Amherst College


Amherst College is a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts. As an extensively undergraduate four-year institution, it has around 1,795 undergraduate students at present. It was a men’s college until its transformation to a coeducational college in 1975. With close relationships and cooperation with Williams College and Wesleyan University, it is one of the three components of the Little Three colleges.

Established in 1821 by its President Zephaniah Swift Moore, it is the third oldest higher education institution in Massachusetts. The 1,000-acre campus is located in Amherst, Massachusetts with rural surroundings. As a member of the Five Colleges consortium, Amherst allows its students to attend classes in the other four Pioneer Valley institutions, including Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Hampshire College.

William College offers degrees in bachelor’s program. All the 1,795 students are undergraduates, with a freshman retention rate of 97.8 percent and a graduation rate of 96 percent, which is one of the highest in the United States.

The mission of Amherst College is:

Amherst College educates men and women of exceptional potential from all backgrounds so that they may seek, value, and advance knowledge, engage the world around them, and lead principled lives of consequence. Amherst brings together the most promising students, whatever their financial need, in order to promote diversity of experience and ideas within a purposefully small residential community. Working with faculty, staff, and administrators dedicated to intellectual freedom and the highest standards of instruction in the liberal arts, Amherst undergraduates assume substantial responsibility for undertaking inquiry and for shaping their education within and beyond the curriculum. Amherst College is committed to learning through close colloquy and to expanding the realm of knowledge through scholarly research and artistic creation at the highest level. Its graduates link learning with leadership—in service to the College, to their communities, and to the world beyond.


Amherst College is accredited by the Commission on Institution of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.


Amherst College provides 37 majors in four academic divisions:

  • Arts
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities

The most popular majors and course of study for students are as follows:

  1. Economics
  2. Political Science and Government
  3. Psychology
  4. English Language and Literature
  5. History

Currently, Amherst ranks second by the U.S. News & World Report among all the 266 liberal arts colleges in US.

Amherst College provides an open curriculum, within which students are nor required to fulfill any distribution requirements or study a core curriculum, and they can even design their own unique interdisciplinary major.


ACT or SAT score is required for application, and the application deadline is Jan 1, while SAT or ACT score is due on Dec 31. Applicants are required to pay application fee, which is USD 60, and the acceptance rate is 15.3 percent.


The tuitions and fees for year 2011-2012 is USD 42,898. Students pay USD 11,200 or more for room and board on average.

About 61.9 percent of the full-time students in Amherst College receive certain kind of need-based financial aid, and all the need-based financial aid applications are met. The average need-based grant award or scholarship is $39,675.

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