Renowned for its talented students, committed faculty, and rigorous academic life, Amherst offers the B.A. degree in 36 fields of study. With a faculty-student ratio of 1 to 8, Amherstâ€™s classes are characterized by spirited interchange among students and acclaimed faculty skilled at asking challenging questions. Students participate in sophisticated research, making use of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. And Amherstâ€™s open curriculum allows each studentâ€”with the help of faculty advisersâ€”to chart an individual course through the more than 800 courses offered at the college; there are no distribution requirements. Honors work is encouraged and in recent years has been undertaken by nearly half of the graduating class.
Amherst is a member of the Five Colleges, a consortium with nearby Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Students may take courses at any of the colleges, and the schoolsâ€™ proximity adds to Amherstâ€™s rich social and extracurricular life.
Amherst College prides itself on its outstanding and dedicated faculty, who are committed to expanding the realm of knowledge through teaching, scholarly research, and artistic creation at the highest level. Current faculty have received awards from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, Mellon Foundation, Tinker Foundation, Luce Foundation, and Ford Foundation, as well as Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships. Students often work one-on-one with the faculty both in class and in the pursuit of independent research.