Your Space

Inside a residence hall at Commonwealth Honors College

Your Space

The Honors Living-Learning Community enables you to live with other Honors College students who share similar academic motivations in a residential setting designed to foster positive connections and promote academic achievement.

Living among fellow Honors College 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 Honors College student leaders to offer residential programming relating to academic success, such as information sessions, skill-building workshops, and introductions to campus resources. 

Housing at Commonwealth Honors College

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 Honors College students in all class years. 

Two first-year CHCRC residence halls are exclusively reserved for Honors College students new to campus. Living in the Honors Residential Community is not a requirement, and first-year Honors College students may also choose other residential housing on campus. 

As an Honors College 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 CHCRC Housing Selection Workshop below for Spring 2023 for more information about housing options in the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community.

University Undergraduate Housing 

Review all the options regarding undergraduate student housing


Honors Community 

All Honors College students, regardless of living situation, are part of the Honors community, and have access to the many benefits and services offered by Commonwealth Honors College, 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 Honors College first-year students participate in Honors Residential Academic Programs (RAPs). In Honors RAPs courses, you live together on the same floor and take one or two classes together, often with related themes. 


Events Hall 

The 300-seat 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 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 Advising Center at Commonwealth Honors College

Bloom Honors Advising Center 

Supported by the generosity of Honors Advisory Board Member Peter Bloom ’78 and his wife Denise ’79, 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 provide invaluable guidance and support for all aspects of your Honors College 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 to 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 student body. 

Roots Cafe at Commonwealth Honors College

Roots Café 

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 Honors 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.