What You Need To Know About Amherst College

Amherst College is a prestigious liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts. Established in 1821, Amherst College has a rich history and a longstanding commitment to providing a transformative education to its students.

One of the defining features of Amherst College is its rigorous academic program. As a liberal arts institution, the college offers a wide range of disciplines and encourages students to explore diverse fields of study. With a low student-to-faculty ratio, students benefit from small class sizes and close interactions with dedicated professors who are experts in their fields. The college fosters an intellectual environment that promotes critical thinking, interdisciplinary learning, and the development of strong analytical and communication skills.

Amherst College also places a strong emphasis on undergraduate research and experiential learning. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members on research projects, pursue internships, engage in community service, and study abroad. These experiences enrich students’ academic journeys and equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in their chosen fields.


The beautiful 1,000-acre campus of Amherst College is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. The campus is a mix of Georgian and Collegiate Gothic architecture, and it is home to a variety of academic buildings, student residences, and athletic facilities.

The heart of the campus is the Main Quad, which is a quadrangular green space surrounded by academic buildings. The War Memorial, a 90-foot-tall obelisk, is located at the south end of the Main Quad. The War Memorial offers stunning views of the Holyoke Range, a mountain range that rises up behind the campus.

Other notable buildings on campus include the College Chapel, the Greenway Dormitories, and the Power House. The College Chapel is a Gothic Revival building that was completed in 1860. The Greenway Dormitories are a group of modern residential buildings that were completed in 2016. The Power House is a former power plant that has been converted into a student center.

The campus is also home to a number of outdoor spaces, including the Robert Frost Library Lawn, the Frederick Law Olmsted Mall, and the Amherst College Forest. The Robert Frost Library Lawn is a large green space that is often used for outdoor events. The Frederick Law Olmsted Mall is a tree-lined walkway that connects the Main Quad to the College Chapel. The Amherst College Forest is a 500-acre wildlife sanctuary that is located on the western edge of campus. Amherst College truly offers a campus experience that is both visually stunning and intellectually stimulating.

Student Cohort Size

Amherst College has a total student population of 1,898 students. The admitted students are from 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 70 countries. 52% of the admitted students are women and 48% of the admitted students are men. 11% of the students are international students.

Four-Year Completion Rate

The graduation rate is among the most important factors when selecting a college.  Amherst College’s first-year retention rate is 91%. This means that 91% of first-year students continue their education for their sophomore year and beyond. The 4-year graduation rate is 90%. This implies that 90% of students were able to graduate after 4 years. The 6-year graduation rate is 95%. This implies that 95% of students were able to graduate after 6 years.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Amherst College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1 and the average class size is 19 students. 84% of the classes have fewer than 30 students.


Acceptance Rate

For the class of 2028. Amherst received 13,700 applications, as against 12,700 last year. More than 92% of the admitted class graduated in the top 10% of their high school.

Types of Admission

Amherst College applicants can apply through the Early Decision or Regular Decision programs. Early Decision is a binding admission plan for students who have determined that Amherst College is their first choice and who feel they can present a strong application without senior grades being reviewed. Students admitted through the Early Decision admission plan are required to cancel their applications elsewhere and enroll in Amherst College. Regular Decision is a non-binding and unrestrictive admission plan that allows students more time to complete the application and to have grades from the first term of their senior year considered in the review.

Application Components

Complete the online application through Common Application OR QuestBridge Application
School Report
Counselor Recommendation
Two Teacher Recommendations (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language)
Optional Standardized Test Results for the SAT or ACT
Early Decision Agreement (for ED applicants)
First marking period grades from the senior year (for ED applicants)
Mid-Year School Report Form (as soon as first trimester/first semester grades are available)
Mid-Year Transcript (as soon as first trimester/first semester grades are available)
Amherst College Writing Supplement Options


Amherst College offers an open curriculum. The college has no distribution requirements and no core curriculum. Instead, students choose the courses that matter most to them. Amherst College offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in 41 majors in the arts, sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Amherst offers more than 400 courses each term. Students can study more than one major, create their own interdisciplinary major or engage in independent scholarship.

Most Popular Majors

  • Mathematics

  • Economics

  • Research and Experimental Psychology

  • Computer Science

  • Political Science and Government

  • History

  • Statistics

  • Biology

  • English

  • Legal Studies

Special Academic Programs

Amherst students can participate in Five College certificate programs and various shared majors from Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. More than 30,000 students take advantage of cross-registration opportunities for 6,000 courses. The Five College Consortium offers more than a dozen specialized certificate programs and four shared majors, as well as numerous collaborative clubs and projects. The consortium also has four centers for specialized study: The Center for Crossroads in the Study of the Americas, the Center for East Asian Studies, the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages, and the Five College Women’s Study Research Center.

Cost of Attendance

For 2024-2025, the typical student expense budget and charges include:

Direct Costs (Billed to all students) Amount
Tuition $69,820
Housing $9,940
Meals $8,450
Fees $660
Indirect Costs (Estimated based on a periodic survey of all students) Amount
Personal expenses $1,800
Travel/Transportation Domestic average: $640
International Average: $1,220
Additional Expenses (Billed to all students, but waivable) Amount
Health Insurance (2023-24 cost shown) $2,934 (full year)

$1,222 (fall only)
$1,712 (spring only)

Tuition Insurance (2023-24 cost shown) $126 per semester


Amherst Traditions

Conway Canes

Every Amherst graduate receives a cane at Commencement. According to Amherst lore, the canes are a visual metaphor for a college education: They support graduates throughout their lives.

To conclude, Amherst College stands as a distinguished institution known for its rigorous academics, vibrant campus community, and breathtaking surroundings. The college’s commitment to intellectual exploration, community engagement, and personal growth makes it an exceptional place for students to pursue their educational goals and shape their futures.

We can help you with your college application process. Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counselors, can help you plan and make those high school years count. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high school years. Start today!

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