Additional Flexibility in the Evaluation of Transfer Credit

Due to the severe disruptions related to COVID-19, Amherst has adopted more flexible guidelines regarding transferable credit for spring 2020 college coursework. Specifically, all college coursework completed by admitted or applying transfer students with grades of "Pass/P" for the spring 2020 term will be considered for transfer of credit. Additionally, spring 2020 college coursework that was scheduled for in-person instruction, but was moved to online instruction as a result of the pandemic, will be considered for transfer of credit. All other criteria for transferability of credit must be met and will be determined at the discretion of the Registrar at the point of admission.

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

Amherst seeks, above all, to enroll exceptional students of strong and vibrant intellectual promise who have the demonstrated qualities of mind and character that will enable them to thrive in our dynamic academic and social environment and to take full advantage of the remarkable resources our community offers. A successful Amherst student is someone who will embrace the academic freedom provided by our open curriculum, engage with our talented and accomplished professors, and contribute significantly to a student population whose diversity of both background and perspective fosters a process of mutual education within and beyond the classroom curriculum.

Students who are interested in applying to Amherst as transfer students 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!


Eligibility and Guidelines for Transfer Admission

Update: Please review the statement above regarding additional flexibility in the evaluation of credit for transfer applicants.

A student may apply for transfer admission to Amherst after completing the equivalent of 32 semester hours of transferable liberal arts coursework at another college or university. (Courses in progress at the time of application are included in determining transferable credit.) To be competitive, you should have at least an A- average in your college courses. We do not accept applications from individuals who have already earned a bachelor's degree. Nor do we accept transfer applications from students who have completed college coursework as part of any program of early graduation from secondary school or other accelerated completion of secondary school. (Such students should apply as first-year applicants.)

For more important information on transfer eligibility and transfer of credit, please read our Transferring to Amherst information sheet.


Transfer Admission Options and Application Deadlines

Transfer applicants may apply for enrollment starting in either the fall or the spring semester. 

  • Transfer applications for spring enrollment must be submitted by the November 2 deadline; notice of our decision will be issued by mid-December. 
  • Transfer applications for fall enrollment must be submitted by the March 1 deadline; notice of our decision will be issued by mid-April.   

If admitted, you must respond to our offer immediately. Due to fluctuations in our transfer enrollment, accepted transfer candidates may not defer their enrollment.


Transfer Application Requirements

Required Application Materials 

Transfer applicants must submit the following materials by the appropriate deadline  --   November 2 for spring enrollment or March 1 for fall enrollment:

  • Common Application for Transfer Students or Coalition Application for Transfer Students
    →  Learn more about our application options.
  • Amherst College Supplement to the Common Application or Coalition Application
  • $65 Application Fee (non-refundable) or Fee Waiver (requested through Common Application or Coalition Application or Amherst's Quick Pass)
  • College Report
  • College Transcripts (from all post-secondary institutions at which you have completed college coursework)
  • Mid-Term Report (if applicable)
  • List of Courses in Progress (at time of application, if applicable)
  • Two College Instructor Evaluations (referred to as "Academic Evaluator Recommendations" on the Common Application)
    Note: Amherst requires that both recommendations be from a college instructor who has taught you. We do not accept recommendations from academic advisors.
  • Secondary School Transcript
    Note: Amherst does not require the secondary school "Final Report" form, only the secondary school transcript.
  • TOEFL or IELTS Results (if needed for International Student Applicants)
    Note: Amherst does not accept self-reported test scores for TOEFL or IELTS; only official score reports are permitted for these tests.

Optional Standardized Testing Results 

Standardized tests (SAT and/or ACT) are not required for transfer admission, but can be helpful. If you are currently a first-year student or sophomore in a four-year college or university and you enrolled immediately after secondary school, we recommend that you share the results of standardized testing, if those scores are not already included on your secondary school transcript.
Note: If you are a U.S. veteran applicant, please consult our U.S. veteran page for specialized  information on standardized testing guidelines.

Optional Application 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 talents or accomplishments in the arts -- music, theater, dance, and visual art -- may submit related material for review by Amherst faculty. For additional details on art supplements, please review our Special Information for Arts Supplement Submission.
  • 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. Prospective student-athletes should review the NESCAC Statement of Common Admission Practices.

Special Circumstances?

Are you a community college student or an American veteran? Be sure to check out our special information pages for community college transfer students and U.S. veterans.

Are you an international student?  Be sure to check out our special information pages for international student applicants.

Are you an undocumented student?  Be sure to check out our special information pages for undocumented and DACA-designated applicants.

If you are a U.S. veteran, a community college student, a homeschooled student, or an undocumented or DACA-designated student, please see the relevant special information pages for additional guidance on the application process.


Transfer 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:

  • college and secondary school transcripts;
  • instructor recommendations;
  • quality of writing as demonstrated in your essays, writing supplement, 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 time give us the clearest indication of how well you will do at Amherst. Recommendations, the quality of your writing, and extra- and co-curricular accomplishments also help us draw fine distinctions among very talented applicants.