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Amherst College will continue its test-optional policy for all applicants.

In June 2023, we formalized our four-year test-optional pilot program as our policy for all applicants. Read more about what this means for applicants on our Standardized Testing Information page.

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An Overview of Amherst for International Applicants

Amherst College welcomes applicants from all around the world. Typically, international students comprise about 11% of our student body, while an additional 9% of our students hold dual citizenship. 

We welcome first-year and transfer applications from international students! Typically, about 15% of our students come from secondary schools outside the United States: approximately 11% are non-U.S. citizens, coming from more than 70 countries; another 9% hold dual citizenship with the U.S. and another country and have lived or studied outside the U.S.

As a college that follows a need-blind policy in admission for international students and awards financial aid to international students on the same need-basis as domestic students, Amherst is in an exceptional position to admit the most accomplished and promising students from around the world without regard for ability to pay. 

Our Admission Committee is familiar with various education systems around the world.  In reviewing your application, we consider grades, standardized test scores, comprehensive exam predictions or results, essays, recommendations, independent work, the quality of your current academic program and your achievements outside the classroom. No one aspect will determine our decision; instead, we look at the sum total of your experiences.

Application Requirements for International Students

Regardless of your citizenship or geographic location, you should follow the same first-year or transfer application process that other students follow. 

The only additional application requirement for international student applicants (both first-year and transfer) is demonstration of English proficiency.

English Proficiency Requirements

Given the considerable academic demands placed on Amherst students, proficiency in the comprehension and expression of both spoken and written English is required and must be demonstrated prior to admission. Amherst does not offer provisional admission for applicants deficient in English and does not provide English-as-a-Second-Language instruction for international students.

TOEFL / IELTS Testing Requirements

Testing: Any international applicant whose first language is not English is required to take and submit official score reports from English proficiency testing: either the TOEFL-Test of English as a Foreign Language (both the internet-based TOEFL iBT test and the paper-delivered TOEFL test are accepted) or the IELTS-International English Language Testing System (IELTS), unless the applicant satisfies the waiver eligibility conditions below.

Note: For the 2023-24 admission cycle, Amherst will also accept the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, the TOEFL ITP for China, and the IELTS Indicator. These tests will be weighed equally with the regular TOEFL and IELTS tests. We do not accept any other language proficiency tests other than TOEFL/IELTS.

Waivers: Only those first-year applicants who have completed their entire four-years of secondary education at a school with English as the primary language of instruction are eligible for a waiver of the TOEFL-IELTS requirement. Similarly, to be eligible for a TOEFL-IELTS waiver, an international transfer applicant must have completed the most recent four years at schools using English as the primary language of instruction (a combination of secondary school and post-secondary education equaling four years of study at schools with English as the primary language of instruction).

Note: Only those applicants who satisfy the waiver eligibility criteria stated above can be exempted from our English language proficiency testing requirement. Waivers are not granted on any other basis and there are no exceptions beyond the waiver criteria stated above. Additionally, students may not request approval of a waiver prior to submitting an application for admission. After a student has submitted an application for admission, the student will be assigned an individualized applicant portal where they can access a form attesting to eligibility for an English proficiency testing waiver. We do not provide preliminary determinations of waiver eligibility prior to application.

Recommended TOEFL / IELTS Scores 

Amherst does not accept self-reported test scores for TOEFL or IELTS; only official score reports are permitted for these tests. Nor do we superscore results for English proficiency tests; we will use only the results from the single test date on which the applicant achieved the highest total score.

For those international applicants required to submit evidence of English language proficiency, the following minimum scores are strongly recommended:

  • 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or TOEFL Special Home Edition: 25 or above for each section
  • 627 on TOEFL ITP for China: 64 on Listening; 64 on Structure & Written Expression; 63 on Reading
  • 25 or above for each of the three sections of the revised TOEFL Paper-delivered test.
  • 7.5 overall band score on IELTS Academic or IELTS Indicator: 7.5 or above for each component score

You may register online to take these tests:
TOEFL: Amherst Code #3003
IELTS: No codes used - search for Amherst College when releasing results

To begin an application... You should begin by reviewing the Apply to Amherst page. Then, depending on your applicant status, you should continue to either the First-year Applicants page or the Transfer Applicants page, where you can find important information on our available admission options, our application requirements, and our approach to reviewing and evaluating applications for admission. Finally, you can start your application at Common App Online.

To keep on track... Check our Admission Calendar and Deadlines.

Financial Aid Guidelines for International Students

Amherst College follows a need-blind admission policy for all students — domestic and international. This means Amherst will admit international students without regard to their level of financial need or request for financial aid.  In addition, Amherst meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all international students who are admitted to the college and apply for need-based financial aid. To review the requirements necessary for international students to apply for financial aid, visit the Office of Financial Aid web pages for international applicants.

For more detailed reporting of admission statistics, see our annual Report to Secondary Schools.