Amherst, Massachusetts Colleges and Universities

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Amherst is a city in Massachusetts located in the Connecticut River valley. While Amherst is the largest town in the county of Hampshire, it still only has about 39,000 year round residence. So while it’s the “largest” town in the region, it still isn’t that big. Amherst is recognized as the home of three of the “Five Colleges” (a consortium of 5 local higher education institutions), which include Amherst College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Hamsphire College.

Established in 1965, the Five College Consortium, as it is officially known, is comprised of one university and four liberal arts colleges. In all, the consortium represents nearly 30,000 students. While each member institution operates independently of the others, the five institutions that make up the consortium are still mutually dependent in several ways. Together the colleges operated several ancillary organizations, including a radio station (WFCR), and they participate in a mutual interlibrary loan program, which allows students from one member institution to take advantage of literary collections from the other institutions’ libraries. Most importantly, once accepted to any one of the five insitutions, students are able to take classes at any other of the five institutions within the consortium. The colleges have also established a public transportation system that enables students to quickly be transported from one school to the other.

With over 25,000 students, University of Massachusetts Amherst is unquestionably the largest higher education institution in Amherst and one of the powerhouses behind the local economy. Amherst College is private liberal arts school that offers exclusively undergraduate education programs and was recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report the 2nd best liberal arts college in the nation. Like Amherst College, Hampshire College is also a privately owned and operated liberal arts college that focuses on undergraduate degree programs. Hampshire is well known for its alternative curriculum and its use of narrative evaluations (written text about a student’s academic performance) instead of a traditional grading system.

Below you can review profiles for the four-year colleges and university located in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Amherst College
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
main phone: (413) 542-2000
admission phone: (413) 542-2328
admission fax: (413) 542-2040
Amherst College is a four-year, undergraduate private liberal arts college that has a total enrollment of 1,700+ students and provides several bachelor’s degree programs. The college offers majors in the following areas of study: area, ethnic, cultural and gender studies (8 majors), visual and performing arts (4 majors), biology, computer science, English, foreign language and literature (7 majors), history, law and legal studies, multi/interdisciplinary studies (2 majors), philosophy (2 majors), physical sciences (4 majors), psychology (4 majors), psychology and social sciences (4 majors).

Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
main phone: (413) 549-4600
admission phone: (877) 937-4267
admission fax: (413) 559-5631
Hampshire College has a total enrollment of 1,400+ students and provides Bachelor’s degree programs various disciplines, ranging from Cultural Studies to Neuroscience to Psychology. In all, the college offers majors and programs in over 100 academic fields and disciplines.


University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
main phone: (413) 545-0111
admission phone: (413) 545-0222
admission fax: (413) 545-4312
University of Massachusetts Amherst has a total enrollment of 26,300+ students and provides Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs. Fields of study include Agriculture, Animal Sciences, Architecture, Biology, Business, Construction, Communication Engineering Technology, Foreign Languages, Health Services, Environmental Studies, Math, Recreation and Social Sciences, among others.


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