Amherst College

Amherst College, one of our country's most prestigious liberal arts schools, is picturesquely set on 1000 acres in Amherst Massachusetts.  Amherst a small school, with an enrollment under 2,000, is part of the Five College Consortium that includes nearby UMass, Smith, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke. Purple pride runs deep on campus, and although Amherst does not have a bookstore, you can purchase all Amherst paraphernalia at AJ Hastings. Given the varied interests on campus and the diversity within the school, there is only one thing you can be sure that all Amherstians agree on - the "h" in Amherst is silent.


Stay: Inn on Boltwood |  Breakfast: Lone Wolf

Lunch: La VeracruzanaDinner: Judie's

Visitor Information: Reservations are not necessary for individual students and their families or for small groups of fewer than ten visitors, but Amherst does encourage you to sign up online in advance.

  • Location: The Admission Office is located at 220 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002.

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Transportation: The closest airport is Bradley International Airport, 45 miles south of the University. Many people fly in and out of Boston’s Logan International Airport, 90 miles from UMass. Amtrak has stations in Northampton (20 minutes) and Springfield. (30 minutes) The Peter Pan Bus travels to Springfield, Boston, and New York.  Buses leave from outside the Fine Arts Center, at the Haigis Mall bus stop. Book hotels and flights here.

Stay: Beautiful and charming the Inn on Boltwood is a two-minute walk from campus and the nicest hotel in the area. Overlooking the Emily Dickinson Homestead, The Amherst Inn, a bed and breakfast located a few minutes from campus, is a nice choice as well.  Other good options include the Courtyard by MarriottHoliday Inn Express and Hampton Inn. 

Coffee: Amherst Coffee is a hip espresso and cocktail bar in the historic Amherst Cinema Building, in the heart of downtown. Students fondly refer to it as study central, so it’s a great place to see student life in action. You’ll also always find students from all the nearby schools at work on their laptops at popular Rao’s Coffee, a favorite downtown coffee house or at Starbucks. 

Breakfast: Lone Wolf is the go-to for a great breakfast. We hear the Challah French Toast is a must order. Just a 7-minute drive away, the Cushman Market and Cafe serves the most variations for an "egg on a roll" that we've seen on a menu. This cute New England spot is perfect for breakfast or lunch. If you have time for the 15-minute drive one LAX parent who spends many weekends at Amherst, tells us his favorites are Jakes and Sylvester’s in Northampton, perfect if you’re visiting for an extended weekend. 

Lunch:  Downtown on Main Street, The Black Sheep, is so much more than just a deli and bakery; serving as a community anchor hosting Monday night dinners, teacher lectures, and weekly musical events. Crazy Noodles is good for a quick Asian fusion fix, a mix of Thai and Vietnamese known for its excellent curry’s, noodle soups and stir-frys. The surprise here is that Italian pasta is also on the menu, so you can follow your pork wontons with spaghetti marinara. Veracruzana ia a good choices for Mexican. In the mood for Mediterranean? Pita Pockets is the place for delicious falafel, kebabs, and hummus. One alum insisted we go to Antonio’s Pizza, a must every time he visits campus for a slice. Over in Northampton Paul and Elizabeth’s in Thornes Marketplace specializes in fresh fish and tempura.  Try the tempura lunch or noodle special, or a more traditional salad, sandwich or wrap.


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Casual: Popovers (served with house made apple butter) reign at Judie’s Restaurant, an Amherst institution featuring an extensive American menu. At Pan-Asian Fresh Side try the tea rolls, a bite-size house specialty. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more keep students and locals coming back to lively, fun Mission Cantina, wildly popular so you may have to wait for a table. In the mood for BBQ? Over in nearby Sunderland, load up on platters of chicken or ribs at Bub’s BBQ. Go hungry to enjoy all the sides from the cold and hot bar such as collards, dirty rice, beans, and potato salad.


A Step Up:  Upscale and elegant, New American 30 Boltwood is located in the Inn on Boltwood. An Amherst mainstay, Johnny's Tavern, a seasonal American is one of the first places students reserve when their parents are coming to town. Cajun and Italian influences fill the menu at Bistro 63 at the Monkey Bar, with a bonus of a well-crafted and interesting cocktail list. Some say Blue Heron serves the best food in the valley, head 5 miles north of Amherst to Sunderland to sample from the restaurant's eclectic New American menu, all sourced from local, sustainable and mainly organic farms nearby.   

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Worth The Drive: The Alvah Stone is a special place, and if you have time worth the 20-minute trip. Set on the banks of the Sawmill River in a 1834 grist mill adjacent to the Montague Bookmill, a used bookshop and art gallery whose charming motto states “ Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.” In nice weather dine on the lovely outdoor deck overlooking the river.

Sweets: The donuts are huge and homemade at Glazed Doughnut Shop, open till midnight during the week, and 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Join the students in debating what flavor is the best- the Boston Cream, Chocolate Oreo PB or Vanilla Chip.   

Local Attractions: Amherst is a fun college town with lots to do. The Mead Museum holds the art collection of Amherst College. Eight galleries feature regularly changing exhibitions and installations - we highly recommend visiting. Students love to visit Atkins farm in the fall for cider donuts. Poetry fans allow time for The Emily Dickinson Museum, which includes The Homestead, where Emily Dickinson was born and lived most of her life, and The Evergreens, home of the poet’s brother and his family. The Beneski Museum of History on the Amherst College campus features displays on extinction, evolution and the Connecticut River. Smith College, in neighboring Northampton, a charming town for a wander, has an excellent art museum that's worth a visit. There’s great hiking at Sugar Loaf Mountain or The Notch in Mount Holyoke Range State Park.

— Quotes From Campus —

I have never met a group of nicer, more hard-working people in my life. The academic course load is rigorous, but Amherst students encourage each other to succeed. Professors go above and beyond in support of each student. Everyone at Amherst is passionate about something, which creates a group of inspiring, smart, fun and nice people.
— Caitlin
I love that it is in the middle of a beautiful mountain range and very peaceful and quiet yet also close enough to UMass (a school of 30,000), so the town is very vibrant.
— Dave






School Colors

Purple and White

Acceptance Rate


Common Application


Supplement Essays


Early Action/Decision

Early Decision


Average - 1510


Average - 32




Small - 1,849 Undergraduates



New England

Admissions Office

220 S Pleasant St
Amherst, MA 01002

(p) (413) 542-2000
(f) (413) 542-2040

Sports Divisions

NCAA Division III

Greek Life


Noteworthy Alumni

Joseph Stiglitz
Dwight Morrow
Calvin Coolidge
David Foster Walllace
Dan Brown

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