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The Ultimate Ranking Of Freshman Dorms At UMass Amherst

The Ultimate Ranking Of Freshman Dorms At UMass Amherst

Are you looking for the best freshman dorms at UMass Amherst? We've put together the ultimate guide so you find the right dorm freshman year!

The campus can seem way too big to control when entering UMass Amherst. There are five communities to live in with freshman dorms at UMass Amherst, and within each, there are thousands of students. In order to navigate through all of this, you need to know where to live on campus. From the average student rating from best to worst I will be breaking down Southwest, Central, Northeast, Orchard Hill, and Sylvan while also giving reasons why you should or shouldn’t live there and describe the average person that does.


Starting off with the absolute best living community at the school, Southwest. Within this community, there are 5,500 students and it is by far the biggest and most social on campus. This community has so much going on for freshman and here is the breakdown. Each building, low rise, and high-rise have good and bad. This is the only community on campus that each building has a vibe in.


Pierpont and Moore.

Starting off in South-Southwest with the furthest buildings from class. These buildings are clustered together and both have the same rooms, social life, and vibe on campus. These buildings have square rooms which are larger than an average double. The closets are built in and the people are social and normally in RAPs(Residential Academic Programs).




Just up a ramp from Pierpont and Moore is “No Pants Cance”. Cance is an all around party where you will meet the most people out of any low rise. Everyone in the building somehow knows each other and anyone who doesn’t live there ends up living on the floors of friends that do. Right next to Berkshire Dining Commons, these three buildings have it all.

North Southwest

North-Southwest holds a high-rise and three low-rises for freshman students. Kennedy is the all-freshman tower we know and love. It is an extremely social building that acts as its own community. This building and all of North-Southwest has z-rooms which hold so much space it’s unbelievable. It is like living in a single. Any floor you go onto within Kennedy, something will be happening. The one thing is if you want some shut eye before two A.M., you probably won’t get it Thursday through Saturday. Kennedy, Thoreau, James, and Emerson all are right next to Hampshire Dining Commons and all are included with z-rooms. Each one of these low rises is clumped together and become a community within themselves. Southwest, in general, is the place to be on campus as an incoming freshman.


Central Living Community

This is a tad more alternative than Southwest, while also a social community. Gorman is known even by those in Southwest to be a very social and “popping” building. If you’re looking for a combination of the alternative type while also having the party vibe, it’s your place. Central is near Frank where they have the absolute best stir fry on campus, people take the long walk from other living communities just for it, it definitely should be known there is a hill up to here that will get your butt into shape very quickly. Central is a place that is good for the social yet unsocial type. If you don’t live in Southwest, this should most likely be your choice of housing if you even remotely fall under these points.


Next up, during NSO (New Student Orientation), all students live for the weekend in Northeast. Later if you choose to live here, this community is extremely nice and normally filled with all the smarter, still cool, people. The buildings are extremely old and could feel at times like they need renovation, but all of that worry goes away when you see how close it is to a majority of classes, though. The six buildings line up three on three to each other, this helps in there being no “cool” building to live in. The pressure is off, which is definitely a benefit of living in Northeast. On Northeast’s campus, Worchester is the dining hall within a second from the dorms. With number one dining, you really can’t go wrong, but I have noticed a bunch of people I know from Northeast in some other dining commons frequently.


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Orchard Hill

Orchard Hill is different than all of the places I’ve listed. It is very artsy, very hipster and very out of the way. Even further up the large hill of doom than central, Orchard Hill is a very specific type of living place. If you’re here you will have your friends, but unless joining Greek life or getting heavily involved with clubs, you probably won’t be knowing other people that don’t live in “O-Hill”. Those who live there either love it or hate it so look at yourself and make sure you are ready for the diverse group of people who plan on living here and feel as though you will fit in!


Lastly, the most unknown and unsocial living communities on campus, Sylvan. It is not very known about except for it being the title of a bus out of the Southwest living community to get to class. This is because of it being majority transfer students who live there. It is also the longest walk to classes on campus. The dorms are however suites which are a way to socialize as a transfer. The closest dining commons is Frank and a very high percent of the students dorming there move off campus or into a different community within a semester.


UMass is a place where almost any person will fit in and enjoy themselves, no one ever wants to leave. Seniors need to be dragged out of Amherst pretty much due to the absolute appeal of the school and the reality of the real world. Anywhere you live, you will find your people, but depending on where you live it will affect what type of people you find. The campus is so large but living in a place you are comfortable makes the school that much more enjoyable to be at.

What are your favorite freshman dorms at UMass Amherst? Comment below!
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