New Students

Course Schedule Planning

Nothing you do at Amherst will be more important than deciding what and how you want to learn.  In a school with an open curriculum, and no requirements beyond the First Year Seminar, this can sometimes seem overwhelming.  Your College Advisor will be your guide through this process and will want to talk with you about more than just courses.  Your Advisor will want to know what your Learning Goals are.  Then you can talk about which courses might help you reach those goals.  So, in preparation for meeting your Advisor, think about what you are trying to get out of your college experience.  There are hundreds of classes offered at the college, browse the on-line catalog.  Create a few dream schedules using the Course Scheduler as well as a few exploratory ones.  Push yourself outside your comfort zone.

A few things to remember:

  • All first year students have been placed in a first-year seminar based on your preferences expressed over the summer.  More than 90% of you got one of your top three choices, but even if you got placed in your last seminar choice, I am confident you will have a great experience.  All of the courses are writing intensive, so you should end the semester a better writer than you are right now. It is not possible to change your first-year seminar unless you have serious scheduling problems.
  • Language courses love to enroll first year students with the hope that you will continue with the language to the point where you become fluent enough to really benefit from a study abroad in a country that speaks that language. If you wish to get advanced standing in a language, be sure to check out the department webpages to find out when and where the Placement Exams are offered.
  • At Amherst College, Chemistry is a gateway course for potential biology, chemistry, and biochemistry and biophysics majors, as well as for many students who aspire to careers in the health professions.  Introductory Chemistry is taught at three levels: Chem 131, Chem 151, and Chem 155.  The latter two are scheduled MWF at 10 AM so it is easy to switch from one to the other if you find yourself at the wrong level.  Personalized ecommendations for each of you in Chemistry and Math are in AC_Data under "Tests and Placement".
  • Music Courses are a big favorite with students and are half credit music lesson classes.  In order to qualify for a music lesson class, you must either enroll in an Intro Music class in your first year at the College or pass a music theory placement exam which is online. 
  • A few students will be invited to take intensive sections of Math, English, and Chemistry classes.  Here you will be in a class or a section of a class which is intentionally kept small so you can get extra attention and lots of feedback to improve your skills.

Important Dates and Deadlines: Please check back for updates


Fri, May 30, 2014

Amherst E-Mail accounts activated for new students

Please be aware that all students are assigned an official Amherst College email address, and all official college communications are sent to this email address. Your email address will be included in in your welcome E-Mail information. At Amherst College, we rely on electronic communications with students, and it is the College’s policy that email be an official mechanism for administrative offices and faculty to communicate with students, so that we can provide you with accurate and timely information about matters which affect you, as well as important aspects of your academic work.

Welcome E-Mail to New Students

You will receive your first email from Dean of New Students about your arrival at Amherst and Orientation. That email will have a great amount of information for you to read, and several required forms to complete. The May 31st email will provide answers and guidance about your arrival at Amherst and the various things which you and your family need to know before you get here. It will also guide you as you begin to think about what courses you might like to take during your first semester – these ideas will be finalized when you meet with a faculty advisor during Orientation.

Sun, Jun 1, 2014

Deadline: Photo for Student ID

The Office of Public Affairs contacted incoming students to request a photo by June 1.

Beginning April 1, you’ll be able to log in to to create your own web page; upload text,photos and other content; meet classmates with similar interests; and browse a photo gallery of your class.

To populate the photo gallery, we need your photo! (This picture will also be used as your I.D. picture.
Submitting your photo now means that you won’t have to stand in the I.D. photo line at Orientation.)

Sun, Jun 15, 2014

Deadline: First Year Housing Questionaire

The questionnaire is designed to give us information about personal habits and environmental preferences. The information that you provide will help us to determine your housing assignment and your future roommate. It is important you take your time to go through the questionnaire as carefully and as honestly as possible.

Academic, Family, and Housing Questionnaires: Deadline, June 15, 2014

These are required forms in ACData which must be completed. If you are unable to complete these forms online, please feel free to the call the Dean of Students Office at 1-413-542-2336 to request assistance.

Sat, Jul 5, 2014

Health Forms: Deadline, July 5, 2014

The Health Forms are in the Portable Document Format (PDF), and you must print, complete, and return these forms to Health Services via mail, fax, or as email attachments. These forms are required components of your pre-registration medical file at Amherst College. Massachusetts Law requires up-to-date immunizations or blood tests verifying immunity.