Alcohol Policy

Alcohol at UMass Amherst – Know the Facts

It is important to know and understand Massachusetts laws and university policies about alcohol and its use. Violations are subject to sanctions according to the UMass Code of Student Conduct.

21+ | Under 21 | Never while intoxicated | Be responsible | You are part of the UMass community | Take care of others
Only where allowed OFF campus | Only where allowed ON campus | 21+ in Residence Halls | Have fun without alcohol
Know your support resources | Keep on track to graduation | Resources for parents & families

  over 21


You may possess and use alcohol only if you are 21 or older. Buying or supplying alcohol to anyone under 21 is illegal.

  under 21

Under 21

You cannot transport, possess, or receive alcoholic beverages. If you are driving a car and under 21, no passenger may be in possession of alcoholic beverages.

Source: M.G.L.c.138,Sec.34C
  No DUI

Never while intoxicated

You may not drive under the influence of alcohol. It is illegal for anyone to serve you alcohol if you are intoxicated.

Source: M.G.L.c.90, Sec.24(1)

Be responsible

Students who look out for one another make better decisions. Be a party smart host or guest.


You are part of the UMass community

The UMass Alcohol Beverage policy applies to all UMass or Five College students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors or guests of the university.


  Take care

Take care of others

Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency. Call 911 immediately!

The Medical Amnesty Policy prevents you and your friend from being charged with a UMass Code of Student Conduct violation if you seek help in an alcohol-related emergency.

Source: UMass Minutes Matter Policy
  OFF campus

Only where allowed OFF campus

Open containers are not permitted in public in Town of Amherst. 

UMass Amherst Alcoholic Beverage Policy applies in or on all UMass owned or occupied property AND applies to non-UMass property owned or used by fraternities or registered student groups.

Sources: Amherst Town By-Law TBL A2 s6, UMass Alcoholic Beverage Policy
  ON Campus

Only where allowed ON campus

Not permitted in buildings or public spaces or unlicensed events.

Not permitted at outdoor events without approval.

21+ in Residence Halls

To possess or consume alcohol, resident MUST be of legal drinking age AND living in a hall or floor where alcohol is permitted. Open containers not allowed in common areas.


Have fun without alcohol

Find fun things to do on campus and around the area:
UMass Events CalendarCampus Pulse CalendarAmherst Area Chamber of Commerce EventsFine Arts Center performance scheduleHampshire County sites and eventsPioneer Valley eventsEntertainment and nightlife in NorthamptonOutdoor activities and fun


Know your support resources

There are many campus and off campus support resources. If you are worried about your drinking or worried about a friend’s drinking you can make a free, confidential appointment with BASICS for a drinker's check-up.


Keep on track to graduation

Drinking negatively affects academic performance. The academic impact of binge drinking can continue up to 8 months after.

The goal of the university Alcoholic Beverage Policy is to promote attitudes and behaviors towards alcohol use, on and off campus, that are consistent with an atmosphere of civility, and to discourage alcohol-related behavior which is abusive to oneself or to others, within the confines of preserving the civil rights of all. In accordance with the university’s commitment to provide a civil, safe, and healthful environment, confidential services, resources, treatments, and various programs encompassing education and alternatives to alcohol use must be provided to support the needs and concerns of members of the university community related to alcohol and other drugs.