How will you learn research skills at Amherst? By doing hands-on work in close collaboration with faculty and with other students, either one-on-one or in small teams. Opportunities to engage in research begin during the first year and often culminate in an honors thesis during the student’s final year. Students receive funding to perform their work and, in many cases, to travel to research sites around the world.

A lot of the times when I’m meeting with my professor, we don’t know what the next step is. We’re working together to ask, ‘Alright, what’s been done before? And what can we do now?’ So it’s cutting-edge thinking … it’s learning how to ask the next questions that nobody’s really asked before, instead of learning from a syllabus.”
— Eric Jung ’21, biology major


The number of rising sophomores and juniors who participated in science research over the summer of 2020 with faculty across 12 different academic fields, in the SURF summer science program.


The number of students who received funding through the Academic Internships program to conduct research during the summer of 2020. Another 100 students will receive funding each semester during the academic year.


In 2020, 77 seniors in 29 fields conducted research toward a senior thesis under the guidance of a faculty member, with the support of the College.


Amherst spent $1,500,985 to fund student-faculty research in 2020.

Research Opportunities

  • Amherst offers a broad array of research programs across STEM fields, social sciences and the humanities. Browse our many opportunities below.
  • Learn about the different kinds of research, why research experience is valuable and how to find opportunities that are right for you in Frequently Asked Questions About Research at Amherst.

The Summer Science Undergraduate Research Experience

Magnified view of embryonic sea anemones
Embryonic sea anemones (Nematostella vectensis)

2019’s SURF Researchers

The Summer Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) gives first- and second-year students the chance to assist in a research project in a professor’s discipline. SURF researchers receive a weekly salary, as well as on-campus housing and a meal plan.

Meet the Students
microphone with spotlights in background

Three-Minute Talks

Watch a Three-Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition, plus talks compiled by the Amherst STEM Network on topics ranging from distorted symbols at a German rock concert to climate shifts during the Holocene—all boiled down to three minutes.

After Graduation

The Post-Baccalaureate Coursework Option supports up to three graduates to return to Amherst for one or two semesters, in order to boost their proficiency in science, complete science requirements for medical school, and take additional math and science courses as needed.

The Amherst Folger Humanities Fellowship provides an Amherst College graduate with nine months of professional development at two world-class institutions—the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. 

See our post-grad outcomes: Each year, the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning conducts a survey asking graduates about their first career steps beyond Amherst.