Transfer Students - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: When do I need to arrive on campus? 
A: New transfer students are expected to arrive at the College on Tuesday, August 28th for New Student Orientation.

Q: What are the meal options at Amherst College?
A: Two meal plans are available from Dining Services:

Note: The Full Meal Plan is required for first-year students.

Q: Can I opt out of the meal plan if I have dietary restrictions or food allergies?
A: Accessibility Services and Dining Services work together to accommodate students with food allergies/intolerances, medical conditions, or other compelling reasons which require a restricted diet. In most cases, Dining Services can accommodate special dietary requirements with modified or alternative food preparation and products. In some cases, if the college determines that Dining Services is not able to reasonably meet a student’s dietary needs, a meal plan exemption may be granted as an accommodation.

Q: When do I register for courses? 
A: As a transfer student, you will register for courses the first week you are on campus during New Student Orientation. The Registrar’s Office and the Student Affairs Office will guide you through this process, so don’t worry too much. During the summer, you should look over the Amherst College course catalog and utilize the course scheduler tool. When you arrive on campus, you will meet with your academic advisor, assigned to you over the summer, to finalize your fall pre-registration, which is scheduled for Friday, January 19th, 2018. 

Q: Will I have a roommate? 
A: Most transfer students will be placed in a single, but you might have a roommate if you indicated that as your preference on the Residential Life Housing Preference form

Q: Will I be guaranteed on-campus housing? 
A: Yes, all Amherst College students are guaranteed on-campus housing for their academic career. If you did not meet the initial deadline for the housing preference form, you will still be eligible for on-campus housing. You will receive your housing assignment in mid-August from Residential Life.

Q: Can I live off-campus my first semester as a transfer student?
A: Yes, you can live off-campus your first semester. Nevertheless, we advise that all new incoming transfer students live on campus their first year in order to acclimate to the social and academic culture of Amherst College.

Q: Can I have a car on campus? 
A: Yes, as a transfer student, you may have a car on campus. You will need to pay for a parking permit and register your vehicle with campus police. For more information, go to the Campus Police page on parking. 

Q: When do I have to declare my major? 
A: If you are transferring in as a first semester junior, then you must declare your major by the beginning of your second semester at Amherst College. If you are transferring in as a sophomore, then you must declare your major by the end of your sophomore year. 

Q: What course credits will be transferred in from my previous institution? Is there a list of approved courses?
A: Courses accepted by the Registrar’s Office will be posted to AC Data via the unofficial transcript link when the Registrar receives your final college transcripts. 

Q: Are there other Amherst College transfer students whom I can contact or with whom I can speak? 
A: Yes, there is an active Transfer Student Association (TSA) on campus that regularly coordinate community building programs throughout the year. During the first week of school, you will be able to meet the members of the TSA as well as other transfer students. Moreover, there are Transfer Peer Mentors who are available over the summer and throughout the year to answer your questions and provide support for your first semester at Amherst College. Reach out to Tenzin Kunor, Associate Director of Diversity and Leadership if you’d like help getting connected to the transfer community.

Q: Is it possible to petition for an extra semester?

A:  Yes, transfer students can petition for an extra semester at Amherst College. Here is important information about the process (updated June 7, 2018):

  • Transfer students who arrived at Amherst College with junior status might be eligible for an extra semester in order to complete their major while exploring the curriculum and taking advantage of other experiences.
  • Any student who transferred to Amherst with less than junior status is very unlikely to be approved for an extra semester.
  • Petitions must be submitted no later than the last date of classes of the student’s third to last semester, prior to any extension; that is, the second semester of the student’s junior year.
  • The first step is for the student to have a conversation with their Class Dean, followed by submission of a letter of petition (.5-1 page single spaced) to their Class Dean. The letter should present a clear educational plan and a letter, including an explanation of a course plan without the extra semester, and a course plan with the extra semester. The request should also include a letter of support from the student's academic advisor, and, when useful, supplementary letters from other faculty.
  • Petitions will be read and evaluated by all Class Deans, together with other relevant staff such as the Dean of Students, Chief Student Affairs Officer, and College Registrar.
  • Completion of two majors is not considered a compelling argument for an extra semester.