Our Academic Program

A curriculum relevant to the world we live in... And the one we want to live in.

Graduates encounter opportunities and problems that don’t fit neatly into fixed majors or departments. Their education shouldn’t either. Employers overwhelmingly agree that broad learning and skills that cut across disciplines are the best preparation for long-term career success.

We launched a bold new curriculum and student experience, fundamentally reshaping a liberal arts education to match the needs of today’s students and the world. Hampshire’s model educates students for the challenges of jobs, graduate schools, entrepreneurship, and life.

Learning Collaboratives

The Kern Building

Environments and Change

How should we act on our responsibilities in the face of changing climate?

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 The S.O.U.R.C.E. Wall of Resilience


How do we disrupt and dismantle white supremacy?

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Student working on light table with film.

Media and Technology

How do we decide what constitutes truth in a "post-truth" era?

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Art Print

Time and Narrative

How can art and creative practices engage trauma?

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Divisional System

At Hampshire, there are no freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors. Rather, Hampshire students advance through three divisions. Academic pursuits move students from course-based projects in Div I through semester-long collaborative projects in Div II toward a year-long, self-designed independent project in Div III.

Each division concludes with a portfolio review, including narrative feedback from all courses, final papers, or projects, as well as Community-Engaged Learning and a retrospective. This divisional framework guides students in building their academic concentration or focus of study and supports them through more and more ambitious projects.

Student in the Kern Center looking at the camera.

Div I

The first year emphasizes learning across a wide range of critical, scientific, and creative approaches through our multidisciplinary curriculum, gaining skills for learning in community with others, and engaging in project-based learning in supported contexts. Students are mentored by an advisor and supported through our advising networks of students, staff, and faculty.

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Student in Art Barn holding ceramic face

Div II

The second and third years are all about students' deep inquiry into their own interests. Guided by a team of advisors, they design a unique academic path, strengthen connections in communities of learners, and grow toward independent project-based learning. Advisors help students select classes, internships, studying abroad, and other opportunities to pursue their passions.

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Student in library working on laptop.


The fourth year is a student's opportunity to push their learning further, take risks, and tackle a meaningful challenge they’ve envisioned from concept to completion. Often as rigorous as graduate-level thesis projects, Div IIIs include scientific research no one has ever done, innovative technological developments, daring artistic exhibitions, philosophical writing, original documentary films, and anything else our students can imagine.

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At Hampshire, students will:

  • Actively grapple with pressing questions and issues starting in their first semester.
  • Explore and innovate freely across multiple methods and practices and all fields of knowledge: the arts, sciences, technology, social/political inquiry, and humanities.
  • Develop lifelong skills central to a liberal arts education: creative problem-solving, applied critical thinking, entrepreneurialism, and agility for dealing with complexity and uncertainty.
  • Integrate learning in and out of the classroom through courses, workshops, independent study, field study, community learning, study abroad, internships, co-curricular activities, and more.

A better way to learn.

Christoph Cox at Desk

Narrative Evaluations

Instead of letter grades, written evaluations are delivered to students. These parallel professional performance reviews, helping students identify their areas of growth potential along with their areas of strength.

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Three students laugh in a classroom.

Student-Designed Curriculum

Instead of asking our students to conform to inflexible majors, they are tasked with building a program that aligns with 
their interests, passions, questions, and goals.

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students outside

Community-Engaged Learning

The study of theory is combined with direct "real-world" experience like an internship, project with community organizations or peers, field research involving community agencies, and more.

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