Independent Scholar Program
A limited number of students who elect to do so may participate in an Independent Scholar Program, usually in the junior or senior years in lieu of a traditional major program. Participants are chosen by the four-member Faculty Committee on Academic Standing and Special Majors, which includes the Dean of Students, after nomination for the program by a member of the Faculty. Independent Scholars are free to plan a personal program of study under the direction of a tutor, chosen by the student with the advice and consent of the Committee. The tutor provides the guidance and counsel necessary to help the student attain the educational objectives they have set. The tutor and one or more other members of the Faculty familiar with the student’s work will ultimately assign a comprehensive grade and provide a detailed, written evaluation of the student’s performance which will become part of the individual’s formal record at Amherst College. Grades in such regular courses as the student may elect will be taken into account in assigning the comprehensive grade, and the student is eligible for a degree with Honors, as well as all other awards and distinctions. An Independent Scholar who studies away from the College may be eligible for a tuition reduction.