Mount Ida

First-Year Greater Boston Experience (working title)

Mount Ida Campus


The First-Year Greater Boston Experience is an innovative career exploration program for first-year students in selected majors to begin their UMass Amherst journey with one semester at our beautiful Mount Ida campus, before transitioning to Amherst for the remainder of their college career.

The First-Year Greater Boston Experience difference

Explore career pathways in Boston

  • Micro-internships with real-world projects from Boston-area employers
  • Alumni and employer career panels & networking events
  • Community of entrepreneurs at the Mount Ida Innovation Space

Enjoy a small campus environment

  • Bond with a small cohort of students
  • Live in modern dorms on UMass Amherst's beautiful Mount Ida campus
  • Stay connected with the Amherst campus with free transportation for sports and other events

Experience the arts and culture of Boston

  • Guided co- and extracurricular activities in Boston
  • Explore the dynamic city and all it has to offer
  • Free transportation to and from the MBTA for quick access to the city
Image of Mount Ida students on bridge

I loved starting my UMass journey on the Mount Ida campus. The small campus environment really fits my personality, and being closer to home was important to me as I was transitioning to college.

Vanessa Antenor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, ‘24



Program Information

Students who choose to spend their first semester in the First-Year Greater Boston Experience will engage in a unique career exploration program specifically designed for exploration of professional paths within a small, supportive environment.


Books on shelf


  • First-year seminar options focused on career exploration​
  • 2-3 courses from a selection of in-person gen ed classes
  • 1-2 courses from a selection of UMass Flex options
New Hall on the Mount Ida Campus

Housing & Meals

  • Modern residence hall & facilities
  • Live-in Student Life staff, Resident Assistants & Residence Educators
  • Award-winning UMass Amherst dining
Alumni mentoring a recent graduate

Support & Advising

  • Online courses will offer in-person TAs located on the Mount Ida campus​

  • Dedicated academic support services

  • In-person health and counseling services

Student using microscope in Light Microscopy Core Facility.

Career Exploration

  • Linking college majors to future careers
  • Use of self-assessments to gain insights into strengths, interests, and skills
  • Use VR resources to explore career options
  • Industry site visits
  • Alumni and employer panels across a range of industries
Fall view of campus. Students are walking to classes, with buildings in the background. The trees are bright with fall colors.

Transition to Amherst in Spring

  • Guaranteed on-campus housing for the spring term
  • UMass Amherst campus orientation
  • Organized opportunities to stay connected with other Flex Start students
exterior of the physical sciences building

Additional Information

  • Free parking for first-year students & free transportation to the MBTA
  • Regular shuttle to Amherst to visit friends and/or attend homecoming, athletic events, and more
  • Same UMass Amherst tuition, fees, and financial aid

Is the First-Year Greater Boston Experience right for me?