Amherst College

Amherst, Massachusetts
www.amherst.edu Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA, 01002
A+ Overall Grade
  • A+ Academics
  • A Athletics
  • B Campus
  • A+ Diversity
  • A+ Value
  • B Party Scene

Amherst College Overview

Amherst College is a private, nonprofit university located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a town of about 48,000 people in the western part of the state. Compared to most universities, the Amherst College size is small, with an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students.

In contrast to the smaller Amherst student body, Amherst College rankings are quite high. The school ranks second on the U.S. News list of the nation’s best liberal arts colleges, making Amherst admissions very competitive.

Amherst ratings are also high among U.S. undergraduate teaching institutions. In this category, Amherst comes in fourth nationwide. In light of these superior Amherst College rankings, it would be difficult to find a more qualified liberal arts college.

Ready to learn more about Amherst College? Explore CollegeAdvisors.com resources on Amherst essays, Amherst College enrollment, Amherst SAT requirements, and Amherst College GPA requirements here. Once you’ve done your research on Amherst College, start filling out your Amherst application.

Amherst College Admissions

Amherst admissions is quite selective when it comes to applicants. With an acceptance rate of just 8%, Amherst admissions is looking for students with top SAT and ACT scores. For example, 75% of all incoming students have SAT scores above 1410, and ACT scores greater than 31.

However, if you did not take one or both of these standardized tests, it should not affect your chances of acceptance. Amherst admissions does not specify any Amherst SAT requirements, and in fact, standardized tests are an optional part of your Amherst application.

If you are filling out your Amherst application for Early Decision, plan to submit your materials by November 1. The Amherst admissions team will contact ED applicants in December with their decision. If you send an Early Decision Amherst application, you should not apply to any other school ED until you hear back from Amherst admissions. 

If you opt for regular decision, you should submit your Amherst application by January 3. Amherst admissions officers will return their decision by the end of March. Then, if your Amherst application is successful and you want to attend Amherst, you must make a commitment to attend by May 1 of that year.

The Amherst admissions guidelines apply to first-year students only. The school does not accept students who already hold a bachelor’s degree.

Transfer students who want to attend Amherst College should choose between spring or fall Amherst College enrollment. For a spring start date, Amherst student applications are due by November 1 to Amherst admissions. For fall semester, hopeful Amherst students must meet the March 1 transfer Amherst application deadline. Amherst admissions officers will make their decisions in December and April respectively.

To meet Amherst transfer requirements, you need to have 32 transferable liberal arts credits from your current university. Amherst College GPA requirements on your completed classes are equivalent to an A-. Again, there are no Amherst SAT requirements for a prospective transfer student’s Amherst application.

Approximately 20% of the Amherst student body is eligible to receive Pell Grants to assist with the Amherst College cost. The university itself meets the demonstrated financial needs of each student by subsidizing their Amherst College tuition as necessary. In fact, in the 2020-2021 academic year, the average student received $59,000 to meet the Amherst College cost.

Acceptance Rate 11.31%
Acceptance Deadline January 4
Students Receiving Financial Aid 68.5%

Amherst College Cost

The comprehensive Amherst College cost is $38,400 per semester, with two semesters equaling an academic year.

This breaks down as follows:

  • Amherst College tuition: $30,350
  • Accommodations: $4,350
  • Food: $3,700
  • Activity fee: $250

In addition, Amherst College offers an optional health insurance plan for $2,616 per academic year. Optional Amherst College tuition insurance costs $120 per semester, which covers the financial loss of an Amherst student who withdraws from classes for specific reasons.

The Amherst College size is quite small compared to the country’s largest universities. Despite this smaller Amherst College size, the Amherst College cost is among the highest.

With an annual price tag of $80,250, Amherst ratings come in at number nine on the list of U.S. universities with the highest costs, according to the IPEDS Department of Education survey. Most students would not be able to afford attending Amherst while paying the full Amherst College cost.

However, a typical Amherst student receives help with the high Amherst College cost. In most cases, though, an Amherst student must continue to meet Amherst College GPA requirements throughout their four years of study for this aid.

Federal financial aid and student loans also cover some of the Amherst College tuition. Some loans or grants have performance requirements similar to the assumed Amherst College GPA requirements. Before you apply to become an Amherst student, you may want to consider if you would be eligible for aid to help with the Amherst College cost.

In addition, Amherst College itself provides generous scholarships so that no Amherst student has to deal with financial hardship while earning a degree. Amherst College conferred a total of $60 million in Amherst College tuition assistance for the 2020-2021 school year. The awards depend upon Amherst admissions and are not based solely on meeting the assumed Amherst College GPA requirements or Amherst SAT requirements.

Of the total Amherst College enrollment, 61% received some form of monetary aid to cover the Amherst College cost during the year 2020-2021. All Amherst College tuition scholarships and work-study assistance are gifts rather than loans. An Amherst student who receives them to help cover Amherst College tuition does not have to pay anything back. As a result, most graduates complete their studies with a minimum of student debt, despite the initial high Amherst College cost.

Other avenues for affording your Amherst College tuition and fees are worth researching as well. If you earned high grades in high school that meet the assumed Amherst College GPA requirements, you could apply for merit scholarships. Although no Amherst SAT requirements exist, some scholarships also place a high value on top SAT scores.

If you’ve served in the military, look into the financial aid for veterans. Amherst College voluntarily participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a financial aid resource for veterans within Amherst college enrollment. As a Yellow Ribbon participant, Amherst College agrees to provide up to one-half of an eligible Amherst student veteran’s tuition and fees, and the VA submits matching funds.

In addition, Amherst College is one of 48 U.S. universities that partner with the QuestBridge program. QuestBridge helps low-income students attend four-year colleges that would otherwise be far beyond their reach financially. This program is intended for an Amherst student whose scores exceed Amherst SAT requirements.

Net Price* $16,339
Average Total Aid Awarded $5,323
Students Receiving Financial Aid 68.5%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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Amherst College Academics

One of the reasons Amherst College rankings are so high is its student-to-faculty ratio. With one professor per 7 students, you can count on getting all the personal attention you need to succeed as an Amherst student.

More than 200 faculty members are on staff. The high Amherst College rankings are in large part due to employing some of the top academics in their fields of study. These faculty members help each Amherst student follow their passion in the classroom through hands-on experience and research opportunities.

More than 80% of Amherst classes number fewer than 20 students. About 17% have between 20 and 49 students, while just 2.3% have more than 50 students per classroom. These small class sizes are due in part to the small Amherst College size, but mainly due to the college’s commitment to its students.   

Most students – about 85% – graduate after four years at Amherst College. More than 90% complete their Amherst College majors within six years. In contrast, the national average for university students graduating after six years is just 62%.

The retention rate among the freshman class at Amherst College is 95%. This is a strong indication of satisfaction with the academic climate and quality of Amherst student life. The national average for freshman retention at all U.S. universities is 81%.

All of these factors combined have created high Amherst ratings that distinguish it from other private liberal arts universities. These Amherst ratings and statistics also explain why getting into Amherst College is so competitive, even without the competitive Amherst SAT requirements and Amherst College GPA requirements. However, if you want to join the Amherst student body, you want to maintain a high GPA and strong SAT scores in high school. 

Student Faculty Ratio 7:1

Amherst College Majors

With 42 Amherst College majors available, you will find a wealth of learning opportunities both within each of the Amherst College majors and beyond. The most popular Amherst College majors at an institute of Amherst College size may surprise you. Some of the most popular courses of study include:

  • Mathematics
  • Political Science and Government
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • History
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Neuroscience and Neurobiology
  • English Literature

Among the 41 Amherst College majors and over 850 classes, you will find many other interesting avenues of pursuit in addition to the most popular Amherst College majors. For example, as an Amherst student, you can major in Classics, which includes Greek and Latin studies. You can delve into Environmental Studies or explore Theater and Dance. Whether Philosophy, Film Studies, or Art History get your adrenaline flowing, you will find the opportunity for intensive study when you make your choice from the Amherst College majors. And, if you’re interested in how students before you enjoyed the classes in your major, you can check out Amherst ratings for each class on a student-run course ranking site

In any given year outside the pandemic, nearly one-half of the Amherst College student body is studying abroad. The Global Office of Education matches students seeking to study Amherst College majors abroad with single-semester or full-year programs in countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Colombia, and Japan. Amherst College also has a Summer Study Away program.

The Amherst College Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning is the go-to resource for Amherst post graduates. They offer digital career links for jobs in fields related to all of the Amherst College majors and practical information as well, like how to interview successfully.

Also, although it may seem too early to think about when you’re first looking at colleges, once you graduate, it’s a smart move to stay connected to classmates and other alumni. Career networking is just one of the reasons to participate in Amherst College alumni activities. By keeping your own alum profile updated, you can stay in the loop with your classmates as they progress in their careers. Despite the small Amherst college size, there is a large and useful alumni network. Amherst Magazine for alumni is another great resource for staying up-to-date with the college, your classmates, and faculty members after graduation.

Most Popular Majors
  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • English
  • Research and Experimental Psychology
  • Political Science and Government
  • History
  • Computer Science
  • Biology
  • French Language and Literature
  • Neuroscience and Neurobiology

Amherst College Online

Due to the smaller Amherst College size and the value it places on bringing Amherst students and faculty together in the classroom, you won’t find too much in terms of Amherst College online. However, the school does offer some alternatives that may work for you. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) are a rapidly growing resource for Amherst College online classes. Prestigious universities in several countries are creating MOOCS in math, technology, science, and humanities as this online class paradigm increases in popularity.

MOOCs offer learners a kind of Amherst College online experience that the university fully supports. Amherst College online offerings also include edX courses. They are designed to be similar to traditional college curricula. Educators in some of the leading universities on par with Amherst ratings have produced nearly 3,000 edX MOOCs to date. 

Many students among the Amherst College enrollment have also participated in a MOOC or two. It’s a great substitute for Amherst College online, but it can’t compare with attending an Amherst College course in-person. 

Offers Online Courses No

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Amherst College Students

The current Amherst College enrollment figure includes nearly 2,000 undergrads. Students come from 48 states, Washington, D.C., and 67 countries. The vast majority – 97% – of Amherst college enrollment lives on campus. The administration guarantees campus housing to all those within Amherst College enrollment over four years of study.

Unlike other colleges that compare favorably with Amherst College rankings, 100% of Amherst College enrollment is full-time. In comparison, the average full-time population at similar schools is about 80%.

Campus housing includes residence halls on the main campus and theme houses. You can choose from country-themed houses like Russian, French, and German. There are also cultural themes like the Asian Culture house, the Sylvia Rivera Community House, and the Charles Drew Memorial Culture House. You have lots of options as an Amherst student. With so many diverse housing options in a school of Amherst College size, the high Amherst ratings are no surprise.

Amherst College enrollment consists of a relatively equal number of women and men. Female students comprise 51% of the Amherst student body, and male students, 49%.

The college nurtures diversity among its students and is quite successful for a school of Amherst College size. Currently, the Amherst student population is about 43% white, 15% Asian, 13% Latino/Hispanic, and 10% Black and African American. Amherst College enrollment also includes students of other backgrounds, like Pacific Islanders/Hawaiians and Native Americans.

Full-Time Undergrad Enrollment 1,855

Amherst College Advisors

If you want to find out about Amherst College enrollment from an Amherst student’s point of view, check out CollegeAdvisor.com. Our Amherst advisors offer a wealth of real information about your university options. You’ll find specifics about the Amherst application process plus important tips on writing the Amherst essays. You can also find great strategies for managing Amherst College tuition.

Our Amherst advisors are experts on the school – Amherst alumni or those who were admitted but did not attend. Even though there are no Amherst SAT requirements or Amherst College GPA requirements, you will find the first-hand knowledge of Amherst advisors invaluable in navigating the admissions process. Our Amherst advisors also offer valuable insights on topics ranging from Amherst College costs to writing the Amherst supplemental essays. 

When you are completing your Amherst application, be sure to get advice on writing Amherst supplemental essays and other tips on how to get into Amherst. Once admitted, you can also explore Amherst ratings and Amherst College majors at CollegeAdvisor.com.

To access Amherst College advisors for insiders’ advice about getting into Amherst College, simply create a free CollegeAdvisor.com account. Then, talk to one of our Amherst advisors to get answers to all your questions.

Gaining admission to a university with Amherst College rankings is a highly competitive undertaking. Our Amherst College advisors give you the advantage you need to stand out among the year’s applicants.

Feven Alemu
Duke University
Hi! My name is Feven, and I graduated in 2018 from Duke University with a Bachelor's degree in Public Policy and Global Health. I'm an Atlanta native and prospective law student at Emory University. I'm so excited to start working with you on your admissions journey!

Also Accepted to

Bailee Peralto
Brown University
Hi! My name is Bailee Peralto and I'm in my seventh semester at Brown University, where I study Public Policy. I have two years of experience working with high school students on college applications. I specialize in advising on scholarships and financial aid, staying on track with deadlines, deciding on a school list, and crafting strong college essays. As a first-generation college student myself, I love being able to support other first-generation students in their college application journey. At Brown I'm involved in Model United Nations, I'm a Writing Fellow, and I'm a Co-Programmer for the Multiracial Heritage Series at the Brown Center for Students of Color where I'm involved in activism and community organizing. I also work as a Policy Intern for the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island. I really enjoy working with students on crafting their applications to make their college dreams come true!

Also Accepted to

Sami Elrazky
Yale University
Hi ! I'm Sami - I'm a junior at Yale, admitted through Questbridge Regular Decision. I'm a first generation, low-income student from Tacoma, Washington and I'm happy to help you get through the college process! I'm double majoring in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology and History of Science, Healthcare & Medicine. I am an undergraduate student researcher studying Parkinson's disease, and I'm passionate about undergraduate research and have organized several large-scale research-oriented events and initiatives as vice-president of the Yale Undergraduate Research Association. I am applying for MD/PhD programs, and aside from helping students craft a winning application to their choice colleges, I'm willing and eager to answer any questions about scientific research or premedical studies!

Also Accepted to

Matthew Yekell
Stanford University
Hello everyone! My name is Matthew, and I'm a member of Stanford's Class of 2025. When I was applying to colleges, I was told that attending an elite university would be impossible based on my test scores and low GPA. Thankfully, I didn’t let go of my dreams so easily. I realized early on that my essays were what could separate me from other applicants, and I worked hard to figure out for myself which stories to share and how to write my essays in a way that was both strategic and personable. I’m really excited to share my insights with you and to help you achieve your dreams in the admissions process. Outside of admissions consulting, you can find me involved in debate, advocacy, and community service.

Also Accepted to

Kaveh Badrei
Princeton University
Hello! I’m Kaveh, a recent Princeton University graduate who majored in the School of Public and International Affairs with minors in French and the History & Practice of Diplomacy, focusing on public policy, international relations, and human rights. Over the course of my four years at Princeton, I wrote for the campus newspaper and participated in multiple organizations devoted to community service, civic engagement, and diplomacy. I was also an active member of the performing arts scene on campus. Outside the classroom, I have had the chance to work in the fields of public policy and global affairs at non-profit advocacy organizations, international institutions, and local government bodies both inside the US and around the world. I can’t wait to use my skills and experiences to help students achieve their goals on this exciting path to college!

Also Accepted to

Jeremiah Fernandez
Georgetown University
My name is Jeremiah Fernandez. I'm a writer, and I specialize in helping with essays as well as helping students create their own decision architecture.

Also Accepted to

College Testimonials from Clients Who Were Accepted to Amherst College

The high Amherst ratings really speak for themselves. For the Amherst College size, the university has a lot to offer. Access to five top-notch universities within 10 miles of each other, robust student life, and a small teacher-to-student ratio all contribute to the high Amherst ratings.

The best endorsements, though, come from students who have attended and graduated from Amherst in recent years. These student testimonials provide a window through which you can learn more about Amherst College, what it takes to be a successful candidate, and how our Amherst advisors can help.

Each of our Amherst advisors takes the time to chat with you about your goals, expectations, and career path. CollegeAdvisor’s Amherst advisors believe that getting to know you is the most important part of helping you find the right fit in higher education.

With insider knowledge of Amherst College tuition and financial aid options, you’ll be able to plan ahead. Our Amherst advisors provide valuable insight that will help you through the Amherst admissions and acceptance process. They even have advice on nailing Amherst essays.

If you’re like most students in the process of applying to college, you are probably working with a short list of the universities you’d most like to attend. We provide you with information on the best universities throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Use us as a resource during your initial college search and beyond.

CollegeAdvisor offers great opportunities to learn the ropes of getting into college. We curate our information based on the typical Amherst student, Amherst grads, Amherst College rankings, and other highly reliable resources. Whether you are focusing on Amherst College, Yale, the University of Washington, or one of numerous other U.S. universities, you’ll find the answers and advice you need on our website.

Allison Guo
University of Michigan

My advisor made a genuine effort to get to know me, which made the essays that we worked on together stronger and much more authentic. Working with CollegeAdvisor helped build my confidence in my college applications!

Amherst College Related Essay Guides

Amherst admissions supports three types of applications: the Common App, the Coalition App, and the QuestBridge app. If in doubt, you can ask our Amherst advisors to help you decide which Amherst application is right for you. Each type of application asks for general information. Additionally, each requires an essay that is separate from supplemental Amherst essays you will need to write.

You must submit one of three Amherst supplemental essays to become an Amherst student. You’ll have three themes to choose from. These Amherst supplemental essays accompany your general Amherst application.

We have created an easy-to-use, detailed guide for writing Amherst supplemental essays. It covers each of the three Amherst essays, providing specific advice that will help you write the best essay possible. Remember, this is a key component of your Amherst application package, especially considering there are no Amherst SAT requirements or Amherst College GPA requirements.

We have developed other great resources for writing the Amherst supplemental essays. Try some of these writing warmup exercises prior to getting started on your Amherst essays.

Not sure how to approach the Amherst essays? CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the Amherst supplemental essays will show you how to write strong Amherst essays to maximize your chances of admission. […]

Amherst College Related How to Get Into Guides

Wondering how to get into Amherst College? In short, every potential Amherst student needs a personalized strategy. Begin your Amherst admissions journey with CollegeAdvisor’s How to Get Into Amherst College Guide. Here, you’ll find in-depth information on Amherst college majors, Amherst essays, Amherst SAT requirements, Amherst application deadlines, becoming an Amherst student, and more.

Amherst College is a member of the Five College Consortium. This cooperative group includes five area universities, all within ten miles of each other:

  • Amherst College
  • Hampshire College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Smith College
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

As part of this group, each Amherst student has access to 10 museums, an extensive library system, and 6,000 courses. Amherst College and the other colleges provide bus services between campuses. That way, you can easily access resources not available at your library.

Also, every Amherst student has access to many of the courses offered at the other four colleges. While at Amherst College, you can take up to half your class load per semester at another Consortium school. You can even join clubs and activities at the four other colleges. The perks to being an Amherst student extend far beyond the Amherst College campus.

Amherst College Campus Videos