Advantages of Learning at Amherst

An Amherst education is personal, dynamic, and rigorous. Our professors are among the foremost authorities in their fields. They work with students every day, in and out of class, as teachers, advisers, and mentors.

We are known for our open curriculum, a bold experiment in place since 1971. To graduate, students must take four years of classes, but just one first-year seminar and the required classes for their major. In conjunction with their academic advisors, students plan a program of study to discover their intellectual and creative passions and equip themselves for a life of active, collaborative learning.

How Learning Happens

At Amherst we encourage you to look at the world from new perspectives. Check the list to see if you’ve got what it takes.

a student demonstrates a procedure in a lab, observed by a large group of students

Experiential Learning

We set our students and graduates on a path to be engaged, effective and innovative problem-solvers in their communities and workplaces. Learning by doing takes many forms at Amherst.

a student presents work to a group of students in a lab


Amherst students work side-by-side with professors conducting important research. We provide opportunities during the school year and the summer, both paid and unpaid, and offer funding for theses.

Three students listening and taking notes in a classroom

The Open Curriculum

We are known for our open curriculum, a bold experiment in place since 1971. Each classroom is filled with inquisitive, fully engaged students committed to the topic at hand.

Town of Amherst MA with University of Massachusetts buildings in the distance

Five College Consortium

Amherst students can choose among more than 6,000 courses for credit at four nearby schools: Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

International flags on Fayerweather Hall

Global Learning

It begins on campus: Students from more than 50 countries take courses that prepare them for life in a globally connected world. It continues off campus: 40% of Amherst students study abroad.