International Student Applicants

We welcome first-year and transfer applications from international students!

Typically, about 15% of our students come from secondary schools or universities outside the United States: approximately 10% are non-U.S. citizens who come from more than 50 countries; another 5% 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 

We require any applicant whose first language is not English to take and submit official score reports from English proficiency testing — either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) — with the following exceptions:

English proficiency testing is not required of international students who either:

  • have conducted their entire secondary education at a school with English as the primary language of instruction;
  • have taken the SAT and scored 700 or above on the Critical Reading section (CR) of the old SAT (pre-March 2016) OR 730 or above on the Evidence-based Reading & Writing section (ERW) of the newly redesigned SAT (post-March 2016);
  • have taken the ACT with Writing and scored 32 or above on the Reading section.

TOEFL / IELTS Waivers 

Waiver of the English proficiency testing requirement will be granted only after our verification that the applicant has satisfied one of the above three waiver criteria, based on official documentation contained in the student's application materials. That official verification process will be conducted after the student’s application has been submitted and reviewed.

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 acheived the highest total score. For international applicants required to submit evidence of English language proficiency, we require the following minimum scores:

  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT);
  • 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT);
  • 7.5 overall band score on IELTS.

You may register online to take these tests:
TOEFL: Amherst Code #3003
IELTS: No Codes Used

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.

Review ADMISSION STATISTICS for the Class of 2021 and Transfers in Fall and Spring 2017.