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Division I for Students Who Entered prior to Fall 2011

These requirements are only for those who entered Hampshire prior to fall 2011. For students entering in fall 2011 or after, please see the new Div I information.

Division I serves two essential purposes.

The distribution requirement introduces students to a broad range of subject matter before they choose an area of concentration. Division I also helps students attain the tools necessary for Division II and Division III work, including the development of writing skills; methods of quantitative analysis; the capacity for critical inquiry and art-making; presentation skills; research skills; and the ability to do self-initiated academic work.

The student's advisor will periodically review academic progress during and at the end of each semester of Division I will identify the student's developing areas of strength as well as indications of the need for further study.


Within Division I, students must demonstrate satisfactory progress towards accomplishing Hampshire's first year learning goals:

  • Learn to read and interpret intellectual or artistic works
  • Write critically and analytically
  • Understand quantitative methods of analysis
  • Develop creative abilities in expressive modes
  • Effectively present ideas orally
  • Conceive and complete project-based work
  • Understand multiple cultural perspectives on intellectual or artistic subjects

During each of their first two semesters of enrollment, students must satisfactorily complete four evaluated courses (understood to include independent study and other appropriate evaluated educational activities) distributed as follows:

  • In the first semester, the student must satisfactorily complete a first-year tutorial, a small 100-level course taught by the student's advisor.
  • By the end of their second semester students must have successfully completed one 100-level course (one of which is the first-year tutorial) or any designated 200-level course in each of the five Schools of the College (Natural Science; Cognitive Science; Critical Social Inquiry [formerly Social Science]; Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies; and Interdisciplinary Arts--the distribution requirement).
  • During their first year of enrollment, students must also satisfactorily complete three additional courses drawn from the curriculum offered by any of the Schools of Hampshire College or from the Five Colleges (for a total of eight courses in the first year).

Second Language and Division I

Students are strongly encouraged to incorporate the study of a second language and of quantitative methods of analysis into their Division I studies. Since second languages are best learned when studied continuously, students electing to study a second language are strongly encouraged to enroll in language courses in the first year. Language courses may be used to satisfy the distribution requirement in Interdisciplinary Arts.

Completion of Division I

During the second semester of enrollment, students are responsible for preparing a Division I portfolio that includes completed course evaluations, representative samples of work, and a self-evaluation that reflects on their studies in Division I. Students meet with their advisors to discuss their academic progress during the academic year. After receiving evaluations for second semester work and considering the Division I portfolio, the advisor will determine if the student has satisfied all Division I requirements and, if so, will record that the student has passed his or her Division I examination.

Students who do not satisfy all Division I requirements on the basis of their first two semesters' work should consult with their advisors to address the need for further study to ensure the satisfactory completion of Division I.

When Division I is complete, the advisor prepares a Division I evaluation online based on the Division I portfolio.

Transfer Students

When Division I transfer students complete all the Division I course requirements, they should notify the Division I coordinator in central records, who will record their Division I passes. Transfer students do not need to write a Division I self-evaluation or submit a Division I portfolio. They will not receive a Division I evaluation.

First-Year Students with AP, IB, or Prior College Work

Students who have completed fewer than fifteen semester or twenty-three quarter credits of college work will be considered Division I students and must meet all distribution and additional course requirements of the Division I curriculum.

First-year students who present Advanced Placement Program (AP) scores of 3, 4, or 5 or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores of 5, 6, or 7 on Higher Level exams may use 200-level courses to fulfill the Division I distribution requirement in the relevant Schools. Placement must be recorded by central records during the add/drop period before it can be used for Division I. 

College course work recorded for credit on students' high school transcripts may not be used at Hampshire College. College courses not recorded for credit on the high school transcript may be considered for use in Division II with the approval of the committee chairperson. These courses may not be used in Division I for placement into 200-level courses or to satisfy distribution requirements. 


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