UMass staff and students hand out fresh produce in a local community.

We Are a Community Engaged University

True to our mission as a land-grant institution, UMass Amherst is committed to creating positive change for the Commonwealth and society at large. We are a community-engaged university—a status affirmed by the Carnegie Foundation since 2008.

A UMass student works with a child participating in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program.


Through community-engaged research and teaching, extension programs, service learning, civic engagement, or social justice advocacy—spanning academic disciplines—UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff can be found working for the common good.

UMass Amherst students working with the Community Harvest Project.


Local partnerships are integral to the UMass Amherst educational experience and reflect our dedication as the Commonwealth’s flagship university to serve Massachusetts residents through teaching and research. Read on to learn about the many ways UMass Amherst is working to have an impact beyond the borders of campus.


The UMass Amherst Center at Springfield  

A 26,000-square foot space in the heart of Springfield, the Center offers top-notch academic programs aligned with high-demand career opportunities. 

The Center for Community Health Equity Research 

The Center for Community Health Equity Research (CCHER) seeks to promote health equity by diversifying the health care workforce and authentically engaging in community-partnered and multidisciplinary research to investigate the social production of health disparities.

The Public Engagement Project 

The Public Engagement Project was founded in 2007 by social, behavioral, humanities, and life scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who wanted to expand the engagement of scholars with the world outside the academy.

Center for Research on Families  

The Center for Research on Families promotes interdisciplinary family research across the social, behavioral, and natural sciences to address pressing social problems and systemic inequalities through family research and community engagement programming.

Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Faculty Development  

UMass CESL offers a yearlong CESL Faculty Fellows program for faculty who are developing new civic engagement or service-learning courses, as well as consultation to support the development of courses. We can also assist you in identifying and forming community partnerships and in developing student leaders as undergraduate teaching assistants or campus/community liaisons.

The Center for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment (CAFE)

CAFE integrates research and outreach education in agriculture, food systems, and the environment. The center connects UMass with vibrant business, policy, and public interest sectors in the state, including agriculture, the horticultural "green industries," environmental decisionmakers, and food system interests.


Civic Engagement & Service-Learning 

Through UMass Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, students can participate in programs of research and public service that advance knowledge and improve the world.

Student Affairs Leadership, Activism, and Community Service 

There are many opportunities for students to become involved in campus and community groups that are making a difference for societal change.

Center for Education Policy & Advocacy (CEPA) 

CEPA is a student organization dedicated to grassroots organizing around education justice, freedom from oppression, and other human rights. Programs include alternative spring breaks, and campaigns for restorative justice, food access and justice, and affordable higher education. 

Five College Community-Based Learning Consortium 

The Five College Community-Based Learning Consortium offers service-learning courses, internships and community-based research opportunities that enable students to engage with local community partners.

Carnegie Foundation CCCE logo

Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation

Through a rigorous classification process developed to document community engagement in the college curriculum and in campus-community partnerships, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been classified as a Community-Engaged Institution by the Carnegie Foundation.