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No to SATs/ACTs: Not Even Optional at Hampshire College

Academic records, history of civic engagement, recommendation letters, and students’ ability to represent themselves in essays trump anything the tests could tell us.


No to SATs/ACTs: Not Even Optional at Hampshire College

For Guidance Counselors

Whether you are intimately familiar with Hampshire or you are just learning about Hampshire for the first time, we hope that the links below will be useful to you in discovering more about us.

Admissions Criteria

What do we look for behind the scenes? We want to see who your student is in the context of your studies and your communities. Thriving Hampshire students exhibit the following traits:

  • Growth-oriented mind-set
  • Authenticity
  • Passion for learning
  • Motivation, discipline, and follow-through
  • Empathy and an interest in building community
  • Self-awareness and maturity
  • Interest in many things and a tendency to see the connections among them
  • Intellectual bravery
  • Capacity to reflect on one’s work productively and to learn from adversity

Some of these traits manifest themselves in the trends on a student's transcripts, others in the work they do outside the classroom. Like everything else at Hampshire, the admissions process centers around each individual.

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We would be happy to send you a poster, pennant, or other materials. Please contact admissions@
to make a request.

"There are two reasons why Hampshire graduates achieve so much. One is the kind of person the college attracts. The other is what the college does for them by equipping them to become their own wide-ranging explorers and connection-seekers."

Loren Pope, Colleges that Change Lives (2006)

Hampshire College is a member of Colleges that Change Lives, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process.

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You have questions. We have answers.
We’ve seen what can happen when you’re the entrepreneur of your own education. Request information and see for yourself.
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About Hampshire
Hampshire educates for change like no other college. Learn more about what you can do here and why it matters.
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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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We’ve seen what can happen when you’re the entrepreneur of your own education. Now see for yourself.
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With Admissions
Snail Mail
Admissions Office
Mail Code AD
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
877.937.4267 (Toll Free)
Fax: 413.559.5631