Amherst and the Pioneer Valley

Tucked away in the western part of Massachusetts near the Berkshire Mountains and situated between four major East Coast cities, UMass offers its students all the features of a big city in the comfort of a rural setting.

A half hour drive from Springfield, Mass., home of the Basketball Hall of Fame; an hour from Hartford, Conn.; two hours from Boston and just two and a half hours from New York City, Amherst and the surrounding Pioneer Valley has become a popular area for college students.

With a sprawling green landscape and numerous shops and restaurants within walking distance, the UMass campus is located in close proximity to bustling downtown Amherst. The tree-lined sidewalks of downtown offer over 50 stores, shops and restaurants - among them a UMass institution in Antonio's Pizza, where visitors are treated to the Northeast's best and most unique pizza. Neighboring Northampton is a tourist hot spot with its wide array of shops and eateries, and nearby South Deerfield is nationally recognized as the home to America's most successful candle maker, Yankee Candle Company.

UMass also participates in the Five College Consortium, which links the University with Amherst College and Hampshire College in Amherst, Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, and Smith College in Northampton, some of the top private schools in the region. The arrangement allows students at any of the schools to take up to three courses per semester at any of the other campuses. In addition, a free bus service provides transportation between the schools.

The Amherst area gives UMass students the chance to taste many aspects of life - from a small town to a big city - and offers a learning environment that is quite unique in today's higher education world.