Emory University vs Amherst: A Side-by-Side Comparison

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female student smiling at the camera while in a library.

Emory University vs Amherst: A Side-by-Side Comparison

As high school students begin the daunting and exciting task of choosing where to attend college, Emory University and Amherst College are two top-tier schools that often come up in conversation. Both institutions offer rigorous academics, a vibrant student life, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. However, when looking at the specifics, there are notable differences between the two universities that are worth examining. In this article, we will take a side-by-side comparison of Emory University vs Amherst College to help make the decision-making process a little easier.

Location and Campus Facilities: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The 630-acre campus is shared between Emory College and the graduate schools and includes facilities such as a 28-acre forest, a visual arts center, a performing arts center, and a health sciences research facility.

Amherst College is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a small college town in the western part of the state. The campus is comprised of 1,000 acres and includes an art museum, a natural history museum, a science museum, and a greenhouse. While Emory’s campus offers more in terms of city amenities, Amherst benefits from the natural beauty and small-town charm of its location.

Emory University’s location in Atlanta provides students with access to a vibrant city with a rich cultural scene. The campus is just a few miles away from downtown Atlanta, which is home to numerous museums, theaters, and music venues. Additionally, Emory’s location in the heart of the city provides students with opportunities for internships and networking with professionals in a variety of fields.

Amherst College’s location in western Massachusetts offers students a unique blend of natural beauty and intellectual stimulation. The campus is surrounded by rolling hills and forests, providing students with ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. The town of Amherst is also home to several other colleges and universities, creating a vibrant intellectual community that extends beyond the boundaries of the Amherst College campus.

Student Body Demographics and Diversity: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University’s student body is 46% white, with significant populations of international students, Asian American students, and Hispanic or Latino students. Amherst College is 49% white, with a strong representation of African American and Asian American students. Both schools make a concerted effort to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and have programs in place to support students from diverse backgrounds.

Group of students walking side by side in the school campus.


At Emory University, the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services provides resources and support for students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and first-generation college students. The university also offers a variety of cultural organizations and events, such as the Black Student Alliance and the Asian Student Association, to celebrate diversity and promote cultural awareness.

Similarly, Amherst College has several initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers programming and support for students from underrepresented backgrounds, while the Queer Resource Center provides resources and advocacy for LGBTQ+ students. The college also has several student-led organizations, such as the Latinx Student Union and the African and Caribbean Students Union, that work to promote diversity and cultural understanding.

Academic Programs: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, including over 70 majors and minors. The school is particularly known for its programs in business, law, medicine, and public health. Amherst College offers 38 majors, with a focus on the liberal arts. The college also has several interdisciplinary programs, such as Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought and Film and Media Studies.

In addition to its undergraduate and graduate programs, Emory University also offers a variety of certificate programs in fields such as sustainability, global health, and bioethics. These programs provide students with specialized knowledge and skills that can enhance their career prospects.

Amherst College has a strong commitment to research and scholarship and offers several opportunities for students to engage in independent research projects. The college also has several partnerships with other institutions, allowing students to participate in study-abroad programs and other international experiences.

Faculty-to-Student Ratio and Class Sizes: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:8, with an average class size of 20 students. Amherst College has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:7, with an average class size of 16 students. Both institutions prioritize small class sizes and individual attention from faculty members.

Students holding their book while talking.

Small class sizes and a low faculty-to-student ratio are important factors to consider when choosing a college or university. At Emory University, the small class sizes allow for more personalized attention from professors, and students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with their peers. Additionally, the low faculty-to-student ratio ensures that students have access to their professors outside of class, whether it be for office hours or research opportunities.

Similarly, at Amherst College, the small class sizes and low faculty-to-student ratio allow for a more intimate learning environment. Students have the opportunity to work closely with their professors, and the small class sizes encourage participation and collaboration among peers. Additionally, the low faculty-to-student ratio ensures that students have access to academic support and mentorship throughout their college experience.

Admission Requirements and Acceptance Rates: Emory University vs Amherst

The admission processes for Emory University and Amherst College are highly selective. Emory University has an acceptance rate of 13%, with an average SAT score of 1450. Amherst College has an acceptance rate of 9%, with an average SAT score of 1500. Both institutions require a rigorous academic background and extracurricular involvement.

Additionally, Emory University and Amherst College both require applicants to submit letters of recommendation, essays, and transcripts. Emory University also offers an optional interview process for applicants.

Amherst College places a strong emphasis on a student’s character and values and encourages applicants to showcase their personal qualities through their application materials. It is important for prospective students to carefully review the admission requirements and deadlines for each institution, and to begin preparing their application materials well in advance.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid Options: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University’s cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is $77,485, which includes tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses. The school offers need-based financial aid as well as merit scholarships. Amherst College’s cost of attendance is $79,650 for the same academic year, with similar financial aid options available.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance may vary depending on the program of study and individual circumstances. For example, some programs may require additional fees or materials, and students may have different housing or transportation needs. Emory University and Amherst College both have online cost calculators available to help students estimate their costs of attendance.

A male student standing in a brightly lit hallway holding a pile of paper

In addition to need-based financial aid and merit scholarships, both schools also offer work-study programs and student employment opportunities to help students offset the cost of attendance. These programs allow students to work part-time on campus or in the local community, gaining valuable experience and earning money to help pay for their education.

Campus Life and Extracurricular Activities: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University and Amherst College both offer a vibrant campus life with a variety of extracurricular activities. Emory has over 450 student organizations, including club sports, Greek life, and service groups. Amherst has over 100 student organizations, including a wide range of arts and culture groups, club sports, and sustainability initiatives. Both schools are committed to promoting student wellness and offer resources such as fitness centers, counseling services, and health clinics.

Emory University is located in Atlanta, Georgia, which offers students a unique opportunity to explore the city’s rich cultural and historical landmarks. The university also hosts several events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and guest lectures. Amherst College, on the other hand, is located in a small town in western Massachusetts, providing students with a close-knit community and a peaceful environment for studying and reflection.

Both Emory and Amherst also offer study abroad programs, allowing students to gain international experience and broaden their perspectives. Emory has partnerships with over 100 universities around the world, while Amherst offers programs in over 40 countries. These programs provide students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in different cultures, learn new languages, and develop a global network of contacts.

Career Services and Alumni Network: Emory University vs Amherst

Both Emory University and Amherst College have robust career services departments and alumni networks. Emory’s Career Center offers career counseling, job and internship fairs, and networking events. The school boasts a large and successful alumni network, with notable graduates such as former Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Natasha Trethewey. Amherst’s Career Center offers similar services and support, and the college has an alumni network that includes Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to career services and alumni networks, Emory University and Amherst College offer a variety of extracurricular activities for students. Emory has over 400 student organizations, including academic clubs, cultural groups, and service organizations.

Amherst has over 100 student-run clubs and organizations, ranging from sports teams to political groups. Both schools also offer opportunities for students to study abroad, with programs in countries such as Spain, China, and South Africa.

Group of students smiling in the camera.

Furthermore, Emory and Amherst are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion on their campuses. Emory has a dedicated Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which offers resources and support for underrepresented students. Amherst has a similar office, as well as a Center for Diversity and Student Leadership, which hosts events and programs to promote diversity and social justice.

Athletic Programs and Facilities: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University and Amherst College both have strong athletic programs and state-of-the-art facilities. Emory competes in Division III athletics, with 18 varsity sports teams. The school has a $25 million athletic facility that includes a gymnasium, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an indoor track, and tennis courts. Amherst is also in Division III and has 27 varsity sports teams. The school’s athletic facilities include a 26,000-square-foot fitness center, a golf course, and tennis courts.

In addition to the impressive athletic facilities, Emory University offers a wide range of intramural sports programs for students who want to participate in sports at a more casual level. These programs include basketball, flag football, soccer, and volleyball. Emory also has a strong club sports program, with teams in sports such as ultimate frisbee, rugby, and lacrosse.

Amherst College has a unique tradition in athletics, known as the “Squash ACES” program. This program provides academic and athletic support to student-athletes who play squash, helping them to balance their academic and athletic commitments. The program has been highly successful, with Amherst’s squash teams consistently ranking among the top in the country.

Research Opportunities and Centers: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University and Amherst College both offer opportunities for undergraduate research and have research centers dedicated to various fields. Emory has several research centers and institutes, including the Winship Cancer Institute and the Emory Vaccine Center.

Amherst has several research centers focused on topics such as environmental sustainability and neuroscience. Both schools encourage students to engage in independent research projects, and many students have the opportunity to publish their findings.

Additionally, Emory University has a strong focus on global health research, with the Emory Global Health Institute and the Rollins School of Public Health. These centers provide opportunities for students to work on projects related to global health issues, such as infectious diseases and health disparities.

Amherst College also has a research center dedicated to social justice, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, which allows students to explore topics related to social justice and human rights.

Furthermore, both Emory and Amherst have partnerships with other research institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. These partnerships provide students with access to cutting-edge research facilities and resources, as well as opportunities to work with leading researchers in their fields.

Overall, the research opportunities and centers at Emory and Amherst provide students with valuable experiences and skills that can help prepare them for future careers in research and academia.

Campus Safety and Security Measures: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University and Amherst College take campus safety seriously and have measures in place to ensure the well-being of their students. Emory has its police force and a comprehensive emergency management plan.

The school also has a safety escort program for students who need to travel around campus at night. Amherst has a similar emergency management plan and safety escort program, as well as a student-run shuttle service to transport students around campus and the surrounding area.

Students lounging in the school grounds.

In addition to these measures, Emory and Amherst have implemented various safety technologies on their campuses. Emory has a system of emergency call boxes located throughout the campus, which allows students to quickly contact the police in case of an emergency. Amherst has also installed a network of security cameras to monitor activity on campus and deter criminal behavior.

Both universities also offer safety training programs for their students, faculty, and staff. Emory provides self-defense classes and active shooter response training, while Amherst offers bystander intervention training and sexual assault prevention education. These programs aim to empower individuals to take action in potentially dangerous situations and create a safer campus community.

Student Support Services Available: Emory University vs Amherst

Both Emory University and Amherst College prioritize student support and have a variety of services available to ensure academic success and personal well-being. Emory has a Center for Student Success Programs and Services that provides academic counseling, tutoring, and disability services.

The school also has a comprehensive mental health program, including counseling services and a psychiatric clinic. Amherst has a similar range of support services, including academic advising, a writing center, and a counseling center.

In addition to the services mentioned above, Emory University also offers career counseling and job search assistance through the Career Center. The center provides resources for students to explore career options, develop job search strategies, and connect with potential employers.

Amherst College has a strong focus on community engagement and offers opportunities for students to get involved in service projects and volunteer work through the Center for Community Engagement.

Both schools also have resources available for students who may be experiencing financial hardship. Emory University has a Financial Aid Office that can assist with navigating the financial aid process and finding scholarships and grants. Amherst College offers emergency funding for students who are facing unexpected financial challenges, as well as a Student Emergency Fund to help cover expenses related to health, safety, and well-being.

Global Engagement Opportunities for Students: Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University and Amherst College both offer opportunities for students to engage globally and gain cross-cultural experiences. Emory has numerous study abroad programs, partnering with universities in over 40 countries.

The school also has an Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives that supports international research and collaboration. Amherst offers several study abroad programs as well and also has a Center for Community Engagement that provides opportunities for students to engage with global communities.

Students walking in the hallway of the school.

In addition to study abroad programs and community engagement opportunities, both Emory and Amherst offer language immersion programs for students interested in improving their language skills. Emory’s Language Center offers courses in over 20 languages, including less commonly taught languages such as Swahili and Hindi. Amherst’s Center for Global Education also offers language immersion programs in countries such as Spain, France, and China. These programs provide students with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a new language and culture, enhancing their global perspective and communication skills.

Campus Sustainability Efforts: Emory University vs Amherst

Both Emory University and Amherst College have made significant strides in sustainability and environmental efforts. Emory has a Sustainability Initiative that aims to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices.

The school has several LEED-certified buildings and offers initiatives such as a bike share program and a sustainability certification program for students. Amherst has a campus sustainability committee that oversees green initiatives such as composting, energy reduction, and sustainable transportation options.

In addition to these efforts, both universities have also implemented sustainable food practices. Emory has a sustainable food committee that works to increase the availability of locally sourced and organic food options on campus. The school also has a community garden where students can grow their produce.

Amherst has a farm-to-table program that sources ingredients from local farms and offers a weekly farmers market on campus. Both universities recognize the importance of sustainable food practices in reducing their environmental impact and promoting healthier eating habits.

History and Traditions of Emory University vs Amherst

Emory University and Amherst College have rich histories and vibrant traditions that are integral to the student experience. Emory was founded in 1836 and has a legacy of academic excellence and social justice advocacy. The school has several traditions, such as the Dooley’s Week festival and the Emory Wheel newspaper. Amherst was founded in 1821 and has a rich tradition of intellectual exploration and creativity. The college has several traditions as well, including the annual Valentine’s Day musical and the Spring Concert.

Rankings and Reputation of Emory University vs Amherst

Both Emory University and Amherst College have strong reputations for academic excellence and have consistently ranked among the top schools in the country. According to U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 rankings, Emory is ranked 21st among national universities, while Amherst is ranked 2nd among national liberal arts colleges. Both schools have received numerous accolades for their academic programs, faculty research, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Student Reviews and Satisfaction Ratings

Students who attend Emory University and Amherst College are generally very satisfied with their experiences. According to Niche’s 2021 rankings, Emory has an overall grade of A+ and is rated highly for its academics, campus life, and diversity. Amherst has an overall grade of A+ as well and is particularly praised for its academics, professors, and campus atmosphere.

Prospective Student Considerations when Choosing Between Emory University vs Amherst

When choosing between Emory and Amherst, there are several factors to consider. Prospective students should think about their academic interests, preferred campus environment, and personal goals.

Group of students huddled together to smile for the camera.

Emory is known for its strong programs in business, law, and medicine, while Amherst is focused on the liberal arts. Emory’s urban location may appeal to students who want access to city amenities, while Amherst’s small-town setting may be appealing to those who prefer a more intimate campus community. Ultimately, the decision between the two schools will depend on individual preferences.

Final Thoughts: Which School is the Better Fit for You?

Choosing where to attend college is a big decision, and weighing the pros and cons of each institution is important. Emory University and Amherst College are both excellent schools with much to offer.

Whether you choose the historic campus of Emory in Atlanta or the picturesque location of Amherst in western Massachusetts, you will be joining a community of dedicated students, faculty, and alumni who are committed to academic excellence and personal growth.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what we offer.


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