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In 1973, it launched the nation's first undergraduate neuroscience program.

In 1983, it established a Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, which was later to become the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Moore, then President of Williams College, however, still believed that Williamstown was an unsuitable location for a college, and with the advent of Amherst College was elected its first president on May 8, 1821. Fifteen of these had followed Moore from Williams College.Amherst ranked 3rd in the 2016 Washington Monthly rankings, which focus on key research outputs, the quality level and total dollar amount of scientific (natural and social sciences) grants won, the number of graduates going on to earn Ph. Amherst's sustainability efforts earned it an overall grade of "A-" on the College Sustainability Report Card 2010 published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.the Carnegie Foundation classifies Amherst as one of the "more selective" institutions whose first-year students' test scores places these institutions in roughly the top fifth of baccalaureate institutions.Williams alumni are fond of an apocryphal story ascribing the removal of books from the Williams College library to Amherst College, but there is no contemporaneous evidence to verify the story. Payne declared the story false, but many still nurture the legend.Amherst grew quickly, and for two years in the mid-1830s it was the second largest college in the United States, second only to Yale.

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