Johnson Chapel

The Fall Plan

The FAQs, community messages, safety precautions, and policies found here will be updated regularly to reflect current developments.

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President Martin Announces the Fall Plan

President Biddy Martin On July 1 President Biddy Martin announced a plan that anticipates having all students on campus for at least one semester during the 2020-21 academic year. This decision was reached after lengthy and careful consideration of how to ensure an excellent education for all Amherst students and an on-campus experience that adheres to guidance from public health experts. In addition, she explains that “throughout our decision-making and in our preparations for fall, we have focused on preserving the core of what makes Amherst the remarkable college it is—access to outstanding faculty and the benefit of sharing small classes with other remarkable students, and co-curricular activities that develop your interests and talents while promoting personal growth.”

Read the entire announcement from President Biddy Martin »

Academic Structure, 2020-21 and 2021-22

Calendar Changes

Advising weeks: July 13–24

Re-registration: July 27–July 31

First day of classes: August 24

Important Calendar Updates »

Full Academic Calendar »

The College will retain the two-semester model, with the addition of a four-week January term in which students will have the option of completing a single full course for credit. To enhance their academic success, all students will be permitted and encouraged to enroll in three courses as their regular course load during the fall and spring semesters of the 2020-21 academic year, and are also encouraged to enroll in a course taught remotely during the January term. Students may not enroll in fewer than three courses in a semester. Students who take advantage of this reduced course-load requirement and successfully complete only six courses during the 2020-21 academic year will be allowed to graduate with 30 courses, regardless of the year they graduate. The fall 2020 term will begin on August 24; students will not return to campus after the Thanksgiving break; and finals will be conducted remotely. 


stack of books

Academic FAQs

Learn about re-registration, three-course load, remote vs. HyFlex classes, January term, and more.

staff member instructs a student on how to self-administer a test

Video: Getting Tested

Watch a brief video showing the testing center and procedure, and learn more about getting COVID-19 tests on campus.

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For Students

Find FAQs on health and safety, housing and dining, tuition and financial aid, athletics, and more — plus resources to support you whether you’re returning to campus or learning remotely.

face mask

Personal Safety Practices

Learn what the College requires in terms of physical distancing, masks, hygiene, and more.

Protect the Herd: two mammoths standing six feet apart

“Protect the Herd” Graphics

Let Amherst’s friendly Mammoth remind us to practice good habits. Use our Mammoth graphics on social media, webpages, and more. Plus, order stickers, buttons, and postcards.

President Biddy Martin in her home

Town Hall: Questions & Answers About the Fall Plan

President Biddy Martin was joined by members of her senior staff to take questions from new and returning students and their families. Watch recordings of the conversations of July 1 and 2, and August 10.