Location
Amherst, MA
Undergrads
1,817
Tuition
$44,610
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 448 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Love It! Amherst is a great community of people (students, faculty and staff) who are all happy to be there and eager to make others feel the same way. I found a nuturing environment almost from the begining, in everything from the social sphere to athletics and academics. There is the occasional student who might not fit in entirely but for the most part the student body seems to have found their variable niches and settled into a happy educational experience at Amherst. I dred leaving campus even for a weekend visit home and miss it constantly when I'm not there, Amherst is really an absolutly great place to be.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Pretty Good – Registration for classes isn't exactly seemless but once the semester has begun classes are overall enjoyable and highly educational. If you choose classes you are interested in you are likley to enjoy them. Professors are very engaging and highly knowledgable about their topics; they have often been teaching their classes for years and have a formula down pat.. Extra help and office hours are accessible and the classroom enviornments are comfortable and productive.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Small Town, but Rather Boring – A few typical restaurants - but you will get bored if you focus on "attractions" and "cultural events". However, if you choose to focus on your studies while taking a walk once in a while to enjoy the beautiful NE landscapes, it will be intellectual heaven.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: The college is not extremely strict about drugs, but it does work to restrict underage drinking and use of illegal drugs. It's really not very difficult for anyone wanting to drink or smoke pot to obtain some. Drugs really aren't a nuisance though. Probably the majority of students drink, but usually moderately and for parties. Pot is almost always kept to one's dorm room. There is only very, very mild pressure to drink.

In general, the college is fairly laid back, drugs are available but not a nuisance, and everyone's chill about it.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Diversity: Very Diverse Campus – Amherst is extremely diverse. The generous financial aid program ensures that there are many students of all socioeconomic positions. There is also significant racial and geographical diversity. There are students from all over the country, and 10% of Amherst students are international (I have friends from China, Zimbabwe, Uruguay, New Zealand, Jamaica, etc.). I'm not sure of the percentages, but there are a pretty large number of blacks and Asians. There's also a reasonably sized gay community at Amherst. The college places quite a lot of emphasis on tolerance and acceptance, but it's quite unnecessary. Everyone at Amherst is very open and accepting. Religious diversity is moderate, with many Christian faiths, a sizable Jewish population, and a large number of atheist/agnostic/irreligious students, though few representatives of Eastern religions.

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Good College Town Dining – First on the list has to be Antonio's. Antonio's is frequented by almost all Amherst College and UMass Amherst students. It's got great pizza (and something like 100 varieties) at fairly low prices - generally around $3.00 a slice (the slices are fairly large).

There are numerous other restaurants, including Vera Cruzana (Mexican), Bertucci's (Italian food), Pasta e Basta (more Italian food), Sugar Jones Cookies (they deliver cookies), Baku's African Restaurant (gluten and lactose free), Bart's Homemade Ice cream and Cafe, Loose Goose Cafe, Bueno y Sano (more Mexican), Amherst Creperie, Mango Mango, Arigato Sushi, and probably just as many I've forgotten.

The food is good almost everywhere. Some places are pricier than others, though. The Creperie, for example, might be a little out of a college student's price range so far as the price to mass ratio goes. The variety is excellent. For some students it's tough to say no very often to Val's "free" meals, but when they get old, there's a lot of good food to choose from.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I Couldn't Pass up This Place – The students are amazing and diverse people, the professors are highly accessible and very passionate about what they do, the area is stunningly beautiful, the 5 college consortium is a unique arrangement between our sister schools and us, and Boston is only an hour and a half away. What more could you want?

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: People Are Usually Pretty Responsible – A large portion of the student body drinks, but most people won't pressure you into doing it yourself. Also, people here respect other peoples' choices not to drink/smoke/etc.

5 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: No Problems Here! I've never felt at all not safe on this campus. Because of the high level of trust here, many students here don't even lock their doors. I've only known one person who has had anything happen to them.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Top of the Line – Amherst has the best freshman dorms around, and it is nearly impossible to get housing that isn't a great social space with great rooms.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Very Good Selection – There are many different places in town to eat. You can get Asian food, Sushi, Italian food, pizza, standard bar fare, frozen yogurt, anything. They can get a bit pricey though.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Free Curriculum and Diverse Student Body – The freedom from free curriculum is obvious, while the diverse student body says a lot about the school's recruitment effort as well as the potential conversations that can happen between you and your fellow students. First year dorms are the nicest housing on campus, and room sharing is kept to double, with a lot of two-room doubles available, which is a quite convenient arrangement.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Relatively Lenient Investigation for Drinking – Underage drinking generally goes by if campus police does not come investigate closely at the party scene.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Computers: Labs Tend to Get Crowded at Night Time and Final Week – Despite the many students using the computer, it generally does not feel like that there is not enough school computers. Besides, since free wifi is available all over the campus, students don't necessarily need to use the school computer all the time.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Facilities: It's small and the professors are almost uniformly intelligent and caring; everything revolves around the students and their best interests. The most amazing and unique thing about Amherst is that it is connected to four other colleges in the Five College Consortium--this affiliation has allowed me to take many courses and meet a range of people I would never have met by attending one college alone. The connection to a large public university is particularly great; it gives me access to a vast amount of coursework, facilities and resources (especially in the departments in which we are limited, like Music) from the personalized, cozy vantage point of an Ivy-League-level liberal arts college.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Majors: Workload is heavy because of all the lab rewuirements, but I would have taken the anyway for premed so it was ok. I liked being able to take courses in several different departments, and that also gave me lots of options in terms of electives.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Facilities: Liberal arts education, five college consortium, open curriculum, small and diverse student body, accessible and student-oriented professors

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Very safe college town with lots of restaurants. Convenience store is present but prices are high. Must take a bus in order to get to the grocery store and mall. Not many attractions of interest in the immediate area but thankfully there are plenty of options on campus.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Study Hard, Party Hard (But Only on Weekends) – Most people would not consider Amherst College a "party- school" in the slightest, however, on weekends, there is always a place to go to have fun (which generally involves lots of alcohol). There is a drug scene if you look for it, but its not very outwardly present in most circles. Students care far too much about their grades to party much during the week.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Athletics: Great Sports for D-III School – For a Div. III school, Amherst College has some of the best teams in the league. Both academics and sports are held to high standards. However, club and intramural sports are also just as big with club teams like Ultimate Frisbee and Rugby holding a strong presence in the school. School-wide intramural soccer and basketball tournament also get a lot of involvement every year.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: Intellectual and Challenging Atmosphere – Though the political science department at Amherst College lacks diversity in subject matter, mostly due to the small size of the college and therefore the small size of the department, the professors we do have are all incredible intellectual minds. Classes are small and there is a ton of student- professor interaction. The professors are also incredibly approachable and are there to help academically, in advising or just to chat with as a mentor and friend.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Although sexual and racial slurs are dire offenses most other things slide. Campus police try to be strict in the beginning of the year; however, after the first few weeks they lay off. Pregames in freshmen dorms can be done, if they are done right and organized well. Drug use is easy to hide but if caught with non-hard drugs or alcohol the consequences are pretty benign.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Parties are all generally the same with a few that break the mold. Bar scene is limited with only a 2 or 3 good bars to go to. Rare houseparties are good and big, very rare, school or frat events are usually the highlight of the year's party scene. Rare to find anything going on monday, sunday or fridays. Thursday, tuesdays, and wednesdays can be dead many weeks. Heavy drinking

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Cold, Valley – beautiful at the start and end of each year. however, it can be very cold and snowy in the winter. amherst is in a valley, so in general the temperatures are a bit lower.

4 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: there is definitely a lot of drinking, but drugs are not used very often by the majority of amherst students. marijuana is commonly used and enforcement is generally not very strict.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Lem Atanga McCormick
Hometown
Chicago, IL
Major
Pre-Med (Biology and French)
View all previous student authors

Students usually don’t choose Amherst because of its academic reputation, although a sound reputation is a must when the competing schools are Harvard and Williams. Rather, students come here because of the promise of experiencing an eclectic array of stimulating peers, professors, classes, and activities. Some become disillusioned, not finding their niche within the abundance of opportunities and freedom. Some succeed in familiarizing themselves with the ways of this place, find that they’re having the time of their life midway through college and become depressed that this whole thing is going to end soon. Chronologically speaking and with clear generalization, freshman year can go by in a rush, with everyone immersed in the whole college experience with their freshmen friends and classmates. Sophomore year can be the most challenging, since a lot of people go through “sophomore slump”—a state of mild or not-so-mild depression caused by the sad fact that all their freshman friends suddenly are not living in the same dorm but are now in far corners of campus. Also, many sophomore students are conflicted by the sudden need to decide on a major and to get serious about their lives. Junior and senior years are usually better and calmer, since most students have settled into a chosen major and formed a group of close friends across distant campus dorms. Upperclassmen, then, can be free to concentrate on studying and having fun.

The key to living here is perhaps keeping yourself open and receptive to new and unfamiliar experiences, opinions, and values. You’ll gain a lot more if you communicate openly with that odd-looking and opinionated girl from Dallas or that too-cool-for-school-looking guy from Philly, rather than choosing to be repulsed by Amherst’s oddities. A place like Amherst, with so many accomplished and bright people threading its grounds, is bound to have more oddities than the average university. Even though few people come to Amherst College for the sole purpose of meeting new people, learning from everyone, exploring themselves and so on, most students do admit, however reluctantly, that Amherst is both fun and a unique learning and growing experience that can be found nowhere else.

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