Northampton and Amherst contain the largest population of higher education students in Western Massachusetts. Together, this city and town posess four of the five prestigious institutions of the Five College Consortium. Smith College, along with Mount Holyoke in the neighboring town of South Hadley, is also part of the "Seven Sisters" historical women's liberal art's colleges.

Amherst College- Consistently ranked one of the nation's top liberal-arts colleges
Hampshire College- A private liberal arts college
Mount Holyoke College- An internationally famous women's liberal arts college
University of Massachusetts- The flagship campus of the commonwealth's university system
Smith College- A prestigious, private woman's liberal arts college. The Amherst-Regional school district also includes nine educational facilities, three of them private

Northampton has seven public schools and five private schools including Clarke School for the Deaf