Getting Tested

How the Test Works

See the testing center and procedure (and how simple the COVID-19 test is!) in our brief video.

Testing Frequency

November 29, 2021

test tube with sample to be tested for covid

After the initial testing protocol upon arrival, all students will be tested two times a week. They will be assigned two testing days (the first day will be either Sunday or Monday and the second day will be either Wednesday or Thursday) and will be responsible for signing up for a time on those days. 


Faculty and staff who work the better part of three or more days on campus will be tested two times per week, with at least one full day between tests. Those working fewer than three days on campus will be tested one time per week.

Remote employees can test up to one time per week, after being added to the testing list by their division.


(Updated Dec 3, 2021) All visitors/contractors needing to enter campus buildings (except for guests at public events) or be in direct contact with community members must participate in the College’s testing program. Amherst guidelines require that such individuals be tested once or twice weekly, depending on the amount of time spent on campus and regardless of vaccination status. The department host/sponsor is responsible for registering visitors/contractors for testing (additional information available by following this link). Very limited exceptions (e.g. delivery persons) can be requested by emailing

Visitors/contractors who will be exclusively outdoors and not in direct contact with others do not need to test.


Employees, visitors, and visitors/contractors testing for the first time or re-entering the testing program after a time away, and needing (or preferring) immediate access to campus buildings, may schedule an appointment for that day and request a rapid antigen test when they arrive for testing. A negative antigen test allows for immediate building access. They should set aside at least 20 minutes, plus any time they may need to wait in line, if they wish to take advantage of this option. The rapid antigen test is in addition to a PCR test; both will be performed.

close-up of someone opening a swab package to take a covid test

COVID-19 Dashboard

See the results of testing of Amherst College faculty, staff, and students who are being tested routinely on campus. The data are updated every weekday.

Broad Institute Lab Tour

November 2020

Take a video tour of the Broad Institute’s COVID-19 testing lab with scientists who explain the novel automation system for COVID-19 test processing.