JAN 15, 2024: Application Opens
FEB 15, 2024:  Application DEADLINE

(see other important dates in chart at the bottom of this page)


Amherst College Fellowships:
what are they?

Amherst College Fellowships are a collection of nearly 20 different funds of varying sizes established over the past 150 years by generous alumni donors of Amherst College. They are devoted to supporting AC seniors and alumni who are pursuing either full-time, degree-granting graduate study or independent training in the performing arts.

Do I have to pick a fund to apply for?

No! You simply apply for "Amherst College Fellowships." We figure out which fund to draw from that will give you the most sizeable award possible. For instance, we can pull an award for a philosophy applicant from one of two funds that is specifically earmarked for philosophy students, or from a fund that allows for a wide range of fields of study. In that case, we would draw from the philosophy-specific fund because it will result in a higher award amount. For a law student, however, there is no specially earmarked fund. Therefore, our only choice is to draw from a more general fund. We publicize the names and stipulations of these funds in order to be transparent about how this works. But you do not have to concern yourself with picking a specific fund. 

How much are the awards?

Most recipients' awards range from $3,500 - $5,000. Some can be substantially higher ($10,000 or so) for applicants in certain fields such as chemistry, geology, history, religion, and philosophy, or for study at Cambridge, Oxford, or the Sorbonne (because funds earmarked for these fields happen to have higher amounts in them).
One award - the Kellogg - is for $30,000 dollars and is offered to one applicant with exceptional academic merit annually. Award amounts vary depending on field of study, the number of applicants that apply in any given year, and the academic merit and need rating of each individual applicant.

How may awards be used?

Award monies are to be used for tuition, fees, books, and/or equipment required for courses. They are not intended for room and board, travel, optional equipment, or any incidental expense. Recipients typically must declare their fellowship to the graduate institution where they are enrolled. The Office of Fellowships cannot advise on taxes related to fellowships. Please refer to the IRS Publication 970 - Tax Benefits for Education. For further questions, please contact your local IRS office

How are awards sent?

Awards are sent by check or through Finexio directly to recipients. In some cases, by request of the awardee, the check is sent directly to the institution where the recipient is enrolled in graduate study. Overseas awardees may request to have their funds wire transferred to their international bank. In order to collect their funds, applicants follow the procedures outlined under Accepting your AC Fellowship.

What fields of graduate study or performance training are eligible?

Graduate study: Applicants in any field of study for any type of graduate level or professional degree (PhD, EdD, DPhil, MA, MEd, MSc, MLitt, MFA, JD, MD, MBA, etc.) are eligible.

Independent training in the arts: Applicants in the fields of music (including vocal or instrumental performance, conducting, or composition); dance (including choreography); theatre (acting) are eligible.

Not eligible: Medical residencies, law clerkships, post-baccalaureate programs, professional certification programs, preparation courses for standardized tests and similar courses or positions are not considered full-time degree-granting graduate study and are not eligible. Part-time graduate course enrollment is not eligible. Fees for applying to graduate school are not eligible.

Applicants do not need to search for a fund that matches their field of study. Instead, all applicants complete the AC Fellowships application and the Office of Fellowships determines the appropriate fund source from which to draw their award. 

What exactly is "independent training in the performing arts"? Is it different from graduate study in the performing arts?

Yes, It's quite different! Some of the funds comprising AC Fellowships can be devoted to applicants who want to pursue some kind of part-time performance arts training (without seeking a graduate degree) that will advance them in their career. This may include vocal or instrumental coaching; taking ballet, jazz, or other kinds of dance lessons to learn a new genre or develop one's skill; or other kinds of training in dance, theatre, or music. Projects such as putting on a production are not eligible for funding; the proposal must focus on the applicant's training.

Where must graduate study/training take place?

Study/training may take place anywhere in the world as long as it is offered by an accredited, full-time degree-granting institution of higher learning or, in the case of independent training in the performing arts, a credentialed professional or school. 

Who is eligible? When and how often may they apply?

  • WHO: all graduating seniors and alumni within six years of graduation from Amherst College are eligible; for the February 15, 2024 deadline, anyone graduating in the class of 2018 or later is eligible; there are no citizenship requirements
  • HOW OFTEN: applicants may apply for and receive up to three years of funding; awardees who are more than six years removed from graduation may apply for renewal only if both their graduate study and status as an ACF awardee has been continuous
  • WHEN: first-time applicants should apply in the February before the fall in which they intend to start graduate school ; renewal applicants should apply in the February before the fall in which they plan to continue another year of their graduate studies; applicants for independent training should apply in the February before any training that will begin any time from the next August first on

Do renewal applicants have to fill out the whole application again?

Second and third time (renewal) applicants DO have to fill out a complete application, though the number of recommendation letters required is reduced. See the AC Fellowships Application page for details. 

On what basis are awards given?

Almost all awards are given on the basis of a combination of academic or artistic merit and financial need. Two of the funds that comprise AC Fellowships stipulate that financial need not be considered. These are the Kellogg and the Rosenblum. Both of these awards are restricted by field of study and/or specific institutions/locations for study. See the AC Fellowships Descriptions to learn more about these awards. 

How is academic or artistic merit determined?

Academic or artistic merit is determined by the faculty Committee on Student Fellowships' review of the applicant's transcript(s), application essay, resume, and recommendation letters.

How is financial need determined?

For graduate study: Applicants who confirm that they need financial support in order to attend graduate school without incurring debt are deemed to have some degree of financial need, even if they did not receive financial aid at Amherst. All applicants who declare need will be asked to provide additional information as follows: 

  • U.S. citizens will be asked to upload their FAFSA Student Aid Report to the ACF application portal.
  • International Students will answer additional questions in the application about their income and savings. 

Based on this information and the applicant's financial need history at Amherst, a need rating will be assigned to each applicant. 

For independent training in the arts: Applicants who confirm that they need financial support in order to pursue independent training in the arts without incurring debt are deemed to have some degree of financial need, even if they did not receive financial aid at Amherst. Such applicants will have to answer questions about their income and savings, and also provide a budget for their proposed training. Based on this information and the applicant's financial need history at Amherst, a need rating will be assigned.

How do I apply?

First, read carefully the instructions on the AC Fellowships Application page, where you will learn what materials you need to apply and how to submit them through the AC Fellowships Survey Monkey Application portal. You will also learn there how many recommendation letters to request and from whom. ALL application materials (including recommendation letters and financial documents) are due by FEB 15, 2024. The application will open by JAN 15th. 

See the timeline below for application, award notification, and check release dates.

Amherst College Fellowships Timeline

DatesACF Deadlines and Important Events
JAN 15Application opens in Survey Monkey
FEB 15Applications due including recommendations and financial information
MARCommittee on Student Fellowships determines awards
APR 15Trustees approve awards; notifications sent by Office of Fellowships
MAY 1Awardee response forms due; AC Catalog prepared
JUNEAwardees send proof of acceptance to graduate programs
JULY 1New fiscal year begins (no checks sent until this date); mailing addresses confirmed
AUGUSTCheck requests sent to Controller
SEPTAwardees receive the 1st check - half of the award
DECAwardees again confirm current mailing address
JANCheck requests sent to Controller
JANAwardees receive the 2nd check - half of the award

Have questions? Please contact us!

Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall


Suzanne Spencer, Fellowships Coordinator  (working remotely)




Mailing address: 100 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA 01002

On-Campus Mailing Address: AC #2214, PO Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002