Freshman Dorms


I have been admitted into the Class of 2021 in the College of Natural Sciences. I wanted to know about the dorm choices for freshman. About me - I am a very quiet person (no parties), and want a dorm where I can comfortably study. What would be the best dorm for me?

Also, how does the dorm selection work? I would also appreciate information about the number of students assigned to a room, whether there is a common bathroom between students in a dorm/within a suite, air conditioning availability, and laundry (pay per use or included in the dorm fee).

In addition, I would appreciate information about how long it takes walking from the dorm to classes and the cafeteria (UMASS is a big campus, so I want to be sure the walking distance is manageable during inclement weather).

I would appreciate feedback from current students.

Either go for O’Hill or Northeast then if you don’t like parties whatsoever. Dorm selection is different for freshman compared to upperclassmen. For freshmen, you get assigned your rooms after all the summer NSO sessions are over. They take into consideration your living area preferences and will assign you a room and roommate (unless you selected a roommate preference during summer NSO). It’s based completely on a lottery system on how early you’ll be assigned to a room. If you get unlucky, you won’t get your first living area preference (which for most people is SW). If you’re planning on selecting O’Hill or NE for your first choice, you’ll almost be guaranteed to get a room there.

There are singles, doubles and triples. Freshmen don’t have access to suite living unless they live in Sylvan. There’s no AC in any living area on campus except for the Honors College. There’s communal bathrooms on every floor. Laundry is pay per use.

There’s 4 dining areas on campus (5 if you include Blue Wall). Closest to O’Hill is Frank. Closest to NE is Worcester. Walks will be at most 5-8 mins from your dorm for whichever living area you chose to live. As for walk to classes, it depends on where your classes are. Walks can take anywhere from 2 mins to 30 mins (but what’s also why we have a bus system).

There is AC in the North apartments, available to juniors and seniors.

Is North Apartments more costlier?

Congrats on getting into Amherst. It is a very good college for the money. The major drawback is the large size and the party atmosphere. Avoiding all the noise and parties can be challenging there. It did not get the reputation as ZooMass for nothing. Amherst rocks loud. Hill and Northeast are your best bets.

That being said, there are over 25K kids there who seem to be just fine so it is definitely manageable, You just need to get used to not sleeping as much and staying up later. If it gets too crazy for you, you can always just transfer out. You never really know a colleges fit until you live there. You might find you love all the action or you might prefer a smaller school in the end.

Best of luck.

@vsk Well, if you’re in the class of 2021, you won’t be able to live in the North Apartments for at least another 2 years. And if I remember closely, they are more expensive. Here’s more info on housing prices if you’re curious:

If you sign up for a RAP you’ll live in the dorm where it’s located, so that’s one way to choose where you live.

Yes, North apartments are costlier, as are the honors dorms. You want more (like AC), you pay more.

Believe it or not I’m also attending umass Amherst next year right now looks like I’ll be in exploratory track for natural science. I was also looking for the more quiet dorms so I’ll probably choose northeast. Orchard hill is nice I hear but it is up a steep hill. Also Worcester dining hall is right next to northeast There’s like 5 dining halls on campus. Also I was on campus before and it’s about 20 min walk from one side of campus to another

Surprised no one mentioned central. I lived in central (gorman hall) last semester and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I originally wanted northeast but got placed in central, but no complaints here! I absolutely loved it. Neighbors are super friendly and most people keep their doors open (can’t speak for all other floors but it was the case for my floor). It was usually not loud at night as party people go elsewhere to party. You could definitely study in your room w/o distraction. Dorms are much nicer than northeast dorms. If you get gorman/wheeler, it also saves you the trouble to climb up the hill every day.

Central is a nice compromise between Northeast and Orchard Hill. I think the only dorm that was close to a “party dorm” in Central was Van Meter, but that’s just because of its size.

Generally speaking, I found the quiestest area was Northeast. Then Central. Then Orchard Hill.

Orchard Hill is up a hill. Thus its name. Keeps you fit. :wink: But if you want something close to the classroom buildings and which isn’t on a hill, and is pretty quiet, go with Northeast, or one of the lower (down the hill) dorms in Central.

I did one of the RAPs, so that I could guarantee which residential area I’d be placed in. It’s a good option if you’re interested in one that’s in the residential area that interests you.