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The IT department creates and manages the digital accounts that allow people to access college systems and do college work.

To change or reset your password, visit this page and follow the instructions on the left column.

Features and Benefits

In order to access most College systems, you need an Amherst account with a username and password. Your Amherst account provides access to systems such as email, the college website, Moodle, and network storage. 

Not every account will have access to all services. Access is based on role and the requirements of that role, such as student, faculty, staff, or special non-employee.

Who's Eligible for an Account

  • Amherst Students: In the first week of June (for fall semester starts) or in late December/early January (for spring semester starts), a student's applicant account (see below) is converted into a student account, complete with an email mailbox. Students studying abroad continue to have active accounts. Students who withdraw permanently from the College will have their account deleted at the end of their last semester. 
  • Alumni: Alumni retain their student accounts throughout their lives so that they can continue to log into the Amherst website. Alumni retain access to other electronic services for up to a year after graduation.
  • Applicants: Applicant's receive Amherst accounts that let them track the progress of their applications.
  • Five College Students: Five College students enrolled in an Amherst course receive Amherst accounts. The account will only be valid for the semester in which the student is enrolled and may then be disabled until the student is again enrolled in an Amherst course. Note that Five College students also receive an Amherst email forwarding address (not a mailbox) in the form Mail sent to this address forwards automatically to the student's home institution email box.
  • Faculty: All faculty, including emeritus faculty, are given accounts. Faculty who leave the College will keep their accounts for one semester after they leave (unless other arrangements are made in advance) to allow them to transfer files to accounts at a new institution. Thus, faculty terminating after the spring semester have accounts through December; those leaving after the fall semester have accounts through the following June.
  • Staff: All regular staff (full-time or part-time) and casual employees are given accounts. Accounts of staff members who retire or leave the employment of the College are disabled on their last day of employment. Supervisors can request extensions for departing staff who will still be doing work for the College.
  • Five Colleges, Inc.: Amherst College supplies accounts for employees of Five Colleges, Inc. For purposes of this policy, Five College employees are treated the same as employees of Amherst College.
  • Folger Shakespeare Library: Select staff members are given Amherst accounts in order to access the College's financial and administrative systems.
  • Collaborators and Vendors: People outside the College are given accounts when their work requires access to College systems.
  • Others: There may be situations not covered here in which someone has a legitimate need for an account at Amherst. The Chief Information Officer may approve special requests, based on the benefit to the College of providing an account.

Getting Started

Check out our IT guides for:

New Students | New Faculty and Staff | New Alumni

New faculty typically receive their account after they accept their offer. Account creation for new faculty is initated by the Dean's office.

New Staff receive their accounts when they begin work at the College. The account-creation process typically is initiated with submission (usually be the person's supervisor) of the IT Checklist for New Employees and Special Non-Employees

You should also use the IT Checklist for New Employees and Special Non-Employees to request an account for an outside collaborator or vendor.

See our information about ID cards for non-employees who need building/door access.

When employees are leaving the College, the Academic Department Coordinator or employee's supervisor should fill out the IT Checklist for Departing Employees and Special Non-Employees.


The type of account you have determines the rescources availalble to you.

  • Applicant accounts can only access ACDATA to check their application progress.
  • Students, faculty, and staff (including casual) accounts come with an email box, personal network storage space, a Unix log on and access to Unix file space, access to the College website and a personal website, and access to ACDATA and Moodle. Faculty and staff accounts also have a personal/professional profile page on the College website.
  • Alumni can access the College website and Alumni Directory.
  • Five College students receive an email forwarding address, personal webspace, a Unix log on and file space, and access to Moodle.
  • Family and Friends accounts can access student bills using ACDATA as well as some restricted areas on the Amherst website.

Additional Information

Amherst account usernames normally take the following forms. Exceptions are rare and must be requested for new employees using the IT Checklist for New Employees and Special Non-Employees form, and by new students after they are accepted but before they matriculate.

  • Faculty and staff: first initial of first name plus last name. Thus, Professor Mammoth Amherst would have username mamherst, with an email address of
  • Applicants and students: first initial of first name, last name, and expected class year. Thus, applicant Mammoth Amherst applying for admission for the Fall of 2022 would have a username of mamherst26. If an applicant defers admission, their username will be changed to reflect their new class year. Once a student matriculates, their username will not change even if their year of graduation does.
  • Alumni: Your student username. Note that several years ago all alums had their class year appended to their usernames. Thus Mammoth Amherst of the Class of 1994 would be mamherst94.
  • Five College students: the first initial of your home institution, plus the numeral 5, plus the first initial of your first name, plus your last name. Thus, Mammoth Amherst from UMass would be u5mamherst and the email forwarding address would be
  • Family and Friends: first initial of first name plus last name plus "-f" plus the year the account is created--which usually corresponds to the year the student matriculates. Thus, Mammoth Amherst, father of Mammoth Junior of the class of 2022, would likely have a username of jamherst-f18.



Five College Students