Transfer Students - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How do I obtain my Amherst College student ID number and Amherst College email address?
A: Approximately two weeks after you have submitted your deposit, the Registrar will assign you to a class year. The Information Technology (IT) department will then change the username that you used to login to ACDATA to check the progress of your application by adding a two-digit suffix that reflects your class year. (For example, if your applicant username was jamherst, your student username would be jamherst19 if you were assigned to 2019 or 2019E.) At the same time, IT will activate your email account—the address is simply You will be notified as this process progresses via email sent to the address you used during the application process.

To access your Amherst College email, go to any page on the College website and, in the upper-right corner, click on the Tools (wrench picture) menu. From the menu, select “Web Mail” and login using your student username and the same password you used throughout the application process. If you have forgotten your Amherst username and/or password, contact the IT Help Desk at 413-542-2526 between 8 am and 5 pm EDT, Monday - Friday.

You will also be assigned an Amherst College student ID number. To view your student ID number, go to Login with your Amherst username and password, then click the Show Me My ID Number button.

Q: When do I need to arrive on campus? 
A: New transfer students are expected to arrive at the College on Wednesday, January 17th between 9:30am-2:00pm for New Student Orientation. When you arrive, come to the Office of Campus Diversity and Student Leadership in the Keefe Campus Center, room 204 to receive information about orientation, your key, and the rest of your welcome packet. Once you arrive on campus for orientation, you will remain on campus until the beginning of classes for the semester.

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: What should I bring with me to Amherst College?
A: Check out this helpful link from Residential Life on what to bring and what not to bring. 

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:

  • 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 your Class Dean.
  • 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.
  • If the student has brought in the equivalent of four semesters, then they may have a strong case so long as they have a clear educational plan and a letter of support from their academic advisor. They can also request supplementary letters from other faculty.
  • If the student has brought in the equivalent of three semesters, it would have to be a very strong and compelling case.
  • If the student has brought in only two semesters, then the chances of getting the petition approved are extremely slim.
  • Completion of two majors is not considered a compelling argument for an extra semester.
  • Once a student receives an extra semester, the change is not reversible. In other words, if you petition for an extra semester, you cannot later petition to have that extra semester removed.