Amherst College

Amherst, MA

Get to know Amherst College

School Profile

Suburban campus setting

1,898 undergraduate students

16% first-generation students (Class of 2026)

Students hail from 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 70 countries


7% applicants admitted in the Class of 2026

90% in top 10% of high school class in the Class of 2026


41 programs of study in the humanities, social sciences, arts, and sciences

Student-to-faculty ratio 7:1

85% of classes have fewer than 30 students

Introduction to Amherst College

Founded in 1821, Amherst College is widely considered to be one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation, enrolling 1,898 talented, energetic and diverse young men and women. A commitment to diversity, defined in its broadest sense, is fundamental to Amherst’s mission. Amherst students come from nearly every state and more than 60 countries, 48% of students identify as U.S. students of color, 11% of students are international, more than 16% of students are the first in their family to attend college, roughly 10% of students on campus are QuestBridge students, and nearly 60% of students receive financial aid from Amherst. With a wide variety of backgrounds, identities and interests, Amherst students create a vibrant college community.

Located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a town of 35,000 people in the western part of the state, the College’s 1,000-acre campus includes top-notch academic, athletic and residential facilities, as well as access to a wildlife sanctuary and a 10-mile bike path. As a residential college, 97% of students live in on-campus dormitories and on-campus housing is guaranteed for all four years of college.

With an emphasis on small classes, close one-on-one contact between students and professors with a 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.

The Open Curriculum provides students with an unusual degree of independence and flexibility to design an individualized academic program, without being constrained by general area, distribution, or core requirements. 

Through Amherst's membership in the Five College Consortium, Amherst students may also take courses at Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire Colleges and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and participate in a wide range of cooperative academic and extracurricular options. 

Fun Fact: Each spring Amherst holds a lip sync competition as part of the housing room-draw process, with the winner getting the top pick of housing for the following year.

80% of Amherst alumni attend graduate or professional school within their lifetimes.

Nearly half of Amherst students study abroad. When participating in a study abroad or educational exchange, a student’s family contribution remains the same as if they were studying at Amherst College.

Hear from a Scholar
“Amherst has taught me how to lean on and learn from all the people I have encountered while also knowing how to enjoy my own company.”
Sara O.'s Story
Cary, NC
Amherst College
“I received the QFE Humanities Award. The biggest benefit I received was the [Pioneer Research Program]. The money also helped me so much as I was able to get a computer which I didn’t have.”
Jiaqi H.'s Story
Grandview, MO
Amherst College
“QuestBridge really challenged me to think about what I want out of my college experience, and gave me a source of hope and support to get those things.”
Daniela F.'s Story
Germantown, MD
Amherst College

Explore Amherst College through photos

Join our mailing list

Are you a current high school student interested in QuestBridge programs? Sign up to be notified when you become eligible to apply! If you are not a high school student, sign up for updates here.