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Procedures for Division II Work

Division II is the heart of a Hampshire education. In these middle two years, students articulate the questions they want to answer and develop goals for their own learning. They work with a faculty committee to develop their own educational plan. Students and faculty work together to create a contract that guides them: helping to select or create the experiences that propel the student forward.

Div II Committee Request Process and Contract

Students begin to design their individual concentrations in the spring of their first year when they participate in the Div II committee request process. As part of that process, they talk with faculty in their area(s) of interest, working toward the goal of both 1) having a faculty committee  who will oversee their Div II, and 2) formulating a concise statement of what their concentration will be, including questions they plan to pursue, skills they plan to learn, and goals they hope to accomplish. During Div II, students must also complete 1) multiple cultural perspectives requirement, and 2) a community-engaged learning requirement. The Div II contract also briefly describes the student's plans for these requirements.

Division II Seminars

In their final semester of Division II, students take a Division II seminar which supports students’ transition from Div II to Div III in their sixth semester.  The Div II seminar supports students’ compiling of the Div II Portfolio and completion of a robust Div III proposal by the end of the semester.


Most students complete Div II by the end of their third year, or may wait and pass at the beginning of their fourth year. To pass Div II, they must 1) write an extended retrospective essay and 2) complete a portfolio of Div II work, as specified by their committee. Once these materials have been received, the committee and the student hold a final meeting to discuss the Div II, and the chair writes an evaluation of the student's Division II performance.

The Div II process entails the creation and presentation of a portfolio consisting of papers written for courses or independent projects, course and fieldwork or internship evaluations, artistic products, and other evidence that the terms of the Division II contract have been fulfilled. Students are essentially curating their work and reflecting on its meaning as well as on their own learning.

Passing Div II

The student and the faculty committee discuss the material, and if the student is judged to have passed the Division II, the Division II committee prepares a Division II evaluation that will be recorded in the student's online academic file.

When determining whether a student's Division II is ready to be passed, the faculty committee takes into consideration: whether the student has met the goals set out in the contract; the number and type of courses and other learning activities in the portfolio and whether they form a comprehensive body of work; the student's proficiency with writing and other modes of expression and presentation; the student's readiness, in terms of requisite knowledge and skills, to embark on the proposed Division III project; and the student’s demonstrated ability to carry out independent work. All work completed on field study or exchange must be evaluated, documented, and recorded by the Central Records office.

Timeline and Procedures

Students begin to formulate preliminary ideas for their Division II course of study in the spring of their first year, when they participate in the Div II committee request process.

Courses taken during Division I that are not used to fulfill Division I requirements may be applied to the Division II if relevant. The third semester is considered a Division II semester even if a student is using one or more course(s) to fulfill a Division I requirement.

Committee members electronically sign the contract, which files it with Central Records. Division II is a four-semester undertaking, with at least three semesters completed after filing the Division II contract. The portfolio of work submitted to the Division II committee represents the equivalent of four semesters' worth of work in Division II. Generally, students complete four evaluated learning experiences each semester.

  1. Division II Proposal and Committee Selection
    Students work with their Division I advisors to craft their preliminary ideas for Division II on TheHub and to think about appropriate faculty to consider for their Division II committee. Students should make a point of meeting and talking with faculty with whom they would like to work. Students participate in the Committee Selection process in the spring of their second semester.
  2. Role of the Committee Chair
    A member of the Division II committee is designated as the chairperson. The chairperson has the primary responsibility for monitoring the progress of the concentration, overseeing the final meeting, and writing the student's Division II evaluation. The Division II chair serves as the academic advisor.
  3. Revising Your Contract
    The initial Division II contract must be revised during the final semester of Division II to portray accurately the work that was completed in Division II and to reflect changes in focus. Many students revise the contract periodically. The revised concentration form must be signed by all members of the committee before it can be passed. The student is responsible for fulfilling all the commitments detailed in the Division II contract.
  4. Community Engagement and Learning Evaluation
    Students must have a community sponsor verify the completion of their Community Engagement and Learning requirement on TheHub and complete a self-reflection on their experiences prior to passing their Division II.
  5. Final Meeting
    Before a final meeting is scheduled, the student should contact the chairperson to verify that all of the materials to be submitted for evaluation as specified by the contract have been made available to each committee member. At that point, the student should arrange the time of the final meeting with each of the members of the committee. The final meeting is normally an oral examination of the student's Division II work, which involves a discussion of the central questions addressed in the concentration. Students should include a statement about prospective Division III work as a part of the Division II portfolio submitted for evaluation.
  6. Online Pass Form
    All Hampshire faculty committee members must sign the online pass form. The pass date recorded will be the date the last committee member signs the pass online. The committee chairperson will then write a formal evaluation online in accordance with evaluation deadlines.

Note: Division II is considered to be a four-semester-long undertaking. Under exceptional circumstances, students who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishment in their Division II studies may, with the support of their Division II committee, petition for an accelerated Division II. They must do this in the anticipated final semester of their Division II. Students must be able to demonstrate not only that they will have completed the equivalent of four semesters' worth of work in their Division II, but also that their work rises to an exceptional level. They must also demonstrate readiness for Division III, including commitments from a Division III committee. Students must complete the application form available at the Center for Academic Support and Advising and secure written support from both Division II committee members. The full application must be submitted to CASA no later than October 1 or March 1 of a student’s anticipated final semester of Division II. Division III requires at least two full semesters of enrollment.

Div II at a Glance

Craft your ideas for Division II with support from your Division I advisor
Select and talk to potential faculty committee, and participate in Committee Request process
Draft a Division II contract online
Finalize Div II contract online after conversation with faculty committee
Fulfill all requirements of the Div II contract
Final meeting with committee


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Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002