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- Applying to Amherst
Students who are interested in applying to Amherst should first be familiar with our available admission options, our application requirements, our deadlines, and our approach to reviewing and evaluating applications for admission. Keep reading.....
It's all here!
First-Year Early Decision and Regular Decision Options
First-year applicants to Amherst may choose to apply under the Early Decision or Regular Decision options.
Traditionally, about 10 percent of Amherst applicants choose our binding Early Decision (ED) option. As an Early Decision applicant to Amherst, you agree not to be an ED candidate at any other college. You also agree, if admitted, to withdraw your applications from other colleges and to enroll at Amherst in the fall. Because of the level of commitment required, ED is a good option only for those who have decided early in the college search process that Amherst is clearly their first-choice school.
Early Decision applications must be submitted by the November 15 ED deadline; notice of our admission decision will be sent by December 15. Most ED applicants are either admitted or deferred for reconsideration with the Regular Decision pool, although some ED applicants do receive a final decision of denial at the ED stage.
More than 90 percent of our applicants choose the Regular Decision option. Regular decision applications must be submitted by January 1 RD deadline; notice of our admission decision will be sent by early April. If admitted, you must reply to our offer by May 1.
First-Year Application Requirements
Required Application Materials First-year applicants must submit the following materials by the appropriate deadline for Early Decision (November 15) or Regular Decision (January 1):
- Common Application (on-line submission only)
- Amherst College Supplement to the Common Application
→ Learn about our options for the writing supplement.
- $60 Application Fee (non-refundable) or Fee Waiver (requested through Common App or Amherst's Quick Pass).
- School Report
- Secondary School Transcript
→ A high school diploma or its recognized equivalent is required before enrolling at Amherst College.
- Two Teacher Evaluations (English, Math, Science, Social Studies or Foreign Language)
- Standardized Test Results (one of the following):
Testing should be completed by the appropriate deadline (either ED or RD); in particular, Regular Decision applicants should be aware that the results of January testing may not reach us in time to be considered.
- ACT (Writing Test recommended);
- SAT I plus two SAT II Subject Tests
→ Learn more about the Redesigned SAT I launching March 2016.
We recommend that you submit all standardized test results, as we will evaluate your application based on your highest combination of subscores for the SAT and/or ACT.
For score reporting, use Amherst's SAT code (3003) and ACT code (1774).
- Early Decision Agreement (for ED applicants)
- First marking period grades from senior year (for ED applicants, if available)
- TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS Results (if needed for International Student Applicants)
First-year applicants must also submit the following, as soon as first trimester or first semester grades are available:
- Mid-Year School Report Form
- Mid-Year Transcript
Optional Materials Students with exceptional accomplishments in specific areas may wish to submit additional information for consideration. This optional material is neither required nor necessary and should be submitted only if the applicant has achieved at an exceptionally high level.
- Arts Students with exceptional accomplishments or talents in the arts may submit related material for review by Amherst faculty through SlideRoom, where you will find additional, Amherst-specific instructions for each category of submission (music, theater, dance, and visual art.) Please do not send originals to us, as we cannot return to you any material submitted.
- Research If you have engaged in significant research in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, social sciences or humanities - undertaken independently of the high school curriculum - you may include a brief description of your research project in the "Optional Research Questions" section of Amherst's Writing Supplement within the Common Application.
- Athletics Students who wish to participate in varsity athletics may indicate that interest in the appropriate section of the Common Application and may consult the About Amherst Athletics webpage for information about varsity teams and contact with athletic coaches. All prospective student-athletes should review the NESCAC Statement of Common Admission Practices.
First-Year Application Deadlines
Early Decision: November 15
Regular Decision: January 1
Application Review and Evaluation
Amherst takes great care to review every application thoroughly. Each application is read by at least two admission deans before being presented to the Admission Committee for discussion. In evaluating your application, we pay closest attention to your:
- secondary school transcript;
- standardized test results;
- teacher and counselor recommendations;
- quality of writing as demonstrated in your essays, writing supplement, testing and recommendations;
- extra- and co-curricular involvements, talents, and leadership.
We give the greatest weight to your academic transcript. The rigor of the courses you've taken, the quality of your grades and the consistency with which you've worked over four years give us the clearest indication of how well you will do at Amherst. While there is no specific set of secondary school classes required for admission, the most competitive applicants have pursued the strongest program of study available at the secondary level -- typically including four years of study in English, math, science, social studies and foreign language -- and have achieved the highest levels of academic performance. Standardized tests also play an important role in helping us evaluate you in comparison to students taught in very different secondary schools. Recommendations, the quality of your writing, and extra- and co-curricular accomplishments also help us draw fine distinctions among very talented applicants.
IB, AP and College Courses If you have taken International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement or college courses during secondary school, we view this as significant evidence of your academic ambition, accomplishment and preparation. However, we do not accept such courses for credit or advanced standing, although some Amherst academic departments will allow you to forego introductory-level courses in areas in which you have already completed rigorous work.
Deferred Admission If you are admitted to Amherst College, you may request permission from the Dean of Admission to defer your matriculation for one year without reapplying. To do so, you must confirm your intent to enroll at Amherst by submitting the enrollment form and required deposit along with a written request for the deferral by the May 1 response deadline. During the deferral year, an admitted student may not apply to or enroll as a matriculated degree candidate at another college or university. A deferred student wishing to receive credit for academic work completed during the year between the completion of secondary school and enrollment at Amherst would be required to reapply for admission as a transfer student.
To begin an application Get started at Common App Online.
To stay on schedule Review important dates and deadlines.
Review ADMISSION STATISTICS for the Class of 2018.