Amherst College – Who We Are

Amherst College prepares students to make a difference in the world. Since its founding in 1821, Amherst has demonstrated steadfast confidence in the enduring value of a liberal arts education. Our small classes, open curriculum and singular focus on undergraduate education ensure that exceptional professors engage daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world. A commitment to diversity, defined in its broadest sense – geographic, racial and ethnic, socioeconomic – is fundamental to Amherst’s mission.  Our more than 1,800 talented, energetic and diverse students come from nearly every state and more than 55 countries; 48% of our students identify as U.S. students of color, 15% are the first in their families to attend college, 10% of our students are international and another 8% are dual citizens, about 60% of our students typically receive financial aid from Amherst and about 25% are Pell-eligible. With a wide variety of backgrounds, identities and interest, Amherst students create a vibrant college community.


With an emphasis on small classes (85% of classes have fewer than 30 students), close contact between students and professors (student-faculty ratio of 7-to-1) and extensive undergraduate research opportunities, Amherst offers 41 majors in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, and students can also create their own interdisciplinary majors. Our Open Curriculum provides students with an unusual degree of independence and flexibility to design an individualized academic program that combines broad, interdisciplinary education with in-depth study in the major field. And through our Five College Consortium, students have access to thousands of additional courses offered by member schools.

Financial Aid

Amherst is committed to the principle of college access and affordability and we have one of the most comprehensive and generous financial aid programs in the country. Our need-blind admission policy for all students – domestic and international – ensures that students are admitted to Amherst based on achievement and promise, regardless family income. Our need-based financial aid packages meet 100% of demonstrated financial need with no expectation of student loans, so our students can graduate debt-free. 

  • Typically, about 60% of our students receive financial aid
  • Our average financial aid award exceeded $59,600 in 2020-2021.
  • Our quick online net price calculators will give you an idea of how affordable Amherst can be for your family.

Residential Life

At Amherst, we believe that learning and living go hand-in-hand: we guarantee housing for all students for all four years and 98% of our students live on campus. All first-year students live with other first-year students in newly renovated residence halls located on our main campus quad, right in the heart of campus, as part of a comprehensive first-year experience. Our residence halls are not just places to sleep; they are close, connected communities supporting academic, social and personal development (and fun!).

Campus Life

Amherst students are active in and out of the classroom. There are more than 150 clubs and organizations to join – including groups for religious and cultural affinity, political activism, community  service, music, sports, debate, publications and more --  plus you can always create your own new organization. And not just clubs… you can cheer for one of the Amherst teams, catch a concert, toss a Frisbee on the quad, carve a pumpkin at Fall Festival. A lively place, where there’s always something going on!


Amherst is located in an area of exceptional natural beauty bordered by the Holyoke Mountain Range of Western Massachusetts, an area that is home to more college students and more cultural events than any region of New England except metro Boston.  Amherst is an integral part of the Town of Amherst, a traditional “college town” that’s part of our neighborhood.



Admission Website

Learn more at Amherst Admission & Financial Aid

Deadline Information
  • Early Decision: November 1, 2021
  • Regular Decision: January 3, 2022
  • Transfer Spring: November 1, 2021
  • Transfer Fall: March 1, 2022

Required Application Materials
  •  Coalition Application or Common Application
  •  Amherst Application Supplement
  • $65 Application Fee or Fee Waiver (through Coalition Application,  Common Application or Amherst’s Quick Pass)
  • Secondary School Transcript
  • School Report
  • Counselor Recommendation (1)
  • Teacher Recommendations (2)

Optional Application Materials

Read more detailed information about application requirements:

Additional Information

We hope you’ll explore our website to learn more about Amherst College and all it has to offer.  There’s a lot to know about us and we want to be sure that you have the information you need, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly at or (413) 542-2328. We’re here to help!

Virtual Campus Visits

We are delighted to be able once again to welcome students and families to our beautiful campus. We are offering both in-person and virtual sesssions, both including an information session with an admission dean and a campus tour with a student guide. Learn more about both the in-person and virtual options at Visiting Amherst. There's so much we want to share with you!