic and social elements, you’ll be asked to attend ~1 event a month but welcome to attend more. 

Ready to Apply?

We will start to review RISE applications on April 15 and continue to accept applications until all the spots are filled. Please note that you may apply even if you have not yet decided whether to attend UMass. Your application indicates only that you would like to participate in RISE in the event that you enroll in the University. We do ask, however, that you notify as at soon as possible if you decide to attend another institution so we may open the opportunity to others.

We expect there to be 75 spots in RISE, which we are strategically filling to build a motivated, engaging, and welcoming community. If you are admitted to the program, we will notify you of your acceptance and let you know how to confirm your participation. 

Apply to be part of RISE

Engineering Connect RAPs

Engineering Connect RAPs provide an opportunity for students who are entering declared in a COE (College of Engineering) major to live together and have their collegiate First-Year Seminar (FYS) (one credit course that all incoming students will take during their first semester) with students in the same living community.

The Engineering Connect RAP will be offered in multiple locations, each with a specific seminar. The following topics are planned for the Engineering Connect FYS (more detailed descriptions available soon), although we have not yet assigned them to a RAP location:

  • Climate readiness: action not anxiety
  • Engineering Health and Equity
  • Device Design for Women’s Health
  • Robotic Technology in Healthcare
  • Introduction to the Internet of Things
  • Development and Amazing Achievements of Civil Engineering

Interested students must complete an application, see details below. The application will provide an opportunity for students to rank their interest in the seminar topics and available RAP locations. COE staff will review the information on your application to determine the best fit for you. Accepted students will be placed in one of our 5 RAP locations. 

Students that have been invited to be part of the RISE Scholars Program are strongly encouraged to apply to be in one of the Engineering Connect RAPs, but there is no requirement on a specific location.

Apply now to join an Engineering Connect RAP

Please note that you may apply even if you have not yet decided whether to attend UMass. Your application indicates only that you would like to participate in an Engineering Connect RAP if you enroll in the University. 

For further information, please see the Engineering Connect RAPs link on the UMass Residential Academic Programs website.