Thanksgiving 2023

UMass Transit, University Health Services, Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, Libraries, Recreation and Wellbeing, and Dining Services are operating on holiday schedules. Volunteer for – or just show up and enjoy – free community Thanksgiving meals at Amherst Survival Center, Stone Soup Café, Manna Community Kitchen, and Not Bread Alone.

Living at UMass 365

On-campus Housing | Off-campus Housing | Dining | Transportation | Safety | Health | Engagement | Academics | Support

Living at UMass 365

Do you live in the Amherst area over break? Here's a comprehensive look at what UMass has to offer when school's not in session.

Most UMass residence halls close over fall, winter, spring, and summer breaks. If you plan to remain in the area, consider Break Housing halls that remain open over breaks.

On Campus Housing Housing

On Campus Housing

Break Housing: Break Housing halls remain open during Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Breaks. There is an additional cost per semester to reside in a break housing hall.

New Students
First year students: rank a break housing living option as your top preference on your Preference Application.
Transfer students: rank a break housing living option as your top preference on your Preference Application.

Current Students
Start of semester: Self-select into break housing using Online Room Selection.
During semester: Use the in semester change process to request a break housing hall.

If you need housing over an upcoming break and are not in break housing, contact Residential Life Assignments at 413-545-2100.

Summer Housing
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.

Additional summer housing information can be found here.

Off Campus HousingOff Campus Housing

If off campus housing is more suitable to your needs, view the Off Campus Student Life website to:

  • Find an off-campus home (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

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. Over breaks, 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.

Transportation and TravelTransportation and Travel

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. Visit the Parking Services site 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.

Safety Safety

Emergency Response

  • Contact the UMass Police Department at 413-545-3111 (by cell) or dial 911.
  • Contact Amherst PD if off campus at 413-259-3000.
  • Contact the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health for crisis intervention at 413-545-2337. They offer 24/7 on-call emergency services.
  • Contact the Sexual Assault Support and Advocacy (SASA) Hotline 24/7 at 413-545-0800.

On Campus

Residence Hall entry doors are locked 24/7 all year round and residence hall security monitors staff the lobbies 8 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. (midnight 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 Code of Student Conduct and Residence Hall Policies
  • Never share your keys or UCard
  • 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.

Off Campus

Whether you travel over break or remain in the Amherst area, increase personal safety and keep your belongings secure:


Health and WellnessHealth and Wellness


University Health Services and the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health operate year round. Be sure to check their hours of operation during break periods and holidays before making an appointment. Recreation and Wellbeing also operates year-round with reduced schedules during break periods. Be sure to view the updated hours of operation and take advantage of summer rates. In need of additional resources for stress relief? Check out Single Stop Resources.


Summer, Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring 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:

If you're looking for summer suggestions, check out some great tips from local residents.

Community Service

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.


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.

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? Single Stop Resources can help you get back on track!

 Question? Contact us.