Diversity & Inclusion

Students at Orientation

A Community that Looks Like the World

Diversity is an engine of innovation. It is the natural condition of the modern world. And, not coincidentally, it is a foundational part of an Amherst education. We believe that a great intellectual community should look like the world, and with every incoming student, that community comes to life here.

Diverse by Many Measures

Amherst one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country.

  • Geographic Diversity: Our students come from 48 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and more than 55 countries around the world. Approximately 10 percent of our students are international, with non-U.S. citizenship. Another 5 percent hold dual citizenship with the United States and another country and have lived or studied outside the United States.
  • Racial and Ethnic Diversity: About 43 percent of our U.S. students identify as students of color (Hispanic/Latino, 13 percent; Asian-American, 13 percent; African-American, 12 percent; biracial or multiracial, 5 percent).
  • Socioeconomic Diversity:  At Amherst, 60 percent of students receive need-based financial aid, 23 percent receive Pell Grants and 17 percent are the first members of their families to attend college. The average annual financial aid package is more than $48,000.

A National Model

As Amherst has become more diverse, the quality of our students has also risen by every standard measure. We are proud of our work to achieve and sustain both diversity and selectivity in its many forms. We are also proud that many in the media have noticed these efforts, including The New York Times, National Public Radio and The Washington Post.

Diversity Programs for Prospective Students

Amherst is proud of its work to recruit, admit and enroll a diverse student body. As part of these efforts, the Office of Admission hosts two weekend Diversity Open Houses to introduce prospective applicants to Amherst's campus, student body, faculty, classes and residence halls. Diversity Interns are current Amherst students who work with the Office of Admission to reach out to prospective students from different cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Diversity Interns provide information and personal perspectives on what the Amherst College community has to offer. Meet these students, learn more about their work and contact them with questions through our Diversity Interns page.

multicultural resource center

Multicultural Resource Center

Located in Keefe Campus Center, the Multicultural Resource Center is the communications and activities hub for all groups at Amherst College that promote understanding of the various cultures that make up our community. It provides resources for students, faculty and staff, including a mentor program and a multimedia lending library.

President Biddy Martin
Biddy Martin on Diversity

“I came here for many of the same reasons you did...
I came because of [Amherst’s] commitment to a student body that reflects the rich diversity of the country, indeed the world. I came, as you did, to contribute in some way to making Amherst even better, and to figuring out what it might mean, here as elsewhere, to take full advantage of the diversity you represent.”

—President Biddy Martin, Commencement Speech 2013

From the Board of Trustees

“We will continue to give special importance to the inclusion within our student body, our faculty and our staff of talented persons from groups that have experienced prejudice and disadvantage. We do so for the simplest, but most urgent, of reasons: because the best and the brightest people are found in many places, not few; because our classrooms and residence halls are places of dialogue, not monologue; because teaching and learning at their best are conversations with persons other than ourselves about ideas other than our own.”

—From the Amherst College Trustees’ Statement on Diversity