Student Life at Amherst

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Amherst students have countless opportunities to enrich their educations through co-curricular and extracurricular activities. A student might go to hear a guest speaker in anthropology, take a karate class, sing in an a cappella concert and then help paint a house with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity—all in a single week!

Spring Transfer Student Orientation begins January 19, 2016! 
See the orientation schedule, important forms and more...

Student group at an information table

Student Groups & Publications

Students lead over 100 different autonomous organizations, including groups for activism and community service, religious and cultural affinity groups, intramural sports teams, clubs for various arts and crafts, student newspapers and journals, a debate team, a radio station and more. If you have an interest that’s not represented in the 100 groups already on campus, you can start your own group or join a student organization at one of the other colleges in the Five College consortium. Representatives of Amherst’s student government, not college administrators, decide how to allocate about $250,000 among student organizations.

A snowball fight on the Quad

Residential Life

All first-year Amherst students live in new or newly renovated residences on the Main Quad. These residences feature well-designed living spaces, along with common spaces for studying, socializing, playing music and performing. Ninety-seven percent of students live on campus, and housing is guaranteed for all four years. When hunger pangs hit, check the menu at Valentine Dining Hall, which offers an extraordinary range of food options. Learn more about residential life at Amherst.


Student spectators at a game


At Amherst, academics come first. But athletics are a vibrant part of the living and learning experience, too. Most students take part on some level, from informal recreation to intramural and club sports to the 27 NCAA Division III teams. The extensive athletic facilities—open to all students—include excellent playing fields, an 8,000-square-foot fitness center, pool, courts and an ice rink. Beyond Amherst, you can jog the Norwottuck Trail that borders campus, kayak on the Connecticut River or mountain bike the Robert Frost Trail.

Green Amherst

Green Amherst Sustainability matters at Amherst. The college is taking bold steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, making significant progress by altering how it designs, builds, operates and maintains its facilities to ensure efficient use of natural resources. The college invests in energy conservation projects and generates electricity and steam through a cogeneration plant. Additionally, Amherst protects 500 acres of open fields, wetlands, flood plain woods, river, upland woods, plantation pines and ponds in its Wildlife Sanctuary.