What are the Five College Consortium?

Wondering, What are the Five College Consortium? In this article we intend to emphasis about the colleges which forms the consortium, their benefits, courses, why they are called so and more.

TCM Staff

22nd October 2020

The Five college consortiums are the collection of four private liberal art colleges and a state university. The consortium came into existence in 1965. This is nonprofit educational cooperation whose aim is to promote broad educational and cultural ethics among students.

The colleges that make the consortium are Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Hampshire College.

The areas where these colleges share a common interest are library subscriptions, joint faculty appointments, public radio, history of science, and astronomy. Initially, there were only four colleges but Hampshire College was added later in the year 1966. 

 Another important aspect of these colleges is that they are geographically close to one another and are linked by frequent bus service which operates between the campuses during the school year. Though the consortium was formed in 1965, the colleges were in existence since the year 1914.  

Common things about the Five college consortiums

A few things which these Five college consortiums share in common are,

  • Educational and cultural resources among each other

  •  A joint automated library system

  •  An open cross-registration

  •  An  open theater auditions

  • Joint departments and programs

  • Inter-campus transportation

  • Joint faculty appointments

All these colleges are located in close physical proximity with one another. This factor has strengthened their bonds over time. They are solely and wholly committed to their contribution to liberal arts. They are also members of the Association for Consortium Leadership (ACL). ACL is a national organization of consortia. These colleges have grown since the time of their inception and making their undergraduate program very affordable for students. 

Which are the Five College Consortium

The Five College Consortium provides free bus service to all its institutes. Five College Consortium consists of top-ranked liberal art colleges, two oldest women colleges in the country, and a Division I research university. It only takes a maximum of one hour for students to travel from one campus to another. All the campuses are connected via a bus. Students go to other campuses either to attend a class, join a club or to socialize among themselves. 

1. Amherst College 

Amherst College is situated at Amherst. Their student intake capacity for undergraduate programs is 1800.

Amherst College campus is located near the town’s center. It is known for its famous and distinguished liberal arts education program. It has got the best faculty members, diverse student bodies, and eminent alumni. It has constantly ranked as one of the top educational institutes in liberal arts. It offers a Bachelor's Degree in arts in 36 different fields of study. 

2. Hampshire College 

Hampshire College is situated at Amherst. It has an intake capacity of 1400 for undergraduate students. 

Hampshire is known for its innovative techniques in the country. It gives students all kinds of freedom to choose a program according to their interests. It encourages students to pursue their passion and guides on how passion can be converted into a profession. Students receive all kinds of support from faculties in order to follow their passion and dive deeper into that field. They always promote creativity, critical thinking, self-discovery, and intellectual engagement. Their way of teaching is appreciated in many forums and is welcomed in the society of educators and reformers. It is famously known as the “ graduate school for undergraduates”. 

3. Mount Holyoke College 

Mount Holyoke is located at South Hadley and has a capacity of taking 2200 students in its undergraduate program. 

The best part of studying at Mount Holyoke is that you get a diverse set of people on the campus. It believes in a global learning environment. Approximately students from 70 countries collaborate with the professors of Mount Holyoke to pursue research under their guidance and to learn and implement new things in their academia. According to a review by “Princeton,” Mount Holyoke is ranked as number one for its classrooms and is ranked number one for its beautiful and attractive campus. 

4. Smith College 

Smith College is located at Northampton and has an intake capacity of 2600 for its undergraduate programs. 

Smith college’s campus is no less beautiful than Mount Holyoke. Smith’s campus is as beautiful as Mount Holyoke. It has a campus widely spread across 147 acres. It is often referred to as a botanical garden in the city. Many people are captured by the marvelous beauty of the campus. Their classrooms are small in size. They have got the best and renowned professors of the world. Some of its collections which make it famous even more are the Museum of Art, Sophia Smith Collection of women’s history manuscripts, and archives. Sophia Smith's collection of women’s history is popular all around the world. 

5. UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst is located at Amherst. It has the highest intake for undergraduate students among all  Five Consortiums.  

UMass Amherst stands for the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is constantly ranking for its contribution to research. It is considered to be the best public university for research. It has a wide variety of courses. It is both culturally and academically diverse. Under this university comes the famous  New England’s premier honors college, eight schools, and colleges. Colleges under this university offer undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. programs. Many programs are highly in demand and are popular in the nation as well as in the world. 


In conclusion, these five colleges are the best colleges when it comes to liberal arts. Each one of them is famous for its own contribution and activities. They provide a wide range of opportunities and a world-class learning environment for their students. 

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