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5 College System & NYC

Determind15Determind15 Registered User Posts: 341 Member
edited February 2009 in Amherst College
Alright, I have a few Questions about traveling mainly and Amherst. I recently started considering it, and as of now I think its becoming my #1 choice. I need some answers however.

How long does it take (individually) to get to the 5 colleges(Smith, Mt.Hol.,UMASS, etc.) connected with Amherst?

Does Amherst provide the transportation to get to these schools?

Can you take ANY course you want at the schools (Smith, Mt.Hol.,UMASS, etc.) ?

Does having the option of taking the classes at the other schools mean a fight for class seats? (There must be some type of difficulty regarding which students get which classes when registering)

How long does it take to get from Amherst to New York City? Can you get to NYC by train? If not: what are the means of transportation to do so, and cost?

Thanks for your help.
Post edited by Determind15 on

Replies to: 5 College System & NYC

  • kwukwu Registered User Posts: 4,759 Senior Member
    How long does it take (individually) to get to the 5 colleges(Smith, Mt.Hol.,UMASS, etc.) connected with Amherst?

    By car:
    Smith: 30 minutes
    Holyoke: 20 minutes
    UMass: 15 minutes
    Hampshire: 15 minutes

    Does Amherst provide the transportation to get to these schools?

    There's the PVTA (Pioneer Valley Transit Authority), a company services the Five-College Area and is free for Five-College students. Transportation times are much longer, because the bus makes stops, of course, and rounds about the five colleges. I've heard it takes up to 1.5 hours to get to Smith by bus, about 25 minutes to get to UMass.

    Can you take ANY course you want at the schools (Smith, Mt.Hol.,UMASS, etc.) ?

    Well, certainly not upper level courses if you haven't fulfilled the requisites. But, that's a given. For the most popular courses at those schools preferential treatment may given to their students. For example, if a hot course at one of those colleges were overenrolled, you might be cut first. Otherwise, yeah, there's a great deal of freedom in taking courses at the other colleges.

    Does having the option of taking the classes at the other schools mean a fight for class seats? (There must be some type of difficulty regarding which students get which classes when registering)

    I answered this question above. Yeah, if the course is very popular and greatly overenrolled, priority would be given to students who actually attend those colleges. Amherst has the same policy, so don't feel bad.

    How long does it take to get from Amherst to New York City? Can you get to NYC by train? If not: what are the means of transportation to do so, and cost?

    By car: 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Up to 4.5 hours if weather conditions are disastrous.

    Amtrak: 4 to 5 hours, 50 bucks from here to NYC, 60 bucks from NYC back here.
    Peter Pan: 5 to 6 hours, 44 bucks one way, 79 bucks round trip.

    I'm guessing rates vary according to season.
  • Determind15Determind15 Registered User Posts: 341 Member
    Thanks kwu. That was extremely helpful. The 1.5hr to get from one place to another thing sucks but I think Amherst has just become my #1 choice.


    Thanks again.
  • CatfishCatfish Registered User Posts: 725 Member
    It's only 1.5 hours to get to Smith if you take the bus in the late afternoon when traffic is heaviest and the bus is full and making lots of stops. At less busy times it can be as low as 40-45 minutes. Time to UMass varies depending on where you're going, since the campus is so huge. I have a friend there who says it takes her half an hour to walk to some of her classes from her dorms.

    The only restrictions on 5-college classes besides the ones kwu mentioned are that they must be in a liberal arts discipline. You can't get credit for taking classes in advertising, engineering, accounting, journalism, etc.
  • FauxNomFauxNom Registered User Posts: 1,220 Senior Member
    Here's a link that looks helpful: Five Colleges, Incorporated: For Students
  • hpg90hpg90 Registered User Posts: 374 Member
    All I can say is that my girlfriend goes to NYU and I visit her a lot. Sleep on the bus is good.
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