The Campus & the Pioneer Valley

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, the flagship of the Commonwealth's five-campus system, enrolls approximately 20,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students.

Its scenic setting in the traditional New England college town of Amherst lies within easy reach of major metropolitan areas—90 miles (two hours) from Boston, 180 miles (three and a half hours) from New York City, and 300 miles (five hours) from Montreal, Canada. A free bus service links the campus with four local colleges and lively nearby communities.

The local weather is distinctly seasonal. Winter can be cold and summer quite hot. Spring and fall are particularly beautiful in this part of the Connecticut River Valley.

Housing costs on campus and in the Amherst area range from approximately $500/month for an efficiency (single room) to $2,500 for a large house. Visit the links below to find out more about the local areas.

Complete Current Weather at UMass Amherst

All about the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts

Visit the UMass Amherst Campus

All about the town of Amherst

Western Massachusetts Scenic Byways

Visit Hampshire County

The Pioneer Valley

The town of Amherst, founded in 1759, is located in the portion of the Connecticut River Valley known as the Pioneer Valley. Largely a rural area, it is dotted with farms and orchards. The principal area industry is education, with the University of Massachusetts and Amherst and Hampshire colleges in the town of Amherst, and Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges in nearby towns.

The Pioneer Valley is rich in outdoor recreational opportunities: downhill and cross-country skiing, mountain climbing, skating and fishing at numerous lakes and ponds, facilities for golf and tennis, plus a host of gymnasiums, pools, and tracks. In addition to all of the university and college libraries, the town offers the historic Jones Library. There are many other sites of historic interest in this town that features old New England houses on shady tree-lined streets. Amherst was the home of Emily Dickinson, Noah Webster, Helen Hunt Jackson, Eugene Field, Henry Ward Beecher, Robert Frost, and other illustrious people.

The cost of living in Amherst is comparable to that of other towns of its size in the eastern part of the United States. Estimates of minimum funds needed to support a student in residence are available through the Foreign Students Office, Whitmore Administration Building.

Amherst is less than 100 miles from Boston, 200 miles from New York City, and 30 miles from Vermont. Air service for Amherst is through Bradley International Airport, located between Springfield and Hartford; flights are available to major U.S. cities. There is a bus service from Bradley directly to the University Campus Center. The Vermonter stops daily at the Amtrak station in nearby Northampton.