FAQ: For New Students


How does the divisional system work? What's expected of me during Division I, and how do I pass into Division II?

We know that Hampshire isn't like other schools, so we want to make sure that you have a full understanding of the divisional system. Use the following pages to learn more about each division, and how to pass from one to the next during your time at Hampshire.

The Divisional System at a Glance
Division I: Basic Studies
Division II: The Concentration
Division III: Advanced Studies

What is the purpose of narrative evaluations?

One of the principles of a Hampshire education is that students learn more from a teacher's thoughtful reaction to their work than from a letter or number grade. Students receive extensive commentary on course work, independent study projects, and Divisional requirements. These reports highlight each student's strengths, suggest areas for improvement, and serve as a permanent record of the student's work at Hampshire. Unlike a typical list of undergraduate course titles, the Hampshire transcript is a detailed picture of the student's work. It makes clear not only the distinctiveness of the student's academic program, but also the independent research skills that have been acquired.

What do I do if I'm on a waitlist for a course?

Go to the first course meeting, and keep attending until you know whether you'll be able to take the course. By going to class, you'll demonstrate your interest in taking the course, and it may help your chances of securing a seat.

Can I sit in on courses during the add/drop period?

In a word, yes! It's always a good idea to see what's available and attend a variety of different courses. If a course is full, you may be told that you cannot stay, but it never hurts to try.

What is an EPEC course?

Experimental Program in Education and Community (EPEC) was founded in 1995 as a way to support and promote student-initiated work not otherwise represented within the academic structure of the College. It is currently a program allowing students, faculty, staff, or other community members to conceive and organize classes not otherwise offered at Hampshire College. EPEC courses are co-curricular activities taught by Hampshire community members (i.e. students, faculty, staff, and alums).


Can I check out books from other libraries in the Five College consortium? How should I go about doing so?

Yes, you can! The easiest way to do this is by visiting the Five College library catalog, searching for the items that you want to check out, and requesting that they be delivered to the Hampshire College library. You'll need your library barcode number, which appears on the back of your OneCard. If you'd prefer to check out items in person, bring your OneCard to your library of choice and the circulation desk will use this information to allow you to check out items.

Where is the Writing Center? How can I make an appointment?

The Writing Center is part of the Knowledge Commons, right in the library, home to many many resources to make you the best student you can be! You can make an appointment, learn about drop-in hours, and more all through the Writing Center's website. 

Is there a place on campus where I can have copies made?

Visit our Duplication Center, located on the ground floor of the Harold F. Johnson Library. The Duplication Center provides a wide variety of services to students, staff, and faculty: copying, collating, comb and velo binding, folding, hole-punching, laminating, padding, paper cutting, printing, scanning, and stapling. They have a wide array of paper colors and weights to choose from, including résumé paper.

I don't have a car. What's the best way to get off campus?

The Five College consortium boasts one of the largest free bus systems in the country, and is the easiest way to get to other campuses and the neighboring towns. Spend some time with the bus schedule to find the best route to your destination.

What does my OneCard do? How can I use it?

Your OneCard is your official Hampshire College identification. You will need it to enter campus residences, check out books from all Five College libraries, use the athletic facilities, and ride non-Five College PVTA bus lines. Your meal plan is also administered through your OneCard, in addition to providing funds for the Bridge Café. If you wish to charge items to your student account in the HampStore, you can use your OneCard to do so.