According to John Stebbins Lee (Class of 1845), early Amherst College prepared its students for three professions: ministry, medicine, and the law. Despite this proclamation of prescribed triad, there were no “majors” at early Amherst as we know them today. With the exception of a few senior electives and a brief experiment in 1827-1829, students had no choice in what classes they took.

Do you agree with Lee? Check out the data visualization of Amherst College’s course classifications for the first two decades to build your argument.

Alternatively, explore a sampling of the courses that defy stringent classification and look at the texts that Amherst College students studied back in the 1800s.

Students in a Classroom
From Digital Amherst