Amherst is an exclusively undergraduate four-year institution and enrolled 1,817 students in the fall of 2012.
Students choose courses from 35 major programs in an unusually open curriculum. Amherst is ranked as the second best liberal arts college in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and ranked thirteenth out of all U.S. colleges and universities by Forbes.
Founded in 1821 as an attempt to relocate Williams College by its President, Zephaniah Swift Moore, Amherst is the third oldest institution of higher education in Massachusetts. Amherst remained a men’s college until becoming coeducational in 1975.
Amherst has historically had close relationships and rivalries with Williams College and Wesleyan University which form the Little Three colleges. It is also a member of the Five College Consortium.