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Academic Program

At Hampshire you’ll take responsibility for your education, customize your curriculum, and move beyond boundaries of disciplines and departments. We call this your academic concentration. It puts the emphasis on learning, not on teaching.

Guided by our accomplished faculty, you’ll forge your own path, taking roads not already paved for you. In the process you’ll acquire the ability to teach yourself. It’s more than a life skill. It’s an outlook on life.

Hampshire’s Divisional System

This framework guides you in building your academic concentration and completing a yearlong advanced study project in your final year. You’ll develop competence in four key areas: analytical writing and research, quantitative analysis and reasoning, independent project-based work, and multiple cultural perspectives.

Division I

Year 1

The first year is about bridging subjects. You’ll be exposed to a wide range of critical, scientific, and creative approaches from across the academic program, and encouraged to explore connections among subject areas. You’ll be mentored by an advisor, the professor of one of your fall-semester courses. All the work you do is project-based, so you’ll start getting your hands dirty on day one.

Division II

Years 2 & 3

The second and third years are all about deep inquiry into your own interests. Now that you know how studies can be connected, you have freedom to pursue what you’re passionate about. Choose two or three professors to serve as your advising committee. They’ll give you advice about classes to take, internships, studying abroad, and other opportunities to fuel your intellect and activate your inquiries. Though there’s still room to explore, you’re now set on answering the questions that drive you.

Division III

Year 4

The fourth year is your chance to make change. Academia is a living, breathing thing, and you get a year to move it forward. Do the research no one’s ever done. Build a robot that teaches itself to climb. Write a textbook that revolutionizes how Modern Standard Arabic is taught. Or a novel. Design an interactive art exhibit that brings publicity and customers to businesses in your neighborhood. (Yes, these are real projects by our students.)


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Areas of Study
At Hampshire you won't choose a major the way you might buy a product. Rather, you'll build a concentration out of your interests and intellectual curiosity, in close consultation with your faculty advisors.
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At Hampshire you'll learn to connect ideas—and to put them into action. You'll build an education that reflects your passions and your goals.
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Office of the Dean of Faculty
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002