Another honors college is taking a giant step toward providing state-of-the-art honors residential housing to a greater number of students: The Commonwealth Honors Residential Complex at UMass Amherst will be one of the largest and finest honors residential communities in the nation when it opens in Fall of 2013.
The new complex in effect should move the Honors College into the top 20 in Honors Factors (which including residence halls and dining) among the 50 colleges and programs we plan to evaluate again in 2014. The Honors College is among the larger programs in the country, and the size of the new residential complex is a good fit for a large program.
The complex will include 1,500 beds, including 600 for first-year students and 900 for upper-division students. The central location is only five minutes from the library and very near a new recreation center. The complex will also include nine classrooms and offices for the Commonwealth Honors College in buildings from four to six stories high, set in the midst of several courtyards.
The complex will have its own cafe, open 24/7, and is not far from multiple dining options in the Campus Center and Southwest Campus areas.
“Commonwealth Honors College currently serves about 3,000 students in 88 majors. It provides an intellectually challenging honors curriculum, creates a community of scholars and helps prepare future leaders by providing an academic avenue for highly motivated students to delve deeply into their studies. It is also the only such school in the region to provide a four-year honors course of study that includes a highly demanding six-credit honors capstone project. The college plans to gradually increase its incoming classes from 485 this fall to 600 per year.”
Priscilla M. Clarkson, dean of Commonwealth Honors College, said this new complex will improve an already excellent program. “Commonwealth Honors College is the premier honors college in New England serving the greatest number of students in the largest number of majors,” Clarkson said. “This new complex will serve as a visible representation of the commitment of this campus to academic excellence and will help attract even more students to the program.”