Residential Life

Housing At Amherst

Amherst College has 37 student resident halls. Seven of these buildings are for first-year students; the remainder, in various room configurations, are for upperclass students. Included in some of the buildings are Theme Houses. The occupancy of our buildings range from 10 to approximately 125.

All of the buildings are co-ed. Some of the floors are designated single gender. All residents are bound by the College's Housing Regulations.

New students are assigned housing based upon the preferences they indicate in the New Student Housing survey. Returning students select housing for the upcoming year via Room Draw, held in April. 


Housing Information

Commencement/Family Housing

Family housing for Commencement Weekend is organized by Public Affairs (413-542-2322)

Commencement/Reunion Student Worker Housing

Students working for the College during the two weeks of Commencement and Reunion, and whose name appears on a pre-approved list, are housed on campus. Rooms are assigned in mid May. Due to the short duration of time for Commencement and Reunion student workers, and since housing is very tight, requests for specific housing assignments and room mates cannot be accommodated. Extra mattresses are placed on the floor to accommodate everyone.  TOP

Early Arrivals


In the fall of 2014 residences open for sophomores, juniors, and seniors on Thursday, August 28, beginning at 9 a.m. Only students whose presence is essential to the New Students Orientation Program, or those with grave, unanticipated personal emergencies, may be allowed access to their housing 24 hours prior to August 27. If applicable, Please fill out the Early Arrival Request Form before July 15. After this time, requests received cannot be guaranteed, and students should make alternate arrangements.


Students who were away in the fall: Rooms for students who have been away for the fall semester can be accessed after the mid-point of Interterm. Please refer to the Calendar of Important Dates and Deadlines for specific dates. Students are asked to make alternate, off-campus arrangements until their room is ready for occupancy. Therefore, requests for early returns mid-year cannot be accommodated.

Students who are going away for the spring: Students who are on campus for the fall semester, and going away spring semester, must vacate their rooms the first Friday after residences re-open in early January. Please refer to the Calendar of Important Dates and Deadlines for specific dates.  TOP

Housing Extensions


Students need to fill out the Housing Extension Form by December 1st to request a 24 hour extension. However, if the extension request is for more than 24 hours after the close of the residence halls, students should contact the Residential Life office to inquire what, if any, on campus options may be available. Students taking classes at the other 4 colleges, AND whose final exam schedule is after the date Amherst buildings close, must also fill out this form.


Students need to fill out the Housing Extension Form by May 1st if they are unable to vacate housing on time due to travel plans or grave, unanticipated personal emergencies. NOTE: an academic extension is not an automatic extension for housing, and students should plan to make other arrangements. Students taking classes at the other 4 colleges, AND whose final exam schedule is after the date Amherst buildings close, must also fill out this form.  TOP


Off Campus Housing

First-year students are not allowed to live off-campus. Since the College does not have housing facilities for them, all married students and students with children live off-campus. However, spouses and children are encouraged to participate fully in campus life. All students requesting permission for off-campus housing must submit the Off Campus Housing application no later than November 1 for the following spring semester, and March 15 for the next academic year. Students approved for off-campus status in March do not participate in the spring room draw housing process. The College allows a maximum of 50 students to live off campus each semester. Failure to meet deadlines may result in the denial of off-campus status. NOTE: having signed a lease before being granted off-campus status does not constitute automatic eligibility. Students who live off-campus have the option of retaining the full meal plan, a lunch & dinner only meal plan, or using the AC Dollar$. In granting approval for students to live off-campus, the Residential Life Department will give priority to students with compelling personal or financial reasons for moving off-campus, and then to seniors and juniors, in that order.

To apply for off-campus housing, fill out out the online application here:  Off Campus Application


Rest and Relaxation Center (R & R Rooms)

For students recovering from an illness or injury, or who need a brief time away from the distractions of their current living enviornment, quiet bedrooms with desks are available in Moore and Morris Pratt Dorms for a limited duration of time. Those who want to use the kitchen can check out pots and pans from Dining Services for a refundable deposit plus a nominal rental fee. Contact the Residential Life Office, ext. 2161, for more information. TOP

Room Change Process

After the third week of classes for the fall semester, and assuming space availability, students receive an email regarding the Room Change Process. Students who would like to change their room assignment can sign up for a random lottery, which determines the names on the Room Change list. First-year students are only eligible to live in first-year buildings. The Room Change process occurs only if vacancies are available. If vacancies do not exist at any given time, the process is suspended. We anticipate on campus housing to be full to capacity for the fall. At this time we do not anticipate having any vacancies available to offer. The only changes that can be accommodated are 1-1 room switches between two students.  TOP

Roommate, Room, and/or RESIDENCE HALL Problems:

If you are experiencing any type of problems with a roommate, your room, or the floor/residence hall, you should contact your Resident Counselor first, then the Area Coordinator for the building. If these two people are unable to mediate the problem to a satisfactory result for all involved, then contact the Office of Residential Life to schedule an appointment with the Assistant Director of Residential Life. TOP

Students on leave

Students on leave from Amherst who intend to return for the following semester must fill out a Readmission Form as part of the readmission process.  Housing preferences are a part of this form.  Please be as specific as you can, and give as many housing ideas as possible, in order of preference. Housing for students returning from leave is based on availability. Given the limited housing stock available to us mid-year, we cannot guarantee placement in a specific residence hall or room. Any student who plans to live off-campus when they return will need to submit an Off-Campus Application. TOP

Summer Housing

Summer Housing is available for rent on a space-available basis for Amherst College students only, employed full or part time (a minimum of 15 hours/week) by the College during the summer. Summer housing begins at 5 p.m. mid week, AFTER Reunion weekend ends. Students seeking summer housing must fill out an online Student Summer Housing Application form which is available on the Residential Life website. The deadline for submitting a summer housing application FOR 2014 is 4 p.m. on Friday, May 1. Students employed by a department or other entity on campus are given priority for housing. Other students are assigned housing based on availability but there are no guarantees. Due to the high demand and limited availability of summer housing, students are encouraged to look for off-campus options as well. Applications received after the deadline are housed on a space-available basis.

DEPARTMENTS REQUESTING STUDENTS TO LIVE ON CAMPUS, please use the individual input or the group input process here.

Except for students who will be away the fall semester, summer rental costs can be added to a student’s fall tuition bill. Most buildings selected for summer housing include LIMITED kitchen facilities.The weekly rent for summer 2014 will be made available in mid March. TOP

What to Bring

Listed below is information which should be helpful to you in determining what the college allows you to put in your room. Rooms are equipped with a bed, mattress, desk, chair, bureau, wall mirror, wardrobe/closet, small bookcase or shelf, ceiling light, trash/recycle bin, computer port outlet, window shades. Please note that students are NOT allowed to nail or use screws for hanging items.

Miscellaneous Information:

  • Bed size: 36"x80"x7" (x-long twin size)
  • Scatter rugs: 6’ x 9’ or less
  • Clearance under bed: 6"
  • Foot locker/storage crates
  • Extension cords may be needed (heavy duty)
  • Umbrella
  • Clothes hangers
  • Surge protectors/power strips
  • Fish tanks — commercial manufacture only

Appliances allowed in rooms:

  • clocks, radios
  • stereo systems (compact) w/earphones
  • electric blankets
  • irons
  • stereos
  • televisions
  • lamps (desk or floor—NO HALOGEN)
  • fans
  • grooming aids
  • humidifiers
  • hot air corn poppers
  • coffee makers with automatic shut-off
  • under 4.5 cubic feet refrigerators


What Not to Bring (this is not a complete list)

  • microwave ovens
  • toaster ovens
  • candles/incense
  • hot plates
  • toasters
  • waffle iron
  • woks
  • halogen lamps
  • air conditioners
  • animals/pets

A more detailed listing can be found in the Student Handbook. TOP