Amherst Admission Responds to COVID-19

Suspension of SAT/ACT testing requirement.  Given limitations on opportunities for SAT and ACT testing, Amherst will suspend for one year its requirement that all students applying for first-year admission submit SAT or ACT scores. This test-optional policy applies to all applicants - domestic and international - submitting applications during the 2020-21 admission cycle for first-year enrollment in the Class of 2025. At their own discretion, applicants may still submit SAT or ACT scores for consideration, but SAT Subject Tests will not be considered as part of the evaluation of any applicant's academic record.

Acceptance of additional English proficiency tests.  For the 2020-21 admission cycle, Amherst will also accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition, the TOEFL ITP for China, and the IELTS Indicator.

Read more about Amherst Admission response to COVID-19 developments.

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 10% are non-U.S. citizens, coming 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 and who has not conducted their entire secondary education at a school with English as the primary language of instruction 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).
Note: For the 2020-21 admission cycle, Amherst will also accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition, the TOEFL ITP for China, and the IELTS Indicator. These tests will be weighed equally with the regular TOEFL and IELTS tests.

Waivers: Only those applicants who have conducted their entire secondary education at a school with English as the primary language of instruction are eligible for a waiver of the TOEFL-IELTS requirement. [The term "entire secondary education" refers to the level of education just before university level, either three or four years, depending on the student's national system of education.]

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 summary statistics on international admission and testing, please review our Statistics on Admission. For more detailed reporting of admission statistics, see our annual Report to Secondary Schools.

Students sit in groups on the green grass of the quad, among trees, with Johnson Chapel in the background

An Overview of Amherst for International Applicants

Amherst College welcomes applicants from all around the world. International students comprise 10% of our student body, while an additional 6% of our students have dual citizenship. Learn more.