The Commonwealth Honors College Living-Learning Community lets you live with other CHC students who share similar academic motivations in a residential setting designed to foster positive connections and promote academic achievement.
Living among fellow honors students makes it easy to study and work on projects together and extends course-related conversations from the classroom to the common room. You may find that these connections can lead to friendships that last long after graduation.
Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community (CHCRC)
The Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community (CHCRC) is in the heart of the campus, next door to the Recreation Center, and minutes away from most campus classrooms, the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, the Campus Center, Mullins Center, and intramural fields.
With six residence halls, living space for staff and faculty in residence, honors classrooms, the Bloom Honors Advising Center, Roots Café, and a large events hall, the design of the CHCRC promotes the kinds of informal interactions among students, faculty members, and advisors that extend classroom learning.
The CHCRC draws upon the expertise of residential life professional staff and the insight of CHC student leaders to offer residential programming relating to academic success, such as information sessions, skill-building workshops, and introductions to campus resources.
Guide to First-Year Housing
Living on campus at UMass Amherst is frequently your first time living away from home. Our guide covers how to decide on housing, what to expect, and more.
Honors Housing Availability
Honors housing is available (but not guaranteed) to CHC students in all class years.
Two first-year CHCRC residence halls are exclusively reserved for students new to campus. However, living in the CHCRC is not a requirement, and first-year CHC students may also choose other residential housing on campus.
As a sophomore, junior, or senior, you can live in suites or apartments available in four multi-year CHCRC residence halls. You may also choose designated honors housing in North Apartments or other on- and off-campus housing options.
Check out the spring 2023 CHCRC Housing Selection Workshop below for more information about housing options in the Commonwealth Honors College.
University Undergraduate Housing
Review all of the options for undergraduate student housing.
All Commonwealth Honors College students, regardless of living situation, are part of the honors community, and have access to the many benefits and services offered by CHC, including honors advising, informal interactions with faculty, evening lectures and films, and special programs such as the International Scholars Program. Commonwealth Honors College routinely hosts special events that foster students’ understanding of diverse perspectives on current global and domestic concerns.
Honors Residential Academic Programs
Many CHC first-year students participate in Honors Residential Academic Programs (RAPs)—living together on the same floor and sharing one or two classes, often with related themes.
CHC Events Hall
The 300-seat CHC Events Hall serves as a multipurpose room. The hall splits into two: one side offers a lounge space with overflow seating for the Roots Café while the other side accommodates auditorium-style seating for events. The CHC Events Hall is the location for signature Commonwealth Honors College events such as Pizza & Prof Nights, Wednesday Workshops, social events, and alumni networking events. Public events, such as lectures and social activities, are also hosted there.
Bloom Honors Advising Center
Supported by the generosity of Honors Advisory Board Member Peter Bloom ’78 and his wife Denise ’79, the staff of the Bloom Honors Advising Center helps you identify available opportunities and effectively plan your academic paths, especially for the year-long senior honors thesis. A collaborative team of honors advisors provides invaluable guidance and support for all aspects of your CHC student experience.
The CHCRC adds nine seminar-style classrooms to the campus. Honors courses and general university classes are scheduled in these classrooms.
Faculty in Residence
Among those living in the residential community are faculty in residence who help build a positive learning-centered environment. They interact informally with students, support residents, and promote out-of-classroom learning.
Louis and Hilda Greenbaum Gallery
Hosting student-curated rotating exhibits, the Louis and Hilda Greenbaum Gallery is in Elm Hall and open daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., during the academic year. The location is easily accessible to the entire university community.
A convenient eatery that stays open late and is open to the entire campus community, Roots Café offers fresh, “from scratch” items such as artisan pizza, mac and cheese, and house-roasted meats. The cafe also has quick-serve breakfast and lunch items, fresh fruits, fresh coffee, iced tea, and other favorites.
The Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community, designed by William Rawn, has been awarded LEED Silver certification, a level within the green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The facility is recognized for its material usage, energy efficiencies, water management, site planning, and indoor environmental quality. It incorporates waste reduction efforts to recycle or repurpose most of the construction and demolition waste; application of low VOC paints, sealants, carpeting and flooring materials; use of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures; installation of single-room thermostats; operable windows; and inclusion of lighting controls with daylight dimmers and vacancy sensors.