We offer Honors Living-Learning Communities in multiple campus locations for students who want a residential experience that complements their academic objectives.

As an Honors student in one of these residential communities, you can live among peers with similar academic motivations and in settings that foster positive connections and promote academic achievement. Students often find that course-related discussions carry on outside of the classroom and that living near classmates makes it easy to study and work on projects together. These connections can lead to friendships that last long after college is over.

Honors Living-Learning Communities include:

Faculty involvement

Outstanding faculty members from a variety of disciplines teach honors courses. Some even develop connections with residents in Honors Living-Learning Communities. They promote out-of-classroom learning, regularly hosting academic and social programs and engaging residents in discourse about topics of contemporary interest and importance. Instructors may be invited to your floor to have dinner, or you may find them on your team for a fun trivia program or bowling competition. Honors faculty are likely to become your mentors, trusted advisors, and eventually, references for you when you begin to pursue the path that follows your undergraduate career.

Onsite academic programming

We combine the expertise of residential life professional staff with the insight of student leaders to offer onsite programming that relates to academic success, such as information sessions, skill-building workshops, and introductions to campus resources.

Student leaders

The majority of undergraduate Resident Assistants living in Honors Living-Learning Communities are members of Commonwealth Honors College. All are dedicated to fostering a supportive environment and trained in strategies for supporting high-achieving students.

Honors Residential Academic Programs (RAPs)

First-year students living in an Honors Living-Learning Community have the opportunity to live on the same floor with other first-year students and enroll in one or two Honors classes in common. Commonwealth Honors College offers several Honors Residential Academic Programs for students interested in this type of residential experience. Honors RAPs are housed in first-year buildings located in the CHC Residential Community. Some of these residential programs are designed for students of the same major to live together on a floor and take common classes related to their discipline. Other Honors RAPs are multidisciplinary and appeal to students of any major who want to come together around a meaningful topic while also sharing living space and classes.

The University offers RAPs, open to all first-year UMass students, in most residential areas.

Residential Areas:


As UMass Amherst's newest residential area, the CHC Residential Community (CHCRC) opened in 2013. It added six residence halls with Honors Living-Learning Communities specifically for Commonwealth Honors College students. There, first-year Honors students live primarily in doubles, while upper-level students can select four-person suites or apartments. Offered at premium rates, air-conditioned CHCRC residence halls are close to the academic core of the campus—a short walk to the Recreation Center, the main library, and many classrooms. This residential area includes faculty-in-residence, classrooms, the Bloom Honors Advising Center, and a café.

North Apartments

North Apartments combine the convenience and security of campus housing with the independence of apartment living. A floor in North Apartments is reserved for Commonwealth Honors College students. Each apartment consists of four single rooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a fully furnished living room. North Apartments are break housing residence halls, which means they remain open over all breaks during the academic year, including Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks.


UMass Residential Life

UMass Dining Services

Time Lapse Video of the CHCRC Construction


© Robert Benson Photography
John Solem/UMass