Northeastern vs Amherst: A Comprehensive Overview

August 17, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Northeastern vs Amherst: A Comprehensive Overview

When it comes to choosing the right college, there are many factors to consider. Two popular choices in the Northeastern region of the United States are Northeastern vs  Amherst College.

In this comprehensive overview, we will compare and contrast these two institutions in terms of location, campus size, academics, admission requirements, student body, athletics, extracurriculars, career opportunities, cost of attendance, alumni network, faculty, campus life, and student support services.

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of which school may be the right fit for you.

Introduction: Why Compare Northeastern and Amherst?

Both Northeastern University and Amherst College are well-known institutions in the Northeastern region of the United States. Northeastern is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts, while Amherst is a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts.

While both schools have their own unique characteristics, comparing them side by side can help students decide what type of college experience they are looking for.

One major difference between Northeastern and Amherst is their size. Northeastern has a much larger student body, with over 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, while Amherst has a much smaller student body of around 1,800 students.

This can impact the overall campus culture and the types of opportunities available to students. At Northeastern, students may have access to a wider range of extracurricular activities and resources, while at Amherst, students may benefit from a more intimate and personalized academic experience.

Location: Northeastern vs Amherst

One major difference between Northeastern and Amherst is their location. Northeastern is located in the heart of Boston, a bustling city with endless opportunities for networking and career experience. However, the city can also be overwhelming for some students, and the cost of living can be high.

Two students walking in the school halls.

On the other hand, Amherst is located in a small town with a tight-knit community feel. While this can be appealing to some students, it may not offer as many opportunities for internships and career exploration.

Another factor to consider when comparing the locations of Northeastern and Amherst is the accessibility to outdoor activities. Amherst is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including hiking trails, lakes, and forests.

This can be a great advantage for students who enjoy spending time outdoors and want to take a break from city life. On the other hand, Northeastern is located near the Charles River, which offers opportunities for kayaking, sailing, and other water sports. However, students may need to travel further outside of the city to access hiking trails and other outdoor activities.

Campus Size and Facilities: Northeastern vs Amherst

Another factor to consider is campus size. Northeastern has a larger campus with state-of-the-art facilities, including several research centers and a co-op program that allows students to gain real-world experience in their field of study. However, the larger size can also mean longer walks between classes and a more impersonal feel.

Amherst, on the other hand, has a smaller campus with classic New England architecture. While the facilities may not be as modern, the smaller campus can create a more intimate learning environment.

It’s also worth noting that Northeastern’s larger campus offers more opportunities for extracurricular activities and events. With a student population of over 20,000, there are always clubs, organizations, and events happening on campus.

Amherst, with a smaller student population, may have fewer extracurricular options, but the smaller community can also lead to closer relationships with classmates and professors.

Academics: Northeastern vs Amherst

Both Northeastern and Amherst offer a wide range of academic programs and specializations. Northeastern is a research institution, offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as engineering, business, health sciences, and the arts.

Amherst, on the other hand, is a liberal arts college that focuses on undergraduate education in fields such as humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students looking for a more specialized education may prefer Northeastern, while those interested in a well-rounded education may prefer Amherst.

Group of students talking in a classroom.

In addition to their standard academic programs, both Northeastern and Amherst offer a variety of unique and specialized programs. Northeastern, for example, has a renowned co-op program that allows students to gain real-world experience in their field of study while still in school.

Amherst offers a Five College Consortium, which allows students to take classes at four other nearby colleges and universities, expanding their academic opportunities.

Furthermore, both schools have a strong commitment to interdisciplinary studies. Northeastern has several interdisciplinary programs, such as the combined majors program, which allows students to combine two fields of study into one degree.

Amherst has a Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, which encourages students to explore connections between different academic disciplines.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity: Northeastern vs Amherst

The admissions process can also differ between Northeastern and Amherst. Northeastern has a higher acceptance rate and is known for its co-op program, which can make it more appealing to students who may not have the highest grades or test scores.

Amherst, on the other hand, is highly selective and only admits a small percentage of applicants each year. Students with exceptional academic records and extracurricular achievements may prefer to apply to Amherst.

It is important to note that both Northeastern and Amherst consider a variety of factors in their admissions decisions, including essays, letters of recommendation and demonstrated interest in the school.

Northeastern also places a strong emphasis on experiential learning, with opportunities for internships, research, and global experiences. Amherst, on the other hand, has a strong liberal arts curriculum and a close-knit community that values intellectual curiosity and engagement.

Ultimately, the decision of where to apply and attend college should be based on a variety of factors, including academic interests, personal preferences, and financial considerations. It is important for students to research and visit schools to get a sense of the campus culture and community before making a decision.

Student Body: Northeastern vs Amherst

The student body at Northeastern and Amherst also differ in terms of diversity and community. Northeastern has a larger student body and is known for its diverse student population, with students from over 140 countries.

However, the larger size can also mean a less tight-knit community feel. Amherst has a smaller student body and is known for its close-knit community feel. However, the smaller size can also mean less diversity in the student body.

Group of students talking near a wall.

Despite the differences in size and community feel, both Northeastern and Amherst prioritize creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. Northeastern has a variety of cultural and identity-based student organizations, as well as resources such as the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

Amherst also has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with initiatives such as the Multicultural Resource Center and the Queer Resource Center. Both schools strive to create a campus community where all students feel valued and supported.

Athletics and Extracurriculars: Northeastern vs Amherst

Both Northeastern and Amherst offer a variety of athletic and extracurricular opportunities. Northeastern is a Division I school with 18 varsity sports teams and a wide range of club sports and intramurals.

Amherst is a Division III school with over 25 varsity sports teams and a strong emphasis on intramural and club sports. Both schools also offer a range of extracurricular activities, including student organizations and community service opportunities.

At Northeastern, students can participate in unique athletic programs such as the rowing team, which practices on the Charles River, or the skiing and snowboarding club, which takes advantage of the nearby mountains during the winter months. Additionally, Northeastern’s intramural sports program offers a variety of options, including flag football, dodgeball, and ultimate frisbee.

Amherst’s extracurricular offerings include a strong focus on the arts, with opportunities to participate in theater productions, acappella groups, and dance performances. The school also has a robust community service program, with students volunteering at local organizations and participating in service trips both domestically and internationally.

Career Opportunities and Job Placement: Northeastern vs Amherst

Career opportunities and job placement rates are also important factors to consider. Northeastern’s co-op program allows students to gain real-world experience in their field of study, giving them a head start in their careers. The school also has a strong career services department offering resume assistance, interview preparation, and job search support.

Amherst’s smaller, more intimate learning environment can also provide students with strong networking opportunities and connections in their desired fields.

In addition to Northeastern’s co-op program and career services department, the school has a strong alumni network that can provide valuable connections and job opportunities for graduates. Many Northeastern alumni are leaders in their industries and are eager to help fellow Huskies succeed in their careers.

Young woman talking to someone while looking at a laptop.

Amherst College also has a high job placement rate, with many graduates going on to successful careers in a variety of fields. The school’s Career Center offers a range of resources and services to help students explore career options, develop job search strategies, and connect with potential employers.

Additionally, Amherst’s liberal arts curriculum provides students with a broad range of skills and knowledge that can be applied to a variety of careers.

Cost of Attendance: Northeastern vs Amherst

The cost of attendance is another important factor for many students and their families. Northeastern’s tuition and fees are higher than Amherst’s, but the school also offers a range of financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

Amherst is known for its generous financial aid packages, which can make it a more affordable option for some students.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition and fees. Students should also consider the cost of living in the area, including housing, food, transportation, and other expenses.

Northeastern is located in Boston, which is known for its high cost of living. On the other hand, Amherst is located in a smaller town with a lower cost of living, which may make it a more affordable option overall.

Additionally, students should also consider the potential return on investment when choosing a college. Northeastern is known for its strong co-op program, which allows students to gain real-world experience and make valuable connections in their field of study.

This can lead to higher earning potential after graduation. Amherst, on the other hand, is known for its strong liberal arts education, which can provide a well-rounded foundation for a variety of careers.

Alumni Network and Reputation: Northeastern vs Amherst

Finally, alumni networks and reputation can also influence a student’s decision. Northeastern’s large alumni network and strong reputation can provide students with valuable connections and opportunities post-graduation. Amherst’s reputation as a top liberal arts college can also open doors for students in their future careers.

Additionally, alumni networks can also offer mentorship and guidance to current students. Northeastern’s alumni network, for example, has a program called “NUsource” where students can connect with alumni in their desired field for career advice and networking opportunities.

Amherst’s alumni network also offers similar resources, such as career panels and networking events, to help students navigate their post-graduation plans.

Faculty: Expertise and Research Opportunities

The faculty at both Northeastern and Amherst are renowned for their expertise and accomplishments in their respective fields. However, Northeastern’s research focus can mean more opportunities for students to work directly with faculty on research projects.

Amherst’s focus on undergraduate education can mean smaller class sizes and more one-on-one interaction with faculty members.

College consultant taking to two people.

Additionally, Northeastern’s faculty members often have connections to industry and can provide students with valuable networking opportunities.

On the other hand, Amherst’s faculty members prioritize teaching and mentoring, which can lead to strong relationships and personalized guidance for students throughout their academic journey.

Campus Life: Northeastern vs Amherst

Campus life is also an important factor to consider. Northeastern offers a range of on-campus housing options and dining facilities, as well as a bustling campus with a variety of activities and events. Amherst also offers on-campus housing and dining, but with a smaller campus may offer fewer activities and events.

One of the unique aspects of campus life at Northeastern is the emphasis on experiential learning. Students have the opportunity to participate in co-op programs, internships, and research projects that allow them to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world settings. This not only enhances their education but also provides valuable experience for their future careers.

On the other hand, Amherst College has a strong focus on the liberal arts and encourages students to explore a wide range of academic disciplines. This creates a vibrant intellectual community on campus, with students and faculty engaging in lively discussions and debates both inside and outside the classroom.

Student Support Services: Northeastern vs Amherst

Finally, student support services such as counseling, health, and wellness programs can make a big difference in a student’s college experience. Both Northeastern and Amherst offer a wide range of support services, including counseling centers, health clinics, and wellness programs.

At Northeastern, the counseling center provides individual and group counseling sessions to help students cope with academic, personal, and emotional challenges. The health center offers medical services, including routine check-ups, immunizations, and lab tests. Additionally, Northeastern’s wellness program offers resources and events to promote healthy habits and stress management.

Similarly, Amherst’s counseling center provides confidential counseling services to students, including crisis intervention and therapy sessions. The health center offers medical care, including primary care, women’s health, and mental health services. Amherst’s wellness program offers resources and events to promote physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Conclusion: Which School is Right for You?

Ultimately, the decision between Northeastern and Amherst comes down to personal preferences and priorities. If you are looking for a large research institution with a focus on career preparation, Northeastern may be the right fit for you.

Young woman holding her books while walking.

If you prefer a smaller liberal arts college with a strong emphasis on undergraduate education and a tight-knit community feel, Amherst may be the better choice. By weighing the pros and cons of each institution and considering your own priorities, you can make an informed decision about which school is right for you.

It is important to also consider the location of each school. Northeastern is located in the heart of Boston, a bustling city with endless opportunities for internships and networking. Amherst, on the other hand, is situated in a small town in western Massachusetts, providing a more peaceful and intimate setting for learning.

Another factor to consider is the availability of extracurricular activities. Northeastern offers a wide range of clubs and organizations, as well as Division I sports teams. Amherst also has a variety of clubs and sports teams, but with a smaller student body, the opportunities may be more limited.

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 to learn more about what we offer.


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