A Picture of the 1842 Catalog
Image from Amherst College Digital Collections

Though ostensibly founded for indigent young men of piety seeking to enter the ministry, Amherst College nonetheless had stringent admission requirements that assumed a significant amount of prior schooling. While grammar and arithmetic might be reminiscent of today’s SAT sections, the other two primary requirements, Latin and Greek, are not.

Entrance examinations took place the Tuesday and Wednesday preceding Commencement and on the first day of each term, and according to student 19th century John Stebbins Lee, your admission could very well depend on which professor examined you and what sort of mood he was in.

So, would you be admitted to Amherst in the 1800s?