Are you planning to live in Amherst during University break periods? Review the information below for a comprehensive look at what UMass has to offer during break periods during the academic year and over the summer.
Keep in mind that residence halls close for Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks. Students who need housing during breaks should consider Break Housing halls that remain open during break periods.
- First Year Move-In is Friday, September 1st
- Transfer Move-In is Saturday, September 2nd
- Multi-Year Move-In is Sunday, September 3rd
Halls close for Thanksgiving Break at 10am on Saturday, November 18th
(break housing halls remain open)
- Halls reopen after Thanksgiving Break at 10am on Sunday, November 26th
Halls Close for Winter Break at 10:00am on Thursday, December 21
(break housing halls remain open)
- Halls reopen after Winter Break at 10am on Sunday, January 21st
Halls close for Spring Break at 10am on Saturday, March 10th
(break housing halls remain open)
- Halls reopen after Spring Break at 10am on Sunday, March 18th
- All Halls close for Summer Break at 8pm on Thursday, May 10th
On Campus Housing
Break Housing halls are open during Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Breaks. There is an additional cost per semester to reside in a break housing hall.
Central Area: Brett Hall, Gorman Hall (FY Only)
Northeast Area: Johnson Hall
Southwest Area: Prince Hall
North Apartments: All North Apartments
Sylvan Area: Cashin
- First Year students can rank order one of the areas above with the break housing living option as their top preference on their Preference Application. First Year students should note that the only break housing option in a Residential First Year Experience hall is Gorman, located in Central.
- Transfer students can rank order the break housing halls above as their top preference on their Preference Application.
- Students selecting housing for the upcoming semester using Online Room Selection should self select into one of the break housing halls listed above.
- Students who need to change to break housing during the semester should use our in semester change process and request the break housing halls above.
- Students who need housing over an upcoming break period and are not in break housing should contact Residential Life Student Services at 413-545-2100.
Summer housing is available to the following groups of residents:
- Students enrolled in UMass Amherst Summer Session classes through Continuing and Professional Education. Applicants must be either 18 years of age or an undergraduate or graduate student.
- UMass Amherst students employed on-campus. Applicants must document employment and be enrolled for fall 2017.
Additional summer housing information can be found here.
If off campus housing is more suitable to your needs, view the Off Campus Student Life website where you can:
- Find a perfect off campus place (for the whole year or a summer sublet)
- Learn about town resources and living in the local area
- Figure out costs, establish a budget and live sustainably
- Appreciate local arts, culture, entertainment, retail, and recreation off campus
Please note: Freshmen students with under 26 credits who are planning to live off campus must submit an Exemption Application.
On Campus Food
One of the many benefits of living at UMass is easy access to our award winning dining. The UMass Dining Meal Plan Office can review your meal plan options with you and make recommendations. UMass Dining offers four dining commons, 18 retail cafes, two food trucks, and much more. Over break periods, certain dining common and retail locations may be closed. Be sure to check the UMass Dining website to see a list of dining options that are open.
Off Campus Food
The Amherst area offers everything from single slice pizza to fine dining experiences. If you prefer to cook at home, there are many local supermarkets, international food grocers, farm stands and Community Supported Agriculture shares. If you are worried about being able to afford the cost of food, visit our Single Stop Resources page for resources and tips.
If you plan to have a car on campus, you need to purchase a parking permit through Parking Services. Temporary parking on campus is available in the Campus Center Garage and at Pay to Park locations around campus. View the Parking Services Website for more on where to park.
UMass Transit operates PVTA buses that service campus, Amherst, and neighboring towns. If you are looking for a bus to class, the grocery store, or a shopping plaza, you can find the route and schedule that works for you. It is important to note that some bus schedules during break periods differ from schedules during the academic year. Be sure to check the bottom of each schedule to see if they are currently operating on a reduced schedule so you can coordinate your plans.
Many transportation companies such as Lyft, Uber, Zipcar and taxi services such as Valley Transporter operate in Amherst. Regional transportation by bus or train is also available from UMass or a neighboring town. The closest airport to UMass is Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks, Connecticut at a distance of 45 miles from campus. Logan International Airport in Boston, MA is 95 miles from campus and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York is 145 miles from campus.
- Contact the UMass Police Department at 413-545-3111 (by cell) or dial 911.
- Contact Amherst PD if off campus at
- Contact the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health for crisis intervention at 413-545-2337 during business hours or UHS at 413-577-5000 outside of business hours.
- Contact the Rape Crisis Hotline 24/7 at 413-545-0800.
Residence Hall entry doors are locked 24/7 all year round and residence hall security monitors staff the lobbies 8pm - 12am on weekdays and 8pm - 3am (12am during breaks) on weekends. Residents' UCards open the main entry doors to their hall and are checked by security monitors for entry and guest registration. Additionally, all doors are connected to a silent alarm system and are monitored by over 350 security cameras. Resident Assistants and Residence Directors are available for assistance during break periods break housing halls.
All residents share responsibilities for maintaining a safe environment. To help ensure your safety and the safety of others:
- Observe all rules and policies outlined in the Community Standards
- Never share keys or UCards
- Report lost or stolen items immediately
- Always keep your belongings secure and your room locked
- Take an extra step in safe-guarding your belongings by registering them through Project Protect
- Never prop open an outside door or hold it open for a stranger
- Know where to find the campus services numbers
Residential Service Desks will operate on a reduced schedule during break periods. For information about RSD hours during breaks please view the RSD page.
Whether you are remaining in the Amherst area during break or traveling, there are suggested ways to increase personal safety and the security of your belongings. View the links below for helpful informaiton.
- Fire Safety Guidelines and Checklist
- Pedestrian, Bike and Automobile Safety
- Securing your home before travel
- Town of Amherst Tenant Information Sheet
- General Safety Guidelines from UMPD
University Health Services, the Center for Health Promotion, and the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health all operate year round. Be sure to check their hours of operation during break periods and holidays before making an appointment. The Recreation Center also operates year round with reduced schedules during break periods. Be sure to view the updated hours of operation and take advantage of special summer rates. In need of additional resources for stress relief? Check out the Single Stop Resources page.
Summer, Thanksgiving, and Winter Breaks are perfect times to explore the many aspects of life in the Pioneer Valley.
Events in the Area
Discover events happening on campus, in Amherst, and in neighboring towns with the following resources:
- UMass Events Calendar
- Campus Pulse Calendar
- Amherst Downtown BID Events
- Fine Arts Center performance schedule
- Hampshire County sites and events
- Pioneer Valley events
- Entertainment and nightlife in Northampton
- Outdoor activities and fun
If you're looking for summer suggestions, check out some great tips from local residents.
Community service opportunities are a great way to build your connection with the community, discover new passions, and build your resume. Find local opportunities below.
The Student Employment Office works with students to make sure they understand all regulations involving student employment and Federal Work Study. On and off campus employment can be found through the Student Job Board. Residential Life is one of the largest on campus employers. For information on job opportunities with us view our student staff positions.
Break periods are a great time to get ahead with courses and discover additional opportunities to further your educational goals.
- Check the University Registrar to see when enrollment begins for winter and summer terms.
- UMass Amherst Libraries
- Explore research opportunities and internships at UMass
- Consider an internship through the Five College Consortium
- Take advantage of limited lines and stop by Academic Advising
- Start planning early and find Study Abroad programs that interest you
Support comes from many places at UMass. Whether you are navigating a personal crisis or just want someone to talk to, there are resources for you.
Dean of Students Office
- Financial Aid
- Title IX
- Family Resources
The Advocacy, Inclusion and Support Programs are a group of vibrant centers and offices that help cultivate diversity and inclusion, promote a healthy campus climate and ensure that our students are supported to successfully graduate. Break periods are a great opportunity to seek support or get involved with a program that interests you.
Got a financial, personal, or life challenge interfering with your college success? Check out the Single Stop Resources that can help you get back on track!