Division II is the core of a student's education at Hampshire College.
Students explore their chosen field(s) of emphasis (the concentration) through an individually designed program of courses, independent work, and internships or field studies. Students work closely with a faculty committee to design and carry out a personalized concentration of study.
The concentration is an area of learning that the student pursues in greater depth according to their individual interests and needs. Each student designs and carries out a concentration with the guidance and supervision of a committee of faculty selected by the student for this purpose.
In addition to carrying out the work defined by the Division II contract, every Hampshire student must complete two academic requirements prior to completing Division II work: Multiple Cultural Perspectives and Community Engagement and Learning (CEL-2).
Two Hampshire College faculty must be members of the committee, one of whom serves as chair. A Five College faculty member or an individual from the surrounding community may occasionally serve as a third member.
Division II comprises four semesters of work (usually the second and third year of study), with the portfolio of work submitted to the committee at the conclusion of Division II representing the equivalent of four semesters' worth of work in the concentration in Division II.
A concentration may range from a plan of study similar to that of a traditional college major to a highly individualized program of study that encompasses several disciplines or areas of conceptual thought and understanding. It may include a number of kinds of learning activities: independent studies and projects, courses, reading programs, internships, and other forms of field study away from the campus.
Within the limits of the resources of the College, the Five Colleges, and the ability of the student and the student's committee to locate resources for the student, there is great latitude in the design of a concentration. It is essential, however, that a concentration proceed on the basis of a plan, that it be a coherent body of studies, and that it build from work at foundational levels to advanced work.
The concentration is not the whole of a student's work in Division II; additional studies outside the area of concentration are also an important part. Along with the concentration, the student is expected to pursue academic interests in areas unrelated to the concentration, much as a student at a traditional college would engage interests outside the major. Because these additional studies need not meet the criteria for a concentration (coherence and building), this feature gives the Division II student an added measure of flexibility and freedom in designing a course of study.
The Division II description above applies to fall 2011 entering students only. Students who entered Hampshire College prior to fall 2011 should refer to the previous Division II description.