The regulation of stem cell behavior and maintenance typically involves the integration of both intrinsic and extrinsic cues. One such external cue, integrin-mediated cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix, plays an important part in regulating stem cell function and maintenance. In particular, integrins help define and shape the microenvironment in which stem cells are found: the stem cell niche. Integrins have a diverse array of roles in this context including homing of stem cells to their niche, maintaining stem cells in the niche, developing stem-cell-niche architecture, regulating stem cell proliferation and self renewal, and finally, controlling the orientation of dividing stem cells. Because of their various roles in directing stem cell behavior, integrin-mediated adhesion and signaling in the niche have been implicated in processes that underlie cancer progression and metastasis.