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Congratulations on your acceptance to UMass Chan! We are excited to welcome you into our community. Below you will find important information to ease and support your transition to graduate school.

Preparing for your transition to UMass Chan

You should have received emails regarding onboarding tasks to complete prior to your arrival on campus.

We understand that you may have some questions related to these tasks. Visit our FAQ's page to find answers to commonly asked questions about the onboarding tasks, stipend payment questions, and preparation for your transition to UMass.

Can’t find an answer to your question? Please reach out to

Pre-orientation virtual events

To support your transition to UMass Chan, we will be hosting several pre-orientation virtual sessions to answer any questions you may have and connect you with campus resources. These events are optional. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.

Successful Transition As a Research Trainee (START) Peer Mentoring Program

GSBS is launching the START Peer Mentoring Program aimed at supporting you as you transition into your graduate studies at UMass Chan. In this program, you will be paired up with a current GSBS student who will connect with you virtually, help answer any of your questions, and be a resource as you prepare to start at UMass Chan.

Interested? Register for the START Peer Mentoring Program


Orientation will take place from Monday, August 12 through Friday, August 16. Please plan to attend. More details will be provided to you in the coming weeks. 

Get to know Worcester

Worcester is New England’s second largest city and has all the amenities to enjoy life during graduate school or post-graduate training. Home to more than 30,000 college students at ten institutions of higher education, the greater Worcester area is an active, vibrant and energetic community.

Downtown Worcester is in the midst of a dynamic revitalization, with more than $1 billion being invested in new development projects including Polar Park, home of the Red Sox minor league team, which hosted its first game in 2021; CitySquare and the Blackstone Canal District Initiative


The Worcester Art Museum is home to world-class collections spanning 50 centuries, and the EcoTarium is a regional resource for learning about the natural world.

For entertainment, Worcester boasts the beautifully restored Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts with Broadway tours, nationally recognized performers and family shows gracing the stage; the historic and acoustically superior Mechanics Hall, site of classical music and opera performances; and the DCU Center, one of the country’s most successful arenas for top-draw concerts, sports and family entertainment events. Sports enthusiasts can also enjoy Worcester Bravehearts baseball and Worcester Railers hockey.

A wide variety of restaurants, eclectic cafes and diners—Worcester has more diners per capita than any other place in New England—satisfy every taste. The Shrewsbury Street area and the Canal District are popular for dining out or taking in live music. While exploring the Canal District, check out the local shopping at Crompton Place featuring local businesses including Crompton Collective, BirchTree Bread Company, Seed to Stem and Bedlam Book Café. Locals enjoy year-round food markets such as the Canal District Farmers Market and the Worcester Public Market.

UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center – University campus are located on the shores of Lake Quinsigamond. For the outdoor enthusiast, central Massachusetts has much to offer with more than 30 state parks, forests, recreation areas, trails, reservoirs and reservations, including New England Botanic Garden; and Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, which offers hiking, biking, skiing and snowboarding for all abilities. During the fall, Davis Farmland offers pick-your-own apples and pumpkins and is the largest sanctuary of endangered farm animals in North America.

For art lovers, there is a vibrant and thriving arts community in Worcester. ArtsWorcester, an arts organization and mainstay in the local art scene for over 40 years, has a newly renovated gallery in downtown Worcester; the Jean McDonough Arts Center (JMAC) is home to the Worcester PopUp and the Worcester BrickBox Theater and hosts arts and culture events in downtown Worcester.

Worcester’s central location makes it easy to access anything in New England and beyond—including Cape Cod, a 100-mile drive southeast; New York City, a 180-mile drive southwest; and Boston, a 40-mile drive east. The majestic mountains and pristine lakes of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are also nearby and accessible for day trips by car or public transportation.

Please visit Discover Central Massachusetts to learn more about our dynamic community.


The UMass Chan Medical School campus does not have onsite housing facilities. Residents and students are expected to arrange their own housing. Most students and residents find convenient and affordable housing in the local community.

Sites that may assist you in your search for housing:

PLEASE NOTE: All information is provided as a courtesy service. Any contacts or arrangements made using this material is done at the sole discretion of the individual and at their own risk. UMass Chan Medical School does not endorse any specific person, realtor, landlord, roommate service or company.

Parking and Transportation

Parking is available in various locations at UMass Chan Medical School. Students may park for free on campus after 5 p.m. on weekdays and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. More information regarding parking can be found on our parking and access control website.

There is local public bus transportation available through the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) that serves the city of Worcester as well as 36 communities in the Central Massachusetts area. There are multiple bus stops around campus and the hospital.

Students rotate at many training sites throughout Worcester and Massachusetts. All students must have transportation available for travel to off-campus training sites.

Activities in Worcester and Surrounding Region

Outdoors & Athletics

  • Quinsigamond State Park, 10 Lake Avenue N, Worcester
    • Right next to campus! Swimming during summer, kayak rentals, picnic areas with grills
  • Campus basketball and volleyball courts, North Road, Worcester
    • Two volleyball courts and a basketball court are available on North Road on the north side of campus
  • Broad Meadow Brook Trails, 414 Massasoit Rd, Worcester
    • 5 miles of trails, butterfly garden, visible birds. $4 admission
  • Lake Park & Athletic Field, 283 Lake Avenue, Worcester
    • Running trails, tennis courts, trails, baseball field and basketball courts up Hamilton street.
  • Buffone Skating Arena, 284 Lake Avenue, Worcester
    • Public skating on weekends (times change, check site) for $7
  • Worcester’s East-West Trail
    • 14 mile trail from Lake Quinsigamond to Cascade waterfalls
  • Green Hill Park, 301 Green Hill Parkway
    • An almost 500 acre park includes a zoo, arboretum, trails, golf course, fields for soccer, baseball, and football, large pond, and many picnic areas.
  • Elm Park, 121 Russell Street, Worcester
    • Park with nature trails, photogenic bridges, and activity areas. The east side of the park is manicured with ponds and paths, while the west side is wooded with trails and a disc golf course. Tennis courts and a basketball court are also available.
  • Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, 345 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA
    • Local mountain with scenic 360° views from the summit, including views of downtown Worcester and Boston on a clear day. The mountain can be driven up or hiked. The reservation has 17 miles of trails; a sew-on patch is available to anyone who hikes every trail on the mountain (no time limit). The mountain has downhill skiing in the winter.
  • Ski Ward Ski Area, 1000 Main St, Shrewsbury
    • Skiing and snowtubing area near campus; summer activities are also available.
  • Central Rock Gym, 299 Barber Ave, Worcester
    • Climbing gym in Worcester popular among UMass students. $99 monthly fee (as of May 2024). Yoga and standard fitness equipment and classes are also available.
  • Blackstone River Greenway, 3 Paul Clancy Way, Worcester to 205 North Main Street, Milbury
    • This 3.5 mile bike route is the northern terminus of the larger Blackstone River Bikeway project extending 48 miles to Providence, RI. Of the 48 miles, 24 are currently complete, including this section in Worcester.


  • The Worcester Public Library, among others in the CW MARS network, has free passes to several museums available on a first come, first served basis. Free library membership is required. Check the link for more information.
  • EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester
    • Museum, Trails, Planetarium themed around conservation. Tickets are $19, $14 with student ID
  • Worcester Art Museum. 55 Salisbury Street, Worcester
    • Main city museum with ~40,000 works of art. Includes the Higgins Armory Collection, which is the second largest arms/armor collection in the US. $18 entry, or $14 with student ID. Free admission on certain holidays.
  • New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr, Boylston
    • Large botanic garden with seasonal events. Winter Reimagined is a highlight with acres of lights. $20 for a day pass, or $25 for a yearly pass with student ID.
  • Salisbury Mansion and Worcester Historical Museum; 30 Elm Street, Worcester
    • Tour an almost 200-year old restored mansion in Worcester; part of larger Worcester Historical Museum containing items and galleries important to the history of the city
  • Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge
    • A re-created 1830s settlement complete with horse-drawn carriage rides and wide grounds to explore. Tickets are $27 per adult; a student discount might or might not be offered ($15 tickets).

Themed Entertainment

  • Six Flags New England, 1623 Main Street, Agawam, MA
    • The largest theme park in the region, located just south of Springfield on the Connecticut border. Season passes can be found for $60 dollars, which include parking.
  • Level 99, Natick Mall 2nd Floor near Parking Deck C, Natick, MA
    • Interactive challenges ranging from physical to mental, along with a brewery and dining area.
  • Escape Games Worcester, 108 Grove Street, Worcester
    • Popular escape room located near WPI. Open evenings during the week plus weekends; website has a list of different rooms and success rates.
  • Live Action Escapes, 415 Main Street, Worcester, MA
    • Complex escape rooms near DCU Center downtown. Open 5 days a week
  • Davis Mega Maze, 142 Redstone Hill Rd, Sterling
    • During the fall, there is a large corn maze which takes a few hours to complete. Maze design is different every year. Davis Farm across the street has year-round activities.
  • Kimball Farm, 400 Littleton Road, Westford, MA
    • Outdoor recreation complex featuring games, ice cream, food, and other activities.
  • Canobie Lake Park, 85 N Policy St, Salem, NH
    • Mid-sized theme park with thrill rides, carnival games, and a water park.
  • Water Country, 2300 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, NH
    • Giant water park near the New Hampshire seacoast with 18 slides and pools.
  • King Richard’s Faire, 235 Main Street, Carver, MA
    • Annual Renaissance Faire for 8 weeks from September-October on weekends and Monday holidays. Includes professional performances, games, and food/drink.
  • The Big E, 1305 Memorial Ave. West, Springfield, MA
    • Giant county fair/exposition representing all 6 New England states, occurs annually in September.