Location: Amherst, MA
Funding: Private Institution
Size: 1,785 students
Percent Women: 50%
Tuition (one year): $48,526 (not including Room and Board)
Most Popular Majors: Economics; History; Political Science; English; Psychology
Greek Life: No
Acceptance Rate: 14.3%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Amherst College ’s website at https://www.amherst.edu/admission.
"Amherst truly cares about its students. From the extraordinary financial aid to the many resources on campus to help with academics and personal issues, Amherst is with you every step of the way. It's an amazing feeling to know that no matter what happens, this school has my back!"
"The students are passionate. They have passion for politics, passion for the arts, passion for the sciences, passion for friendships, passion for long lasting bonds...Amherst students care about their education and that's why this institution cares about them."
"I chose Amherst because I believe it's one of, if not THE best liberal arts school in the country. It has a great reputation. You always see it in the news for doing groundbreaking things. I wanted to be apart of that."
"Amherst has a superior location in a quiet town, a great reputarion and the friendliest people you will ever meet. The atmosphere is helps to cultivate the free-thinking minds of the future!"
"Amherst knows that you intend to go far and helps you to go even farther. Through my major department I've been able to the other side of the country for an internship to get the experience of a lifetime. Everyone asks me if it's harder to do research at a liberal arts school. Well, at Amherst, they go out of their way to make sure that you have access to everything you need, research included.
"As a gay student who recently came out of the closet, I feel safe attending Amherst. It was much more welcoming than my high school and I don't regret my decision to come here at all. There are many resources on campus for not only queer students but students of various backgrounds."
"I LOVE THE OPEN CURRICULUM! It gives me so many options as a pre-med major. At other schools, I would not have the option of studying Spanish, let alone studying abroad. At Amherst, not only can I achieve multiply dreams but chances are someone already has done the same. The alumni and upperclassmen can become amazing mentors when planning your academic career."
"The professors are extremely accessible. If you can't get a hold of your professor, it's really on you. They practically bear themselves open to us. Heck, the people here are all wonderful!"
"Amherst has resources for everyone. I recently had computer troubles and in the process of getting a new one I utilitzed the library and computer center. State of the art PCs and Macs ready to use for all students. I never had to wait to use a computer. It was a great experience."
"The location of Amherst in comparison to other schools is really good. We aren't in the big city but we aren't in the middle of nowhere. We are in a cozy in between but only a few hours away from each polar. We are also surrounded by four awesome colleges in a consortium. You can't get bored here because there is so much to do and many people to meet."
"There are so many events on campus and ways to get involved. The festivals are the most fun because you get free food, and games while getting to mingle with teachers and classmates. Did I mention that it's all free?!"
"Poor Val. I think whenever anyone thinks of something at Amherst that needs improvment, Val is the first thing that comes to mind. I can't disagree that the food could be better but at the same time it could be worse. The long lines at lunch can be a drag, but at least we get hot food. I don't know, I guess I'm the type to look on the bright side but it's the truth!"
"If I had to improve something about Amherst, I would say that I wish there is more consistent school spirit."
"Amherst has one relatively small school gear store in town. I wish that it had a larger selection, and that it was on campus"
"During my application process for Amherst, I was surprised by the fact that Amherst does not have formal interviews in the admissions office. I think this should be a much bigger part of the admissions decision."
"One thing that Amherst could improve upon is the relationship between the administration and the students. I feel the community would be better served if there was a more open dialogue."
"AAS (Association of Amherst Students)...because sometimes I wonder what do they even do?"
New Collegiette on Campus
"You will realize very soon that the Freshman Quad is the best place on campus. It's the center for all major events, you're about ten minutes walking distance, at most, from every classroom. Your friends aren't miles away but in the dorm next door or perhaps literally next door. Everything is at your fingertips. Soak it in."
"College is hard. Remember that being at Amherst means you have people to turn to for help. There's the Writing Center for essays, the Q-center for the quantative subjects and there's a tutoring program if you're really struggling. You don't have to do this alone. As a freshman, Amherst knows it's hard for you and they want to help you get better."
"You don't have to rush to get into a relationship. While many people meet someone they click with in the first few months, for others it may take awhile longer. Don't worry about that. Make strong bonds of friendship and the romance will soon follow. Trust me!"
"When you meet your roommate for the first time, make it count. I was very open about my living habits to the roommate and she was with me. At the end of the day, we live very well together. We have not had any disagreements and I believe it's because we already knew what urked the other. Don't be shy or hold back because you want to impress a stranger. In a few months you won't be strangers and it's harder to say things after the fact."
"Join a club! We don't have soroties here at Amherst but that doesn't mean you can't find your own sisters. It's amazing when you connect with strong, empowering young women like yourself that share your interests. These are bonds that can last a lifetime. Even if it's just one club that you go to every other week, make the effort. It can be a big change to your experience here."
"My first year at Amherst is coming to a close and I wonder when the time flew away. It seems like just yesterday I stepped foot in on the campus, pulling in my luggage packed for ten months. I was nervous but excited. I couldn't wait to conquer this new environment. As I met new friends, connected with teachers and learned more than I could ever imagine...I keep hoping these next three years don't fly by like this one did."
All About Academics
"I think the academics are really challenging. Because you come from high school where you're one of the smartest kids, and then you get here and everyone's smart and good at working, and it raises the level up. I think it's because you have this high concentration of really smart people."
"It's not pre-professional. A lot of the classes, including Econ and Comp Sci, are very theoretical. It's not so much about applied math or applied science, it's about theory. And you're learning to learn, not just to prepare yourself for a career."
"I've loved writing a thesis. I've gotten really close to my thesis adviser (we have lunch every week!), and I've learned so much about myself as a writer and a thinker."
"We have an open curriculum, which is one of the reasons I chose Amherst. I never wanted to take math again, so I didn't have to. Without core requirements, you have the space to dabble in the areas you want to, and/or take tons of classes in your favorite suject. I've tried Psych, Econ, Poli Si, Religion, etc. and there have also been semesters when I've take four lit classes!"
"Everyone takes a First Year Seminar the fall of their freshman year. They're designed to introduce you to college-level writing. I took Pariscapes and I loved it. We studied Paris through literature, poetry, art, and film, and we got to take a field trip to New York to go to MOMA."
"Amherst is very connected throughout the world. I know many people who took part in the exchange program to Doshisha. Honestly, I think that is amazing!"
Learn From the Best
"My favorite professor is Christopher Johnson, my screenwriting professor. He keeps a really good balance between being a professor but also being relatable, and an interesting person, and an actual human. He's also really funny and quirky, but obviously knows his craft very well. And I feel like the things he tells me to do with my work actually make a difference."
"Everybody loves Professor Sanderson. She's a psych professor, and she teaches really interesting classes like Sports Psych and Close Relationships. She's a hilarious lecturer and she loves when students come to her office hours."
"My favorite professor is Professor Tiersky. He's a Political Science professor. He was really insightful and he was really good at engaging everyone in the class."
"Professor Parham is so cool. She's an English professor and she's also the head of the Five College Digital Humanities, so her classes are all very multi-media. We blogged, made our own film trailors, and watched lots of movies, all while reading very challenging theory like Lacan and Judith Butler, and using it to understand popular culture."
"Professor Rockwell is one of the most caring professors at Amherst. He's a French professor, and he has very personal relationships with all of this students. He'll chat with you about your life during office hours, and ask you if you're doing alright if you look tired in class. He's also a hilarious and dynamic lecturer and he's good at getting people to participate without putting them on the spot in a vicious way."
"Many people forget this, but we get many guest speakers. We have had Newt Gingrich, Jimmy McMillan and, Ndaba Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela! We get very interesting people of all different opinions to help cultivate our own. I think it makes Amherst Special!"
Interests & Involvement
"Students have many opportunities to get involved helping other students here at Amherst. If you love guiding people you can become a Residence Counselor. If you want to help with orientation you can lead one of the orientation trips or become a squad leader to lead the freshman directly. Whatever you love to do you can contribute to the Amherst community."
"I love being an RC [Resident Counselor]! The RCs are like the older siblings. We can help with boy problems, girl problems, academic issues and anything you need we are here to be the family support on campus for you." - Freshman RC
"If you have a club idea, you can easily go to AAS or one of the affiliated deans for funding. If the campus doesn't have it you can make it happen. I've seen all types of clubs become quite popular just because one person had the guts to make it a reality. Chances are if you like it, others will too!"
"Do you love music?! Amherst loves music! We have the most well-known acapella groups. Secular, non secular, mixed gendered, single gendered, no matter what you prefer, if you love to sing, you can at Amherst. Not the best singer, don't worry. You can join the choir or take music courses. Do you love to dance? DASAC is one of the coolest dance groups on campus. More of a Korean pop person, then you should try the DBJ dance crew. Love to dance but not sure you're good at it, that's okay too! You can join Amherst Dance or take dance classes. Your options are open."
"The affinity groups on campus seek to give solace to students of a variety of backgrounds. Part of being a diverse student body with a many international students means that we all assimilate to Amherst culture differently. Moreover, affinity groups on campus also serve as educators to the rest of the student body. They organize events to spread the culture and the love."
"I love being an athlete at Amherst. Because we are a smaller school I get to play with my team. We spend less time on the bench and more time doing what we love. I also have friends who were Varsity players in high school and decided to join a club sport instead. If you're not very into sports but want to stay active, club sports also allow you to play with less pressure."
" I think school spirit goes beyond athletics. It is impressive to see the number of people who support preformances and club events"
"A large percentage of students at Amherst participate in Athletics, either on varsity sports or in clubs, so there is a large support network. Even on weekdays you can find a lot of students attending games. Basketball and lacrosse games are especially fun to watch in my opinion, but on any given day at Amherst you can support your classmates in a variety of arenas"
"Not only is there great support at athletic events, there is also a lot of school spirit around campus. It is easy to spot several people around campus wearing Amherst gear. I think this helps bridge the gap between athletes and non-athletes, which can seem large at times"
"No matter what your major is or how you spend your spare time, at the end of the day, WE ALL BLEED PURPLE!"
" I am so proud to be an athlete at Amherst because I get so excited to play in front of all of my friends. It really feels great to have such support system"
"Amherst women have a reputation for being smart! I love that!"
"I think the women here all like each other. I don't feel like there's a lot of female cattiness."
"There are a few key wardrobe pieces that all the women here seem to have. Everyone has bean boots. Everyone has a nice raincoat. Everyone has a patagonia. Everyone has uggs, Hunter rain boots, that Longchamp bag. People have certain key pieces, but everything else is very different."
"Most of my life, I've mostly had guy friends. I found that I had trouble connecting with other girls because we had such conflicted interests. Here at Amherst, my best friend is female and I love it! Finally, someone who understands what it's like to be in my shoes because she walks in it every day!"
"I took this awesome class called Girlpower, which was about how women are portrayed in the media and popular culture. It was an amazing class. Really eye-opening. I think everyone should take it."
"We have a great department called Sexuality, Women, and Gender studies. We also have a Women and Gender center in the campus center. They host weekly coffee hours to talk about various women's issues."
Food & Drink
"Amherst has several amazing local coffee shops including Rao's, Amherst Coffee, and Black Sheep. These places have good pastires, sandwiches and a perfect environment for working."
"Yeah it's no secret that Val isn't very good, but when my parents come into town I usually have me take them to this French restaurant called Chez Albert which is really good, although a bit pricey"
"There is this breakfast place in town called Lone Wolf that is so good! Definitely a great place to binge on a Sunday with friends"
"At our campus cafe, there is Pub Night on Thursdays that has really good food and students who are 21 can drink beer and wine."
"At Amherst, there is a program called Take Your Professor Out. I love it because I get to know my teacher on a personal level. We enjoy a meal, and I get to practice my Chinese with him."
"Most of the parties are on campus and are usually held in the suites of sports teams. Because of Amherst's tight community, it is not uncommon to recognize all of the people in the party. The suite style living is also opportune for fun movie nights with friends when we don't feel like doing the normal Saturday night routine"
"The social scene at sporting events is also great. Hanging out with my friends at day games as well as night games is a great alternative to the regular party suite."
"I really value the accepting community of parties here at Amherst. It feels much more intimate than larger universities. For the non-partiers, there are many alternatives such as AC After Dark and Marsh Coffee Haus."
"I like the social life because there is no exclusivity. You can walk into any party suite and feel welcome. I think that is a testament to the general community"
"I live in a smaller dorm and it's like coming home to a family. Everyone says hello, asks about your day and really listens to what you have to say. I love coming home after a hard day and being greeted by hugs because my dormmates can see it on my face. It always brings up my spirits."
"The dorms at Amherst are kept very clean. While I like to think it's the tidiness of the students, I'm pretty sure it's the wonderful cleaning staff. The custodians are phenomenal. They don't mind chit-chatting and they have the greatest stories. Some have traveled to various places while others are artists in their spare time. They are like your uncles, aunts and cousins. They are the extended family members that you love to see because they make you laugh and are just happy to see you."
"ResLife [Residential Life] does their best to place people with the best roommate freshman year. There aren't many rommate pairs that are best buddies that I know, but 9 out of 10 times I would say they can live together peacefully."
"My current roommate is one of my best friends here at Amherst. She knows more about me than anyone, and I about her. We plan to live together next year and maybe the next two years after that. It's rare you meet someone you share interests with and can live together without arguing. A matchmade in heaven."
"Theme housing is a wonderful opportunity to live with students that share your same interests. The language houses allow for students to immerse themselves in a language without leaving Amherst. I heard that some language houses actually have fluent-speaking language TAs to aid conversation.
"I love living in a sub-free dorm. While all-freshman dorms ban alcohol, it enforces other substances like smoking cigarettes. It also helps me to meet students who, when we can drink in the future, would prefer to do other things as well."
"For me Amherst is the perfect college town because there are several coffee shops that are perfect for doing work and catching up with friends"
"I really like how Amherst and the nearby town of Northampton have a lot of delicious shops and restaurants, but there are also several large department stores and a movie theatre on Route 9 which connects the two towns"
"The town of Amherst is pretty small, but the larger town of Northhampton is 15 minutes down Route 9, so it's like we have two college towns in one"
"The Amherst Block Party happened recently. Some times I forget that as a student at Amherst College, I am also a resident of Amherst. It was great to meet the other townsfolk, I met students from the other schools and got to enjoy my new home in a different way."
"There are so many beautiful mountains that surround the Amherst community. These mountains have great hiking trails with unbelievable views of the Pioneer Valley. I love nature, so I feel totally spoiled at Amherst."
"I like the town of Amherst because it is close to the campus, but the campus still feels separate. If you have a free afternoon, walking into town from campus and down the streets of town is the perfect way to spend the afternoon. The pastries at Rao's coffee are divine!"
HC's Complete College Guide: Amherst College
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