New Students

Welcome New Students

Dean Lopez
Message from Dean López:
Welcome to Amherst College. I look forward to getting to know you as you embark on four years of self-discovery and intellectual growth. I am excited to help guide you as you explore your own interests, and as you discover what your distinctive mark will be on our shared community and upon the world.
As Dean of New Students, I am responsible for your orientation to the College and for helping to guide you through your first year at Amherst College. Whether you are starting college for the first time or are an incoming transfer student, you can turn to me for any help you might need with academic or other issues. I hope to get to know as many of you as I can, and encourage you to email me over the next few weeks if you have questions (
When not in the Office of Student Affairs, I am a professor in History and in Environmental Studies. I grew up on the US-Mexican border and came to Amherst College in 1989 as a first-year student, just as you are now. After graduating from Amherst College in 1993 I worked in the museum field, then as a professional archaeologist, and then as a middle school teacher, before entering Yale graduate school to earn my PhD in Latin American history. I eventually had the good fortune to return to teach at Amherst College in 2002. Since that time I have published a book and a number of articles on indigenous ethnicity, international modernism, and nation formation after the Mexican revolution of 1910. My current book project on environmental history seeks to understand how nineteenth-century Mexican nationalists’ views of nature and landscape impacted their efforts to transform their diverse population into a modern nation.
As I look back upon my four years as a student at Amherst College, I appreciate how transformative that time was upon my life. I explored existing interests and delved into new passions inside and outside the classroom. Through lively debate with peers and roommates and through close collaboration with faculty I became versed in previously unfamiliar ways of thinking and I came to see the world, and myself, in novel ways. Most of all, I learned who I am as a writer, as a scholar, as an educator, and as a person. When you arrive at Amherst College this fall, you will embark on your own path of discovery, accompanied by new friends and supportive mentors eager to support you along that journey.
 new students in johnson chapel
STAY TUNED for detailed information and important dates regarding Orientation, required forms and their deadlines. It is extremely important that you complete the forms by the dates listed, so that we can process your materials smoothly – thank you, in advance, for reading this information carefully and responding by or before the specified deadlines.
Arrival at Amherst: New students are expected to arrive at the College on Sunday, August 24, 2014.  When you arrive, stop by Converse Hall, where you will get a rousing welcome and receive information about Orientation, your key, and your student ID card.
Registering for Classes: Your academic advisor will be assigned to you over the summer. When you arrive on campus, you will need to meet with your advisor to finalize your fall pre-registration, which is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27, 2014.

Important Dates and Deadlines: Please check back for updates


Fri, May 30, 2014

Welcome E-Mail (New Student Action 1) 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 email will be sent to the email account you used during the Admission process.

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 your New Student Action 1 email, which is sent to the email account you used during the Admission process. 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.

Sun, Jun 1, 2014

Deadline: Photo for Student ID and Directories

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

Sun, Jun 15, 2014

Deadline: First Year Housing Questionnaire

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 and Orientation Selections: Deadline, June 15, 2014

These are required forms in AC Data which must be completed. If you are unable to complete these forms online, please feel free to the call the Office of Student Affairs 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.