In the fall of 2013, the University of Massachusetts Amherst opened a new $192 million residential and teaching community in the heart of the campus to serve Commonwealth Honors College. The complex includes 1,500 beds, nine classrooms, and faculty residences along with space for gathering, advising and administration of the program. It is designed to encourage classroom conversations to spill out into students' everyday life.

The new living/learning facility is located on the east side of Commonwealth Avenue between the Recreation Center and Boyden Gymnasium. The Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community includes a new and welcoming pedestrian spine and portals strategically placed to link the core of the campus with the Recreation Center and the Southwest Residential Area.

Built with green courtyards and open vistas, this area is designed for the whole campus to enjoy.

Approximately half of the 3,000 Commonwealth Honors College students live in the Residential Community, while others live elsewhere on campus or in the surrounding communities. All honors students are full members of the UMass Amherst community, taking approximately one-quarter of their curriculum as honors courses, and fully engaging in the campus's curricular and co-curricular activities.

Generous donors helped bring this project to life, and in so doing, strengthened the sense of community and connection among honors students while meeting very practical needs for living, classroom, advising, and event space. To learn more about supporting Commonwealth Honors College, contact:


Meredith Feltus, Director of Development & External Relations
301 Commonwealth Honors College
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003



For more information about the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community, see:

  • A time-lapse video of the complete construction project
  • Details about how the complex enhances the student experience
  • A video about the construction and the project
  • A summary of our groundbreaking ceremony
  • A video of Honors students discussing the opening of the complex
  • Boston Globe articles before the opening and after