Amherst Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A woman studying

Amherst Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

Amherst College has an acceptance rate of just 9% in the competitive college admissions landscape. This prestigious liberal arts college has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence.

Frontal view of Amherst College building but with tall trees blocking some of the view.

What is Amherst’s Acceptance Rate?

Amherst College’s acceptance rate, at just 9%, reflects the institution’s highly selective admissions process. With such a low acceptance rate, it is evident that gaining admission to Amherst is no small feat. Each year, thousands of highly qualified applicants vie for a limited number of spots in the freshman class. The competitive nature of the admissions process underscores the value that the college places on assembling a diverse and academically talented student body.

One of the defining features of Amherst College is its commitment to a small and intimate learning environment. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, students can engage in meaningful discussions and receive personalized attention from their professors. This close-knit community fosters a collaborative and supportive atmosphere, where students can thrive academically and personally.

Amherst College also prides itself on its diverse student body. The college attracts students from all over the world, creating a vibrant and multicultural campus. With students representing a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, Amherst College offers a rich and inclusive learning environment where students can learn from one another and broaden their horizons.

College students walking between classes on the campus grounds.

Outside of the classroom, Amherst College offers many extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved. There is something for everyone, from student-run clubs and organizations to community service initiatives. These extracurricular activities enhance the college experience and provide students valuable leadership and teamwork skills.

Amherst College is also known for its beautiful campus in the picturesque Pioneer Valley. The campus provides an inspiring and peaceful learning and personal growth setting with stunning architecture, lush green spaces, and state-of-the-art facilities. Students can use the college’s extensive library resources, modern science labs, and athletic facilities to support their academic and extracurricular pursuits.

Amherst College Early Action and Early Decision Acceptance Rates

Amherst College offers both Early Decision (ED) and Regular Decision (RD) application options. The Early Decision deadline is typically in early November, and about 10% of applicants choose this binding option. Early Decision applicants are admitted, deferred for reconsideration with the Regular Decision, or denied at the ED stage.

For the Class of 2027, Amherst College had an Early Decision (ED) acceptance rate of 25.3%, with 186 applicants admitted out of a total of 734 early decision applications received.

The Early Decision (ED) acceptance rates for Amherst College for the last 5 years are as follows:

Class ED
2027 25.3%
2026 26%
2025 25%
2024 35.9%
2023 no data

Trends in Amherst’s Acceptance Rates

Over the years, Amherst College’s acceptance rate has fluctuated, reflecting shifting trends in the applicant pool and the college’s evolving priorities. These fluctuations provide valuable insights into the dynamic nature of the college admissions process.

Amherst College, known for its rigorous academic programs and commitment to intellectual exploration, has always attracted many highly qualified applicants. However, the competition for admission has intensified in recent years, leading to a decrease in the acceptance rate.

Year Applicants Admittees Acceptance Rate
2022-2023 12,700 ≃1143 9%
2021-2022 14,800 ≃473 7%
2020-2021 13,948 1,182 8%
2019-2020 10,601 1,244 7.6%
2018-2019 10,567 1,144 10.8%

One factor contributing to the fluctuations in acceptance rates is the increasing number of applications received by Amherst College. As the college’s reputation has grown, so has its popularity among prospective students. Each year, the admissions office receives a record-breaking number of applications, making the selection process even more competitive.

Another factor influencing acceptance rates is the college’s enrollment objectives. Amherst College strives to maintain a diverse and well-rounded student body, which requires careful consideration of various factors during the admissions process. This includes evaluating applicants based on their academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, personal qualities, and potential contributions to the college community.

While it is difficult to predict future trends in acceptance rates, potential applicants should be cognizant that securing admission to Amherst College will continue to be challenging. The college’s commitment to academic excellence and its emphasis on holistic admissions ensure that only the most exceptional students are admitted.

Prospective applicants should not be discouraged by the fluctuations in acceptance rates but rather should focus on presenting a well-rounded application that showcases their unique talents, experiences, and aspirations. Amherst College values diversity and seeks students who will contribute to the campus’s vibrant intellectual and social community.

It is important to note that fluctuations in acceptance rates may not necessarily indicate changes in the prestige or quality of the institution. Amherst College remains committed to providing an outstanding education and fostering a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment for its students.

The trends in Amherst College’s acceptance rates reflect the ever-changing college admissions landscape. As the applicant pool continues to grow and the college’s enrollment objectives evolve, the competition for admission will remain fierce. Prospective applicants should approach the admissions process with determination, focusing on presenting their unique qualities and aspirations to stand out among highly qualified applicants.

a male student writing an essay to his notebook

Amherst Admissions Statistics

Amherst College, renowned for its academic excellence and vibrant campus community, attracts numerous applications yearly. In the most recent admissions cycle, the college received over 10,000 applications, a testament to its popularity among aspiring students worldwide.

However, with such a high volume of applications, the admissions process at Amherst is highly selective. Only 9% of applicants were offered admission, highlighting the rigorous standards and competition for a spot at this prestigious institution. The admissions committee at Amherst undertakes a holistic review of applications, carefully considering not only academic achievements but also personal qualities, extracurricular involvement, and potential contributions to the Amherst community.

Amherst College prides itself on creating a diverse and inclusive community, and this commitment is reflected in its admissions process. The college seeks to admit students from a wide range of backgrounds and intellectual interests, fostering a rich and dynamic learning environment.

Despite the daunting odds, every year a select group of students, who possess exceptional qualities and a genuine passion for learning, are fortunate enough to earn a coveted spot in Amherst’s freshman class. These students bring unique perspectives, experiences, and talents, enhancing the vibrant tapestry of the Amherst community.

Once admitted, students at Amherst College can immerse themselves in a rigorous and intellectually stimulating academic program. With a faculty renowned for their expertise and dedication, students are encouraged to explore their intellectual curiosity and pursue their academic passions.

Outside the classroom, Amherst offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and student organizations, providing students with numerous opportunities to engage in leadership roles, community service, and cultural events. The college’s commitment to holistic education ensures that students not only excel academically but also develop as well-rounded individuals.

Amherst College, located in the charming town of Amherst, Massachusetts, provides a picturesque setting for students to thrive and grow. Surrounded by beautiful landscapes and a vibrant local community, students can access many resources and opportunities beyond the campus.

Amherst College boasts a diverse and vibrant student body, with 488 enrolling first-years contributing to a dynamic academic community. Representing 40 states, including Washington, D.C., and the Northern Mariana Islands, the college embraces a wide geographic spread. Notably, New York and California emerge as the most represented states. The international community is also strongly represented, with students from 31 countries, including Brazil, Burundi, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Emphasizing inclusivity, 50% of domestic students are individuals of color, and 18% are the first generation in their families to attend college. Amherst College welcomes 18 new transfer students, adding to the diversity and richness of perspectives on campus. Financial aid is a cornerstone of Amherst’s commitment to accessibility, with 59% of students receiving aid. The average financial aid package exceeds $66,000, ensuring that a diverse range of students can pursue their educational aspirations. Additionally, 18% of students are Federal Pell Grant recipients, underscoring Amherst’s dedication to supporting students from various socio-economic backgrounds.

This blend of representation and support creates an environment where students from all walks of life can thrive academically and personally.

SAT/ACT Scores for Amherst Admits

Standardized test scores play a crucial role in the admissions process at Amherst College. However, it is important to understand that strong scores alone do not guarantee admission. The college recognizes the limitations of standardized testing and aims to evaluate applicants holistically.

Amherst College, known for its rigorous academic standards and commitment to intellectual curiosity, attracts a highly talented and diverse pool of applicants each year. The admissions committee takes into consideration a wide range of factors when reviewing applications, including extracurricular activities, personal essays, letters of recommendation, and the overall academic profile of the student.

For Amherst College, the SAT and ACT scores for admitted students are as follows:

  • SAT: The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1450, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1550. The average SAT score composite is 1497.
  • ACT: The average ACT score is 32-34, ranging from 33-35.

Note that these scores are not absolute requirements, but they can help understand the general profile of admitted students. Amherst College also considers other factors, such as GPA, class rank, and letters of recommendation, in their admissions process.

It is essential to emphasize that these figures are provided as a general guideline, not as strict cutoffs. Amherst College takes a holistic approach to admissions, recognizing that standardized test scores are just one piece of the puzzle. The admissions committee carefully considers each applicant’s unique strengths, experiences, and potential, aiming to create a diverse and intellectually vibrant community.

Amherst College is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment where students can thrive academically and personally. The college values intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and a commitment to positively impacting the world. Admitted students demonstrate exceptional academic abilities and exhibit qualities such as leadership, resilience, and a genuine passion for their chosen fields of study.

Furthermore, Amherst College provides ample resources and opportunities for students to engage in research, internships, community service, and study abroad programs. The college’s commitment to experiential learning ensures that students can access many transformative experiences that complement their academic pursuits.

What is Amherst looking for?

Beyond academic achievements and test scores, Amherst College seeks students who are intellectually curious, engaged, and passionate about learning. The admissions committee seeks to admit individuals who will contribute to Amherst’s vibrant intellectual and social community.

Here are some key attributes and qualities that Amherst tends to value in its applicants:

  1. Academic Excellence: Amherst is known for its rigorous academic environment. The college seeks students who have excelled in their high school coursework, demonstrating a strong foundation in various subjects.
  2. Intellectual Curiosity: Amherst values students who are genuinely curious about the world and want to explore ideas beyond the classroom. Applicants who are passionate about learning and willing to engage with diverse perspectives are highly regarded.
  3. Extracurricular Engagement: Beyond academics, Amherst looks for students who have been actively involved in meaningful extracurricular activities. This could include participation in clubs, sports, community service, or other pursuits that showcase leadership, dedication, and a well-rounded personality.
  4. Exceptional Writing Skills: Writing is a crucial aspect of the application process at Amherst. The college values students who effectively articulate their thoughts and experiences through well-crafted essays. Strong communication skills are seen as essential for success in the academic and professional realms.
  5. Diversity and Inclusivity: Amherst College is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. The admissions committee looks for applicants who contribute to the richness of the campus environment by bringing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences.
  6. Global Perspective: Given its international reputation, Amherst attracts students worldwide. Applicants who demonstrate a global perspective, an appreciation for cultural diversity, and a willingness to engage with various viewpoints are highly regarded.
  7. Initiative and Impact: Amherst appreciates students who take initiative and have positively impacted their communities. This could include involvement in research, community service, activism, or other endeavors that showcase a commitment to making a difference.

Remember, Amherst College is not just looking for students with impressive academic achievements and test scores. They seek individuals who will actively contribute to Amherst’s vibrant intellectual and social community. So, let your passion for learning shine through and show the admissions committee why you would be a valuable addition to the Amherst College community.

a woman looking calm breathing the air

How hard is it to get into Amherst?

The question of how challenging it is to gain admission to Amherst College is frequently posed by prospective applicants. The answer is clear, given the exceptionally low acceptance rate of only 9%. The competition among applicants is fierce, and the admissions process is highly selective.

However, it is important to remember that the difficulty of gaining admission to any college is subjective and varies from applicant to applicant. Academic rigor, extracurricular involvement, personal essays, recommendation letters, and unique life experiences are essential in the admissions decision.

While Amherst’s acceptance rate certainly poses a challenge, potential applicants should recognize that the college seeks students who exhibit exceptional qualities beyond numerical metrics. This combination of excellence and personal attributes sets successful applicants apart.

As one of the top-ranked colleges in the United States, Amherst attracts a large pool of highly qualified applicants each year. The college’s selective admissions process ensures that only the most exceptional candidates are admitted. Admissions officers carefully review each application, considering academic achievements, personal qualities, extracurricular involvements, and potential contributions to the campus community.

Amherst College prides itself on its commitment to a holistic admissions approach, meaning no single factor determines an applicant’s admission decision. While academic performance is important, the college values leadership, creativity, intellectual curiosity, and a genuine passion for learning.

Prospective applicants should be prepared to showcase their unique strengths and experiences through their application materials. This includes writing compelling personal essays highlighting their motivations, aspirations, and personal growth. Recommendation letters from teachers, mentors, or community leaders who can speak to the applicant’s character and potential are also highly valued.

Amherst College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in its admissions process. The college actively seeks to enroll students from various backgrounds, including ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, geographic locations, and life experiences. This commitment to diversity enhances the educational experience for all students and prepares them to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.

While the admissions process at Amherst College is undoubtedly competitive, it is important for prospective applicants to approach it with confidence and authenticity. The college seeks students who are academically talented, passionate, engaged, and eager to impact the world positively.

Ultimately, admission to Amherst College requires hard work, dedication, and a genuine alignment with the college’s values and mission. While the acceptance rate may be low, it is important for prospective applicants to remember that their unique qualities and experiences can set them apart and make them strong contenders for admission.

Amherst Popular Programs

Amherst College is renowned for its strong liberal arts education, providing students with a broad and interdisciplinary academic experience. While Amherst doesn’t offer specialized programs in the same way as larger universities with specific schools or departments, it does provide a diverse range of courses and majors. Here are some popular and notable academic areas at Amherst:

  1. Literature and Languages: Amherst has a robust English department and offers a variety of courses in literature, creative writing, and languages. The college emphasizes critical reading and writing skills, fostering an appreciation for literature from different cultures and historical periods.
  2. Science and Mathematics: The college is strongly committed to the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and mathematics. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and engage in research opportunities.
  3. Social Sciences: Amherst offers a range of programs in the social sciences, including sociology, psychology, political science, economics, and anthropology. Students explore human behavior, societal structures, and global issues.
  4. Fine Arts: The arts are well-supported at Amherst, with programs in studio art, music, theater and dance, and film and media studies. The college encourages students to express their creativity and engage with the arts in various forms.
  5. History and Philosophy: Amherst’s history and philosophy departments provide students with an understanding of the past, ethical considerations, and philosophical inquiry. The college encourages critical thinking and analytical skills.
  6. Environmental Studies: With a commitment to sustainability, Amherst offers programs in environmental studies. Students explore the intersection of environmental issues, policy, and science.
  7. Interdisciplinary Studies: Amherst encourages interdisciplinary exploration, allowing students to design their own majors or engage in interdisciplinary programs that combine elements from different fields of study.
  8. International Relations: Given the college’s global perspective, Amherst offers programs in international relations, allowing students to explore global issues, politics, and cultural diversity.

It’s important to note that Amherst’s curriculum is flexible, and students are encouraged to explore various academic disciplines. The college follows an open curriculum, enabling students to take courses across departments and create a personalized academic path based on their interests and goals. As program popularity can vary among students, it’s advisable for prospective students to explore the college’s course offerings and speak with academic advisors to tailor their educational experience at Amherst.

How to know which major is for you

Choosing a major can be a significant decision that impacts your academic and career path. Here are some steps to help you determine which major is the right fit for you:

  1. Self-Reflection:
    • Reflect on your interests, passions, and hobbies. Consider what subjects you enjoy studying and find intellectually stimulating. Think about activities that make you lose track of time or topics you enjoy discussing with others.
  2. Strengths and Skills:
    • Identify your strengths and skills. What are you naturally good at? Your strengths and skills can guide you toward majors that align with your abilities and talents.
  3. Career Exploration:
    • Explore potential careers associated with different majors. Research job prospects, industries, and the skills required for various professions. Consider talking to professionals in fields you find interesting.
  4. Take Introductory Courses:
    • Enroll in introductory courses in different disciplines. Many universities allow students to explore a variety of subjects before declaring a major. Intro courses can provide a taste of what each major entails.
  5. Talk to Academic Advisors:
    • Schedule meetings with academic advisors or career counselors. They can provide guidance, discuss your academic interests, and help you explore majors that align with your goals.
  6. Networking and Informational Interviews:
    • Connect with professionals in different fields through networking events or informational interviews. Gain insights into their career paths, daily responsibilities, and the educational background required for their roles.
  7. Internships and Volunteering:
    • Participate in internships or volunteer opportunities related to different fields. Practical experience can provide valuable insights into the day-to-day aspects of various professions.
  8. Consider Interdisciplinary Options:
    • Explore interdisciplinary majors that combine multiple fields of study. These programs may allow you to integrate your interests and pursue a unique academic path.
  9. Evaluate Coursework and Requirements:
    • Review the coursework and requirements for potential majors. Consider whether the classes are engaging and whether the major aligns with your long-term goals.
  10. Seek Guidance from Mentors:
    • Seek advice from mentors, teachers, or professionals in your network. They may share their experiences, offer insights, and provide valuable advice on choosing a major.
  11. Personal Values and Goals:
    • Consider your values and long-term goals. What kind of impact do you want to make in your career? Choose a major that aligns with your values and contributes to your life goals.
  12. Be Open to Change:
    • Keep in mind that it’s okay to change majors. Your interests and goals may evolve as you gain exposure to different subjects and experiences.

Prospective students must explore the complete list of majors offered at Amherst and consider their interests and career goals when choosing a major. Additionally, students often have the flexibility to pursue interdisciplinary studies and customize their academic paths.

Amherst Admission Requirements

The following are key components of Amherst College’s admission requirements:

  1. Application Form: Prospective students typically must complete the Common Application or the Coalition Application, including the required essays.
  2. Standardized Test Scores: While Amherst College is test-optional, submitting standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) is not required, applicants can still choose to submit them if they believe it strengthens their application.
  3. High School Transcript: Applicants should provide a high school transcript that includes information about coursework, grades, and the school’s grading scale.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: Amherst typically requires two letters of recommendation from teachers who have taught the student in an academic subject.
  5. Extracurricular Activities: A resume or list of extracurricular activities, achievements, and leadership roles can help provide a comprehensive view of the applicant’s interests and involvement.
  6. Interviews: While not required, interviews are encouraged. They can be conducted by an Amherst alumnus/alumna or an admissions staff member.
  7. Optional Arts Supplement: Applicants with exceptional talent in the arts (visual arts, music, theater, dance, or creative writing) can submit an optional arts supplement to showcase their abilities.
  8. English Language Proficiency: For non-native English speakers, proof of English language proficiency through tests like the TOEFL or IELTS may be required.
  9. Financial Aid Documents: Additional documents such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile may be required to apply for financial aid.

It’s important for applicants to carefully review the specific requirements outlined on the official Amherst College admissions website and to stay updated with any changes in admission policies or requirements. Additionally, contacting the admissions office with specific questions or concerns is advisable for the most accurate and current information.

Key Application Deadlines for Amherst

Two walkways going to two Amherst College buildings.

Amherst College has two application deadlines for first-year applicants: Early Decision and Regular Decision. The Early Decision application deadline is November 1, 2023, and the Regular Decision deadline is January 3, 2024. For transfer admission, the deadline is March 1, 2024.

The college also has a FAFSA priority deadline and an enrollment deposit due date for first-year applicants. It is important to note that Amherst College uses a holistic review process to consider applicants, which means that they consider a range of factors beyond test scores and grades.

Tuition Costs at Amherst for 2023-2024

The tuition cost at Amherst College is $33,325 per semester, totaling $66,650 for the year. In addition to tuition, the comprehensive fee includes housing and meals, which cost $4,745 and $4,035 per semester, respectively. Other fees include a student activities fee of $315 per semester, a health insurance fee of $2,934 for the year, and a tuition insurance fee of $126 per semester. It is important to note that these costs are subject to change and do not include additional expenses such as books, course materials, supplies, personal expenses, and travel/transportation.

When evaluating tuition costs at Amherst College, several factors come into play. Here are key considerations that prospective students and their families should take into account:

  1. Tuition and Fees: The primary component is the tuition and fees charged by the college. This is the base cost of attending classes and utilizing various campus resources.
  2. Room and Board: Consider the cost of living on campus or in the local area (room) and the meal plans available (board). These costs can vary based on factors such as the type of residence hall and the chosen meal plan.
  3. Financial Aid and Scholarships: Assess the availability of financial aid and scholarships. Amherst College is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need for admitted students. Understanding the financial aid policies and application process is crucial.
  4. Work-Study Opportunities: Investigate work-study programs and opportunities for part-time employment on or near campus. Many colleges, including Amherst, offer work-study options to help students offset costs and gain valuable work experience.
  5. Textbooks and Supplies: Estimate the costs of textbooks and supplies required for coursework. Consider whether there are options for purchasing or renting textbooks at a lower cost.
  6. Travel Expenses: Account for travel expenses to and from the college, especially if the student lives a significant distance away. This can include costs for flights, gas, or other transportation methods.
  7. Personal Expenses: Factor in personal expenses, such as clothing, toiletries, and other day-to-day necessities. These costs can vary based on personal spending habits and lifestyle.
  8. Health Insurance: Check whether health insurance is mandatory for enrolled students. Some colleges require students to have health insurance, which may be available through the college at an additional cost.
  9. Special Programs or Activities: If participating in special programs, studying abroad, or engaging in extracurricular activities with associated costs, factor these into the overall budget.
  10. Inflation and Annual Increases: Keep in mind that tuition and other costs may increase annually due to inflation or other factors. Consider the potential for these increases over the course of the student’s academic program.
  11. Payment Plans: Explore available payment plans or options for spreading out tuition payments over the academic year to make the financial burden more manageable.

Amherst Scholarships

Rugby players tackling during game on the stadium.

Amherst College is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need for admitted students. The college follows a need-blind admission policy, meaning admission decisions are made without considering the applicant’s financial need. Here are key aspects of scholarships and financial aid at Amherst:

  1. Need-Based Financial Aid: Amherst’s financial aid program is need-based, and the college aims to make education accessible to all admitted students, regardless of their financial background. Financial need is determined by assessing family income, assets, and other factors through the financial aid application process.
  2. No Merit-Based Scholarships: Amherst College does not offer merit-based scholarships. Instead, the focus is on addressing the demonstrated financial need of admitted students.
  3. Grants, Not Loans: The financial aid packages provided by Amherst consist of grants and work-study opportunities, not loans. This means that students are not required to repay the aid they receive, easing the long-term financial burden.
  4. Work-Study Opportunities: Work-study is often a component of the financial aid package, allowing students to gain valuable work experience on or near campus while contributing to covering their educational expenses.
  5. Application Process: To be considered for financial aid at Amherst, prospective students need to complete the necessary financial aid application forms. This typically includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile.
  6. Meeting Full Demonstrated Need: Amherst College is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students. This means that the financial aid package is designed to bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and the family’s ability to contribute.
  7. Continuing Aid Eligibility: Students receiving financial aid at Amherst must reapply for aid each year. The financial circumstances of the family may be reassessed annually to ensure that aid continues to meet the student’s demonstrated need.

It’s important for prospective students and their families to carefully review the financial aid policies and application procedures outlined by Amherst College. Additionally, contacting the financial aid office for personalized guidance and assistance can clarify specific financial aid options and requirements.

Student Life at Amherst

Student life at Amherst College is characterized by a vibrant and engaged community, offering a wide range of academic, social, and extracurricular opportunities. Here are key aspects of student life at Amherst:

  1. Academic Rigor: Amherst College is known for its rigorous academic environment. Students engage in small classes, fostering close relationships with professors and fellow students. The open curriculum allows students flexibility in choosing courses and exploring diverse academic interests.
  2. Residential College System: Amherst has a residential college system, where students are randomly assigned to one of the five residential colleges. This system promotes a sense of community and provides a supportive environment for students.
  3. Extracurricular Activities: Students have many extracurricular activities, including clubs, organizations, and student-run initiatives. These range from cultural and academic groups to sports, arts, and community service organizations.
  4. Athletics: Amherst is part of the NCAA Division III and has a strong emphasis on athletics. The college’s sports teams, known as the Amherst Mammoths, compete in various sports. Participation in sports, whether at the varsity or club level, is popular among students.
  5. Arts and Culture: The college has a thriving arts community with opportunities for students interested in visual arts, music, theater, dance, and film. The Mead Art Museum on campus showcases a diverse collection, and there are numerous performances and exhibitions throughout the academic year.
  6. Social Events: Various social events, including lectures, performances, and campus-wide celebrations, contribute to a lively social atmosphere. The college sponsors various activities to ensure a well-rounded and engaging student experience.
  7. Community Engagement: Amherst students are encouraged to engage with the broader community. Community service and outreach programs provide opportunities for students to make a positive impact locally and globally.
  8. Diversity and Inclusion: Amherst College is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. Students from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives contribute to the rich tapestry of the campus community.
  9. Global Perspective: The college’s commitment to a global perspective is reflected in its study abroad programs and international student community. Students have opportunities to broaden their horizons through immersive global experiences.
  10. Residential Life: Amherst’s residential life is an integral part of the college experience. Living in on-campus housing allows students to form close bonds with their peers, and residential colleges often host events and activities that contribute to a sense of community.
  11. Student Leadership: Students at Amherst have opportunities for leadership roles in various capacities, including student government, club leadership, and community service initiatives. These roles empower students to actively contribute to shaping campus life.

Overall, Amherst College provides a dynamic and inclusive environment that encourages students to pursue their passions, engage with diverse perspectives, and contribute to the vibrant community on and off campus.

Academics at Amherst

Academics at Amherst College are characterized by a rigorous and flexible curriculum, a commitment to intellectual exploration, and a focus on close faculty-student relationships. Here are key aspects of the academic experience at Amherst:

  1. Open Curriculum: Amherst College operates on an open curriculum, allowing students significant flexibility in designing their course of study. There are no general education requirements, and students have the freedom to explore a wide range of subjects across disciplines.
  2. Small Class Sizes: Classes at Amherst are intentionally small, fostering an intimate and collaborative learning environment. This allows for meaningful interactions between students and faculty, encouraging active participation and in-depth discussions.
  3. Accessible Faculty: The college prides itself on the accessibility of its faculty members. Professors are readily available for one-on-one discussions, mentorship, and collaboration on research projects. This close interaction is a hallmark of the Amherst academic experience.
  4. Interdisciplinary Opportunities: While students can focus on a particular major, the open curriculum encourages interdisciplinary exploration. Many students choose to combine courses from different departments to create a personalized and well-rounded academic experience.
  5. Research Opportunities: Amherst provides numerous opportunities for undergraduate research. Students can collaborate with faculty on research projects, pursue independent research, and present their findings at conferences.
  6. Study Abroad Programs: Amherst offers robust study abroad programs that allow students to immerse themselves in different cultures and academic environments. These experiences contribute to a global perspective and enrich the overall academic experience.
  7. Distinguished Faculty: Amherst College boasts a faculty of accomplished scholars and experts in their respective fields. Faculty members are not only dedicated educators but also active contributors to research and scholarship.
  8. Libraries and Resources: The college’s libraries, including the Frost Library, provide extensive resources for research and study. The digital resources and collections support academic pursuits across various disciplines.
  9. Academic Support Services: Amherst offers academic support services, including tutoring, writing centers, and advising, to help students succeed in their coursework. The college is committed to providing resources that foster academic growth and success.
  10. Seminar Style Classes: Many classes at Amherst are conducted in a seminar style, emphasizing student participation, critical thinking, and discussion. This format promotes a collaborative learning environment.
  11. Senior Thesis: As part of the academic experience, students often undertake a senior thesis project, allowing them to delve deeply into a specific topic of interest under the guidance of a faculty advisor.
  12. Advising System: Amherst has an advising system that assists students in academic planning and personal development. Advisors play a crucial role in guiding students through their academic journey.

Overall, Amherst College provides a rich academic environment that values intellectual curiosity, encourages exploration, and prepares students for a lifetime of learning and achievement. The open curriculum, combined with the supportive faculty and diverse academic opportunities, creates an educational experience that is both challenging and rewarding.

View of a woman smiling at the camera.

Clubs and Extracurricular Activities

Amherst College offers a variety of clubs and extracurricular activities that cater to diverse interests. While the availability of clubs may evolve, here are some examples of clubs and activities that have been part of the Amherst community:

  1. Amherst College Democrats and Amherst College Republicans:
    • These political clubs engage students in discussions, events, and activities related to Democratic and Republican ideologies.
  2. La Causa:
    • La Causa is a Latinx student organization that promotes cultural awareness and inclusivity. They organize events celebrating Latinx heritage and fostering community.
  3. Frost Library Assistants:
    • Students can get involved in the library community by becoming library assistants. This involves assisting with various tasks in the library and contributing to a conducive learning environment.
  4. Outing Club:
    • The Outing Club organizes outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and exploring the natural beauty around the Amherst area. It provides opportunities for students to connect with nature and fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
  5. DASAC (Dance and Step at Amherst College):
    • DASAC is a group that celebrates dance and step. It provides a platform for students to showcase their dancing and stepping skills through performances and events.
  6. Asian Students Association (ASA):
    • ASA promotes the awareness and appreciation of Asian cultures. The group organizes cultural events, discussions, and activities to foster a sense of community among Asian students.
  7. AASO (Amherst African and Caribbean Students Organization):
    • AASO celebrates and promotes African and Caribbean cultures through events, discussions, and collaborations. The organization aims to create a supportive community for students of African and Caribbean descent.
  8. ACF (Amherst Christian Fellowship):
    • ACF is a religious and spiritual organization that provides a space for Christian fellowship, worship, and discussions. It organizes events and activities that cater to the spiritual needs of its members.
  9. Glee Club:
    • The Glee Club is a musical ensemble that brings together students interested in choral music. It provides an opportunity for students to explore their passion for singing and performing.
  10. Equestrian Club:
    • The Equestrian Club allows students to pursue their interest in horseback riding. Members can participate in riding lessons, organize equestrian events, and connect with fellow riders.
  11. Chess Club:
    • Chess enthusiasts can join the Chess Club to engage in friendly matches, tournaments, and strategic discussions. It provides a space for students to sharpen their chess skills and enjoy the game.

It’s important to note that the availability of clubs and extracurricular activities may change over time, and new organizations may be established based on student interests. Students are encouraged to explore the offerings at Amherst College and, if they don’t find a club that aligns with their interests, they can often initiate the creation of a new one.

Notable Amherst Alumni

Amherst College has a distinguished alumni community includes individuals who have made significant contributions to various fields. Here are some notable Amherst alumni:

  1. Calvin Coolidge (Class of 1895):
    • The 30th President of the United States, Coolidge served from 1923 to 1929. He was known for his conservative policies and leadership during the Roaring Twenties.
  2. David Foster Wallace (Class of 1985):
    • An acclaimed novelist, essayist, and professor, Wallace is best known for his novel “Infinite Jest” and his unique and influential writing style.
  3. E. Digby Baltzell (Class of 1941):
    • A sociologist and professor, Baltzell was known for his studies on the American upper class and his work on the sociology of elites.
  4. Dan Brown (Class of 1986):
    • Bestselling author of “The Da Vinci Code” and other popular novels. Brown’s works often blend history, art, and suspense.
  5. Preston Smith (Class of 1952):
    • Smith served as the 40th Governor of Texas from 1969 to 1973. He played a role in expanding higher education in Texas during his tenure.
  6. Helen Hunt Jackson (Class of 1857):
    • A writer and activist, Jackson was an advocate for Native American rights. Her work “A Century of Dishonor” highlighted the mistreatment of Native Americans.
  7. Madeleine Korbel Albright (Class of 1959):
    • The first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001), Albright played a key role in foreign policy during the Clinton administration.
  8. Anthony Lake (Class of 1961):
    • A diplomat and national security advisor, Lake served as President Bill Clinton’s National Security Advisor. He also worked for UNICEF as its Executive Director.
  9. Jeffrey Amherst (Class of 1757):
    • The college’s namesake, Jeffrey Amherst, was a British military officer who played a significant role in the French and Indian Wars.
  10. Julia Ward Howe (Class of 1841):
    • An abolitionist, poet, and author, Howe is best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a song that became widely associated with the American Civil War.
  11. Jim Steinman (Class of 1969):
    • A songwriter, composer, and producer, Steinman is known for his collaborations with artists like Meat Loaf and his contributions to epic rock operas.

These individuals represent a small fraction of Amherst College’s accomplished alumni. The college takes pride in the achievements of its graduates across a wide range of fields, including politics, literature, academia, and the arts.


Amherst College’s acceptance rate of 9% showcases the high level of competition and selectivity inherent in the admissions process. While this figure may cause trepidation among prospective applicants, it is essential to approach the application process holistically, understanding that Amherst values more than just test scores and grades.

Ultimately, gaining admission to Amherst College requires a combination of academic excellence, meaningful engagement in extracurricular activities, and a genuine passion for learning. The low acceptance rate only underscores the exceptional qualities possessed by the students fortunate enough to call Amherst their alma mater.

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