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Academic Program

Hampshire College Students Working in a Science Lab

At Hampshire you’ll take responsibility for your education and design your own academic program in collaboration with your faculty advisors. 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 seek out people to learn with and from, figure out how to access resources and solve problems relevant to your interests, and work flexibly and confidently to meet unexpected challenges and opportunities. 

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 or focus of study and completing a year-long independent project in your final year. You'll develop competence in project-based learning across all four years, moving from closely scaffolded projects in Div I that include collaborative learning, to projects in Div II that support your growth in independent work and result in a robust proposal for Div III, to your culminating Div III independent project. The Divisional Seminars are a cornerstone of Hampshire’s Divisional system, and support the growth of students across their academic trajectory, including at key transitions between Divisions.

Division I

Year 1

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

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Division II

Years 2 & 3

The second and third years are all about deep inquiry into your own interests, strengthening your connections in communities of learners, and growth toward independent project-based learning. Your advisors and advising networks can give you advice about classes to take, internships, studying abroad, and other opportunities to pursue your passions.

Division III

Year 4

The fourth year is your chance to push your learning further, take risks, and tackle the meaningful challenge you’ve envisioned. Do the research no one’s ever done. Build a robot that teaches itself to climb. Write a textbook that revolutionizes how middle-school science or history is taught. Write a collection of poems or stories. Interview clinicians about how to improve mental health treatment. Produce a feature documentary, or your own choreographed dance performance. Design and distribute new software or apps. Design and curate an interactive art exhibit.

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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Office of the Dean of Faculty
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002