Hampshire students qualify for the bachelor of arts degree by completing a full-time program composed of three divisions of study.
Students complete Division I during their first three semesters. The first two semesters constitute the first-year program, in which students take a first year tutorial with their advisors and complete seven additional courses, which must include a course in each of the college's five schools (Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies; Interdisciplinary Arts; Natural Science; Social Science; Cognitive Science). The third semester involves systematic evaluation and reflection upon the student's first-year work, with development of a plan for Division II.
The Hampshire Dance Program offers several courses each year which students may take as part of their first year program. These could include Making Dances, Dance as an Art Form, Black Traditions in American Dance, technique classes, and a tutorial for entering students taught by one of the dance faculty.
In Division II (Concentration) students explore their chosen field or fields of emphasis through an individually-designed program of courses, independent work and, often, internships or field studies. Students do not need to audition to do a Division II in dance.
The Hampshire Dance Program has Division II guidelines which students tailor to individual goals. These include study in technique, creative process (including improvisation and composition), history and cultural context, and movement analysis. A Division II portfolio usually includes choreography, performance, research, writing, and crew work. The student's unique questions, themes, and interests tie the Division II together, and self-assessment is built into the process all along the way.
In Division III (Advanced Studies) students complete a major year-long independent project centered on a specific topic, question, or idea. In dance, these projects may be in choreography and performance, or research and writing. For a choreography/performance Division III, students choreograph and produce a concert of original choreography, and write a supporting paper in which they both discuss their research and assess their own choreography. For a Division III in dance research, students conduct original research (e.g., in dance analysis, cultural studies, or dance anthropology) and write a major paper. The possibilities are endless.
All students also must complete two "Advanced Learning Activities" as part of the Division III. One of these activities must be the completion of a 300 level course; the other may be a second advanced course, an independent study, or a supervised teaching activity. All projects and learning activities must be approved by the student's Division III committee. Division III choreography and performance concentrators are strongly encouraged to complete the Five College Dance Department guidelines for a dance major over the course of their Division II and III.
In addition to these requirements, students must include volunteer service to Hampshire or the surrounding community as part of their Hampshire education and, in Division III are asked to look beyond the specific focus of their work by integrating their scholarship into the larger academic life of the College. All students are expected to consider some aspect of their Hampshire work from a non-Western perspective, exploring issues of race and power in the courses they take, the artists they study as part of their coursework, and in the concerts they attend and reflect upon.